Donald uto col near miss

Glacier National Park

Sam Mann , Saturday 3rd April, 2021 1:30PM

Got a big-time slap on the pee-pee today going for avalanche from the Donald uto col. Triggered a size 2 slab boot pack traversing the south side of the col along the ledge system the summer route follows. The crown was around 25 m long and 30 cm deep. The snow was faceted with a thin crust. When bootpacking it seemed to be faceted all the way to base. The trigger was the first skier who was 2 m into it when it popped with a fair amount of exposure below. The skier was able to exit the slab as it started moving. The faceted nature of the snow contributed to this. Past windloading up the slope is theorized as the cause, as the area which popped was a slabby pocket. Then again, I'm the dummy who popped it off so don't pay too much heed to my opinions.

Snow conditions were: Crusty, Wind affected. Weather conditions were: Cold. We rode: Steep slopes, Sunny slopes. Riding quality was ok.

Weather

Mixed clouds and cold

Incident

Got a big-time slap on the pee-pee today going for avalanche from the Donald uto col. Triggered a size 2 slab boot pack traversing the west side of the col along the ledge system the summer route follows. The snow seemed to be faceted with a thin crust. When bootpacking it seemed to be faceted all the way to base. The trigger was the first skier who had booted 3m into the slab when it popped with a fair amount of exposure below. The skier was able to exit the slab as it moved. The low density of the snow contributed to this. Past windloading up the slope is theorized as the cause, as the area which popped was a slabby face with rocks protruding above it. Then again, I'm the dummy who popped it off so don't pay too much heed to my opinions.