Feb 16, 2020, Hogback out of WP

2/16/20
WA Cascades SW (Mt Rainier)
375
3
Posted by filbo on 2/17/20 1:22am
Skied south facing aspects, bowl and trees from 6,500' down to 5,500.  Beautiful snow with the cold temps and mellow aspects, nothing over 35 degrees.  about a foot and a half of blower pow over softer snow down to thigh deep if you pushed your pole all the way down with some force.  It skied almost knee deep.  Higher up at 7,000' on the steep east facing bowl Wednesday, some guys had a cornice fail on them that created a significant slide but no one was injured.
Those cornices (and the carnage underneath them) always freak me out. Would love to have some general info about the incident. Did the cornice fail spontaneously or was it triggered?
2020-02-23 18:49:14
Micah
Micah,
According to the NWAC report it was triggered by a pair of skiers. No one was injured but they had to retrieve some of their gear that went over with the cornice when it collapsed. The spooky thing about this incident was it happened on a day when the forecast was low/green and yet, as NWAC's report said, it was "a large avalanche containing most of the season's snowpack."  The snowpack at that elevation was around 120", maybe more with snowdrift. That's a lot of snow on the move.
2020-02-23 20:22:46
PhilH
Thanks for the info! I don't see the NWAC observation (possibly I'm too inept to surf the web). I hear what you're saying about a large avalanche occurring on a day with a green rating. I would offer the possibility that this slide is in a different class of avalanche (deep and with a trigger much more impactful than a skier) than the nwac fx is aimed at. Similar to a serac fall triggering a big slide on Rainier or something like that. This is pure speculation, though, since all the info I have came from this thread.

Glad nobody got hurt.
2020-02-24 08:39:04
Micah

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filbo
2020-02-17 09:22:18