November 15, 2020
November 15, 2020
Zone or Region:
Alpental in closed resort
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was it intentional? No
Size 1: Relatively harmless to people
Our party of three started touring up from the main Alpental parking lot at 8am in the rain. Rain turned to snow shortly after leaving the base area. We followed a skin track up to the top to Armstrong Quad. A skin track continued up into Breakover trees. We left that skin track and toured up towards the bottom of Edelweiss Bowl. We continued to tour up towards the guntower, staying on the rib above Edelweiss bowl and lookers left of the Chair 2 lift line. We toured over small convexities to test stability and did not see cracking or signs of instability. At around 1550M, the rib separating us from steeper terrain ended and we traversed below a rock band. Skier 1, breaking trail triggered, what appeared to be a small slide, starting ahead and above just below the rock band. The slide then propagated back along the rock line. Skier 1 was hit by the slide, knocked over and dragged approximately 5 feet. Skier 2 , took a few steps back and was not in the slide. Skier 3 was also not hit by the slide. Skier 1 was partially buried, but was able to easily let skiers 2 and 3 know that he was ok and had all of his equipment. Skiers 2 and 3 helped him out of the snow, but this did not require shovels. This slide was fairly small. Approximately 50 feet wide and 1ft deep. Ran around 50 vertical feet. Size 1.
Upon turning around to descend, we saw a crown in what I believe is Rollen bowl. That slide propagated interminably all the way down the ridge towards Shot 6. We do not know whether this much larger slide was connected to the original, smaller slide we triggered. However, the larger slide was not there as we toured up shortly before. The larger slide was 1 to 2 feet deep and ran between 100-200 vertical feet. This slide was quite wide, approximately 500 ft, but broken up by terrain features. We descended the rib relatively close to our skin track to the base of chair 2. We then did a second lap up the guntower, but stayed below our previous highpoint.
See above incident description.