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Slides on Torreys

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Slides on Torreys

Postby hberry » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:59 pm

Went up to Grays/Torreys today based on info from last weeks trip report about skiing Dead Dog - when we got there today, there was a naturally triggered slide in almost every Couloir on the face.

Here is a picture from the valley below Torreys:

Image

We skied the saddle between Grays and Torreys and stayed near the Grays side.

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Re: Slides on Torreys

Postby doubleA » Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:01 am

Last Thursday we started a tour from Loveland Pass to ski the Tuning Fork. Once we were in the couloir a few hundred feet from the bottom we noticed a 5 inch wind slab on top of a faceted layer. It spooked enough to bail on the trip and just go back to the pass and ski Dave's Wave.
We are going to wait for more melt/freeze cycles before returning.

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Re: Slides on Torreys

Postby tylermacguire » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:36 pm

WOW! That is a long walk to ski Daves Wave!!! Sounds like you made a smart decsion though...the Tuning fork will always be there another day.

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Re: Slides on Torreys

Postby hberry » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:49 pm

Supposed to be cooler this weekend - hopefully we can get some cycles on it and ski it next week/weekend.

Re: Slides on Torreys

Postby killingcokes » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:06 pm

All those slides in the photo look like point releases from the rocks. These are typical of spring conditions and tend to happen in the afternoon on warm sunny days. This is the main reason you always hear people saying that you should ski early in the spring.

I tend to ignore these debris as "evidence" of instability in the spring. This advice however is dependent on the quality of the freeze the night before and the time you are on the slope. If you actually see one happen then that's a different story. Then it's time to leave. How can you factor these slides as being "evidence" of instability when they are caused almost daily due to the fluctuations of the daily temps. The overnite freeze acts as a bridge lowering the risk and allowing safe passage again in the morning. Then later in the day as it heats back up again the free water that is released from the heating lubricates the grains and starts things sliding again. It's all a matter of timing

A better evaluator of the slide potential in spring would be the ankle test. Does your boot go in up to the ankle. Another good test is the squeeze test. Grab a handful of snow and squeeze it in your gloved hand. Can you see water dripping out of your glove. If the answer is yes than you should move to a shadier aspect or get down quickly. Rollerballs(pinwheels) are not something you want to see on lines like Torreys and are an indicator that you didn't pay attention to the signs early enough and are in danger. You might see rollerballs(pinwheels) on the way out down low and you should think about and plan for safe egress on your way up

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Re: Slides on Torreys

Postby hberry » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:56 am

killingcokes wrote:All those slides in the photo look like point releases from the rocks. These are typical of spring conditions and tend to happen in the afternoon on warm sunny days. This is the main reason you always hear people saying that you should ski early in the spring.

I tend to ignore these debris as "evidence" of instability in the spring. This advice however is dependent on the quality of the freeze the night before and the time you are on the slope. If you actually see one happen then that's a different story. Then it's time to leave. How can you factor these slides as being "evidence" of instability when they are caused almost daily due to the fluctuations of the daily temps. The overnite freeze acts as a bridge lowering the risk and allowing safe passage again in the morning. Then later in the day as it heats back up again the free water that is released from the heating lubricates the grains and starts things sliding again. It's all a matter of timing

A better evaluator of the slide potential in spring would be the ankle test. Does your boot go in up to the ankle. Another good test is the squeeze test. Grab a handful of snow and squeeze it in your gloved hand. Can you see water dripping out of your glove. If the answer is yes than you should move to a shadier aspect or get down quickly. Rollerballs(pinwheels) are not something you want to see on lines like Torreys and are an indicator that you didn't pay attention to the signs early enough and are in danger. You might see rollerballs(pinwheels) on the way out down low and you should think about and plan for safe egress on your way up


Thanks for the info! Its my first season doing anything near serious in the back country this year so I try to avoid things that look like they might kill me :mrgreen:

I didn't see any slides on the slope while we were climbing - but folks we talked to when we got back down Grays said they saw a few on the slope when they were climbing it.

I was fine skiing Grays instead of Torreys - the mountain will probably still be there in a few weeks.

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Re: Slides on Torreys

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:03 am

One more thing to keep in mind is that the Tuning Fork (NW side of peak) had much different conditions and is not yet in the same cycle as the east side of the mountain.
As doubleA reported, the NW side still has risk of slab releases instead of wet slides. There was fresh snow that night and plenty of wind-loading in the area so it's no surprise that the NW side was at risk of slab avys.

And, with all of this new snow, things will change dramatically. Expect the south/east side of the mountain to be set back a bit.
Only SNOW will end the madness

Re: Slides on Torreys

Postby killingcokes » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:38 am

hberry wrote:Thanks for the info! Its my first season doing anything near serious in the back country this year so I try to avoid things that look like they might kill me :mrgreen:

I didn't see any slides on the slope while we were climbing - but folks we talked to when we got back down Grays said they saw a few on the slope when they were climbing it. [/b]

I was fine skiing Grays instead of Torreys - the mountain will probably still be there in a few weeks.


If you plan on stepping up to bigger lines you will need to start earlier to get it done. Early Early Early Early Early. Learn it as the mantra for Spring. Almost all the incidents in spring involve people being on the snow too late in the day.

NW - W - SW slopes should be interesting after this upslope. Scratching my head trying to figure out what to do this weekend. I think the Sawatch might be calling

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Re: Slides on Torreys

Postby hberry » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:49 am

killingcokes wrote:
hberry wrote:Thanks for the info! Its my first season doing anything near serious in the back country this year so I try to avoid things that look like they might kill me :mrgreen:

I didn't see any slides on the slope while we were climbing - but folks we talked to when we got back down Grays said they saw a few on the slope when they were climbing it. [/b]

I was fine skiing Grays instead of Torreys - the mountain will probably still be there in a few weeks.


If you plan on stepping up to bigger lines you will need to start earlier to get it done. Early Early Early Early Early. Learn it as the mantra for Spring. Almost all the incidents in spring involve people being on the snow too late in the day.

NW - W - SW slopes should be interesting after this upslope. Scratching my head trying to figure out what to do this weekend. I think the Sawatch might be calling
.

I'm going to Shavano tomorrow - we'll see how windy it gets and if the top holds any snow.

I need to start finding skiing partners that are willing to get up Early Early Early and want to ski big lines :mrgreen: Current guy likes to drink drink drink and start at the crack of 9

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Re: Slides on Torreys

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:53 am

Can't emphasize the early start enough, something like Dead Dog you could ski as early as 7am, southeast couloirs on Maroon we summitted at 6:30am and the snow was perfect at 7am. You need to tell your partner there's nothing like drinking beer at 10am after an awesome ski descent.

Re: Slides on Torreys

Postby killingcokes » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:12 am

Thinking Belford Oxford Sunday.

Skiing with my 6 year old Saturday. One last day this season for my son. He skied T-Bar Blacks at Breck last weekend and I want to hammer home what he learned

Monday East and West Buffalo from the South.

PM if you're interested

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Re: Slides on Torreys

Postby LAHannah » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:55 am

A friend and I are also thinking of skiing dead dog on Saturday, does anyone else want to join? We are thinking of starting around 5 if its sunny and 6 if it will be cloudy. Any thoughts on the conditions will also be appreciated.

Thanks,
Alex

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