Low Elevation Instabilities

More snow last night so why not take advantage of it?! Which we did.


All work and no play…

fast ski cut across the top of Jihad on the western rim of Moose Drainage

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

Heather sliding from one safe zone to another while small wet slides race down hill behind her.

Just before taking this video i came onto a slope above and felt suspicious of it stability. I chose to ski near the trees as to have an escape route instead of rippin’ up the nice wide open slope below me. With Heather and Chad Jr watching from a safe zone i made a few turns through the super soft snow. As i passed over a slight convexity, both Heather and Chad started yelling. Knowing the tone didn’t sound like howls and yehaa’s, i quickly dove left under a pine tree, looked up and saw a wave of heavy snow speeding down hill; consuming the majority of the open slope i chose not to ski. I grabbed some branches and watched the wave move quickly down slope, crashing through pine trees at the bottom and snapping branches off with it’s powerful heavy snow. Big enough and loud enough that Heather and Chad could hear the breaking branches from their safe zone at the top of the slope.

I’ll i can say is thank heavens for reading the terrain correctly, having partners who employ safe travel habits and hallelujah that i didn’t take a fast ride into those pine trees at the bottom of the slope. And yet another example of the reality that instabilities can be found and avalanches can occur on Kelly Mountain; the perceived backyard safe place.

If you get out this weekend for some low elevation skiing, keep in mind wet slides are a real possibility right now. Steep slopes. Sunlit aspects. Terrain below cliff bands. These are are problem areas during the right time of day. Stay vigilant.

~Dean Lords

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One response to “Low Elevation Instabilities

  1. >Yep, it's that time of year. All of those "safe" slopes that haven't slid all year are now vunerable to wet slides. The good thing is that the wet slide cycle seems to never last very long. Hopefully it will be that way this year.Way to play it safe!

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