Monday, March 25, 2019

Ben Lomond Avalanche on March 21 and how we got to a myriad of avalanche problems.



      High Pressure set in for 7 days from March 14- March 20 during that time our snow surface faceted and we grew surface hoar on the snow surface.  These persistant grains were than preserved by the wind event on March 20-21 and buried even more with snow on Friday March 22.  We followed up with easy to trigger wind and storm slabs on Friday.  We now have added more weight (~2" of SWE ) and 16 inches of snow.  This will lead to interesting avalanche conditions today.

Surface hoar from last week.
Facet Loose Dry avalanches from last week


Avalanche from Friday March 22 failing on NSF and Surface Hoar


On Wednesday March 20 a party camped near Ben Lomond for the Spring Full moon.  They went to ski Ben Lomond head wall on March 21 and triggered this avalanche.  


From the party "We skinned it and set up camp at about 7:00pm. Camp was at about 8600 ft. We summited Ben Lomond at 1am skied the ridge down to our camp and then summited again the fallowing morning when this happened. The snow was very inconsistent with soft patches and hard patches that blended together so you couldn’t really see it to expect the sudden change. "  Instagram @shred_wards


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