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More In-Bounds Avalanches

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
The tragic death of Jackson' s Big Wally reminds us that as hard as our friends on the ski patrol work, they cannot guarantee perfect safety from avalanches when we choose to ski avalanche prone terrain within a resort's boundaries- particularly in a year like this one. Last winter an in-bounds avalanche killed a paying customer at Jackson in spite of the efforts of the skilled ski patrol to make the slopes safe. Buying a lift ticket doe not buy us safety. We alone make the final decision on how much risk we'll take for turns in natural snow conditions.

Check out a couple of photos of three avalanches triggered by the ski patrol this week on Grand Targhee's popular and easily accessible Mary's Nipple hike-to terrain.

This morning the BTNF avalanche advisory shows the danger level still at "considerable"- backcountry skiers be careful. When the next storm cycle drops snow on the Tetons and other ranges with a similarly unstabile snowpack, resort skiers would be smart to be cautious too.

Last week I heard the tell-tale wump sounds as I approached a minimally skied steep slope in a resort. I changed my route. How many Epic skiers have seen in-bounds avalanches, or decided to change their plans because of avy concerns while skiing in-bounds?
post #2 of 4

I was traversing across a large chute in white out conditions with considerable wind load since controls. I saw a crack opening in front of my ski tips. I really could see little else. I'd move forward, the crack would move ahead of me, then it took off and the slab of wind load under my downhill ski broke loose. I stepped up and hoped it wouldn't start a sypathetic slide above me. I was in there and no way could I hike out, would have been more risk to hike up I think. So, given that the entire hill had already ripped loose (

Be safe out there. assume nothing.

post #3 of 4
 I was at The Ghee yesterday and saw lots of slab activity over by Marys' Nipple.  The photos I posted of the Cheyenne Bowl slide didn't clearly show it, but there was a slide in the foreground, then the slide that killed Wally, and then a good sized slide in Rock Springs.  All of these slides happened on nearly identical aspects and all could be clearly seen from the Sublette Quad lined up like dominoes.  The two inbounds slide were likely triggered by patrol.  The Rock Springs slide was probably skier triggered.  
post #4 of 4
early season we had dry powder on ice. all over the mountain. every steep section, pitch, face ,bowl, chute slid naturally. the entire mountian was these sluff crowns. that is a bad sign.
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