Mount Athabasca ramp

Jasper National Park

JeffMcK , Friday 27th May, 2022 10:30AM

New snow over night was cold and dry, increased wind throughout the day was creating soft windslabs. Rapid temperature rise, solar input and a short lull in the wind caused the surface snow to change very quickly even on polar aspects.

Snow conditions were: Crusty, Powder, Wet, Wind affected. Weather conditions were: Cloudy, Cold, Stormy, Sunny, Warm, Windy. We rode: Alpine slopes, Convex slopes, Mellow slopes, Steep slopes. Riding quality was good.

Avalache Conditions: Rapid temperature rise to near zero degrees or wet surface snow.

Snowpack

CTE3 down 10cm fist+/4 finger- 11-15 4 finger 16-120 pencil CTN

Weather

Mixed bag of wx, light - moderate winds, cloudy with sunny periods, short period of s-1 and obscured sky. Rapid increase in temps with solar input.

Incident

See Avalanche tab for more details. No results from ski cuts at the convex roll coming down above the ramp. Made two short turns and then another ski cut which triggered a slab down 10cm and 4m wide. Attempted to ski ahead and out from it but remote triggered a size 2 slab down 30cm and 40m wide, 4m below (below shrund) without enough room to turn above the crown party member tipped over the crown losing a ski but was able to arrest safely above the slide and was not carried or buried. Skied with one ski to recover lost ski at bottom of deposit 300m below and skied out off the glacier okay and with all equipment. Remaining party members retreated through AA Col. This would be an excellent choice if you find yourself in a similar situation and deem it too risky to come back down the ramp. Timing was a major factor. Although above the ramp it was cool and windy things were still heating up fast below and the hazard was amplified by a short lull in the wind and solar input.

Avalanche

Rapid warming caused new windslab/storm slab to become reactive. Ski cut 2 slabs down 10cm and 4m wide on West Shoulder leading to backing off the line. Attempted to ski a shorter exit over the ramp and not back down the ramp due to concerns of the terrain being unsupported. No results from ski cuts at the convex roll. Made two short turns and then another ski cut which triggered a slab down 10cm and 4m wide. Attempted to ski ahead and out from it but remote triggered a size 2 slab down 30cm and 40m wide, 4m below me without enough room to turn above the crown party member tipped over the crown losing a ski but was able to arrest safely above the slide and was not carried or buried. Skied with one ski to recover lost ski at bottom of deposit 300m below and skied out off the glacier okay and with all my equipment. Once back at the parking lot, a natural sz 1.5 was observed, approx. 30m wide and 170m run length immediately adjacent to the remote.