>Return to "The Mother Lode"


I took Rick into the NW drainage off Sheep Creek Pk, near Palisades, to let him experience what Chuteski has dubbed, “The Mother Lode”. The snow is now 175-200cm deep, tested stable in our two pits and is still sweet and soft (kind of a given this year!)

We climbed back up after a first floating run, made a bench of our skis, grabbed a bite and I snapped the upper photo from my perch. We had stopped just shy of the ridge because of the overhanging cornices and a lee side wind slab we could see and feel under the ridgeline. Plus, the BT Avy forecast for today, while predicting low danger at all elevations, had said to be aware of slopes leading up under cliffs and cornices…DA WAS RIGHT!
This is what I saw a couple of minutes later when I stood up after taking the first picture! A chunk of cornice had plopped off and triggered a bit of the wind slab and sent debris about 200′ into the trees below. We never even heard it happen…it wasn’t there one moment and there it was, the next, right behind us! var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-16581227-2’]); _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true; ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

I was thankful I heeded my “inner” voice which said to stay below the wind slab and off the corniced ridge!

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