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Avalanche: Logan

Observer Name
David Rosenberg, Patrick Strong
Observation Date
Sunday, May 19, 2024
Avalanche Date
Sunday, May 19, 2024
Location Name or Route
Mt. Elmer => Northwest face
Weather: warm. Wind. Partly sunny.
Snow structure: 6 to 10" of wet moist snow on a firm base.
Slope angle: 32 to 45 degrees.
1st skier skied slope without slough, rollerballs, or other snow movement.
Second skier (me) skied slighly steeper slope for 200' of vertical. At the end of a turn saw and heard snow above me moving. That snow ran over top of my skis and against my boots and pushed me down slope. After sliding 20 or 30 feet down, I motivated the energy to ski through the moving snow to above a nearby tree. The tree stopped me. Waited while snownslid around me. Snow carried one pole 200 ft vertical further below.
1. Aware of wet slide risk. On prior run from Elmer summit, we decided to ski lower angle south facing slope when we saw several older wet slides on NE face and there was no way to manage the risk if/when went out onto that slope.
2. At top of second run we discussed skiing lower angle options such as west off of 1st sister or west from saddle between 1st sister and Mt Elmer
3. Can make 99 good choices over a season. All it takes is 1 poor decision ...
4. Check assumptions. For example a wet slide will break below bottom ski and I can just wait until the sliding snow stops below. Or if snow wet slides above I can ski off to one side before snow passes by.
5. Benefits from skiing a steeper slope are small while the risk and consequences of losing control of the situation is larger.
6. Consequences are lower for choosing to back off and ski a lower angled slope.
7. Again check assumptions - particularly about ability to manage sliding snow.