Skier-triggered Avalanche on Punta Bardini

AVALANCHE OBSERVATION
Punta Bardini

Drainage:

Submission Info
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 1:30pm
Red Flags: 
Avalanche Type: 
Dry
Trigger type: 
Skier
Crown Height: 
1 ft
Aspect: 
North
Weak Layer: 
Storm Snow
Avalanche Width: 
150ft.
Terrain: 
Near Treeline
Elevation: 
9 600ft.
Bed Surface: 
Old Snow
Avalanche Length: 
900ft.
Number of partial burials: 
0
Number of full burials: 
0
More detailed information about the avalanche: 

Two of us skied from 10,000 ft on Punta Bardini on the North face. At about 9,600 ft, I was leading while my partner waited for my call and I released a storm slab at the opening of the main chute of Punta Bardini. I had started skiing in the trees and made two turns over the crest that leads into the chute when the slab cracked directly under my skis. The crack went 75 ft in each direction and the slab immediately released, coming to a stop at 8,700 ft. This D2 avalanche had a 1 ft crown with several areas of the crown showing two obvious storm layers, each being approximately 6 inches thick. The snow on the bottom was a firm old snow layer on which I was able to traverse out left back to the shallower pitch. We continued skiing down through the trees, trying to ski the most shallow terrain available. We observed thin layers of sluff and another D1 avalanche (see separate report). At the base of the avalanche path, we observed the powder cloud had marked the trees up to 4 ft high.

To prevent this:

I should have kept my path on the lesser degree slope and within the trees rather than make turns on an open face that was exposed at the top of the chute.

We should have checked our topo map and referred to the pitches surrounding us to determine the safest route down.

Skiing the skin track down would have been our safest descent as that is where we made out snow observations during our skin up.

 

Avalanche Photos: 
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
Snow
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 
Number of People Caught: 
0
Punta Bardini 37° 36' 29.3832" N, 118° 57' 53.9244" W
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