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Why you must not cut rope lines--Highland Bowl avalanche - Page 2

post #31 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 Today will be really good.   The new snow on the steep runs will soften much faster than the refrozen base and should be creamy goodness.

 

 

Yes! Today was very good, with the new snow on top of the still-dry snow, again in the G zones (this time G8). 

 

And the Patrol's reports of the new slides were not exaggerated. The start zone is much larger, and the debris field extends now well down the valley past the knoll that separates "Middle Fork" from "South Fork" (where the patrol sled is stashed). They said it is 12 feet deep, and I'd say it's at least that. Here are some pictures from today:

 

 

Looking down from the beginning of the hike, where the snowcat stops.

 

 

And looking up from the same spot at the avalanche start zones, and across to G-8, where we would ski down. 

 

 

Hiking up because, well, I like this picture! Start zones in the background--and note the closure rope on the left.

 

 

Another look down from hike above the Y zones--note how little snow remains after all the sunshine and hot days.

 

 

Toward the bottom of the debris field--12 feet deep is no exaggeration!

 

 

Looking back up...it would take a jack hammer to cut through those enormous, surreal shapes of snow, set like concrete. I actually tried to ski a little way into the field--it's impossible!

 

 

From within the debris field--a little fresh powder on top of car-size blocks of rock-hard snow.

 

 

One last look back up.

 

 

---

 

On a related note, the Aspen Times reports that this extended warm weather stretch has created "unprecedented" avalanche conditions. On south and east-facing slopes, the snow is wet to the ground, "isothermic"--the same temperature all the way through the snow pack--creating these conditions where the whole pack just oozes and tumbles down the mountainside. They've knocked down slides all over Aspen Mountain as well, with much of the lower mountain closed for part of yesterday morning while they did control work. Here's the article from the Aspen Times: March weather, avalanche conditions 'unprecedented' in Aspen.

 

It's certainly interesting. But despite all this, the skiing remains very good, especially up high and on north-facing exposures. It got warm and soft again this afternoon, so the groomed runs will probably need a little time to soften in the morning. But for those who enjoy a little good firm "loud powder," it's great skiing all day long!

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #32 of 51
Wow the Bowl looks like it has a glacier in the middle of it now.
post #33 of 51

So, Bob......zip everything! 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post
 
Quote:
 Today will be really good.   The new snow on the steep runs will soften much faster than the refrozen base and should be creamy goodness.

 

 

Yes! Today was very good, with the new snow on top of the still-dry snow, again in the G zones (this time G8). 

 

And the Patrol's reports of the new slides were not exaggerated. The start zone is much larger, and the debris field extends now well down the valley past the knoll that separates "Middle Fork" from "South Fork" (where the patrol sled is stashed). They said it is 12 feet deep, and I'd say it's at least that. Here are some pictures from today:

 

 

Looking down from the beginning of the hike, where the snowcat stops.

 

 

And looking up from the same spot at the avalanche start zones, and across to G-8, where we would ski down. 

 

 

Hiking up because, well, I like this picture! Start zones in the background--and note the closure rope on the left.

 

 

Another look down from hike above the Y zones--note how little snow remains after all the sunshine and hot days.

 

 

Toward the bottom of the debris field--12 feet deep is no exaggeration!

 

 

Looking back up...it would take a jack hammer to cut through those enormous, surreal shapes of snow, set like concrete. I actually tried to ski a little way into the field--it's impossible!

 

 

From within the debris field--a little fresh powder on top of car-size blocks of rock-hard snow.

 

 

One last look back up.

 

 

---

 

On a related note, the Aspen Times reports that this extended warm weather stretch has created "unprecedented" avalanche conditions. On south and east-facing slopes, the snow is wet to the ground, "isothermic"--the same temperature all the way through the snow pack--creating these conditions where the whole pack just oozes and tumbles down the mountainside. They've knocked down slides all over Aspen Mountain as well, with much of the lower mountain closed for part of yesterday morning while they did control work. Here's the article from the Aspen Times: March weather, avalanche conditions 'unprecedented' in Aspen.

 

It's certainly interesting. But despite all this, the skiing remains very good, especially up high and on north-facing exposures. It got warm and soft again this afternoon, so the groomed runs will probably need a little time to soften in the morning. But for those who enjoy a little good firm "loud powder," it's great skiing all day long!

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #34 of 51
Had a look at this today - primo example of a wet slide surpassed only by the Kirkwood cirque freight train a few years ago in my personal experience.

