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A reminder that although it’s now summer, if there’s snow on the ground it can, and will, slide. This video, shared by Robby Emmons on social media, shows him triggering an avalanche while skiing the west face of Grizzly Peak in Colorado yesterday, June 1st, 2022.
Lucky escape here, could easily have got raked over that rock field resulting in some gnarly injuries. According to comments on Facebook, further down there was a small cliff he would have been dragged over. However familiar you are with a certain area and terrain, it always pays to test the snowpack.
So June first avalanches are a thing this year apparently. Sorry for the language. West aspect. Approximately 12500′ elevation, 30 degree slope 40 degree rolls, 5pm descent. About 4″ of slushy wet new snow; on top I heavy wet consolidated snow from last week, sitting on top of a smooth ice surface from before the storm cycles. Not the best decision to drop this line under these conditions.
Even on “safe” days anything can still happen. I crosscut this slope probably 25 times at least on my hike up with no signs of anything. So I just skied it under the assumption it was good to go but obviously it just needed that little extra impact to slide. 99% of the time I ski I look over my shoulder for slides and I was so certain in the line today I didn’t even look behind me which is the only reason I got caught. I just felt a little too comfortable.
– Robby Emmons
Thanks for sharing Robby for us all to learn from.
The avalanche risk for the day was rated ‘moderate’. There have been eleven avalanches reported in Colorado in the last week, and 86 in the last month.