Santa Fe Region

Moderators: Bob, Matt, mark, scotthsu

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Gradymack » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:28 am

Heard a second-hand report yesterday about a slide on the Nambe-side of Raven's ridge on Tuesday of last week. The person who told me said they had heard that there were two kids who skied off of Raven's and then bootpacked out. On the bootpack out, they set off a slab that broke to the ground on the side of them and slid past them. "Four-foot crown." Luckily, it missed them. Sounds like that persistent weak layer on the ground is still active.
Gradymack
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:18 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Brown_Trout » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:48 am

I skied heaven's hill with two friends yesterday which was deep and light all the way to the Windsor. Winds were blowing hard from west->east up the Nambe bowl depositing large amounts of snow on east facing aspects. I didn't see any tracks in the chutes today and it seemed like lots of people were making good/conservative decisions after the amazing cycle we just had. We did get a second hand report that some snowshoer's heard a large boom and thought that ski SF was setting off charges which wasn't the case so there could have been some releases yesterday although I didn't see any. It was great to see everyone getting after it and making good calls yesterday.


Here are some pictures looking into Nambe and one shot descending into heaven's.
Nambe_South_1.jpg
Nambe_South_1.jpg (149.5 KiB) Viewed 645 times
Nambe_South_2.jpg
Nambe_South_2.jpg (227.11 KiB) Viewed 645 times
IMG_4176.JPG
IMG_4176.JPG (138.4 KiB) Viewed 645 times
Tight lines and deep pow
Brown_Trout
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Jasper » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:45 pm

I was skiing the south face of Raven's Ridge yesterday, Sunday the 22nd of January, a beautiful bluebird snow day. I saw surface hoar on the ridge. Generally surface hoar is not a major issue in New Mexico, as our high winds and long periods between storms, result in surface hoar being destroyed before it is buried. However we have another storm tonight. Maybe this surface hoar will get buried, so one should keep an eye out for it in the future.

On the south face of Raven's the snow was settling, and cracks were forming around trees. I experienced no whumphing nor shooting cracks. The skiing was nice, but rocks are lurking just below the surface.
Go when the going is good.
Jasper
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:51 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Jasper » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:36 pm

Nice jobs on your reports Gradymack and Brown_Trout. What a fine day of skiing it was.

Let’s do our best to encourage others to report on their avalanche observations to http://nnmae.org as well as http://taosavalanchecenter.org/ Those directly involved in accidents and near misses should know that they will not be shamed for their decisions. We are all in this together, we have all made bad calls, and we are all trying to learn. The best way to address the avalanche problem (aside from getting the gear, knowing how to use it, and making our own observations and evaluations) is to share what we see with others in the community.

The persistent slab problem is one worthy of extreme caution. It is like a mountain lion. You don’t see it until it is on top of you ripping the life out of your body. It is a low probability high consequence event, and it is plaguing the west this season. I am not a professional avalanche forecaster, but our New Mexican continental snowpack is likely no exception. Not to mention that the fellows at the Taos Avalanche Center are reporting a persistent slab on all aspects near and above treeline. With little evidence (due to few reports as well as our long distances to alpine terrain) all slopes should be treated with a high level of uncertainty, concerning the persistent slab, until proven otherwise. If we see avalanches with 4 foot crowns (our whole snowpack) or ones that sound like explosions we are seeing deep and destructive avalanches. The only reasonable course of action is to avoid these slopes, so let’s learn where they are.

Learn more about persistent slabs by checking out Brian Lazar and Ethan Greene’s blog on Deep Persistent Slabs in this season’s Colorado snowpack. http://avalanche.state.co.us/the-danger-of-improving-stability/

Also by listening to Doug Krause’s podcast, Slide: The Avalanche Podcast. Episode 7 is loaded with advice from Rocky Mountain Avalanche Pros in dealing with persistent slabs. https://soundcloud.com/user-660921194

Keep skiing. Keep making good decisions. Keep New Mexico avalanche fatality free.
Go when the going is good.
Jasper
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:51 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby LTskis » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:58 pm

Nice to see you up there Brown Trout, here is a quick look at our perspective of the conditions last Sunday..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wtc3duIsZOc
User avatar
LTskis
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:25 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Brown_Trout » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:40 am

Great meeting you too LT and rad vid!


Those open fields looked tasty! I might have to go on a search this weekend haha
Tight lines and deep pow
Brown_Trout
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Jasper » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:31 pm

Today I spoted some natural avalanches from Deception Ridge. The slides are in the Santa Fe River drainage on what looks to be a ENE aspect below treeline. I would rate them as D2. They are too deep to be recent storm slabs, so likely to be wind slab, though I cant say for sure.
Go when the going is good.
Jasper
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:51 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Brown_Trout » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:27 pm

Has anyone skied the nambe chutes this week? I'm guessing there might be a decent wind slab that has formed but just curious if anyone has skied it or seen any lines after the cycle finished.
Tight lines and deep pow
Brown_Trout
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Casey Tele » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:25 pm

My wife and I skied heavens hill on Sunday. It was our first time coming over Lake peak to get there and the climbing was fairly mellow but I'm glad we left the dog at home for this tour. We came up through the resort, gained raven's ridge then traversed over to lake peak. Met and partnered up with Pat on the ridge. The snow was still great and plenty of spots to get fresh tracks, GREAT SKIING :D . We didn't dig a pit or do any specific avalanche testing. Major observations:

>Lots of wind loading and scouring from recent winds. The north west facing aspect of Deception peak looked unrideable due to rocks sticking out. Conversely there was a whole lot of wind loading on the Santa Fe watershed side. It looked like the winds had changed directions and there was some rather complex wind loading patterns to look out for, although north and north west aspects seemed the most scoured.

