April Storm Snow and Unstable Slopes

Over the last 3 days we have received up to a metre of fresh snow in wind deposited areas and this has resulted in very unstable conditions in the Hakuba backcountry and in off piste areas in ski resorts. Rising temperatures will cause even greater instability, so expect skier/ boarder triggered and natural avalanches. look below at the pictures of a boarder triggered slab avalanche on an off piste, out of bounds, easterly lee slope on Happo. The Crown fracture was 50 m wide and 80 cm deep and the total length of the size 2 slide was 250 m. The slab released with in the storm snow. The rider who set off the slide and others in the group were not harmed, but will, hopefully, think twice before jumping into a big open slope like that again.

Happo ski patrol investigating the size 2 avalanche with Evergreen Guide.

Avalanche debris travelled into and through the trees 250 m below the crown fracture.