Buzz's Ridge K-Pass

Kootenay Boundary

gphrmi , Wednesday 19th February, 2020 12:15PM

Snowpack

Filling out these questions according to format reduces accuracy of observations because any tour will cover a variety of altitudes on a variety of aspects with a variety of test results. In other words, you could write a book about each day! It asks if you are giving a summary or point observation but is really only equipped to take a single observation which tells a limited story. For example I dug into the crown on an exceptionally low angle slide from a fresh (2 day old) cornice fall on NE aspect of Missle Ridge. Found buried surface hoar at interface with soft wind slab on top. CT25RP. Within 100 meters, similar aspect CT4 SP. Also, check boxes ask if we observed whumping; we did but not on same aspect of any avalanche activity. We changed our plans, stepping back on each objective as day progressed, opposite of what might happen on other days. Earlier we rode a higher angle north aspect on Buzz's with no significant wind loading and no easily detectable buried surface hoar. The most consequential terrain seemed to inspire most confidence. Not really the best way to start a beautiful day. From there onwards, still a beautiful day but evidence mounting that we had to be far more conservative. The last run home through Lost Creek Pass is an example of human error in judgment leading to a close call.

Weather

How do you show negative temperature values in the boxes, only allows for above zero far as I can get

Incident

Along egress area of powerline cut. I was 4th rider to enter slope in non-cornice lower angle point to south of open area. Each skier entered one at a time with radio comm for successive skiers to enter when lower skier in safe location. I was last, only snowboarder. Tracks tightly spooned along edge of trees. I was traversing more north towards, not into, but closer to open area to be left of last track. Expected possible loose dry sluffs. Saw fractures open 1 meter above my traverse. Slab moving under me, breaking into blocks. Was able to get to crown, arrest fall and watched propagation while broadcasting warning to group below. They were well clear. Slide didn't run past first roll over. Was able to take pictures, measure sizes, examine slide bed, failure plane etc. Rode down bed surface to run out zone, transitioned to lower angle, joined group below.

Avalanche

Couldn't figure out the GMT vs. Local PST in box above. This occurred about 3:45 PM. Also location & elevation on supplied map does not appear to agree with Backcountry Canada 1:20,000 nor electronic CalTopo US24. However very easy to find Lost Creek Pass powerline NE slope. Most of slide hit trees decreasing length of run. Edge of slide that ran on open slope lost momentum where slope angle decreased. Did not make to next roll over. Deposition ranged from 1 meter to over 2 meters in front of trees. Tracks from 3 skiers were mostly obliterated. Group reported beautiful snow on radio when checking in. Relative density between buried weak crystals and transported snow is the story here. I'm glad I had my ski poles in hand for long flat ride to road. It was easy to arrest when close to start zone. I was also looking to do an aggressive cut as I had a good glide path to a safe spot.

Location

49.07941130 -117.04685236

Buzz's Ridge K-Pass

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN