Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 11/26/2018
Name: Steve Banks
Subject: Red Lady
Aspect: South East, South
Avalanches: Forecasters investigated the Red Lady Bowl Avalanche from 11/24/18. This avalanche was skier triggered by the 1st skier dropping into the bowl. The skier was not caught and not carried. The avalanche triggered just behind and to the right of the skier, with the sympathetic avalanche releasing to his left. The rest off the party descended the intact slope between the slides.
A new avalanche appeared in Red Lady Bowl far skiers right side. Apparently remotely triggered by a party on the ridge? R1-D1.5 releasing out of steep, rocky terrain.
Weather: Sunny! Cold temperatures with light winds becoming moderate from the NW in the afternoon.
Snowpack: Widespread surface hoar formation, though the sun was breaking it down unless shaded where it remained preserved. HS 40-60 cms with a strengthening “midpack”, though overall still a very weak snowpack. Weak basal facets capped by a crust even in lower angle southerly terrain.
Investigation of the Red Lady avalanche showed a crown reaching 1 meter deep. The snow pack was surprisingly strong (Pencil harness) in the middle. Basel facets were extremely weak and approaching depth hoar status at the ground. These were capped by two crusts with facets in-between. This weak layer of facets below the crusts seemed to be the culprit in Sunday’s avalanche as the double crust was intermittent and discontinuous.