May 11, 2022
May 13, 2022
Zone or Region:
Granite Mtn Trail
Did you observe any avalanches? Yes
Size 2: Could bury, injure, or kill a person
As I was approaching the second avalanche chute crossing on the Granite Mtn Trail, there was a very loud hissing noise and when I got to where I could see it, there was a very large, slow slide. Between 3' and 5' of heavy slop moving down the chute at no faster than a walk. Some more solid blobs up to a couple feet in diameter. It probaly wouldn't kill a person but it would be difficult to get out of without getting knocked around. It lasted about 15 minutes and slowly moved up the mountain about 500' as it backfilled. It progressed all the way up to the base of the steep slope where the snow had previously slid and there were bare spots. And it kept creeping along it's whole path and didn't stabilize. It was mid afternoon and fairly warm. There were several other hikers near me who might have triggered a real slow start. There appeared to be a very safe place to cross a ways up the gully but it was going to be a miserable slog the rest of the way though it appeared I could go straight up a route with a lot of bare rocks. Definitely at least a little danger on the trail the rest of the way up. The lower avalanche chute crossing was nice solid ice. The new snow started at about the lower chute and increased going up.
I occasionally do Granite Mtn even in mid winter if the conditions are exceptionally safe but didn't really anticipate the current conditions even though we have continued to get snow. Beware of the unusual conditions and timing. Terrain traps would be the biggest problem with what I observed.