High Avy Danger Touring Options

Discussion in 'General' started by Brett Gombasy, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. Does anyone have any suggestions for where to tour on high avy days? I am frankly a little bored with the training grounds across from lookout. Plus w/ 49 and Mt Spokane on holiday schedules, my midweek options are now limited.

    Any help is appreciated! And if you want to go Thursday or Friday, let me know!
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  2. Just a heads up, over the last couple days at Schweitzer while doing avalanche control work we experienced widespread remotely triggered and natural avalanches on the backside. That terrain had not been opened yet this season so I feel like it is representative of backcountry conditions. We saw slides in places that have not had any activity in many years. Explosives triggered slides at the other end of the bowl and in many areas just stepping into the run triggered a avalanche. I stepped into a very low angle area and remotely triggered small avalanches off of every small roller within a couple hundred feet. If you do not have significant training and experience traveling in the backcountry stay away from it right now. This is a very dangerous time and I would not recommend going into areas that you are unfamiliar with. I love to tour in low angle areas when the conditions are not safe in steeper terrain as well, but this particular avalanche cycle is a REALLY bad one and demands a high level of respect. Stay safe.
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  3. Sounds like a day for the wood shop instead. Thanks for the info.
  4. David&megan

    David&megan

    Location:
    Spokane
    :(.... we have our avy class in a couple of weeks, but what conditions are we looking for to bond that unstable layer? A warming period followed by a hard freeze, or just time and to many variables to list
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  5. After some time things might settle out on aspects that received a lot of sun during the dry spell we had, the sun destroyed the surface hoar in those areas. However, even a slight change in aspect could put you into dangerous terrain. The thing to remember is after things settle out there will still be buried preserved surface hoar for quite some time in sheltered terrain. Stability will vary greatly on different aspects and elevations for awhile. If we had rain or a huge melt freeze cycle that might reset things, but nobody really wants that to happen either! Have fun at your avalanche class, it might be a fun time to dig pits, look at the weak layer and see what some sensitive test results look like.
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  6. PowderPanda

    PowderPanda Staff Member

    Location:
    Liberty Lake, WA
    Def a good time for an avy class.. Of course, we don't have nearly the layers as BC has. This newest could settle out a bit over this week (I'm sure there has been some natural releases). I'd stay off anything over 30 degrees.. that said there are some areas.
    Immediately behind Lookout in the trees where the new runs will go is fine. Just don't beyond where the road goin up makes a hard right (essentially where the chairlift is going I believe).

    Also, West Willow has some mellow terrain there to the NW. Just don't go into the East facing stuff as it gets def steeper.

    Another is Rabbit Gulch.. In Burke area. Harder to explain.. but it's about 2 miles in and a super mellow 800ft run on big wide open scree field. Check Tour reports, I'm sure there is some info there.
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  7. PowderPanda

    PowderPanda Staff Member

    Location:
    Liberty Lake, WA
    A note, this is from IPAC today!

    Some of what we had to contend with yesterday. The surface hoar is everywhere and affecting slopes that haven’t slid in recent memory (think 30+ years). Multitude of naturals, remotes, and sympathetic releases throughout the day and with current weather, the pack won’t be changing any time soon. Currently 13 on top with a moderate to strong WNW wind that should be backing to the SW. slight chance of light pro graphic snow next 24 hours and cold through the weekend. Be extremely careful out there if you go and expect to see activity.


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