Monday, 7 February 2011

Ooops a daisy! Nearly buried!

Went for a ski at Glencoe today. Strong winds and drifting snow had significanly raised the avalanche risk and visibilty was at times very poor.  I met the SAIS observer Paul Moores with Pete Weir doing a profile at the top of the spring run and they commented that there had been some small  slides triggered by Keith, one of the ski patrol. I had a few runs down as this was the best skiing although some sastrugi and wind ridges.  On my 4th run I trigged a fairly big slab but the runout is shallow at that point so these dont often pick up enough speed to take you out. However, I didnt like the traverse out to the top ski tows as it was hanging and as I was on my own so I went lower ending up above the lower Rannoch glades.  I stopped and just fell over in the whiteout and it whumped cracking accross above me for 50 or so feet and at 2 to 3 feet deep.  It didn't pop thankfully, but on skiing down below I could see that over the apex there was a 12 inch crown and debris. I was pretty wary after that but  I had a run down the Spring run a couple of hours later with Keith and Christine to look at a large slide out the bottom of the Spring run they had triggered.  I skied ahead and in a whiteout accidently cut too high out to the skiers left on a steep NE aspect and triggered a slide that took me out completely and took me down like a rocket covering me totally at one point before spitting me out 150 feet lower down on a patch of ice. Keith couldnt see me, but heard it whump and me shout so they skied accross and down to me. I got a bit of a fright to be honest!

I consider myself fairly cautious but nearly getting it twice in one afternoon is maybe my being over familiar with my local patch which to be honest has loads of little slope aspects that pop but you just get used to it.  A Heuristic trap?
Pete and Paul at their profile site

Weather cleared and Keith at my start point to the white tumble dryer

Not a huge crown wall but big enough!

Christine and Keith

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