· per-sis-tent, adj. 1. lasting or enduring. 2. existing for a long or longer than usual time. 3. continuing without change in function or structure.
A rough day in the backcountry yesterday. Multiple dangerous slides triggered with many close calls, including one that required a helicopter evacuation due to reported extensively fractured legs. We’ll start with that one.
· Hats off to members of the SL county SAR, WBR, AirMED, and others for the rescue. An experienced skier triggered a 2-4’ deep 600’ wide hard slab on a steep rocky slope half-way down Wilson Peak northwest into Alexander Basin yesterday. He hit a tree sustaining numerous severe injuries, but kept him from going for the full 1000’ ride and potential burial.
· In the next drainage to the west, a very experienced backcountry skier triggered a deep slab a few turns down the main face of Gobbler’s Knob. It was on a steep northwest facing slope at 9500’, pulling out 2-4’ deep and 400’ wide, running over 2000’. He was able to grab a tree to slow down, reportedly dislocated his shoulder while trying to arrest on the bed surface and washed 1500’ down the slope. He was able to get out on his own.
· Gobbler’s was the scene of another avalanche. Another very experienced party unintentionally triggered a 2-3’ deep and 75’ wide hard slab on a steep northwest facing slope at 9300’. It was the third skier on the run, taking out previously laid tracks.
· Witnesses standing at the top of Main Days watched a lone skier trigger a slab on a hanging snowfield above the cliffband of what is called Jaws, a steep couloir in Upper Days. It looks to be 1-2’ deep and perhaps 50’ wide with debris spilling over the cliffs below.
· In Argenta, a notorious slide path above BCC, a snow-shoer collapsed a piece of snow at 9700’. It cracked 10’ wide, likely provoking the facets buried a few feet below.
· In the Bountiful Peak area, Bruce’s party triggered a small soft slab on surface hoar a foot deep and 20’ wide on a 29 degree slope. It ran an estimated 60’ on the gentle north facing slope at 8000’.