>Some people had clearly skied into Nambe basin. There were tracks in several locations and we actually watched a group drop in on the farthest east chute on the north aspect of Nambe. You can see the tracks on the right side of the first picture

>Lots of sun causing some sluffs and roller balls that did not step down on southerly aspects.

>Saw an old crown on the north aspect of nambe, shown in a picture below, not sure when it ran.

IMG_20170129_130914.jpg
Looking south towards raven's ridge / deception peak across nambe basin. Crown of old slide circled, also lots of wind loading.
IMG_20170129_130914.jpg (2.58 MiB) Viewed 555 times
Attachments
IMG_20170129_141158.jpg
Good view of cross loading on the west aspect of the north ridge from penitente peak.
IMG_20170129_141158.jpg (2.98 MiB) Viewed 555 times
Get low and ski slow
Casey Tele
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:17 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby danshorb » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:12 pm

SF BALDY obs.
We saw similar features to what Casey noted above on our tour on SF Baldy. The sun affected many aspects this Sunday, and by the end of the day we skied deep, soggy mashed potatoes (~1' deep) on SF Baldy's south ridge. And we actually skied 'spring-like' snow on the south facing aspect of SF Baldy's southeastern bowl. The pic below shows a crown on a possible storm layer that the was East through North aspects. It was generally R4D2-3 with a deep debris pile. the debris did have storm snow on top of it. I saw a similar crown (though not as defined) a few weeks prior to this on the same slope and aspects. Others skied up there as well and may have more to add as they had dug pits in a few locations.
Attachments
SFEastBowl.jpg
Looking Southward
SFEastBowl.jpg (183.34 KiB) Viewed 552 times
The only two things you can truly depend on are Gravity and Greed. -Jack Palance
User avatar
danshorb
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:38 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Brown_Trout » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:46 pm

Great meeting you and Graham yesterday Dan, I was the snowboarder in the green jacket who chatted with you at the fence after the grueling return.

The group I was with dug a pit on an almost true easterly aspect yesterday near the summit of SF baldy. We dug about a meter down and observed very consistent snow all the way down with one denser layer about 18inches down. This layer was not fully consolidated and was difficult to even discern from the rest of the snow pack. No facets, obvious wind layers, or really dense layering as far as we went down. These results were consistent with a pit we dug on an easterly aspect we skied the day before off the back of heaven's hill into the watershed drainage. We observed no signs of movement on that aspect and chose to ski it on Saturday (1/28) which resulted in no movement other than some sluff. Here is a pic descending that line:
IMG_4235.JPG
IMG_4235.JPG (138.28 KiB) Viewed 547 times


Based on the observations Dan mentioned (crowns in both bowls, East->NE) myself and one other rode the main couloir off the summit (S aspect, 1) and the rest of our group either skied more mellow lines on a slightly more easterly (2) and one other rode a SW line (3)
Lines_markup.jpg
Lines_markup.jpg (383.16 KiB) Viewed 547 times


I made a cut at the top of my line and experienced no movement or cracking. Snowpack felt very solid coming down the rest of the way as well. I would echo Dan's observations that the temps got very warm after we skied the bowl coming back out. It was a great tour but very long and I would encourage everyone to read the TSV avy center forecasts if they are going out. We had a group of 5 and setup people in safe spots strategically based on experience and line choice. Apologies the pit results are less than scientific...Any feedback is appreciated as well!
Tight lines and deep pow
Brown_Trout
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby LTskis » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:22 pm

Big Tesuque was stellar last weekend.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-JffNMeuRc
User avatar
LTskis
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:25 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby lobojasper » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:14 pm

Browntrout, just curious, where is the first photo you posted taken from? Also, that slope looks pretty windloaded, but you said you did not observe any windslab. Any thoughts?
lobojasper
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:12 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Brown_Trout » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:23 pm

I'm not sure about the windslab honestly. Maybe the temps were cold enough for it not to form? Really don't know, just relaying what we observed but agree that would be the leeward side so you would expect it.
Tight lines and deep pow
Brown_Trout
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby danshorb » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:15 pm

Brown_Trout wrote:Great meeting you and Graham yesterday Dan, I was the snowboarder in the green jacket who chatted with you at the fence after the grueling return.

Thanks, I've already forgotten your name. Sorry :cry: :-( Was it Doug?

Anyways, You guys had great energy, and good backcountry etiquette. Thanks for sharing your mountain with us! But, damn you skin track was steep. :roll:
Dan
The only two things you can truly depend on are Gravity and Greed. -Jack Palance
User avatar
danshorb
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:38 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

PreviousNext

Return to Northern New Mexico 2016-2017 Conditions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron