IB Tour with Rumor of an Avalanche

Post snow pack observations - snowpits, avalanche activity, signs of instability.
splitboarder
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IB Tour with Rumor of an Avalanche

Postby splitboarder » February 28th, 2011, 9:46 pm

Toured on some North facing slopes of the IB on Feb.28th. Dug a pit on a N-NW aspect around 11,000ft. The pit was on a 25 degree slope near some 30-35 degree lines that looked like great skiing. Total snow depth was 180cm. On top of last weeks snow, we found a 4cm harder windpacked layer and on top of that we found about 30cm of light new snow. We got a CT3 Q3 around 35cm down from the surface and a CT9 Q3-Q2 around 40 cm from the surface. We also had a STM 35cm down. ECT 17 Q3 and ECT 25 Q2 in the 35 and 40cm layers, respectively. The amount of propagation on the ECT results was impressive for a 25 degree slope. These failure layers are very similar to the layers that James and I encountered on a NE aspect last weekend. These layers are very subtle.
My thoughts were that we would likely be OK on slopes under 30 degrees but should tread gently near and above 38 degrees. So we did and had some wonderful powder turns on stuff at and below 35 degrees. We later found out that a skier triggered a slide high on the N. face of Fremont in some approximately 50 degree terrain. Wish I had more details.
Troy Marino is a splitboarder and on the KPAC board of directors.
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Stormlover
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Re: IB Tour with Rumor of an Avalanche

Postby Stormlover » February 28th, 2011, 10:51 pm

50 degrees? There's nothing that steep on Fremont is there? Maybe right of the top into weathord chutes or above telemark slide? Anyhoo, I hope everyone is ok. Thanks for the head's up.

splitboarder
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Re: IB Tour with Rumor of an Avalanche

Postby splitboarder » March 1st, 2011, 8:32 am

measured and boarded 52degree corn snow last spring in the Silverton chutes of N. Fremont.
Not sure exactly where the skiers were at when they triggered the avalanche, but it was high in the area of telemark path. There is stuff that is for sure 45+ in that area.
Troy Marino is a splitboarder and on the KPAC board of directors.
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Seth Felder
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Re: IB Tour with Rumor of an Avalanche

Postby Seth Felder » March 1st, 2011, 1:45 pm

That aspect of Fremont is notorious for being the perfect conditions for slab slides. The shaded north faces would be the ideal bed surface for a slab produced by the SW winds that we have seen, couple that with the long expance of the Agassiz/Fremont ridge and west face of Fremont to strip snow from, plus the sharp ridge into Telemark Gully to create an eddy... After my experience there last year, it is not supprising to be lured in to close.

raisingarizona
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Re: IB Tour with Rumor of an Avalanche

Postby raisingarizona » March 2nd, 2011, 12:24 am

52 degrees? Really? Was it all of 10 or 15 feet long? Hard to believe 52 on Freemont other then a convex roll of a windload or snow build over a cliff band.

splitboarder
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Re: IB Tour with Rumor of an Avalanche

Postby splitboarder » March 2nd, 2011, 7:24 am

I feel like this is a spiting match but I will always jump at the chance to post pics. :P
Yes it was a short section, but 52 degrees none-the-less, high in the silverton path in the fork that is above the offchute path.

jump turns through the 50+ degree terrain.
Image

smiling on 45 degree terrain below the steep stuff.
Image

photos by James Foulks.
Troy Marino is a splitboarder and on the KPAC board of directors.
KPAC Snow Summary.
Future Guidebook?!

Stormlover
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Re: IB Tour with Rumor of an Avalanche

Postby Stormlover » March 2nd, 2011, 1:12 pm

Split, sorry if I sounded snarky. Wasn't my intention. Whenever I've been over to Telemark I access lower or more likely get the willies and ski tele jr. to skier's left which has more anchors w/out a convex rollover at the top. The rock bands above need a lot of snow to even be in the equation.

raisingarizona
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Re: IB Tour with Rumor of an Avalanche

Postby raisingarizona » March 2nd, 2011, 5:33 pm

Hey that does look pretty steep, I have to admit I'm not very experienced with Fremont. Good fresh snow on those lines makes me a little nervous. There are a few lines on CR that offer up some quality 50+ sustained pitches. There are a few lines I have seen that would need a snowboard or very short skis to negotiate and a few others with some serious mandatory air, I bet there still are even a couple lines (some of these very weird tech lines I've noticed) that haven't even been attempted yet.

willyB
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Re: IB Tour with Rumor of an Avalanche

Postby willyB » March 3rd, 2011, 8:20 am

We poked around in the IB the day before you were there and had similar findings... We dropped in the top of Snowslide on the right edge then climbed over to the little peak of rock on the dividing ridge between snowslide and the IB cirque paths. Dug a quicky on the chute right off the northside of the knoll that divides the cirque paths from the hardcore north paths. Facing into the IB, around 40 deg for a few turns at the top. Prior to sunday's dump, there was the old (new years) snow welded in pretty firm.. pencil-to-knife hard, on top of that was around 80cm of snow from two weeks ago, right side up density trend with 4 finger at the top trending to 1 finger towards the old firm base snow, and a 2-6cm wind skin on top (damn that wind!). Trying to see if we could get it to move on the old snow interface, but no results with two ECTs. We anticipated that the thin wind slab on top of softer snow might be a source of some action if it got a load in this latest storm, and it looks like your CT tests at the 30-40 cm layer kinda back that up. spun deep laps off the lift on sunday, superfun. Thanks to SB patrol for dropping the line on the bowl right when I happened to get off the lift!

A couple words from the pulpit for newer folks following that thread on Fremont and thinking about ski cuts.... ski cutting is a sweet tool in your arsenal but has some real specific applications. 1) if you suspect hardslab hazard where you are, ski cutting may be innappropriate, and 2 always consider the exposure below...an open run-out is one thing, but if you're cutting above signifcant exposure to a rockband or tree strainer etc think again... and practice on small slopes first!

heres to this warm weather pushing on through...have fun out there

maadjurguer
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Re: IB Tour with Rumor of an Avalanche

Postby maadjurguer » March 3rd, 2011, 7:39 pm

willyB wrote:A couple words from the pulpit for newer folks following that thread on Fremont and thinking about ski cuts.... ski cutting is a sweet tool in your arsenal but has some real specific applications. 1) if you suspect hardslab hazard where you are, ski cutting may be innappropriate, and 2 always consider the exposure below...an open run-out is one thing, but if you're cutting above signifcant exposure to a rockband or tree strainer etc think again... and practice on small slopes first!


Good point: Let me underscore your point with another: Consequence and Likelihood. Two factors to consider once you've done your obs. Consequence includes group dynamics, exposure, runout, terrain, etc. Likelihood is based on your pit results and other obs you get through the tour. Most folks concentrate on the the Likelihood......Consequence, is really where it's at in my mind. Regardless of the "science"....it's still a probability game.....Consequence is what brings that game into perspective.
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