Coast Range Ruckus

“F*%$ this!!!” I think to myself as I watch hundreds of cubic feet of snow billow out on the valley bellow.  The sight is reminiscent of a wave crashing on a beach, the white foamy snow reaching out with last of it’s momentum to finally reach it’s resting point, hundreds of feet bellow where I stand.  I had just triggered the a 200′ wide avalanche with a crown as deep as 5 feet in spots.  I feel like a fool, I feel lucky, I feel like I need to be punched in the face…

We are back in Canada, the coast range to be more exact. Winter is abundant up here but still having not escaped the unstable snowpack that has been haunting the lower 48 it’s in our best interest to remain on high alert.  We have had success in obtaining shots, Bryn Hughes has been out with us capturing stills (http://brynhughes.photoshelter.com/portfolio), everyone is pumped.  The crew consists of Freedle Coty, and Kyle Decker behind the lenses. P white, C Logan, T Rainville, and myself.

These lines have been on my hit list since I saw them last year.  If you take a closer look there is no good entrance into them, a cornice blocks passage… possibly through the smaller part of the cornice but it still remains a problem. We have not attempted an approach yet, and very likely they will go un-skied again this winter for our crew.

The avalanche… if you look at the very top left of the slide you can pick out my foot path.  I was hiking to some lines, some beautiful lines. I had expected wind loading the the area that I triggered, so I was staying on the rocks.  The fracture split right down the right side of my right foot.  It started as a large “whoomf” as everyone has heard before. I looked across valley as I expected something far away had started moving. Seconds later the snow split and slid. Leaving me to shit bricks and question my judgement calls for the rest of the winter.  In hindsight, I’m doing my best to take what good I can and remain on high alert, pulling plug on lines that “may not be the best” and thinking more about every move.  Lesson learned…

Another couple weeks of work to polish of my segment for level 1… looking forward to a safe and productive time.

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