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Matt Duffy writes:

> We ascended some 20 degree trees to a ridgeline, then skinned parallel
to >and 50 feet from a long cornice on the ridge. Somewhere near the
beginning >of that 18-degree ridge(inclinometers rule!), I felt a
whumpf. Snow >collapsed beneath my feet, but I didn't dwell on it, given
the lack of >visible cracking and the low pitch I was on. Our goal was a
22 degree slope >we'd descended before, so that whumpf can kiss my.. oh,
sh!t.

[snip]

> The slide occurred on a due-east aspect, and it wasn't until I'd
rounded a >corner to get to a southern face that I could get a look back
at what I'd >done. Upon that sight, I abandoned the original idea.
Instead of making the >intended run (which woulda been perfectly safe),
I wanted to get back to >that fracture line and have a closer look.

[snip]

> It struck me as odd at first when we arrived on the scene. The point
at >which the fracture line began measured a measly 15 degrees. Yet snow
had >been pulled downward from the crown at that very spot.

Yep- it happens!

Kinda underscores the importance of never traveling directly UNDER
something of slide-potential slope, eh?

I had a CO guide tell me once that avalanches can and DO climb hills
sometimes- if you're traveling near the bottom of a draw or bowl keep an
eye on the FAR side too- you can still get tagged with only a 17-degree
line of sight to the crown face, wherever that might end up being (but
you can make educated guesses and plan accordingly.)

Nice pics!

dana
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