Southback Bowl, at the edge of the S.E. Trees at Crystal Mountain, just at treeline off the King
Did you trigger any avalanches?
Was it intentional?
Size 2: Could bury, injure, or kill a person
A 14-inch soft storm slab released after snowboarding over "roller" at treeline near Southback Bowl (at the edge of S.E. Trees) at 3:00pm on Wednesday Feb 8, 2023 at Crystal Mountain. Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol were doing avalanche control all day in the region before opening the King area around 2:30pm on Wednesday. The avalanche formed a clear crown line (photos attached) and was big enough to carry me downslope 10 meters. I was buried up to my waist and unharmed. The size 1-2 avalanche that did not propagate, but released a pocket of snow below the "roller" that moved the entire slope 10-20 meters.
We caught the early part of the avalanche on video (I'm happy to share, but cannot upload videos here) and added photos of the crown line, and maps of estimate locations on the slope for reference.
Signs of Unstable Snow
Near 3:00pm on Wednesday, a route off the south side of the King was taken through the S.E. (South East) Trees. After snowboarding over a roller into a pocket of untracked snow, a 14-inch storm slab was released. While Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol worked hard all day doing avalanche control in this basin, this pocket of snow remained protected in the trees. The snow was still soft and certainly powder, despite the south east exposure, however it was likely weakened due to direct solar radiation during the earlier part of the day. The video clearly shows the snow condition, the soft storm slab being released, and the quality of the snow during the avalanche.
Observed Avalanche Problem #1:
14-inch storm slab (size 1-2) released a pocket of snow under a roller on a south east aspect around 3:00pm on Wednesday Feb 8, 2023 in the high S.E. (South East) Trees of Southback Bowl, off Silver King at Crystal Mountain, WA.