Ingrid Backstrom/MSP Whistler avalanche recount

Ingrid Backstrom has been up in Whistler filming with MSP, and recently wrote about an avalanche they set off while checking the snow that day.

We got on top of a fairly small zone that we’ve skied before, just to test snow, dig a pit, and make a general assessment. Our guide, Wayne, went down a little ways to dig a pit, and at this point we pretty much knew it was going to be sketchy–we had felt a whoomp and were already considering our options for mini-mini shredding and safety. Then, literally two feet below where Wayne was digging the pit and Petit was watching, the whole slope broke away, and massive chunks started sliding–then it propagated to the adjacent slope skiers’ left and skiers’ right, simultaneously with a massive settlement right under our feet that dropped us all down a few inches.

Full story and additional can be had at her blog.  This picture is nuts though, the crown was 9 feet high, and notice how it propagated across the entire image!  How much do you think that much snow weighs, and do you think your backcountry partners have the stamina to dig you out of something that deep?

Good chunk of snow up and left

Good chunk of snow up and left

I like how she ended her blog post.

The moral of the story–take your time, don’t rush, and make good decisions.

edit:  my take on that image

Pucker factor: 10

Pucker factor: 10

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