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>
> There are _SOME_ parts of Snowmass that aren't groomed corduroy.
>

So I've heard. Short though they may be. Powder did a good article on the
bad boys of Snowmass a few years ago. Like a few eastern areas I can think
of, the lack of a rep for serious terrain keeps the powderhounds away. The
backcountry there seems limitless, bounded only by the often fickle snow
stability.

Near the end of our trip last year we ran into a guy who had apparently
skied Snowmass Mountain proper, and had actually jumped from the summit
onto the snowfield, a leap well over 100 feet when we were there but
supposedly  less than 50 with more snow and, judging by some pics I've
seen, sometimes just a large cornice.

I sure would hate to be anywhere near there when the Snowmass Snowfield is
primed for avalanche though.  It's over a square mile wide, heavily wind
loaded all winter, tilted at 25-45 degrees and funnels down a bit as it
drops down a 45+ degree talus field onto Snowmass Lake, 3000 verts below
the start zone. Given the right conditions, an avalanche of truly biblical
proportions would seem possible. On the hike up the Snowmass Creek valley
we crossed a few large slide paths (but nowhere near as big as the one on
Snowmass). A couple of these had been so powerful that they had gouged
80'-100' deep craters out of the floor of the valley upon impact. There
was a similar crater near the toe of the talus leading down into Snowmass
Lake, though I would imagine a large enough slide would overshoot it and
impact the lake itself.. what sight to see that would be (tidal wave at
11,000 feet?).

Jerm

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