February 3, 2023
February 3, 2023
Zone or Region:
Bardini Canyon conditions and avalanche
Skied Bardini Canyon today. Sun was warm but the winds were quite intense and there was blowing snow up higher. Lots of wind effect and wind slab/crust to be found, but we also found really nice powder as well. However, the main observation from the day was a small wind slab avalanche we triggered. On the way up we noted patchy wind slab and soft snow on top to the slippery snow surface from before the last round of snow. This made for slightly annoying skinning as we would occasionally slip out. We saw some cracking and plates we caused while skinning. We noticed that there was a bed surface and potentially a slab for snow to move on.
On the way down we saw an avalanche to the right of Bardini canyon in the steep terrain. I assume it ran during the last snow/wind event, but not sure when it slid. The start zone was filled in with wind buff and the crown was covered. We skied the ridge next to it that held powder that mostly lacked a wind crust.
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was it intentional? No
Size 1: Relatively harmless to people
On the moraine above the bottom I remote triggered a small wind slab avalanche on a north aspect at about 8500'. I skied out onto a rollover with a slab on it, and a crack shot from above me, over about 15' and down 30' or so until it broke as a slab about 30' below me. The angle of the slope where the crown broke was 36-37 degrees. The slab was slow moving and small, D1 R1. We investigated and found the crown about 15cm deep at the deepest and 40-50' wide. The slab was pencil hard wind slab on top of 4F/F hard loose sugary snow. Below this was a thin crust and right side up snow below it. 235cm total snow depth.
For me, this indicates that there is a bed surface, there is a weak layer, and with this storm coming in there will definitely be a slab. While this slide was small, if it occurred in consequential terrain it could be bad. I probably won't be getting super rowdy tomorrow in the steeps and will be careful to watch out for this setup following this incoming storm.
Red x indicates where I triggered the slide. Blue line is the shooting crack. Red arrow is pointing to the crown, Lines outline the path of the slide.
Did you observe any avalanches? Yes
Size 2: Could bury, injure, or kill a person
This large slide ran down the steep gully to the looker's left of Bardini canyon sometime during the last storm. Not sure when and the crown was covered.
Did you see shooting cracks? Yes, Isolated
Did you experience collapsing or whumpfing? No