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Saturday 27 Novmber, West Bowl Mount Cain

November 29, 2010 at 01:12PM

Saturday 27 November, 14:00hrs. Skier triggered avalanche West Bowl Mount Cain, 1500m (tree line), West aspect, size 2.

A group of three skiers in the "Door Number Three" feature in the west bowl of Mount Cain were involved in a size two avalanche which resulted in one injured person and a lost ski.

The avalanche was triggered by a single skier high in the start zone, about 10 metres below ridge line in a soft slab on an unsupported feature. The fracture line was approximately 40 meters wide with a depth of 70 to 130cm. It is speculated that the slab was the result of both cross loading from North winds during our recent cold/clear spell and more recent storm winds. As the avalanche ran down the path a "step down" fracture occurred on a deteriorating crust which sits below all of our new snow since 17 November. This crust became soft and somewhat faceted during our cold, clear spell. The avalanche scoured out snow nearly to ground as it proceeded down the path.

The person triggering the avalanche rode with it the full length of the avalanche path (approximately 400m) hitting small trees as he went. The result was some bad bruising and ligament damage to the victim. The two other skiers were situated on a prominence to the skiers left of the path a short distance below the start zone. One of the two was torn from his stance by moving snow and rode for about 5 to 10 meters before grabbing a tree to stop. This person lost a ski. The other person stayed in their position.

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