Avalanche Season Is Upon Us! | 3 Incidents Yesterday Involving Skiers

Avalanche Season Is Upon Us! | 3 Incidents Yesterday Involving Skiers

Avalanche

Avalanche Season Is Upon Us! | 3 Incidents Yesterday Involving Skiers

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After big snowfall covered the Western United States over the past week, avalanche reports are pouring in. Actually, there have been three skier triggered avalanches since yesterday morning and with all the new snowfall, Avalanche season is officially upon us. The reports include skiers in California, Utah, and Colorado.

Related: Chest Deep @Loveland Today!

Here are the individual incident reports:

California (South Lake Tahoe)

Location: Elephant’s Back

Aspect: NE

Elevation: Unknown

Incident Report: From the summit of Elephant’s Hump at 1:30pm on 11/11 a fresh? avalanche could be seen on Elephant’s Back.  There appeared to be tracks leading up towards the starting zone and a set of tracks coming out of the deposition zone.  While observing from the summit of Elephant’s Hump a single skier could be seen descending skiers left of the slide and a party of 3 was skiing up from the lookers left base of Elephant’s Back.  Hopefully one of those groups will submit more details, as I was not very close and have limited beta to share.

Avalanche Advisories For the Sierra Mountains: sierraavalanchecenter.org

Utah (Little Cottonwood Canyon)

Location: Mt. Baldy “Main Chute” | Alta Ski Area

Aspect: NE

Elevation: 10500′

Incident Report: Oops, very little snow in the chute, brown crust etc. I got to about 100 feet above the choke and cut left to make a turn into about 6 inches of snow and released a large soft slab crossloaded (2 feet deep) above me on the side of the chute. It took me halfway down the choke (200feets or so) and briefly buried me.

Note: Early season snowpack can be extremely dangerous due to the shallow snowpack and existence of rocks just beneath the snow. It was exactly this type of snowpack that claimed beloved skier Jamie Pierre back in 2011. 

Avalanche Advisories For Utah: utahavalanchecenter.org

Colorado (Crested Butte)

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Location: Crested Butte | Kebler Pass Area

Aspect: N

Elevation: 9600′

Incident Report: One skier triggered R1, D1 soft slab Avalanche. Skier caught but not buried. Crown height approximately 35cm. Failed at the interface between basal facets and the snow from last weeks storm.

Avalanche Advisories For Crested Butte: cbavalanchecenter.org

Remember: If there is snow, a weak layer within the snowpack, and a slope upon which to slide… An avalanche is possible. #KBYG

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