Tuesday, January 24, 2012


You won the dumb uptrack award for January 21/22. Today we were touring in the West Arm Provincial Park and observed an uptrack switchbacking up a north aspect on a 40 degree slope with a few scattered larch trees nicely spaced to beat your brains out when an avalanche runs through them. We observed no down tracks, and the particular location where the uptrack finally gained safe terrain is easily reached by at least a half dozen other safer routes.

So, sometime during or immediately after a big warm storm with strong S winds and rapid heavy snow-loading, a party of unknown number decided to stack themselves up one above the other for about 300 vertical metres on lee facing avalanche slope with multiple trigger points and terrain traps.

By some fluke of fate, they got away with it, and, in all likelihood skied away congratulating themselves on their excellent route-finding and snow evaluation skills.

Over the same two day period, there was an avalanche cycle and multiple large (to size 3) avalanches remotely triggered in the same mountain range.

Talk about dumb luck. 

This party could just as easily have won the Darwin award

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