Forecaster Avalanche Observation - Dickey Creek, Flathead Range

Location Name: 
Forecaster Avalanche Observation - Dickey Creek, Flathead Range
Region: 
Flathead Range - Middle Fork Corridor
Date and time of avalanche (best estimate if unknown): 
Thu, 03/24/2016 - 14:26
Location Map: 


Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

Observation made by: Forecaster
Avalanche Observations
Avalanche Type: 
Dry
Slab
Slope: 
35degrees
Trigger type: 
Skier
Crown Height: 
1 ft
Aspect: 
Northeast
Weak Layer: 
Other - explain below
Avalanche Width: 
110ft.
Terrain: 
Near Treeline
Elevation: 
7 100ft.
Bed Surface: 
Old Snow
Avalanche Length: 
150ft.
Number of similar avalanches: 
1
Number of people caught: 
0
Number of partial burials: 
0
Number of full burials: 
0
More detailed information about the avalanche: 

The avalanche was classified as SS-ASc-R3-D1.5-I. Thus, the avalanche was a soft slab avalanche intentionally triggered by a skier. It was medium size relative to the path, adn could almost bury a person, by could injure a person given the existing trees in the path. The avalanche released at the new/old snow interface. 

The fracture line depth was 10-14 inches and approximately 100 ft wide on a northeast facing slope. The slope was cross-loaded by the wind which at the time was variable, but moving generally from the south. 

We observed both localized and shooting cracks on small, wind loaded test slopes or very small rollovers along the ridge. We did not venture onto any large wind loaded slope. 

Avalanche Photos: 
Avalanche observation video: 

March 24, 2016 - Wind Slabs in the Flathead Range

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Strong (Whole trees in motion)
Precipitation: 
Snow
Air temperature trend: 
Static
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
Greater than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Wind along the ridges were strong (26-38 mph) with extreme (greater than 38 mph) gusts. The wind at this location was variable and we observed active wind loading on north, northeast, east, and southeast aspects. The largest cornices were observed on east-southeast aspects.

Activity: 
Skiing