Collapsing/Whumphing at Bear Canyon

Mt Ellis
Northern Gallatin

A group reported: "On Sunday afternoon my partner and I skinned up Bear Canyon and proceeded a half mile south along the ridge from the top of the ski hill. We were considering skiing a treed gully off the ridge down into Shoefelt gulch or skiing the East side of the ridge back into New World Gulch. As we skinned out of the trees (@ 6,800 ft) and out into the meadow above our prospective runs I caused a very audile collapse and it was obvious the wind had done a lot of work moving snow on to the east facing slope. We dug a snow pit, on a west facing slope, about 30 feet down from the ridge. The snowpack in our pit was 95CM deep, we did an extended column test and got an ECTP 13 which failed on the facets near the ground. The slab was ~70 CM. We decided to dig another pit on the east facing slope just across the ridge, making sure not to get too close to gully which looks like a slide path. My partner dug out the majority of the pit and then I joined him to perform another ECT. Just before we isolated our column my partner stepped out of the pit for a second and on he triggered another extremely audible collapse that seemed to have traveled a decent ways across the slope to the north of us, towards the gully. We got an ECTP 12 from this pit, it broke on the facets near the ground and the slab was about 80CM, the snow depth was 100CM. I thought it was interesting that we did not see much cracking while we were skinning or digging our pits, that being said the new snow from this last storm cycle was very dense and it was easy to get it to sheer when we were digging pits but we did not see it collapse. We knew going up that we probably couldn't ski any of what we checked out but had good time looking at the snowpack and skiing with the dogs back down the ridge to Bear Canyon."

Number of slides
Number caught
Number buried
Problem Type
Persistent Weak Layer
Slab Thickness units
Single / Multiple / Red Flag
Red Flag
Advisory Year