Avalanche: Red Pine Gulch

Observer Name
Dana Holmes
Observation Date
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Occurrence Date
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Occurence Time
10:00am

Region:

Location Name or Route
Red Pine Ridge
Elevation
10800
Aspect
North
Slope Angle
Unknown
Trigger
Skier
Avalanche Type
Hard Slab
Avalanche Problem
Wind Slab
Depth
12"
Width
50
Vertical
150
Comments
Skinning up red pine ridge and watched a party of two in front of us trigger this little pocket of hard slab off the ridge. I didn't have the best view when they kicked it off, but it looked like they booted up the rocky area, put skis back on once they got above it, and then the first person up triggered this on a kick turn in a wind loaded area. It propagated maybe 50 feet across and had a crown that looked to be 12" or so at the deepest area. (The party that triggered this continued up to the ridge without incident. The party pictured here isn't the one that triggered this, it was a group headed up after them.) Was on a timeframe so I didn't have a chance to go poke around and see what the culprit layer was, but I'd suspect facets were involved. This little zone off the ridge constantly gets stripped by the wind and always seem to harbor a thin, rotten snowpack. This isn't the most consequential terrain and getting caught in this little guy probably wouldn't have ruined your day, but in the more extreme terrain people are undoubtedly getting into today it sure could have. Low danger doesn't mean no danger... Forecaster: also thinking this could be a lingering wind slab....
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