3 skiers, one split boarder all familiar with the area and terrain, less familiar with current snowpack. Uphill travel through low angle terrain below timberline in mature timber with small open meadows.
Dec. 31, 2018, 1:30 p.m. PST
Weather: Sunny, cold
Snowpack: Below 5500’ a rain crust was observed with 1-3” of new snow over it, depending on wind deposition and canopy coverage. Above 5500’ the rain crust was no longer present, and whumphing was noted consistently during travel in the shady low angle meadows. In one of the meadows was a short rib paralleling the creek that looked to be a good test slope. With the group watching from a safe point, One skier approached the rib from about 3’ from the top, weighted the slope, and triggered a soft slab that broke on the flat above the skier and propagated along the rib, about 90’. The path was exceedingly short, approx 12 vertical feet, and the slab was 34cm thick. The skier maintained footing while some debris from the flat ridge above came down, no burial or injury. Sliding surface was large >1cm surface hoar on a “1 finger” hard old snow bed surface. Of note, there was another layer of buried surface hoar within the slab at approx 20cm below the surface that was not as reactive.
Area Description: Bob Creek, Icicle Drainage, 5800’, northeast aspect.
Avalanches: See above.
Observation by Reese Bradburn
Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? Yes