Friday, March 16, 2007

Avalanche conditions

Got the big yurt trip in the morning. Thank goodness there is no avalanche terrain on the approach to the yurt or at the yurt itself. I have a feeling we will be able to see some big ones coming down from a distance though. The warming trend with the variable snowpack is making things tricky. Ripped from the avi report.

Avalanche activity reported from yesterday was, oddly enough, from within ski resort boundaries in open areas in two separate incidents. One ski patroller in Big Cottonwood canyon was taken by surprise when a northeast facing slope at around 9800 feet released a slab that took him for a ride. Luckily, he wasn’t buried and sustained minor injuries. It’s important to note that the surface was still firm and hadn’t become damp or unsupportable at the time. There were also un-confirmed reports of another slide at a ski area in Little Cottonwood where no one was caught. The point here is that if professionals who deal with snow on a daily basis are getting caught off guard, backcountry recreational users have equal or lesser odds.

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