Skier triggered avalanche: Punta Bardini

AVALANCHE OBSERVATION
Punta Bardini

Drainage:

Submission Info
Member
Friday, January 18, 2019 - 1:45pm
Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Rapid warming
Avalanche Type: 
Slab
Slope: 
36degrees
Trigger type: 
Skier
Crown Height: 
2 ft
Aspect: 
Northwest
Weak Layer: 
Storm Snow
Avalanche Width: 
150ft.
Terrain: 
Below Treeline
Elevation: 
8 750ft.
Bed Surface: 
Other - explain below
Avalanche Length: 
400ft.
More detailed information about the avalanche: 

Party of four headed up to the Old Growth on Bardini today, leaving the car around 12:30pm.

As we neared the top of the skier's left Tele Bowl we broke out onto the small ridge which separates the Old Growth from the Bardini Chutes area. We were aiming to travel up the ridgeline before heading back into the Old Growth itself. 

The party moved off the ridge toward the Bardini Chutes into a slightly more open area that had a mix of some lumpy terrain (convexities & concavities). The person breaking trail was concerned about exposure to partners below/lower on the skin track so kept the track out of exposed terrain.

At one point it was necessary to cross a small open area at the top of a convexity. Intending to stop before heading heading out into the open, the leader stepped out past a small bush when the slope collapsed slightly and cracks shot out from his skis.

A 20-24" crown formed 20' below him which propogated about 150' across the slope and resulted in a R2/D2 slide which ran approximately 300-400' into the trees below. The rest of the party was able to avoid the slide mostly because they were in good spots, but required a couple of shuffling steps to avoid the flank.

The bed surface initially appeared to be mid-storm interface but after looking more closely it seemed that there was scattered surface hoar. This was a little perplexing given the amount of snow that slid and that there didn't seem to be enough time for the hoar to form.

After the slide we travelled into the Old Growth and dug a pit. Total snowpack depth was 155cm, as follows:

155cm   SFC

  F

127

  4F

80

  4F

50cm - appeared to be a small crust breaking down ECT 26 Q2

  F (facets)

Ground

Avalanche Photos: 
Blowing Snow: 
No
Ridge above right tele bowl 37° 36' 50.5512" N, 118° 57' 38.4228" W

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