NEClimbs.com forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Reading the forum on your cell phone? There's an easier way. We've enabled a Tapatalk app that makes browsing the forum a whole lot easier. Check it out in the iPhone or Android store if you don't own it already.

Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Persistent Slabs in the East?  (Read 895 times)

DLottmann

  • Guest
Persistent Slabs in the East?
« on: February 04, 2014, 05:17:37 PM »

Anyone who's been reading the bulletin's lately will notice we've had a weird snow-pack and been dealing with "Persistent" slabs as well as our typical Wind Slab problems... While things are quieting down (and we have a good storm on the horizon) we got some really interesting results while up in the bowl this past Sunday with an AIARE 1 Avalanche Course. I posted this video of some of the layering we were dealing with and a quick compression test.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhNLQBzFGzA

A full write-up of the course can be found here: http://davidlottmann.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/aiare-avalanche-course-13114-2214/

With up to 9 inches of snow expected into Wednesday, and a huge storm potential for Sunday, we're about to kick back up to high gear in the ravines. Be sure to check the bulletin daily and "Know Before You Go"!

http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/category/avalanche-advisory-for-tuckerman-and-huntington-ravines/
Logged

JoeC

  • NEClimbs Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 228
Re: Persistent Slabs in the East?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2014, 08:33:18 PM »

Dave thats interesting.  I know nothing about avalanches but im guessing with the snow we have forceasted there a potential for some big slides, correct?  And based off the video, a good sized avalanche could be caused by a relatively low impact force?
Logged

DLottmann

  • Guest
Re: Persistent Slabs in the East?
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2014, 09:30:45 PM »

Snow, and avalanches in general, are a very interesting topic in my opinion. While snow avalanches rank very low in comparison to effect on humans when related to other natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, drought, etc) they effect a significant portion of back-country recreationalists, and a lot of research and information is available to those who want to travel in terrain where they occur.

Anytime we get a lot of snow at once you can expect natural avalanche activity. During major storms avalanches will occur; a combination of the amount of precipitation + wind speed & direction = avalanches on certain aspects. Due to the prolonged cold spell we had we had set the stage for potentially deep "delayed action" avalanches, more common in snow climates out west then here in our Maritime snow climate, where avalanche danger tends to drop relatively quickly after storms (a combination of freeze/thaw and generally warmer temps). While there were some crown lines in Tucks and Hillman's Highway we didn't have any major slides on this "persistent" weak layer that has started to stabilize. You could assume this didn't happen for two reasons;

1) Nature didn't tip the balance with additional load during the elevated "danger", i.e. when it was rated "Considerable" and

2) Potential human triggers headed the solid advice from the avalanche bulletin to stay off these touchy areas while things were so unstable.

So to try to answer your two questions... yes, the forecasted amounts of snow most definitely create another natural avalanche cycle, but I don't think they will step down to the deeper layers that have had a chance to start to bond (though I am NOT an avalanche forecaster and will be reading the bulletin's daily before heading into steep terrain). Second, the observations in the video were relevant for that day on that slope... On that day, entering an area with the same buried weaknesses that was steeper, would have made it "likely" for a human triggered avalanche, hence the "Considerable" rating for the day in that area... we were ok on a 32 degree slope with no one above us and no current loading... Had we ventured into a 36-40 degree slope we may have been exposing ourselves more than would be prudent...

Bottom line is to read the bulletin past what the "rating" is for the day. Identify what the problem is... different types of avalanches require different field observations to make, and often different terrain choices... and when in doubt scale back to safer terrain for the day...

In 10 years of learning about avalanches I am always impressed with how much more I can learn...
Logged

JoeC

  • NEClimbs Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 228
Re: Persistent Slabs in the East?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2014, 10:09:37 PM »

Very interesting topic indeed
Logged

darwined

  • Guest
Re: Persistent Slabs in the East?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2014, 04:49:45 AM »

FRIDAY POWDAH DAY!
Logged

DaveR

  • NEClimbs Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 243
Re: Persistent Slabs in the East?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2014, 06:39:41 AM »

FRIDAY POWDAH DAY!

CANNON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Catch the tram early!
Logged

TC

  • NEClimbs Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 34
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
Re: Persistent Slabs in the East?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2014, 12:51:08 PM »

Some good info and footage on this topic from the Utah Avalanche Center:

http://vimeo.com/85413859

"The journey is the destination.  The goal is to come home alive, and better friends than when you left."

Amen, brother.
Logged

DLottmann

  • Guest
Re: Persistent Slabs in the East?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2014, 12:58:09 PM »

I was looking for that video to share... very well done!
Logged

tradmanclimbz

  • NEClimbs God
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3837
  • Nick Goldsmith
Re: Persistent Slabs in the East?
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2014, 09:41:43 PM »

check this out.  Always thought i was safe in the woods. pretty sure this was off piste @ killington crown was reported as chest high.
Logged

DLottmann

  • Guest
Re: Persistent Slabs in the East?
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2014, 10:08:01 PM »

Nice pic, yup there was also a skiier triggered slide at Jay Peak yesterday and another in the Dackís... Iím waiting on some GoPro footage of the out of bounds Jay Peak one... report is skiier was buried to his chest...
Logged

darwined

  • Guest
Re: Persistent Slabs in the East?
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2014, 06:28:54 AM »

my partner and I had a close call at Smuggs a couple weeks ago. 
Logged

tradmanclimbz

  • NEClimbs God
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3837
  • Nick Goldsmith
Re: Persistent Slabs in the East?
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2014, 06:32:41 AM »

getting up to blind fate arena must be insanely dangerous right now.  keep in mind that the top of Blind fate can and does slide impressivly.  Would think that BIB has  simeler danger.
Logged

darwined

  • Guest
Re: Persistent Slabs in the East?
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2014, 09:21:48 AM »

Trad,

Funny enough it happened on the approach to blind fate
Logged

Admin Al

  • NEClimbs Administrator
  • NEClimbs God
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7091
  • Climb 'till your forearms turn to jelly!
    • NEClimbs
Re: Persistent Slabs in the East?
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2014, 09:27:37 AM »

there was a presentation at the avalanche conference last year that was all about avalanches at ski areas in the northeast. it was quite startling!
Logged
Al Hospers
____________________________________
my music
 https://www.facebook.com/BlackMountainRamblers

web hosting, design and software programming:
 http://www.cambersoft.com

tradmanclimbz

  • NEClimbs God
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3837
  • Nick Goldsmith
Re: Persistent Slabs in the East?
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2014, 09:41:17 AM »

watched a pretty big one come off the top of Blind fate that would easily have flushed a climber topping out or  climbers approaching the base. of course then it was safe to climb:)
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
 

Page created in 0.191 seconds with 23 queries.