Two northeastern skiers were caught in a dangerous soft-slab avalanche on the Angel Slides below Wright Peak in the High Peaks of New York’s Adirondack Mountains on Febraury 27, 2010. Like most landslide paths, alpine gulleys and steeper faces in the Adirondacks, the Angel Slides are naturally prone to avalanches. In February 2000, another avalanche was triggered here and claimed a skier’s life. The skiers involved in this past week’s avalanche are lucky to be alive and relatively injury-free, and some recent reports about the incident shed some helpful insight about travel on steep, snow covered terrain. (Read the Adirondack Daily Enterprise story HERE and the Adirondack Explorer Story HERE. View photos of the slide HERE.)
The risk of avalanches is often underestimated in our northeastern mountains, and with more skiers and riders venturing into avalanche-prone terrain, there is a real need for better avalanche education, awareness and reporting here in the northeast. If you are not confident in your abilities to assess and travel safely in avalanche-prone terrain, consider spending some time with our friends at Cloudsplitter Mountain Guides Scroll down to their March 7, 2010 post for some additional info and video about the avalanche.