April 22nd, 2010: Day 7, Avalanche

Out of Nine Lakes Basin, we crossed a few passes, passed under Triple Divide Peak, and began to traverse Cloud Canyon. It was a sunny, but windy, day with possibly too much sun...

See Steve. Steve is ahead of me on the skin track by about a hundred feet. See Yu. Yu is in that pile of snow (below the distant rocks). That pile of snow is the debris pile from an avalanche that he set off while moving past the near rocks. The avalanche carried him approximately 75 feet but luckily did not bury him.

The avalanche crown was approximately 12" and a couple hundred feet wide. The fresh snow that fell just a few days earlier, and was likely supplemented by wind deposit, sat atop a very firm wind layer. The evening temperatures stayed cool and the two layers never bonded. A little afternoon sun-warming (north-northwest aspect) and the the top layer was ready to run.

The avalanche definitely put us on edge and we didn't feel like tempting fate on the ominously named Deadman's Pass to leave Cloud Canyon. So we setup shop in Cloud Canyon and the evening proved to be beautifully cloudy.

And as they say, all's well that ends in a candlelit snow cave.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

75 feet! more like 72...

Post a Comment