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[TR] This Be the Place - FAWK 2/16/2008


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Thanks for posting this sobering report. I'm glad there were no serious consequences. I was not far away on that weekend. This is looking from Cayoosh towards Mt Olds on the Sunday:



Here is a crop from the previous image:


While we were there a sharp eyed companion pointed out what looked to be a slab missing from the slope. You can make it out, right of centre on the cropped photo; above and behind the rock toe. I think this is close to the grid reference Matt mentioned. Could that be your slide?


We also saw that red helicopter making several drops in the few minutes we were on top.

Edited by yasmar
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Here is a crop from the previous image:

305835_crop.jpg Could that be your slide?

Yep, that's the slope - the rock outcrops match my photos exactly.


So it sounds like a hard windslab. Can we please get some specifics like elevation/aspect? If I were smarter maybe I could interpret matosan's very specific-sounding number....


Unfortunately, after the thing went we weren't in much of a mood to look at forensics, and after we spent an hour digging in the brutal heat and 3600m fl the next morning, the "crime scene" had turned into a slurpee machine. I would be surprised if the thing would have gone 24hrs later . . .


Yes, definitely a windslab, and about 1F in hardness from my quick prodding among the blocks where I ended up. Crown varied from about 30-80cms, slide was maybe 60m across and went for maybe 100m. Deposition was about 1m. PB, feel free to add your take as I'm going on memory here.


Wind features on the rocks were a dead giveaway (in retospect) of cross loading. It was a SE aspect at ~7700'. Wish we had done a quick look-see at the bed surface, but we assumed it was on a sun crust.

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and the grid reference is NAD 27


As a data point, i was in the Duffy over the weekend. There's an assload of large (1.5cm +) SH forming. Ridgelines on bowls close to central Duffy have quite a lot of facets but that's no big surprise I suppose. Apparently the snow in Downton closer to the Lilloet side where the snowpack is thinner is very faceted.


I bootpacked N - facing couloirs and didn't encounter the same W/S you guys did. They were shaded and didn't have the same 1F hardness. Boot pen was always pretty good - 15 - 20cms approx and consistent without need for crampons or axe.


Anyway, thanks for the beta, headsup and more importantly for getting out alive.

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If anyone is interested sleuthing out a 600m ice line, the SE face of Cirque (right side of photo) is pretty stellar if you can catch it in before it rots out.




Pretty big lines back in that valley. After 4 trips I've only done one moderate gully climb and made it halfway up something too hard for me - timing seems key.















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Hey jordo, quick question for you. Did the slide happen somewhere around 305836?

Yep, that's the spot. Have you been through there before, Matt?


Edit: I just looked on your TR page, and saw that you went around clockwise a couple of years ago. Did you have any issues skiing down that slope?


Whoops, delayed reply, it's been a crazy week...

I'm not 100% sure where the slide happened, but I think we crossed that slope as we descended from a col above it. I don't remember the slope being as wind affected, the snow was reasonable for a few turns. Is this the slope that slid on you? (our descent is marked with by the red line).





I can't tell from you photos if this is the slope that slid, or if it was further to skiers right, which would be this slope:



Thanks for posting the info about your experience, it's a great reminder for us all not to get complacent even when hazard is low or moderate.





Edit: After looking at the picts of the slide more I think the slide occurred on the slope in the second picture, climbers left of where we descended.

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