January 12, 2021
January 14, 2021
Zone or Region:
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was it intentional? No
Size 3: Could bury and destroy a car, damage a truck, destroy a wood frame house, or break a few trees
Triggered slab of warm, high density, wind deposited snow on top of previous cold, low density snow. The previous day we had observed 2-3mm of surface hoar. Slide ran the entire distance of the slope. One skier carried approximately 150 feet. Was able to escape avalanche path. No burial; no injuries.
Upon exiting the slope a second, larger avalanche was triggered on the same weak layer. Crown was 6" - 12" inches deep. This propagated approximately 200 feet in an open area at the base of the slope. This occurred at approximately 8300 ft on the same aspect. No one was caught.
High winds and significant temperature change lead to highly unstable snow. Multiple heuristic and emotive traps lead to a skier getting caught and carried. These included: Social proof (part of the group had skied the same line the day before) and Commitment (group members particularly wanted to ski the same area again); leadership trust and peer pressure.