Resource Avalanche Conditions: alerts and observations.

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by SnowSense, Aug 7, 2017.

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  1. SnowSense

    SnowSense Hard Yards

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    Hold your charge Peeps of the Steeps! It's about as precarious as it would get anywhere. Today and for the next few days... particularly, but not exclusive to, aspects lee to the north and west. More info:https://mountainsportscollective.org
     

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  2. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage
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    I have made the thread sticky will edit the title later this week to 2017 : alerts and hazards or something of that ilk.
     
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  3. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    We will be very careful on Mt. Bogong this weekend. That means staying near the snow pole lines and avoiding moving off the top of the Eskdale spur. I will be carrying an ice axe and a PLB. Visibility and wind will be factors in whether we can make it to the summit or not.
     
    #3 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Aug 7, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
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  4. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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    Just dont leave a big blaring warning long after the conditions fade @Majikthise warning fatigue happens fast when good conditions and time off merges.
     
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  5. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage
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    Thats the rationale for the name change..
     
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  6. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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    That'll be a rationale for me reading closely
    :nerd:
     
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  7. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter
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    I was surprised to see a small natural slab release on the side of the road where Kosci Rd crosses Piper CK. Pretty big hint that one.
     
  8. carvin

    carvin Hard Yards

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    Wow. Can't believe I have to ask this question, but does lee to the north and west mean nw faces or se faces. Thanks so much for the service you guys provide too. Absolute legends.
     
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  9. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    SE. Anything on the opposite side of the wind. So East through South.
     
  10. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage
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    i'd be treating anything east with suspicion and respect . The stuff that came on the NW is the interface for weakness sitting on top of the hoar, so lee to the SW may not have much depth of it, but what is there has since been loaded when the wind swung to the SW.
     
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  11. Hermannator

    Hermannator Addicted

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    Just back from Machinery... Word from out there is a big slide somewhere N to Ne side of Loch. Cannot confirm but saw a snow cat and skidoos returning from Machinery spur
     
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  12. carvin

    carvin Hard Yards

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    Awesome. That's what I thought and assumed. Thanks
     
  13. Fancy_Pants

    Fancy_Pants Hard Yards

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    Big avvy in, ahem, Avalanche Gully on Hotham. East to south east aspect, crown at the convex.
     
  14. Ricardo64

    Ricardo64 Hard Yards

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    14409604_10157566035255790_854154565824709751_o.jpg
    Temptations are high...but seeing such a large dump. Jiminey Cricket tells me er on the side of caution and let the snow pack settle... People you only live once. Don't let it be your last line...
     
  15. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage
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    so we have confirmed slides above Avalanche Gully at Hotham (triggered by skiers on ascent), wide of Eyre at Perisher and Guthega ridge.
    That's a busy enough day.
     
    #15 Majikthise, Aug 8, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
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  16. Bloke

    Bloke One of Us

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    Wouldn't be surprised to see some action on the east facing slopes leading into Watson's ck too. Prone to 'lanche. Prone to attracting people.
     
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  17. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local
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    And he's not even in uniform!
     
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  18. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    I read a Hoth seasoner claiming to have footage of a slide on Eagle Ridge also. Awaiting this footage.
     
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  19. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture
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  20. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us

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    @Majikthise thread maybe needs tidying up so it doesn't get cluttered with crap? Otherwise loses value as a risk assessment tool for BC sliders. As @Claude Cat would say "Stay on topic"
     
    #20 Fozzie Bear, Aug 8, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
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  21. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage
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    Yep will edit down to the bones with each update. Would help if folk read what has already been posted before repeating what already exists.
     
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  22. Dave Clark

    Dave Clark Hard Yards

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    Ski Patrol advised me the Mt Buller summit trail (to the top of the summit) is closed due to instability - be careful out there even in the side-country.
     
  23. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them
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    We saw a smallish one occur wide in Eyre Bowl today. We didn't trigger it, it looked like it went off by itself. Lucky it wasn't too large as we were right underneath it.
     
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  24. Whiteman

    Whiteman A Local
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    Here's the culprit

     
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  25. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local
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    yes i saw that! I wondered if it was the same place...

    The filmers seem to have the slide further away

    If you look at Loccy's photo the slide goes to tress where the filming one doesn't have many tress below it.

    Unless it slide again above the trees?
     
  26. sbm

    sbm One of Us
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    I find it hard to believe (in the absence of strong evidence in the form of multiple snowpits) that any hoar frost would have survived above the treeline, it usually gets blown away before the snow starts falling. I would be really wary of those steep little sheltered gullies down in the trees, where hoar might survived and be buried by swirling snow, and you could easily be buried in the creek bed by a small slide (like that slope left of High Noon at Thredbo where two people have been buried and one killed)

    The big slabs under the usual big ridgeline cornices should stabilise relatively quickly (in a couple of days) and also be thick enough to be hard to trigger by a skier (a falling chunk of cornice can do it...) but really huge if they do go (like the Blue Lake avalanche)
     
    #26 sbm, Aug 9, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  27. Whiteman

    Whiteman A Local
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    No it's the same spot. Look at the small trees directly above Loccy's head. And then note the trees in line with his right shoulder. Just a different view from a slightly different angle I guess.
     
  28. SnowSense

    SnowSense Hard Yards

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    Hey SBM, these avalanches in NSW have been the result of a hard melt freeze from late july, then some heavy gloop (early august) that bonded poorly, overloaded with 70cm of low / moderate density wind blown cold snow (last weekend). I'm not sure anybody said anything about hoar frost this time did they? I'd like to know where they found it... as you said, above the trees its unlikely.
     
