Thursday, May 30, 2019 - 1:30pm
While testing the waters during the first few turns down from the east summit of Treasure Peak (12,526'), on the east face, I triggered a loose wet slide that ran the length of the upper east face, eventually running over the cliff band on the lower section of the face. My partner and I were both surprised by the amount of snow entrained in this slide, which could have easily swept a skier or climber over the cliff band and resulted in at least a partial burial (see photos). After this incident, we opted to boot down the steep upper portion of the face before skiing the middle, 25-30 degree section above the cliff band, staying mostly south of the fall line and away from the middle of the face. Neither of us triggered any further slides on our descent and skiing conditions improved, becoming more corn-like at about the 11,000' level. The upper section of the face had obvious large patches of 1-3 inches of newish snow which I suspect insulated older snow underneath, preventing a hard freeze the night before. I was skiing on such a surface when I triggered the slide, which ran on the old-new snow interface. While we were later in the day than we wanted to be climbing the face, it seemed like an earlier start wouldn't have resulted in our finding better conditions. In retrospect, we would have been wiser to stash our skis and boot up and down from the summit once we encountered large patches of isothermal snow.