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Old 04-07-2014, 11:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Had an amazing warm slush day on Mt Hood today, mid 50's and bluebird after solid recent but super wet snow (up to 9" but with 2.5" of water content!). That being said they had their gated terrain open in Heather Canyon open all the way to A-Zone which was a first in a few days. For those who haven't ridden there it's the second to third highest entry point in what can be some pretty intense slopes.

Well obviously it's the first thing I wanted to hit so I made my way over, got through the gate and to my favorite drop in spot when I realized it looked way steeper than it should. I then started observing the ridge and saw a nice clean break about 8-9" deep (guessing purely by eye) that ran the entire face of this particular entry point. It was by no means a devastating slide, the runout was short and led to pretty safe mellow terrain, and probably ran no risk of injury based on what I saw unless it caught you perfectly wrong. That being said there has been no report of it despite me witnessing a professional photographer documenting it. I figured info would come out later but instead this is what I read on NWAC "Clearing Sunday night allowed a supportable melt-freeze crust to form around Mt. Hood Meadows Monday morning, but the surface snow quickly softened later Monday with sunshine and with NWAC stations on Mt. Hood warming near or into the 50s. Meadows pro patrol reported softening snow, but had not observed any new avalanche activity as of Monday afternoon. " Well It was a pretty obvious slide and I saw it at 11. I guess it could have been a day old, two at most but saw nothing then either.

Do resorts and reports get to pick and choose if a slide was big enough to report? I haven't had enough experience with this having spent the majority of my time in the East but was a surprise to me. For all I know this could be normal procedure here Other than that great, sunny day, at least until I apparently covered my base in tree sap while riding glades and took a nice solid fall when my board instantly grabbed and stopped. Try scraping sap off your board in the middle of the woods, not fun!
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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when heather goes big it slides all the way down to the lift tower.. what you describe sounds like a patrol triggered slide, probably from explosives.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Bakes generally doesn't report most slides (though some are noted). However, it warns of the potential. When you can see the slides...thus why report....and if ur seeing them...it should be warning enough....btw...welcome to the pnw.


resident photog...heli bombed


just went of its own accord
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I do believe NWAC has an avalanche obsevations page. Did you check there? That is where you are most likely to find a report on a slide like this. Not in the avalanche forecast.

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Old 04-08-2014, 08:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrathfuldeity View Post
....btw...welcome to the pnw.

resident photog...heli bombed


just went of its own accord
WTF?????

Forgive my ignorance,... Those are "after" photo's that the "resident photog" took of recent slides??? Holy shit! I've never seen a fracture point like that in any avalanche picture before! I have to say, that scares the freaking shit out of me! That has to be 10-12 feet of slab?

I wouldn't be standing there even roped!

...and the second image? Ringing the entire basin with a fracture line? I can't even imagine what kind of damage that much snow moving down the mountain must do.


-jeebus- I just took a closer look and that second picture has a lift and skiers in it in the foreground slopes? Nobody from the resort got caught in that slide? Damn! That's freaky! ...especially since they're beautifully photographed images too! Makes it creepier somehow!
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Classic persistent/deep persistent slab slide. That is the one that scares me the most. They can travel around terrain features far from the initial fracture. Terrain that you might otherwise consider safe. Really, really scary dragons they are.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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WTF?????

Forgive my ignorance,... Those are "after" photo's that the "resident photog" took of recent slides??? Holy shit! I've never seen a fracture point like that in any avalanche picture before! I have to say, that scares the freaking shit out of me! That has to be 10-12 feet of slab?

...especially since they're beautifully photographed images too! Makes it creepier somehow!
Chomps...since ur a photographer...go to Grant's website for more avy and Baker pics...pics were from 1 or 2 years ago. The second pic...that avy went and just fortunately nobody was in the trap at the time...but that is the infamous Shuskan Arm and the debri pile came up on the groomed run and at places the debris was over 100' deep. Btw you should come out for a visit.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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.... like wrath said: welcome to the PNW. when it goes big out here its big.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Classic persistent/deep persistent slab slide. That is the one that scares me the most. They can travel around terrain features far from the initial fracture. Terrain that you might otherwise consider safe. Really, really scary dragons they are.
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resident photog...heli bombed
Pics are impressive and scary...

Is it likely to trigger such a deep slide on such deep instable layer by hiking/riding? Meant as a question out of curiosity, no criticism intended, since I've learned to do a snowprofile about 1.5m/5ft deep and was given the reason for this depth is that the pressure you put on the pack fades with depth i.e. week layers beneath do not matter since you don't impact them anymore..
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This feb in the Uinta mountains, pic from the UAC website..

Its my understanding that resorts don't report avalanches to the public because it will make gapers from Kentucky think that they will die on a green run. But they do report most slides to the local avalanche center.

Neni, it depends how close the slab is to over loading the weak layer but your generally correct about a persons body weight only effecting the top 5 feet.

One of the scarier parts of these deep persistent slab avalanches is that you can trigger a relatively benign storm slab that will be enough to overload the deep slab and step down, taking the whole slope with you.

Last edited by mhaas; 04-08-2014 at 08:39 PM.
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