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Camas avalanche conditions

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  • Mark Westerdoll
    Hey Kiters, Rather than reply to the recent E-mails I thought this subject deserves it s own post. I was up on the Camas today for a play day and ran into some
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 6, 2010
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      Hey Kiters,
      Rather than reply to the recent E-mails I thought this subject deserves it's own post. I was up on the Camas today for a play day and ran into some interesting conditions. Thin snow with no base, hot and glassy weather, and a few kites trying to launch. We were going to kite when the wind came up, but ended up snowmobiling all afternoon just exploring around the hills dodging rocks.
       
      What I saw scared the shit out of me! A few of you know that I was a cat skiing guide at Soldier Mountain so I know a lot about avalanches. This thin snowpack and the cold temps early in December have created a rotten base as bad as I've ever seen. I was hoping the new snow would start to break it down, but the opposite has happened. It is still cold at night and the new snow on this weak base isn't heavy enough to settle the old weak snow. I went up a north facing ridge and traversed across the top of a small bowl that had some wind deposited snow and the whole thing moved with very little effort. This was a huge red flag for me and I avoided anything steep enough to slide the rest of the day. This slope would normally not be steep enough to slide but the high avalanche warnings proved true, especially in our thin area.
       
      My point is that there is a very weak base over our entire kiting area. Any additional snow will only add weight and increase the avalanche danger especially in wind filled bowls. Use extreme caution on and under any of the cornices and bowls that we like to kite and pass this on to other kiters visiting the area. I tried to keep this post basic, but if anybody wants more info I'll be happy to explain deeper, my cell is 891-9054.
       
      Be careful out there and leave the steeper bowls for later!
      Westy
    • Gear Daddy LLC
      Thanks Westy! We saw the same conditions in Idaho City snowshoeing. I think I ll stay away from bigger slopes. And I ll try to watch out for people kiting
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 7, 2010
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        Thanks Westy!

        We saw the same conditions in Idaho City snowshoeing.  

        I think I'll stay away from bigger slopes.   And I'll try to watch out for people kiting below. 

        Sent from 
        Eddy Petranek 


        On Jan 6, 2010, at 11:10 PM, "Mark Westerdoll" <westerdoll@...> wrote:

         

        Hey Kiters,
        Rather than reply to the recent E-mails I thought this subject deserves it's own post. I was up on the Camas today for a play day and ran into some interesting conditions. Thin snow with no base, hot and glassy weather, and a few kites trying to launch. We were going to kite when the wind came up, but ended up snowmobiling all afternoon just exploring around the hills dodging rocks.
         
        What I saw scared the shit out of me! A few of you know that I was a cat skiing guide at Soldier Mountain so I know a lot about avalanches. This thin snowpack and the cold temps early in December have created a rotten base as bad as I've ever seen. I was hoping the new snow would start to break it down, but the opposite has happened. It is still cold at night and the new snow on this weak base isn't heavy enough to settle the old weak snow. I went up a north facing ridge and traversed across the top of a small bowl that had some wind deposited snow and the whole thing moved with very little effort. This was a huge red flag for me and I avoided anything steep enough to slide the rest of the day. This slope would normally not be steep enough to slide but the high avalanche warnings proved true, especially in our thin area.
         
        My point is that there is a very weak base over our entire kiting area. Any additional snow will only add weight and increase the avalanche danger especially in wind filled bowls. Use extreme caution on and under any of the cornices and bowls that we like to kite and pass this on to other kiters visiting the area. I tried to keep this post basic, but if anybody wants more info I'll be happy to explain deeper, my cell is 891-9054.
         
        Be careful out there and leave the steeper bowls for later!
        Westy

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