EVI Retraction/Report 2/20/12
Our first official retraction. It was bound to happen. I swore off Tweeners, but today I cracked. Faced with the snow(although not the 39 inches in Steamboat) and increasing winds overnight, potential for wind slabs and stories emerging about tragic, multi fatality accidents like the one at Stevens Pass had me eating my words and standing down from anything open and wind loaded.
Although the accident happened two thousand miles away, the account resonates with every backcountry traveler. The world we hang out in is actually a small one. Experienced and using safe zones used for years. Scary. 100, 500 year cycles? Not even the most snow savy traveler can predict the end result when forces collide and all the variables line up for a huge avalanche cycles measured in centuries, not decades. We humans on our sliding sticks are capable of some entertaining things in these areas, but we are not in control.
Headed up solo first thing, got past the masses and ended up behind only DPS and J, no surprise there. Nice to hang out with some long time friends up top with no one else around.
About six new in EV, but of course the prevailing north winds filled in areas deeper. Left Abe’s for the crew behind us and skied Tweeners.
Three tracks in and not really even a sluff. The only sign of any slide activity was a small natural in Old Man’s at the point where the slide ripped last Wednesday, the new snow not holding on the old bed surface. We were the first out so not sure what went down afterwards with more traffic. Find out tomorrow.
Had a nice day in the trees and let the Old Man be.