Skier-Triggered Slab Tobacco Roots

Bell Lake
Out of Advisory Area

From the email:

"We toured up to the Bell Lake area with the objective of the adjacent north-facing lines. Dug several pits at the top of the apron of the Good One beside the slide path. Found ECTN6 @ 5cm and ECTN14 @ ~25 cm. Also 15 cm groppel layer at about 70cm. We made a rising traverse across the slide path to test the more cross-loaded west edge and our assumption that the groppel was localized. This traverse caused a very small (D1/R1) slide on the ~5cm interface. We decided to turn around and skied down the apron, then repeated a lap on the apron. The second time we notices some slow moving debris higher in the chute, which was a natural slab of similar size (both us and Bell Lake guides observed a crown about half the width of the chute).

We ended up ascending to the ridge further east in a tightly treed area and adjacent slide path where the snow was less wind effected and less reactive. Our initial goal was to ski the lower angle runouts of the slide paths over to the last slide path I have heard called Exit Chute or Going Home. When we noticed the less wind effected snow we kept pushing the skin track up to the ridge.

At the top of the ridge I skied off a wind lip and ski cut the eastern aspect on the way over the to Exit Chute/Going Home. The slope was being actively loaded and we had discussed briefly how we had not gathered information on this slope - gathering some first would have been smarter. The resulting crown was 24-30" and spanned about 150'. Probably D1.5/R2). After several pits on the North side and a pit on the same aspect that slid (east), we got similar results at the two interfaces. The big difference I noted were hardness and grain type lemons at the lower interface, the sun crust bed surface of the eastern aspect that slid. On the northern aspect the lemons and the crust were not present at that interface."

Number of slides
Number caught
Number buried
Number killed
Avalanche Type
Hard slab avalanche
Trigger Modifier
c-A controlled or intentional release by the indicated trigger
R size
D size
Bed Surface
I - Interface between new and old snow
Problem Type
Wind-Drifted Snow
Slab Thickness
30.0 inches
Slab Width
Slab Thickness units