Also got to sit behind Mr Barnes on the Highlands shuttle bus this am but he was talking to a colleague so I couldn't butt in to say Hi.
post #35 of 51
Thread Starter 

What?? FatBob--I'm sorry I missed an opportunity to meet you. Hope you had a great day at Aspen Highlands!

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post

Had a look at this today - primo example of a wet slide surpassed only by the Kirkwood cirque freight train a few years ago in my personal experience.

Also got to sit behind Mr Barnes on the Highlands shuttle bus this am but he was talking to a colleague so I couldn't butt in to say Hi.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post
 

What?? FatBob--I'm sorry I missed an opportunity to meet you. Hope you had a great day at Aspen Highlands!

 

Best regards,

Bob


If you get a chance to meet Fatbob, you should.  He's not that fat and his name isn't bob.......but he's a cool dude!

post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post




If you get a chance to meet Fatbob, you should.  He's not that fat and his name isn't bob.......but he's a cool dude!

The cloak of anonymity. I like Fatbob already. Is he the slightest bit portly at least?
post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post
 I'm told that the Patrol caught the offenders, who could easily have cost a number of people their lives. 

Are you saying that the slide they created extended -- or could have extended -- onto an open trail?  

post #39 of 51
Quote:
Are you saying that the slide they created extended -- or could have extended -- onto an open trail?  
The whole other side of the Bowl was open. You end up at the bottom where the slide also went. In that article by Lou Dawson he basically went top to bottom in the avalanche in 10 sec at roughly 90 mph. Not sure if wet slabs are a lot slower but you don't have lots of time to get out of the way.
post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drahtguy View Post


The cloak of anonymity. I like Fatbob already. Is he the slightest bit portly at least?

 

 

Believe he's getting ready to head back to the UK tomorrow, but he came, saw, and conquered the US ski world in his three months here this winter!  Great fellow and fantastically savvy traveler.

 

Ode to Fatbob contained herein:  http://www.epicski.com/a/2015-geezer-ski-bum-tour-epicski-3

post #41 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drahtguy View Post


The cloak of anonymity. I like Fatbob already. Is he the slightest bit portly at least?

 

 

Believe he's getting ready to head back to the UK tomorrow, but he came, saw, and conquered the US ski world in his three months here this winter!  Great fellow and fantastically savvy traveler.

 

Ode to Fatbob contained herein:  http://www.epicski.com/a/2015-geezer-ski-bum-tour-epicski-3

I like @fatbob a lot.  Wish he could stay around for our annual Mother's Day trip.  He'd fit right in. 

post #42 of 51
Yeah yeah yeah. I'll just get back to being shirty with people on tinterweb so normal service can be resumed.
post #43 of 51
Thread Starter 

Following up--just to show that we don't let anything go to waste around here.

 

Closing Day 2015 at Aspen Highlands--when you've got a space, a huge refrigerator, and plenty of ice. . . have a party!

 

 

 

The snow was superb on Ozone, right to the bitter end, and now it's over:

 

Aspen Highlands instructors Tanya (left) and Shelby, on the steeps of Ozone, Highland Bowl, closing day 2015.

 

---

 

Alas...until next season!

 

 

 

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #44 of 51
Bob, don't you have another week at Ajax? You can always come to Summit County you know...
post #45 of 51
Thread Starter 

Yep--you're right, Habacomike. I'll ski Aspen a few days this week, and then try to get in some good spring skiing at Arapahoe Basin. Hope to see you there!

 

Meanwhile, here's another glimpse of the Highlands Closing Day zany-ness on Sunday--I introduced a bunch of instructors to the classic Reuel Christie, and they wouldn't let go! (The parties in The Bowl may have had something to do with it....)    

 

:beercheer:

 

 

post #46 of 51

Bob, it really looks like you're having a tough time adjusting to life there in Aspen.  I feel for you.  I really do.  Life can really be hard some times.  I hope you can find the strength to persevere through this difficult time.

post #47 of 51
Thread Starter 

It's rough, Kevin, but I do my best.

 

;)

post #48 of 51

Amusing, and hope to see you at the Basin...

 

Mike

post #49 of 51
Fun video.
I think they need a little practice with that!
post #50 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Fun video.
I think they need a little practice with that!

 

Really?  I can't say I've ever seen one done in person, but they seemed to be doing pretty well?

post #51 of 51
Well it could be the snow or the balance reducing elements that were imbibed.
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