Chickadee Valley incident

Banff Yoho & Kootenay National Park

sking , Monday 1st March, 2021 8:27PM


A bulletin of M/L/L and strong winds up high had us seeking out short yo-yo laps in a normally wind sheltered, low elevation area, however we found that reverse winds had made for variable depth windslab. We had no whumpfing or shooting cracks in a total of six passes made by two groups on mostly adjacent slopes. Numerous hand shears by both groups showed mostly resistant or broken windslab of variable depth and hardness. While skinning another 20 m past where the last group had skied, we triggered a windslab that slowly pulled two of us down the slope. We stayed on the surface for a 40-50 m ride. No injuries and no gear lost.


Lens shaped crown (~20 m wide) on top of a slight rib that slid down the rib and then separated into lobes on either side. One lobe ~10 m wide and the other (with skiers in it) about 20 m wide.