With the ski hill getting a little firmer and a little more skied out every day, it seemed a good time to go for a walk. Andrew and I headed up Old Glory to check out the conditions in the Alpine. It was easy trail breaking all the way, and mild sunny conditions until the summit ridge, with wind and white-out. There were no signs of any recent activity, but we took the most cautious line down the nose. About a third of the way down, skiing the moderate angled ridgline, I remotely triggered a fairly sizeable (~2.5) avalanche about 50 meters ahead of me. I watched the whole thing slowly fracture and break into large chunks before flushing out into the aprons below.
Andrew – checking out the fracture.
The crown depth varied between 30 and 130cm, and it had propagated about 100m wide from the ridge into the adjacent gullies. The sliding surface was facets on crust, and it started on a windloaded convex roll between shallow rocks (East aspect, elevation ~ 2200m).
Andrew – Skiing the debris.
The snow surface was wind blasted and almost chalky, but the turns were actually pretty fun.
Andrew – Giving the snow some love.
We took some time to dig around in the snowpack at treeline, which as we expected showed a very well bonded mid-pack on top of a facets/crust/facets sandwich. Skiing from Saddleback peak to the car was variable, windscoured crust – firmpacked powder – wet firm crud. A work-out.