Avalanche: Lake Mary Chutes

Observer Name
E. Bowling
Observation Date
Sunday, March 31, 2024
Avalanche Date
Sunday, March 31, 2024
Salt Lake » Big Cottonwood Canyon » Brighton Perimeter » Lake Mary Chutes
Location Name or Route
Upper Mary Chutes
Avalanche Type
Soft Slab
Avalanche Problem
Wind Drifted Snow
Weak Layer
Density Change
Solo touring out of Brighton today. Started out by heading up Twin Lakes Pass this morning when lifts started spinning, breaking trail up to the pass. Precip and mild winds made for poor visiblity. Got about halfway up Patsey's and transitioned, did a run down Heaven's Gate back to my skinner.
Headed back up the pass and peaked out on Patseys. Winds picked up drastically so I decided instead of another lap into Heavens, I skin to Mt. Wolverine and drop into the bowl. Winds at the top of Wolvy were nasty, assuming over 50mph at this point. It stopped snowing but winds were transfering everything onto the bowl. Quickly transitioned and road a dream lap down the bowl and lower wolverine chutes until I hit a flat spot a couple 100yrds from upper mary chutes. Instead of taking the time to transition back into ski mode I decided to boot pack to the northern most chute. This was a mistake cause I was absolutely drained by the time i got to the opening of the chute. Strapped back into the board and ready to be done I just went straight into the chute. Normally I wouldve made a ski cut at the top but in my rush to just be done with the day and tired from the boot pack I didnt and that was a huge mistake.
Once in the chute i made my first turn and immediately triggered a soft wind slab that propagated both walls of the chute, mainly the northern wall. From the picture I see 4 different crowns along the north edge. I was caught and carried but luckily I stayed on top.
Lessons learned. Glad i was able to walk away from this one especially being out there by myself. I looked at the forecast this morning, knew wind loading would be an issue, but still went.
Ego and rushing to get back to the car were factors in this one, I got too comfortable with Brighton perimeter terrain cause im out in it all the time.