Size 3 DPS, Remote Triggered

Map for Mountain Information Network report: Size 3 DPS, Remote Triggered

Snow conditions

Riding quality was:
Snow conditions were:
  • Deep powder
  • Heavy
  • Powder
We rode:
  • Dense trees


The day was:
  • Stormy
Avalanche conditions
  • Slab avalanches today or yesterday.
  • 30cm + of new snow, or significant drifting, or rain in the last 48 hours.


Skied near Pedley Pass yesterday (Wednesday). We were surprised to find 40cm of storm snow at treeline tapering to 20cm at 1700m. This was overlying a ~5cm breakable crust on north aspects. There was also large graupel near the bottom of the storm snow. Moderate NW winds were forming wind slabs near ridgetop. A storm slab was also forming throughout the day in sheltered areas. The storm snow appeared to be bonding poorly to the crust/graupel.

While skinning along a ridge at 2350m we remotely triggered a size 3 deep persistent slab from 5m away, on a north aspect (see avalanche tab). We couldn’t see the whole start zone due to poor visibility, but we suspect it propagated the full width of the feature. It was a triggered from a thin spot (~60cm deep).

This was a big surprise as we were expecting only surface instabilities and were admittedly in too much of a spring mindset. A good reminder of the unpredictability of the deep persistent slab problem, and that a winter snowpack can still be found at upper elevations on north aspects.