Originally Posted by JayT
I wonder if in the future Alta will do some avy prevention in the week(s) before opening. Bad press for sure.
Probably not, they are on public land and when they are not operating they can't just shut down up hill traffic to do control work, probably for a lot of reasons. I think all of the slides reported were inbounds at either Alta of Bird. Preseason and post season the resorts are straight BC, no difference.
Preseason touring is always sketchy and the warning signs were obvious even to me 100 miles away. Thin rotten season snow pack, bit of light snow last week and recent cold clear nights, sizable dump of wet snow on top, lots of wind drifting form multiple fronts passing through. Yea it should have been obvious the danger was high. Not sure what lead so many people being caught out this time. Maybe people are just too comfortable at the resort and get into powder frenzy mode and ski with out thinking. Looks like Gunsight slid 3 times today.
Witnessed 3 avalanches in less than 30 minutes. The first was released by the first of many people to drop into Gunsight Coulior. It ran to the bottom without carrying the skier. Then several more people dropped in, sometimes two or three riding at once. About the 5th person to drop in released a bigger slide that carried him to the bottom. Members of his party reached him quickly and shouted to call 911. As the injured waited for help, people continued to drop in and ski down directly above. Shortly after (while the injured was still waiting for help) a snowboarded dropped in 50 yards downridge (North) and released a soft slab that ran over a cliff band and into some small pine trees - luckily not carrying the rider. A second rider dropped in and rode to the first rider. Both continued down without any additional incidents. We did not travel into the danger area to get better details on the slides, but the activity we were witnessing seemed downright suicidal. When we left there were still people hiking up the ridge and preparing to ride the same or similar slopes.
Edited by tromano - 11/13/11 at 10:01pm