Many avalanches along Lionhead Ridge

Many avalanches along Lionhead Ridge


Rode along Lionhead Ridge from Denny Creek to Watkins Creek and around into the head of Targhee Creek. Saw dozens of avalanches that broke within the last week. Most of the slides looked to have broken early this week with a couple looking like they broke in the last 24 hours. Slides broke on all aspects, both above treeline and well below treeline, and on both wind-loaded and nonwind-loaded slopes. Some looked to be naturals and some looked to have been rider triggered. One of the slides in Watkins Creek broke across three avalanche paths/gully features and was one of the larger slides we've seen this season, looking to have piled up debris 10+ ft deep. All these slides looked to have broken on one of the December surface hoar layers at the top of the early season facets.

Dug a pit adjacent to one of the slides in Targhee Creek and got an ECTP13 on the lower of two well defined surface hoar layers. 

Riding today it was quite dramatic how much stiffer the slab is than it was the 10 days ago. Instead of just trenching through the whole snowpack you now mostly ride on top until you dramatically break though. We got a couple of shooting cracks while approaching our snowpit site, but they were not nearly as dramatic as the cracks last week. 

Lionhead Range
Location (from list)
Lionhead Ridge
Observer Name
Ian Hoyer