Observations

Crown in gully #2 in GOS

February 14, 2021 at 1:00 PM
Name: Blake Keogh, Jake Acito| Synnott Mountain Guides
Location: GOS, Sandbox and Gully #2

On day two (2/14/21) of our AIARE L2, as part of our ongoing weather and snowpack assessment, we conducted two ECTs and one PST on an east facing slope, at 4,300ft, between the Sandbox and Main Gully in Gulf of Slides. The aforementioned tests resulted in an ECTP#15, breaking 12cm down. About 20 feet away, a second ECT broke on the same layer, but did not propagate (ECTN13). The propagation saw test resulted in PST 90/100 END down 35cm. It is important to note that “fracture propagation is considered to be likely only if the fracture propagates to the end of the column, along the same layer and when the length of the saw cut is less than 50% of the column length when propagation begins.” At the time of the tests the wind was actively blowing snow onto east aspects.

Additionally, we observed relatively recent avalanche debris in gully number two in GOS. We ascended the gully to get a closer look at the debris and the crown that was roughly 3/4 of the way up the line (4,400ft). Interestingly, the crown was on a short steep section of the slope just below a band of rock and vegetation. This type of terrain was specifically mentioned in the avalanche advisory for that day. Also important to note, the avalanche extended into the trees further than one would expect, cutting right through what could easily be considered “an island of safety.” Given the time of day, and our observations, we decided to stay off of the well connected start zone of gully #2 and ski back to the Pinkham parking lot.