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    4149 Posts

    jive stick
    110 Posts

    After much debate, in my local area, a hard slab has been defined as having a density of 30%+.

    4149 Posts

    Yo jive stick!

    I was wondering when we’d see you here. Glad you could make it!

    As for the hard slab, how about some pics man?

    124 Posts

    So when you’re climbing up hard windloaded slab, and you fall into a hidden slope-wide bergshrund/crevasse thingy, apparently the entire slope below the crack will release. I would have thought that the upper part, being steeper, would release too, but fortunately not. BTW this crust was skiable w/o incident beforehand.

    4149 Posts

    be careful man!!

    jive stick
    110 Posts

    Here’s a few pictures from the recent slide cycle we had. Several of the slides were listed as hard slabs although the densities were slightly below 30%.

    A little background. We had snow in the middle of October providing a good start to winter. Snow sat for a while and faceted with a couple of warm periods forming crust sandwiches. All that got buried but not enough to produce the widespread avalanching untill early December, when we got a lot of wind and some very heavy snow with 3-6 inches water weight added.

    Layering causing the avalanche cycle is obvious in the photo taken about 10 days before the shit hit the fan.

    A look at part of a crown triggered remotely from walking a ridge. The slide was about 1/4 of a mile wide.

    A couple from another slide also remotely triggered from some distance away. The blocks are quite large as can be seen and are the reason behind calling many of the slides hard slabs.

    The view of the slide from the next drainage over. Not that big but stress fractures run across the entire slope.

    Yet another slide in a different area. The angle eases off quickly and trees below provide anchoring so the giant block just slid down the hill a little ways but the majority of the slide ran over a thousand vertical.

    The devastation left after another slide in the drainage just west of the previous picture. This slide was over 1/4 mile, biggest one I’d seen in that area, took out big trees and ran over a thousand vertical. The slide path can be seen in the bottom of the picture and jumped the ridge seen also producing more avalanching in the next one.

    One of those is about all a person can take in a winter. The cycle wasn’t user friendly and we lost a skier, two snowshoers and a snowmobiler, all buried in a two day period.

    2 Posts

    Thanks for reporting and showing the pictures, delivers a good insight in the avy conditions in your area.

    I was just wondering how steep the slope on the 3rd and 4th pic is? Seems pretty plane, but maybe its just the perspective.

    The 1st pic is a good reminder that staying between some trees does not necessarily protect from avys.

    56 Posts

    Wow, those are some spooky avy pics!
    I don’t recall ever seeing any pics that intense before. We’ve had some tender snow, but you’re breakin some serious snowpack there. Musta been pretty wild hiking around out in the woods. Huge fractures, the whole ridge half peeled away.

    570 Posts

    Impressive photos. Thanks for sharing. If you don’t mind me asking -where is this?

    jive stick
    110 Posts

    Micha wrote:

    I was just wondering how steep the slope on the 3rd and 4th pic is? Seems pretty plane, but maybe its just the perspective.

    Slope angle on the slide in the third and fourth pics is right around 35 degrees. I actually triggered it remotely the previous day when the hazard was rated high to extreme and didn’t discover the slide until the next day when I repeated the route as the visiblilty was better and for taking pictures of the damage. The stress fractures radiated out from the slide over to the shot I’d done where the angle of the slope was around 30 degrees.


    The pictures are from the Wasatch in Utah and are of a slide cycle beginning on the 8th of December and lasting a couple more days with the last avalanches of the cycle explosively triggered on about the 12th.
    Usually see something like that once a winter, since snow falls early and then rots, producing the weak layers, then a good storm cleans things out as it did this time and we can just worry about new snow instabilities. The cycle this year was about a month early and similar weak layering is occuring now as we haven’t had a good snowfall for a while. Could see a repeat of the cycle with another good sized storm.

    jive stick
    110 Posts

    I’ve got a series of pictures from the January, hard slab cycle, here.
    They are the result of bombing the back country.

    100 Posts

    dam. you’re a crazy mo fo, jive turkey. great to have you on this board. i just
    checked out your webpage. sick! everyone should go have a gander at some of
    the pics atleast.

    one quick question for ya. setting off bombs in the bc is legal in UT? i won’t even
    ask how you get your hands on the explosives for that……

    jive stick
    110 Posts

    The explosives were used not by me, but by the heli ski operation for “stability testing” after a heavy snowfall on a persistent weak layer.
    I just documented the slide cycle after it occured.
    It was controversial and there are discussions between a number of interested parties about the damage done and whether it should be continued in that fashion in the future.

    4149 Posts

    Hey jive,

    Sorry for being a goofer and not noticing your contribution to our Avy forum sooner. Thanks for posting your pics and keeping this important part of our discussions going.

    100 Posts

    so you have controlled “backcountry” there? 😉 i see. makes sense
    since the heli operation has a responsibility, but i strongly agree with you
    on your beef with those such operations. money talks i guess. who
    knows what they had to pay to get approval for setting off explosives like
    that on Nat’l Forest land. who bare’s the burden? or more specifically,
    *what* bare’s the burden for such practices?

    are there some articles discussing this topic, or a board that is discussing
    it? i’d be interested to see what the “profesionals” have to say about
    those precautionary measures in the “backcountry”. i had no idea that
    this was going on. thanks again for posting this info. 😯

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