Avalanche: Broads Fork

Observer Name
Dane Harlamert
Observation Date
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Avalanche Date
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Salt Lake » Big Cottonwood Canyon » Broads Fork
Location Name or Route
Broads Fork
Slope Angle
Avalanche Type
Avalanche Problem
Gliding Snow
Weak Layer
Ground Interface
My partner and I went up into Broads Fork today to take a lap on Bonkers then go check out the upper regions of Broads. After a great run on Bonkers we continued up the skin track into the upper reaches of Broads Fork. My partner and myself had mentioned the possibility of a glide avalanche coming down off of blue ice and the diving board and agreed that spacing would be important on the skin across the bottom. A group of skiers who had ascended earlier in the day were heading down as we were heading up the skin track and they skied the slope bellow blue ice quickly as well. After crossing the tree patch and continuing on to the roll over that constitutes the upper basin of Broads Fork I looked back and saw that a glide avalanche had broken loose and covered the skin track and the skier tracks under blue ice. I was able to see large blocks still tumbling and the debris settling into the slope we had just crossed. This is one of those experiences that has been best described as we got away with one. Though glide avalanches may be harder to predict, rapid warming on steep smooth rock and the time of day should have played more of a factor in the decision making. Both my partner and I consider ourselves fortunate to be able to sit here and drink a beer while writing this report today. We get to take a pebble from the luck jar and put it in the experience jar. I hope the other party of skiers descending shortly before the slide can look at it the same way if they even saw the slide. There were 8 parties including ours in Broads today that we saw, glad that everyone lucked out and that no one was caught in this slide. We obviously did not go and check out the slide, but did snap some quick pictures before heading out. You can see the slide covering 5 different ski tracks and the skin track. There were 5 individuals in 2 parties that were in the slide path within 5 minutes prior to the release. Be mindful of your surroundings, and have fun.

A couple additional photos by Trent Meisenheimer who was on the Mill B ridge line across from the slide.