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08-17-2005, 07:03 PM #1
So why don't we get slides.......
On the east coast?
Stupid question I know but I'm interested to know why there aren't more slides on the east coast as compaired to other places in the country. Obviously excluding Mount Washington, is it lack of avie terrain or are there other factors involved. I've been trying to keep up on some of the threads in here but I feel like a bunch of important info is going over my head because I have no referance point given the fact that out here we just don't have that many natural slides, or human triggered ones, sure you get the couple at Tucks every year but outside of that not a whole lot(that I've heard of anyway)For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can't be found, elseways everyone would know where it was
08-17-2005, 07:40 PM #2
i have no experience out that way but i'd assume that you lack both the terrain and snowfall amounts to really do a number on your snowpack. your weather may also play a roll. it seems from the pics i've seen out that way that you get high-density (wet) snow that bonds well to all surfaces, even your ice. couple that with low slope angles and a snowpack that doesn't really seem to extend too far past the anchors in the ground (rocks/shrubs) and stability looks favorable. like i said, i'm only guessing about all that but it seems likely. is that kinda what you'd say the conditions are like around there?
08-17-2005, 10:36 PM #3
i duno about lack of snowfall - when i lived in WV we would get DUMPED on, like nothing i've seen here in the west. A nor-easter would come through and in hours we would have enough snow to jump off roofs.
I agree with the rest of what APD said tho: Heavy wet snow is the norm, you don't see the cold dry snow that we have out 'round here. Not to mention anchors out the ass. I think I read somewhere (snowsense?) that someone has been killed by some sort of avalanche in nearly every state. I think alot of those might be snow falling off roofs or something, can't rememeber where I read or heard that.
Last edited by LaramieSkiBum; 08-17-2005 at 10:40 PM.
08-18-2005, 04:41 AM #4
APD is pretty much spot on. The reason (not the only reason) that Tuckerman slides is wind loading. So much of the snow blows down off of the snow fields on the summit and collects in the ravine. When you read the daily avi reports for Tucks. so much of it is dependednt on where the wind has blown the snow. You can easily have three different avi ratings in the ravine, really a pretty small piece of terrain comparatively speaking, on a daily basis due to this fact. This is what makes forecasting interesting and difficult for the rangers up there.
When skiing Tucks, pay attention to the wind loading.
Last edited by H-man; 08-18-2005 at 07:44 AM. Reason: size, spelling
08-18-2005, 07:28 AM #5Originally Posted by H-man
You spend a lot of time up in the bowl just recognizing terrain changes to tell you where the snow has blown in. Main headwall next to Sluice is notouriuos for wind loading, yet right gully which is just near it can be really stable.
That's what makes it so little skied in the winter (well, that, and the weather can really suck).
08-18-2005, 08:17 AM #6
I agree generally with those above. Tuckerman Ravine is a special case due to windloading. An increase in wind speeds of 10 mph with no precipitation can bring much more snow onto the headwall than an inch of fluff without wind. (Of course, once the wind inevitably picks up again, all the fluff from the plateau gets loaded into the ravine.)
Note that there are a number of other avalanche sites in the Presidential Range. I can think of at least 6 distinct basins that all experience wind-loading and avalanche. In fact, I am aware of fatal avalanches in almost all of these basins.
Outside the Presidential Range, New England has limited steep open bowl terrain. (The Katahdin massif features at least as many slide zones as the Presidentials.) Where the slope angles are high enough, we're often in thick spruce forest -- generally a good anchor. Still, there are a number of cliffy areas where mini-slides have occured.
Additionally, there are dozens of rockslide path "couloirs" (though natives unpretentiously call 'em slides) that can and do avalanche. Yet another reason spring is the chuting season.
08-18-2005, 09:13 AM #7
While the number of slides in NE are significantly limited, they do occur, and sometimes in more places than you would think. A few years ago, the Vertigo headwall at Killington slid. Decent 40 deg pitch, rocky, and usually an icey base. With the right snow pack on top, it can go. Now we're only talking about a couple hundred feet of vertical max to a point where the pitch flattens out so much the slide stops, but it has happened...Ski like no one is watching!
08-18-2005, 09:51 AM #8Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
The 1999-2000 season was bad on the East Coast with the Wright Peak slide, a Gulf of Slides incident, and several accidents on the Gaspe peninsula. I'd say in general there are few accidents because, as said earlier, a lack of avalanche terrain, a lack of substantial snowfall, and fewer users on avalanche terrain compared major Western areas (Mt. Washington being major exception). Don't think you can generalize on snow quality over the east, varies alot by aspect and micro area, more so than out west (Laurel Highlands on WV being a prime example of a microsnowclimate)
Last edited by cj001f; 08-18-2005 at 09:54 AM.Elvis has left the building
08-18-2005, 09:59 AM #9
On a somewhat related note...
Here is a link to Roger Damon\\\'s Bio at Friends of Tuckerman
Roger has also written and lectured on various man-made snow avalanches in the east. Whiteface and Cannon I believe have both had incidents. I wish I had a better link to his papers but have never found them before. Maybe some else out there has heard of this?
Last edited by H-man; 08-18-2005 at 10:00 AM. Reason: spelling.... yet again
08-18-2005, 10:21 AM #10
Sunday River (beleive it or not) used to do Avy control when they got huge amounts of snow.
08-21-2005, 09:28 AM #11
North East Avalanches.
I think everybody involved in this discussion is hitting it on the head. There are plenty of pockets that exist. I spent a lot of time ice climbing in Hunnington Ravine in the 1970's and had a friend killed in there in the early 1980's. Wind loading is the big factor and it it rips there on Mt Washington. There is quite a bit of info on the Alpine Club of Canada's Montreal chapter website for Vermont's Green Mtns and New York's Adirondacks:
The Quebec Avalanche Center:
Mt Washington Avalanche Center:
Adirondackbackcountryskiing.com is offered as a free recreational and educational resource for the Adirondack backcountry ski community:
They even have reports of avalanches in the mid 20 degree steep range. Anyway you guys can find avalanches back East if you really want to.
Last edited by Avmapper; 08-21-2005 at 09:45 AM.
08-21-2005, 01:11 PM #12drowning
Originally Posted by Avmapper
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- Oct 2003
- the Quagmire
08-22-2005, 10:14 AM #13
Avmapper, Nice site you have there. Lots of info to check out. Thanks for posting the link.
08-22-2005, 10:16 PM #14Originally Posted by K-StormchaserBecause rich has nothing to do with money.
08-22-2005, 10:49 PM #15Originally Posted by LaramieSkiBum
08-31-2005, 10:23 PM #16Registered User
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- Jun 2004
- Market St. Station
FWIW-- i saw the results of a rotational slump on Can-Am at Jay a few years back after a big snow....
Another factor that may come into play is the January thaw/rain events that are so common in the east can erase a lot of the deep instabilites that plague us here in Coloroado (really just speculation though)let your tracks be lost in the dark and snow
10-07-2005, 09:47 PM #17Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
Slides happen in the east. More in the backcountry. Attached is a pic of a large slide on the narrow gauge headwall at sugarloaf.
I know a patroller got caught in a small one on sugarloaf's backside a few years ago.