Date of Observation: 01/18/2021
Name: Mark Robbins
Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: Purple palace exit
Avalanches: Unintentionally triggered a small wind slab at the entrance to the exit slope of purple palace which propagated and entrained most of the season’s snowpack, running with energy through small trees about 300 vertical feet to the creek. Didn’t get an exact read on the depth of the debris pile but may be close to 6 feet. I believe I caught the bottom edge of the slab, the crown is maybe 15 feet above my entrance track. I saw the slab breaking around me and immediately skied traversing to the right to exit the slide.
Extreme moment of complacency not identifying the obviously windloaded pocket and high consequence of the relatively small avalanche problem due to the terrain trap. Low danger rating, minimal feedback earlier in the tour, and being so close to the end of the tour, added to the recipe for complacency. In retrospect the entrance was obviously windloaded and should have been quickly identified as a hazard.