>It’s Out There…

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Darin S. near the bottom of the Girls Camp Bowl
There are two ice layers buried approx 70cm and 90cm in the snowpack on northeast aspects of West Pine Creek which we found at an elevation of 6,800′. Total settled snow depth at that elevation is 190cm. The two ice layers may be the interface for a large avalanche reported on Friday in the West Pine Creek drainage as they are about the same depth as the reported crown of the avalanche. All four of my Compression Tests failed at either one of these two ice layers with scores of CT 17-21; all were Q1.
Darin Skidmore, a fellow Kelly Canyon Ski Patroller who has been a star pupil in my avalanche classes for the Ski Patrol joined me in a search for the W. Pine Creek avalanche site this afternoon. I wanted to collect some snowpack data from the site to possibly help understand why this event happened, but we were unable to locate the site in the few short hours we had to look. As a consolation prize we used the reported elevation and aspect of the event for our snowpack analysis.
We then continued to the ridge top that separates W. Pine Creek from Flemming Canyon and skied the curving ridge that forms the left side of the Girls Camp Bowl. We chose to ski this conservative line instead of skiing the gut of the open bowl and the snow a top the ridge was soft and deep! Always a bonus to ski a more conservative line and be rewarded with really good snow!
If anyone has more info on the avalanche event that occurred last Friday in West Pine Creek, i would love to know more. Please feel free to contact me at deanlords@gmail.com Maybe Wednesday i can return to the area and look further up canyon from the Girls Camp Bowl.
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