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| | |-+  January 17, 2016 - avalanches near Mission Ridge
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Author Topic: January 17, 2016 - avalanches near Mission Ridge  (Read 3631 times)
mikerolfs
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January 17, 2016 - avalanches near Mission Ridge
« on: 01/17/16, 10:59 PM »

Jtack and I had a grand tour and kept ourselves safe, but we were really surprised by the avalanche activity. Where the recent storm had touched down, there was no problem, but in wind sheltered areas, mostly east aspects, we had remote triggers here, there, and everywhere. Here are some photos. We estimate we caused 8-10 remotely triggered and one skier triggered avalanches.  All were small, but we were skiing small terrain. It would have been terrifying to be in big terrain and see what we saw today.

check out the wind feature behind Jamie. It wasn't there last week.


This hardly counts, but it was the only skier triggered slide. Worth including.


Remote trigger from 100 feet away.


We saw lots of this; cracks that showed about an inch of movement in the snowpack. I think that is about the size of the crystals this snow is sitting on. They laid over, but the snow was supported and didn't run.


The crystal layer is big enough to stick your fingers in. The stuff that ran is sitting tightly against the bed.


Here's one that stepped down. Twice.


This one I triggered remotely and it covered my tracks.


This snuck up on us. The windy upper slopes were not reactive and we thought once we got down into treeline we'd be in good shape, but the sheltered areas were the danger spots.  After the first one, we realized what was going on, but we were now in it, and had to go through to get out. It would be really easy to get in trouble going into this mouse trap. I've never seen this amount of avalanche activity. It was humbling to be so surprised.

Finally, I just happen to have some good pictures of the surface crystals from the same area from 7 days earlier. Here they are:



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RonL
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Re: January 17, 2016 - avalanches near Mission Ridge
« Reply #1 on: 01/18/16, 07:44 AM »

Those are some great photos.
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aaron_wright
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Re: January 17, 2016 - avalanches near Mission Ridge
« Reply #2 on: 01/18/16, 10:18 AM »

Looks like you were right above Clara in a couple of those pics.

Your findings are addressed in the NWAC forecast for Sunday from Saturday evening-   https://www.nwac.us/avalanche-forecast/avalanche-region-forecast/1940/ . Mission Ridge pro patrol finding easy 6-8" slabs failing on buried surface hoar. Considerable to High hazard rating from below-near-above treeline. Stay safe my friend.
« Last Edit: 01/18/16, 10:23 AM by aaron_wright » Logged
jwplotz
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Re: January 17, 2016 - avalanches near Mission Ridge
« Reply #3 on: 01/18/16, 03:27 PM »

Wait a minute!  What are these leathery looking devices Jamie is wrestling?!



* CIMG9786_zpssqrc2l6v.jpg (171.9 KB, 480x640 - viewed 1803 times.)
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avajane
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Re: January 17, 2016 - avalanches near Mission Ridge
« Reply #4 on: 01/18/16, 07:33 PM »

Those remotely triggered slopes didn't look very steep. What would you sat they were? Scary.
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
mikerolfs
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Re: January 17, 2016 - avalanches near Mission Ridge
« Reply #5 on: 01/19/16, 06:51 AM »

Those remotely triggered slopes didn't look very steep. What would you sat they were? Scary.

I wish we'd thought to measure the slopes. We didn't and I'm no good at guessing slope angles.
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Chamois
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Re: January 17, 2016 - avalanches near Mission Ridge
« Reply #6 on: 01/19/16, 04:49 PM »

Wow.  Quite educational - thanks for the photos
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Eckels
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Re: January 17, 2016 - avalanches near Mission Ridge
« Reply #7 on: 01/19/16, 10:57 PM »

I'm curious if you did any hand shears what the results were like. Was thinking today that I need to get out into safe terrain on high avy days to dig around and see what my the results of my hasty hand sheers look like in high avalanche conditions.
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