Solitude Wind Slab

AVALANCHE OBSERVATION
Solitude, chute west of Banana

Drainage:

Submission Info
Saturday, February 25, 2017 - 3:30pm
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Obvious avalanche path
Avalanche Type: 
Slab
Slope: 
40degrees
Trigger type: 
Skier
Crown Height: 
Less than 1 ft
Aspect: 
Northeast
Avalanche Width: 
50ft.
Terrain: 
Near Treeline
Elevation: 
10 200ft.
Avalanche Length: 
400ft.
More detailed information about the avalanche: 

Was aiming for the slightly momellow line further west on Solitude but came out in a small gully that lead to the top of this chute.  Was aware of wind loading overall (saw flagging up high in the morning), but had not gotten any failures in test pits, with ski cuts, or stomping small test slopes.  Also witnessed several snowmobiles going straight up steep windloaded slopes.  Based on that, we decided to ski this chute even though we didn't really like it, figuring it mellowed out pretty quickly and didn't have any big terrain traps.  We picked out safe spots and discussed where to try to head if it broke loose.

First skier descended without incident along the right side of the chute and stopped on the bench far below.  Second skier skied 100 yards, fell, and then got back up.  Several turns later the chute broke loose from above.  Skier 2 felt and saw the slope moving and immediately turned left into the treed area where snow was not moving.  Skier was not knocked down.  Skiers 1 and 2 watched the rather slow moving slide settle unto the upper bench.  Skier 2 skied down the slide path, and then both skiers skied out through Solitude Canyon.  Bed surface was rather soft and powdery.
 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Solitude Peak 37° 35' 52.71" N, 118° 57' 20.4408" W

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