Avalanche: Dougs Drop

Observer Name
T Diegel
Observation Date
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Avalanche Date
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Dougs Drop
Location Name or Route
skier's right of Doug's Drop
Slope Angle
Trigger: additional info
Unintentionally Triggered
Avalanche Type
Wet Slab
Avalanche Problem
Wet Snow
Weak Layer
New Snow/Old Snow Interface

I'd been skiing Silver, Days, and Emma all morning/early afternoon, and dropped down a line that's to the right of Doug's Drop (on the Silver/Days ridgeline).  it starts mellow, then rolls over briefly to 40+ degrees, then backs off again.  There was one track down the slope from this morning (when it was colder).  The snow had been pretty decent powder, but the sun poking through - as per Trent's forecast - but with considerable cloudiness made it seem like things were greenhousing in the early afternoon.  I thought that a high, east-facing shot would have better snow and be a little safer.  I dropped down the lower angle bit, went around the rocky entrance to the chute, then dropped in skiing fast and - channeling my inner snowboarder (which isn't too deep; I pondered riding my board today) I skied it off fall line with the prospect of a slow, wet slab following me down (thinking about Ian McCammon's slope angle study that indicates that wet slides need more pitch than powder soft/hard slabs:  http://gblanc.fr/IMG/pdf/mccammon2009.pdf

Once down in the flats I stopped, turned and indeed I saw a wet slide trundling down the slope.  It wasn't moving fast, but having been caught in wet slides before, I knew that it had a bit of that "heavy" power.  The "crown" was literally a few inches deep in the steepest part of the chute where my entrance ski cut was, but the entrainment of plenty of snow was notable.  It ran down to where the slope backed off to the mid-20's and stopped.    The debris was not deep enough to bury someone but enough to pull of a (releasable!) ski binding and bury that, and maybe tweak a knee (which has happened to me).  

I needed to exit the Emmas and they were even gooier, so I was quite careful to keep my slope angles under 40 with the little rolls and terrain traps in there, and that worked out fine.  

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