Skier-Triggered Wind Slab N. Bridgers 2

Skiers in the Northern Bridgers noted signs of instability in wind-transported snow and were able to trigger a wind slab. From the email: "My partner and I toured up in the Northern Bridgers today near Ainger Lake and found conditions to be more touchy than we expected. The wind was blowing hard when we entered the basin, and we observed some snow transport. As we got higher, we observed variable wind affected snow and thin wind slab, and dug a pit finding no notable weak layers aside from the wind slab which was breaking off in chunks as we skinned. We witnessed a shooting crack through the wind slab that was 2-5 cm thick where we were, and soon after triggered a small slide and turned around. At its deepest the crown was around 15 cm thick, so a lot thicker than what we had previously been seeing! It wasn't a problem where we were, probably about enough to knock someone down and take them for a short ride, but could have been consequential in more dangerous terrain." Photo: E. Birkeland