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| | |-+  May 18, 2013, Birthday Tour, cornice failure
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Author Topic: May 18, 2013, Birthday Tour, cornice failure  (Read 2962 times)
Jonas
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Posts: 34


May 18, 2013, Birthday Tour, cornice failure
« on: 05/18/13, 11:48 PM »

Will and I did the Birthday Tour around Liberty Bell and Early Winters today. Great coverage all the way, with soggy but fun snow. Ski cramps helpful, but not required. One other party on the route, plus a couple of groups climbing L Bell and the spires.

The cornice at the top of the first pass (Cornice col) is quite large, and ready to go. The existing skin track went pretty much directly up below it, but we got a bit sketched and opted for the more annoying but safer route booting up the scree to the left of the snow ramp, and then crossing over at the last minute. This is definitely the way to go right now, since it lets you avoid being underneath the cornice and let's you sneak just behind it, just on the safe side of a deep crack where it's separating. Party of two behind us opted for the more efficient route straight up the ramp, but a minivan-sized chunk of it released right when they were underneath, triggering a 3ft slab maybe 75 ft across that ran several hundred feet to the bench and terrain trap below. We heard it as we were de-skinning on the far side, jumped into rescue mode and came back around to find with great relief that they were safe. Apparently they were in the slide path as it released up top, but were quick enough to run out of danger before it reached them. Phew. Plenty of cornice left up there, though, so be careful if you go.

Rest of the day was much less eventful, skied down to the Copper drainage and back up to the pass that drops you over to the hairpin on highway 20. There is a cornice where you drop over into the Slot couloir there. Looked a bit sketchier than it was though required some care... not nearly as bad as the other one. Great skiing down to the road, then got lucky and hitched a ride in the back of someone's pickup to get back to our car at the trailhead. All in all a great day with amazing views and terrain.

Debris:
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Jonas
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Posts: 34


Re: May 18, 2013, Birthday Tour, cornice failure
« Reply #1 on: 05/18/13, 11:54 PM »



The cornice before slide:


Post slide:


Slot couloir:
« Last Edit: 05/19/13, 10:40 PM by Jonas » Logged
BrianT
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Posts: 279


Re: May 18, 2013, Birthday Tour, cornice failure
« Reply #2 on: 05/19/13, 08:49 AM »

Looks like fun, though i'm having a hard time seeing those pictures in the correct perception. For future, you can use mspaint and rotate the pictures with a click of a button that may help put them up the right way.
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Boot
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Posts: 321


Re: May 18, 2013, Birthday Tour, cornice failure
« Reply #3 on: 05/19/13, 10:47 AM »

I'm very dizzy!
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Daniel_G
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Posts: 50


Re: May 18, 2013, Birthday Tour, cornice failure
« Reply #4 on: 05/19/13, 11:38 AM »

Thanks for the TR Jonas. We were thinking of going up tomorrow--(kind of a tradition to do the bday tour on my day...) but those pix made me a tad nervous! Last year, we did the tour and SEWs and conditions were memorable. Seems too dangerous right now... even if you skirt left of the cornice, if it goes when coming up anywhere below there...
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scotteryx
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WWW
Re: May 18, 2013, Birthday Tour, cornice failure
« Reply #5 on: 05/19/13, 08:47 PM »

Dude, fix those photos.
It's not that tough, makes them borderline useless to all of us.
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Life is short, spray hard
smitty
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Posts: 9


Re: May 18, 2013, Birthday Tour, cornice failure
« Reply #6 on: 05/19/13, 10:31 PM »

Here is a better pic taken Sunday, May 19, 2013.  The debris slid all the way into Spire Gulch.  Glad to hear no one was caught up in it. 


* Blue_Lake_Col_Cornice_Failure.jpg (42.36 KB, 800x600 - viewed 932 times.)
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Jonas
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Posts: 34


Re: May 18, 2013, Birthday Tour, cornice failure
« Reply #7 on: 05/19/13, 10:39 PM »

updated with rotated photos...apparently only certain browsers auto-rotate the display. thanks for heads-up, brian.
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