Smokers Bowl Triggered Avalanche
KeithH , Saturday 10th April, 2021 8:10PM
First MIN so apologize for any missing info! We spent the day at Smokers Bowl. Overall riding quality was great today! The morning brought strong winds and fog, opening up later in the morning with blue sky sun and the wind dying down. The approach was pretty wind affected and hard, but the bowl itself has clearly seen lots of snow deposited from the Northerly wind. We started by digging a pit skiers right in the bowl about 2/3rds of the way up - had no results on our compression test. On our second run we triggered a sz 1-1.5 from the peak of the bowl. See pictures/incident tab for details.
Snow conditions were: Hard, Powder, Wind affected. Weather conditions were: Cloudy, Sunny, Windy. We rode: Alpine slopes, Convex slopes, Mellow slopes, Steep slopes. We avoided: Sunny slopes. Riding quality was good.
North-east aspect sz ~1-1.5 started near the peak of Smokers Bowl by a rider in our group. There was significant wind blown snow at the top of the bowl which appears to have released on a sun crust. We believe the top is ~40deg based on our slope meter. The width and runout length is not super accurate as we did not return to the top to investigate. Rider was able to exit skiers left unharmed. We certainly learned a lesson, as there was much more snow deposited here than expected from the location where we dug our pit (approx 2/3rds of the way up on the same aspect) and first rode. This wind drift was a problem which was noted in the bulletin, but we were over-confident after not seeing any signs of avalanches and from previous runs on same-aspect terrain. Hopefully others can learn from us!
See incident tab for details. We saw no other indications of avalanches in the area.