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Avalanche Investigation in Bridger’s

Yesterday, Eric, Randy Elliott (the General Manager of Bridger Bowl) and I trekked out to investigate Sunday’s avalanche below the south summit of Saddle Peak named Argentina Bowl (video) (many photos).  This southeast facing, 35-40 degree slope was triggered by a skier as he traversed across the top of the bowl.  The slide ranged in depth from 1-3 feet deep, was 75-100 feet wide and ran 800-1,000 feet vertical.  It was triggered on a thin spot of the slope where facets grew and then were capped by a very dense, knife hardness wind slab.  Even though the surface area of the slide was not very big, the volume of debris was impressive and had the toughness of cinder blocks.  There are likely other spots near the ridgeline where thin, rocky sections have pockets of weak facets that will propagate a fracture into stronger, deeper snow.

Check the daily advisory at mtavalanche.com for updated snowpack information.

The crown of this hard slab avalanche can be seen in the upper right corner of the photograph.

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