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Author Topic: December 6, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass  (Read 6031 times)
Charlie Hagedorn
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December 6, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass
« on: 12/06/15, 12:54 PM »

Widespread collapsing and whumphs atop Hyak. No slides observed, but most building roofs have crowns. Quick pits (no compression tests) did not betray the collapsing layer.

A curiosity: whumphs were repeatable. Skintracks that had whumphed when breaking trail whumphed again half an hour later. Transitioning atop Hyak, we got a whumph as we stopped, and a second one as Susan clicked into a ski.

Snow was low-density cement. Skiable, but quite heavy. Bring fattest skis or a snowboard. No rocks noted, just plants. Went home after snow began to become rain.

We drove past Alpental. Small crown in Shot 6, small debris in Shot 8, and small loose point releases on steepest slopes in the Alpy BC.

Perhaps a small south-facing point release high along Bandera's ridgeline coming home.


* SusanSkisHyakFrontSideTAY.jpg (187.39 KB, 1000x475 - viewed 1648 times.)

* SusanSkisHyakBackSideTAY.jpg (193.49 KB, 1000x627 - viewed 1647 times.)

* TelemanAndDogAtopHyakTAY.jpg (191.07 KB, 1000x722 - viewed 1639 times.)
« Last Edit: 12/06/15, 09:45 PM by Charlie Hagedorn » Logged

jakedouglas
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Re: December 6, Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #1 on: 12/06/15, 02:32 PM »

Good coverage at West, probably 12" of new when I showed up around 7 and it kept falling. Heavy turned to sticky turned to nearly soup at the bottom by late morning. Nice to go skiing without a 3 hour drive for a change.
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: December 6, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #2 on: 12/06/15, 02:43 PM »

Nice to go skiing without a 3 hour drive for a change.

Amen.
« Last Edit: 12/06/15, 02:54 PM by Charlie Hagedorn » Logged

Griff
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Re: December 6, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #3 on: 12/06/15, 03:57 PM »

Don't know that I have ever heard a snowpack whumph more than today. Almost every other step as my daughter and I climbed up Parachute at Ski Acres. If not for being in such mellow terrain, we would not have ben out there at all.

That said, I chatted with the guy who set the track about the big crack that covered a third of the face. He was below it when it cracked and settled. Didn't move.

The ski, well, it was one of the best runs ever down ol' Parachute. Ok, not really. But......after last year it might as well have been. WOOHOO!! Heavy but a blast.

Better yet was watching my daughter do 3 face plants down the holiday chair run. HAHA. She is 17 so not a kid. You just have to know her.

All I want for Christmas is 70 days of skiing just like today this year.

Probably more snow today than all of last year. Why they are not open is weird. Maybe Boyne figure Crystal is open so no rush to open the Pass?Huh But it could have easily been open today.
« Last Edit: 12/06/15, 04:01 PM by Griff » Logged
Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: December 6, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #4 on: 12/06/15, 04:18 PM »

Parts of Central are steep enough to slide, see Hillmap/Caltopo/Google map below.

I saw Susan drop a bit with the most impressive whumph we encountered. I've felt similar collapses before, but never observed a partner move.

Opening-wise, I suspect they're waiting until after this week's big warmup.

On the TGR forum, there's a photo of a person-involved slide on the lower part of the mountain at Alpental today.


* hillmapSummitCentralWithSlopeShading.jpg (183.58 KB, 776x716 - viewed 1983 times.)
« Last Edit: 12/06/15, 05:20 PM by Charlie Hagedorn » Logged

pipedream
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Re: December 6, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #5 on: 12/06/15, 08:03 PM »

Sounds like a spooky day out there. Someone got caught in a slide on the backside of Stevens, leading to a chaotic diversion of resources that way mid-morning. Last I heard the party was able to self-extricate without injury.

As for avalanche potential at Summit Central, a few seasons ago a resort skier triggered a slide in the trees between Parachute and the main Triple 60 face. Victim was only partially buried but ops stopped loading the chair immediately and shut it down as soon as it was empty.

Even Hyak has slide-eligible slopes in-bounds. The face beneath the very top of the triple released naturally two seasons ago during a heavy storm cycle, prompting Patrol to rope off skier's right of the chair for the day.
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Moral of story is don't ski when you can snowboard
Jim Oker
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Re: December 6, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #6 on: 12/07/15, 10:48 AM »

Jackal and I did one lazy lap up to the gun mount at Alpental, from about 11:30-2:30. Definitely heavy snow, and pole probes showed varying degrees of multiple low density layers down a bit. Lots of hollow spots around brush - typical early season fun. But we experienced no whumpfing. I was not interested, however, in skiing any steeper slopes - seemed too funky to risk it. I did cut across one very short (10-15 feet tall?) 35-ish degree slope where I felt the snow moving as I cut across, but when I looked back it had not moved much - just a few inches. Kind of too thick and heavy to just crumble to the base of the little slope. It seemed like the top layer was settling a bit even just over the course of our tour.

It was more fun than we expected, especially after starting out in mild rain at the base. Rain showers turned to snow/graupel/hail, and mostly turned to a break in the weather. We feared a tough run down when watching other folks struggle, especially in brushy areas. But perhaps thanks to settling, or perhaps due to a good solution to the maze on the hill, we enjoyed some fun if heavy turns (and only a couple of brief bogging down moments by each of us) until nearly the bottom of Sessel where it just got plain wet and gloppy.

There's enough snow up there now to start covering up some of the worst early season obstacles; the warming and rain this week should help get us a good thick crust over all the woody stuff that was a little too easy to find with skis yesterday.  And then with a few feet more on top, it'll start to look like winter up there!  Cheesy 
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SeatownSlackey
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Re: December 6, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #7 on: 12/07/15, 03:23 PM »

Slide @ alpy was me.  Whole host of mistakes led up to it but for everyone else's benefit, it was skier triggered, (climbing).   Crown was 45-50' wide and face varied between 18-24" (all of the recent storm snow) and ran 250-300'.  Triggered the slide from the lower right of the pic. 
Bed surface was a thin layer of frost/hoar on rock. 

I was Pinned and partially buried against a tree but had one arm free to clear the snow away from my head and face and eventually dig out my other arm.   Would have been there for over an hour had i been forced to self extract.  Trio of snowshoeing snowboarders came to my rescue and dug me out 10 min after the slide happened.

could have easily been much worse.





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Griff
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Re: December 6, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #8 on: 12/07/15, 04:10 PM »

^^^^^^Lucky^^^^^^^
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P_Buddy
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Re: December 6, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #9 on: 12/07/15, 05:37 PM »

Wow, thanks for sharing both the trip report and slide story. 
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Jim Oker
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Re: December 6, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #10 on: 12/07/15, 05:41 PM »

Thanks for sharing the pics. I'm curious what time and roughly where this happened?

I'm sure we were taking non-zero risks ourselves, but I was for sure not excited about getting on or beneath anything very steep based on how the snow felt and what had already come down in a few spots (such as the shot six crown mentioned by Charlie), though we did follow the route of the cat track for a little ways (which was just hillside as of yesterday) which cuts below Shot Six etc, and I was glad to get past it quickly, though the debris from that crown did not come down very close to our path.

The air pockets beneath the snow were also on our mind as kind of risky yesterday - cautious skiing was the order of the day!
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