Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Year's Deep Slab Avalanche Cycle--Jackson Hole

Deep slab instability has been a widespread plague this winter throughout North America. Jackson Hole has not been immune. Currently, in the Snake River Range, a deep faceted layer up to 80 centimeters thick sits at the ground topped with an 80-100 centimeter hard slab. These slabs are quite strong and can support the weight of many skiers. However, if a thin spot is found, or if a heavier load is applied (like a snowmachine), the results are dramatic. Today (1/18/14), a week after the storm cleared out,  a snowmachiner triggered a deep, hard slab in the Palisades. This persistent weak layer will not go away quickly.

Below are photos from the last week's avalanche cycle in the Snake River Range in Wyoming and the Palisades in Eastern Idaho.

HS-AE-R3D3-O triggered on 1/14//14 with explosives, 
South Bowl of New Year's Bowl in South Fall Creek, Snake River Range

High Mountain Heli-Ski Guide Dave Fett at the 100cm crown on New Years's Bowl


Tracks on New Year's South Bowl, skied on 1/17/14, 
after explosive control work days before.

High Mountain Heli-Ski Guide Charlie Cornell on Lake Run, 
above Little Palisades Lake, on 1/15/14, inspects a 100 centimeter crown triggered by explosives.

 Visible layers within the flank of the 100 centimeter deep slab on Lake Run

HS-N-R3D3  in Austin Canyon 

 Chip's Slide, South Fall Creek, HS-AE-R3D3-O on 1/14/14

HS-N-R3D3 on Wolf Mountain

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