    #28 SnowSense, Aug 12, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  29. SnowSense

    SnowSense Hard Yards

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    Here are some 'roses' from yesterday afternoon. There has been a bit of rain since then which will make it worse in the immediate short term, then as it cools we will see that persistent deep weak layer completely bridged out as opposed to the marginal melt freeze crusts (15mm) we have had since 'the blizzard of oz'.

    North East Vic

    Central East Vic



    And Main Range we are being heaps conservative. will get a better picture on by tomorrow night.



    Its likely that with this rain in VIC and cooler temps coming the trend will see all green within the next 24hrs.
     
  30. 7wombathead

    7wombathead One of Us

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    Apart from Mullers that has north east aspect an is >35 degrees nothing went above 1900 m from my observations from Cauthers on Wednesday. All the big slides that I did not see appeared to happen around 1800 m on east facing aspects. All the cornices above 1900 m appeared to be intact.

    Did you guys manage to get down below 1800m on the Crags?

    The week before the snow you describe as Glob was pretty nice above 1900 m but was on a thing layer of hoar, and had that dust on crust feel. Contrary to my post about the crags on the back country forum last week the Crags did not slide last week. The actual report was that it was icey and unskiable below 1800 m. I guess SBM was saying that hoar above 1900 m was blown away on Saturday. I suspect that the hazard was around 1800 m on that icy layer where the wind load was very high. Can anyone add to this.

    And SBM is correct in that it would be could to have a few pits a bit higher.

    So i guess we could share and network this info. I would be keen to do a bit with you guys.
     
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  31. sbm

    sbm One of Us
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    I've completely blanked on where I got the hoar frost from, I thought someone said the Guthega and Mt P slides were on hoar frost. I get the feeling people aren't on the same page as exactly what hoar and facets look like when they find them. Not too many people carrying around magnifying glasses that's for sure.

    Honestly though I haven't been on the snow in Aus since June (I was over in NZ worrying about the PWL there!), I've just been blowing speculation based on second and third hand reports on here, in hindsight it's irresponsible and I should shut up. Thanks for the update @SnowSense.
     
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  32. SnowSense

    SnowSense Hard Yards

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    Subject: avalanche at Bogong on the weekend

    Incident Report
    On Sunday 27th August at approx 3pm a skier was traversing from Hells Gap (the col to the east of the junction of Eskdale Spur and the ridge) towards Eskdale Spur on the north-east aspect and had traversed approximately 100m when he was caught in an avalanche. The skier was able to keep his upper body above the snow was carried approx 80m until the avalanche came to a halt. He was able to dig his legs and skis out from the debris and was uninjured.
    The release point of the avalanche occurred just below the NE ridge near the top of the rollover, and had a width of >100m. The travel distance was approx 150m. The crown height was not observed directly but the depth of the slab was estimated to be 30cm.

    Conditions: The previous day was a melt freeze, with 10cm snow falling overnight from the NW-WNW and during the morning the wind direction changed to SE with a maximum strength of approx 80-90 km/hr.
    Three other skiers were in the party, two of whom had climbed west up the ridge pole line to the Eskdale Spur junction and the other skier skied down Hells Gap and checked that the skier caught in the slide was OK.

    (Sent via MSC.ORG)
     
    #32 SnowSense, Aug 28, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
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  33. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    I've always been wary of that traverse. On the way up I often ascend the whole spur, then turn left and go down to Hells Gap.
     
  34. Ubiquitous Steve

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    I also am wary of that traverse ....and avoid it by coming straight along the top of the ridge lines.Good to hear that person is ok..

    I am not surprised by that slide though.....
     
  35. crackson

    crackson A Local
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    Unnecessary exposure.
     
  36. Red_switch

    Red_switch Part of the Furniture
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  37. SpiceRack

    SpiceRack First Runs

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    I don't know the area but that looks steep from the photo, any idea what the gradient is?
     
  38. luke1234

    luke1234 Hard Yards

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    Having skinned up somewhere just to the left of this spot on Saturday, if I were to take a stab, maybe somewhere in the range of 30-35 degrees? But I guess the snow transport may have made it a little steeper by Sunday,
     
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  39. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    30-35deg if I had to guess.
     
  40. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    hahaha snap
     
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  41. luke1234

    luke1234 Hard Yards

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    hahahaa ditto!
     
  42. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    The Eskdale spur is steep. The last bit is a lung buster in any season.
     
  43. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    Yeah but we all charge it on the way back!
     
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  44. luke1234

    luke1234 Hard Yards

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    ah well everyone makes mistakes, well done on them being public about it and letting us all know what happened.
     
  45. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    I'm thinking the general avy hazard is going to be very high for everywhere for a little bit.

    And SE faces should be overloaded given the winds.

    Check the Thredbo top station obs for winds buried in the NW and WNW and consistently high.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDN60801/IDN60801.95909.shtml
     
  46. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    Actual avalanche warnings on abc radio about 'backcountry skiing in the powdery snow'. Never heard that before
     
  47. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local
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    Vic Emergency FB page goes frotting about the risk after every dump.

    It links the risk with going remote.
     
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  48. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
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  49. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us
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    Around that steep cornice area above Lake Dobson, a gentleman did get cleaned up years ago.
     
  50. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    Any pit reports from yesterday?

    Things look pretty consolidated.
     
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