Observation Date: 03/11/2014
Downing Mountain in Bitterroots. Skiing east and north aspects up to 8500′
Cloudy morning gave way to a warm and sunny afternoon. Froze down to low elevations last night. Snow line 5500′
Last nights storm came in with strong winds out of the west. Wind scoured ridge lines, and wind loaded terrain was evident.
New Snow: 3-6″
One small sized (R1.5/D1) unintentionally skier triggered avalanche. The avalanche occurred on an east aspect at roughly 8000′ 35 degree slope. Failed on a dense wind slab about 8″ deep. The avalanche did not propagate wide, maybe 50′, although carried ~400′ vertical. Broke at skiers feet, he was not carried by the slide at all.
We also experienced more dense wind slab conditions on a loaded north aspect.
Observed Danger Rating:
Wind slabs were the main layer of concern today. We found dense wind slabs with bad strength on upper elevation N and E facing terrain.
Observer: Blake Votilla