South Coast Inland
tobysalin , Tuesday 16th April, 2019 1:40PM
Our group (4 exp BC skiers) skied up in Noel area off Hurley. Conditions were prime in the AM with cold sub freezing temps and cold snow. 20cms of fresh, cold winter like snow sat on top of recent similar layers totalling almost a meter sitting on sun crust from big March warm up. Snowpack was well bonded and non reactive to ski cuts 1st thing. Group did a warm up lap on mellow terrain and quickly gained confidence to move to steeper ridge lines. Several sled ski laps seemed to prove our theory that stability was safe. Light went flat and we had lunch @ noon. Sun quickly came back out so we went back up for another lap... but temps had rose a bit and our group had become too focussed on visibility and inadvertantly ignored the warming trend. 2 skiers skied same slope & aspect with no sign of slide activity. 3rd skier dropped in and triggered sz 2 avalanche with 1m crown of recent storm snow running on March sun crust. 1m thick big blocks jig saw fractured and ran fast fall line. Involved skier managed to stay high on the crown fracture line and was able to 45 degree angle ski out while the fall line slope completely failed below. Luckily, a rather hard staunch wall, from a terrain feature on skiers left, stopped full propagation of the entire slope. Skier hit staunch wall very hard at speed and was harshly ejected up and out from full avalanche involvement. No injury or burial. Group immediately ceased skiing, collected sleds and rode out. Concensus is that the group became complacent with snowpack after gaining initial confidence and then became too focussed on returning visibility when the sun came back with out taking into account mid day solar affect.
Snow conditions were: Powder. Weather conditions were: Sunny. We rode: Alpine slopes, Steep slopes. We avoided: Sunny slopes. Riding quality was amazing.
Avalache Conditions: Rapid temperature rise to near zero degrees or wet surface snow.
Source: Avalanche Canada MIN