Recreational Observation

Skier dropped in from the ridge-top at just above 6,600'. Skier made several turns down lower angled (20-30 degrees) wind blown ridge before examining and committing to the open slope (35-40 degrees) below cornices.

March 2, 2016, 2:30 p.m. PST

Weather: Temps were below freezing above 3,000' the night prior to the incident with high cloud cover. Clouds dissipated and sun came out around 10:00. Our group experienced a dramatic and rapid warm up of the recently deposited snow on solar aspects as the sun gained intensity over the next several hours. By noon a new front from the west had begun to move in bringing cloud cover, light wind, and cooler temps.

Snowpack: Recently deposited soft storm slabs (0-70cm) on buried surface hoar (N-NE facing). Buried surface hoar formed during high pressure late last week. New storm snow was deposited during two separate events earlier this week. Buried surface hoar was not found in analysis of snowpack on NW facing slopes at 5,900' prior to incident. It would appear that the recently formed, now buried surface hoar has managed to be preserved on protected aspects and elevations that did not either experience wind, sun, or warming before the new snowload was added to the snowpack earlier this week.

Area Description: N-NE Facing slope above pine creek drainage, 6,600'.

Avalanches: Skier triggered avalanche on N-NE facing slope at 6,600'. Crown measured 70cm at the maximum depth. Slope propagated approximately 100 meters across and ran approximately 300 meters. Slope measured 40 degrees at the trigger point with an average slope angle of 38 degrees. Skier was fully buried close to the surface in the deposition zone. No physical injuries occurred to any member of the party. Soft storm slab propagated and ran very quickly on a bed surface composed of well preserved buried surface hoar.

Observation by Joel Forrest

Latitude: 48.569962

Longitude: -120.659344

Did you see any avalanches? Yes

Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes

Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? Yes