Avalanche: Farmington Canyon

Observer Name
Kerby Olson
Observation Date
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Occurrence Date
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Occurence Time
2:00pm

Region:

Location Name or Route
Farmington canyon
Elevation
10000
Aspect
East
Slope Angle
44
Trigger
Snowmobiler
Trigger: additional info
Unintentionally Triggered
Avalanche Type
Hard Slab
Avalanche Problem
Deep Slab
Weak Layer
Facets
Depth
4'
Width
100
Vertical
300
Caught
1
Comments
Around 2PM a snowmobiler triggered a fairly large avalanche that he and the three riders below managed to escape. In the first picture of the bigger slide, a snowmobiler was side-hilling at mid elevation on a hill. On the left side of the slide you can see his tracks coming out of it. He caused a lower slab to go which started small but then the lower slab caused all of the upper to go including the cornice. We observed other large bowls with no snowmobile tracks in or out that had gone. This was only one of multiple avalanches we either triggered or observed. The 2nd and 3rd picture is an avalanche that ww triggered remotely from our snowmobiles. We were riding around 40 yards from where the slide actually occurred. That one slid down to the weeds and covered the trail we had just ridden in on with about 7ft of snow. Some occurred naturally and others from snowmobiles. Both obvious and non obvious hills were sliding down to the dirt. In both cases I think the wind was a major factor in that the cornices were huge and the wind had blown large amounts of unstable snow below those cornices. I believe that the first picture of the bigger slide is the tallest peak in that range so I'm guessing around 10k ft. In all cases we observed the slides went from the ridgeline all the way down. In 20 years of snowmobiling it is by far the worst avalanche conditions I've ever witnessed. Extreme caution should be used in the Farmington area.
Coordinates