Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center: Rock Fall In Bloody Couloir, CA On Saturday

Guest Author | BackcountryBackcountry | AvalancheAvalanche
Bloody Couloir, CA. Image: TGR

Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center: Rock Fall In Bloody Couloir

Information From A Group Of Skiers In The Area

“We were booting up the bloody couloir around 9AM on Saturday and decided to start heading up the lookers right flank when a small compact car sized boulder fell from the left flank wall causing a huge rock and snow slide. No crown per say, but a ton of snow and rock. Would have been very bad had we been in the path. I’ve attached a quick vid below. Guess the positive is that there doesn’t seem to be any major weak layers where this rock fall came down, as that much weight would’ve activated any persistent weak layers in my opinion.”

Fortunately they weren’t booting up the lookers left flank when this happened!  This is a good reminder of objective hazards that exist in the mountains.  Not just avalanches we have to worry about!  Check out the attached temperature graph (from nearby Mammoth pass at 9,500′), and notice the temperature cycles that day weren’t much different form the previous few days.  There wasn’t some dramatic warming event that might be expected to cause rocks to loosen any more this day than other days.  Be aware of your surroundings, and wear a helmet on the ups when there is potential danger overhead!

Temperature graph from that time period. Image: ESAC
The rock fall on Saturday. Image: ESAC

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5 thoughts on “Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center: Rock Fall In Bloody Couloir, CA On Saturday

  1. That aerial photo doesn’t look like Bloody Couloir to me. The story is on point though, rock fall is part of the early ski season experience of Bloody Couloir. I have experienced some pretty challenging rock fall in early season skiing of Bloody Couloir. Once time it was so severe we had to take turns with one climbing and the other watching to shout out when a rock was tumbling down. Had to do some fancy footwork to avoid the rocks, of course the ski was fantastic. Bloody should be a bucket list item for all backcountry skiers.

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