March 4, 2023
March 4, 2023
Zone or Region:
Big Chief Mountain Ridge
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was it intentional? No
Size 1: Relatively harmless to people
Triggered multiple very small D0.5 storm slabs on an E aspect traversing big chief ridge without leaving the standard traverse (beyond the cabin), they ran a short distance in isolated areas one of which spider web cracked in the top 8-10in of fresh snow under very little pressure and from a very unexpectedly low amount of force from above on the traverse. I'm extremely familiar with the area and have triggered small isolated slabs like this in the area before while traversing above their path on the ridge, the standout element of this one in particular was the low load pressure applied and the immediacy of the spiderweb cracks that shot 15 or so feet in multiple directions along with the short slab slide to follow.
Did you see shooting cracks? Yes, Isolated
Did you experience collapsing or whumpfing? No
This occurred on a quick skin out beyond Wenatchee bowl Saturday March 4 at approx 10am to ride protected terrain on a W aspect from the traditional and heavily trafficked big chief mountain ridge traverse without leaving the packed in ridge traverse. While small wind / storm slabs are common following (and during) storms in these pockets in the area the instability was unsurprising mid-storm but the rate the spider cracks spread / very low impact from above raised a heightened level of concern for the potential to propagate much larger slabs on similar aspects in the area had someone decided to ride similar aspects which are commonly ridden after storms once the traditional routes W are tracked out.