Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Serious Up There

Little Cloud

Notice:
LARGE NATURAL AVALANCHES HAVE OCCURRED AND WILL CONTINUE TO OCCUR IN STEEP TERRAIN AT THE MID AND UPPER ELEVATIONS. HUMAN TRIGGERED AVALANCHES ARE LIKELY AND POTENTIALLY FATAL. THOSE WITHOUT EXCELLENT AVALANCHE SKILLS ARE URGED TO AVOID THE BACKCOUNTRY


The danger is CONSIDERABLE to HIGH. Let's be clear: the backcountry is exceedingly dangerous right now. You will trigger an avalanche if you decide to ski a steep slope at the mid and upper elevations. You will also be able to trigger avalanches at a distance, with some of them pulling back to lower angled slopes.

These are the conditions that will catch and kill people. No, we are not having a widespread natural cycle. No, we are not seeing more snow and blow. BUT, it is where you and the snowpack intersects on a line of desire and instability that will produce the accident. Let me explain: This is perhaps your mind-set: the riding conditions are excellent and we've been denied by the early season storm tracks, following a 700” inch year. The snow? The snow doesn't care. There are buried land mines everywhere at the mid and upper elevations on many parts of the compass. When collapsing is the rule and remotely triggered avalanches are the rule, and snow safety teams are shaking their heads, talking about 20 year events, then one must pause.

If you decide to center punch one of the aforementioned slopes, you may as well flip a coin – one with two heads. Consider yourself lucky if you come out with only injuries. Please help us spread the word.

You can see Baldy slid again this morning, but it was closed this time around.

2 comments:

ben-day-ho said...

where's shot #3?

Forrest said...

Shot #3 is by hanging bowl area, its starting to fill in nicely up there.