December 20, 2022
December 22, 2022
Zone or Region:
Tamarack Out of Bounds
Tamarack South Backcountry
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was it intentional? Yes
Size 2: Could bury, injure, or kill a person
On Tuesday 12/20/22 we intentionally triggered an avalanche at the first cornice south of the Tamarack south boundary gate (44°40'21.8"N 116°09'51.6"W). On the hike to the cornice we experienced extreme west winds and noticed the cornice was very overhung, approximately +2 ft at the most severe locations. We could see the slope below was highly wind loaded. We gave the cornice a 2 or 3 stomps with one ski and the entire length of the cornice broke free and triggered the slab on the slope below the cornice to slide. I'm not sure if it would be classified as a hard or soft slab, but the chunks were quite dense with a thickness of 12-18 inches. The width of the avalanche was approximately 175 ft and it ran all the way to the trees below the cornice in some areas.
In the days prior we had observed widespread faceted snow in the backcountry around the Tamarack resort. On Tuesday high winds were present for much of the day and seem to have created some good size wind loaded slopes. With the recent snowfall on Tuesday night and Wednesday we are very weary of traveling out of bounds until conditions stabilize.