Big Avalanche on Hood

If you've ever grumbled about chairlifts delayed spinning for storm recovery, or sidecountry gates being closed, or even inbounds uphill traffic curtailed, know it's all about safety. A big inbounds avalanche slid yesterday at Mount Hood Meadows, starting probably from 10,000 feet on the Wy'East Face (Newton Clark Headwall) and extending below the Heather Canyon Chairlift load station, at 5,000 feet. It likely slid on the Martin Luther King Day ice, the solidified 6 inches of rain that fell during a 24 hours stretch in January. Check out the 40-foot-deep debris at the chairlift here or an overview of the slide path from a January 2010 avalanche here. Now a good time to be thanking lift operations and ski patrol that no one was hurt.

--Christopher Van Tilburg, MD

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