December 11, 2014

Observations – South Fork Eagle River – North Bowl area

Obvious signs of instability:

  • Significant natural avalanche activity earlier in the week
  • Significant wind loading earlier in the week


  • Partly cloudy skies, temps in the upper teens, light north wind

Surface conditions:

  • Snow coverage is very inconsistent and a supportable snowpack for riding is limited to wind deposited areas


Natural wind slab avalanche in the 3 Bowls area off Hiland Road (N-D2-R2):3 bowls slide 3 bowls slide zoomCondition of the South Fork trail on the approach:sofo trailWind loaded pocket above Hunter Pass (sight of a human triggered avalanche and partial burial about a year ago):pocket above hpFairly widespread surface hoar development, except in the most wind exposed areas:ridge hoar

Natural wind slab avalanche (HS-N-D2-R2) at the top of North Bowl skier’s right side (check out the December 11, 2013 observation for some deja vu):slab right slab left with view slab left downCornice crevasse glide crack at the top of North Bowl just above the crown of the aforementioned North Bowl avalanche (the pole is 130cm):cornice glide poleSnowpack profiled and assessed on the skier’s left flank of the natural avalanche (the layer of well-developed depth hoar with heavy wind slab on top behaved poorly in snowpit tests):pit with skis pit with shovel North Bowl 12:11:14 North Bowl view up and down:up north bowl down n bowl from slide

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