Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Avalanche Lake Tahoe/ Ian ruhter

People always comment on how rad my job is. I usually just say thanks because there is no way to explain what my job really consists of. I wonder how many people wake up in the morning wondering if they are going to die at work today? I had that feeling for the past week .We had been shooting at this location all week and we knew the slope could slide in an avalanche so we were very careful. The day before this slide we tested the snow for avalanches and it seen to be ok. Our plan for today was to go down the road a little more to shoot this jump. We came up one hour later, then we would off because of the weather. That decision probably save our lives. When we rolled up the avalanche had all ready happened before we got there. I could tell that we just missed it be cause it was snowing out and the was barely any new snow on the avalanche debris.  

This is the road we were going to drive across. We would have gotten swept down it into these trees with thousands of pounds of snow on top of us. 
Our plan for the day was to build a jump over this tree to shoot some snowboarding here. If we would have walked on this slope we would have died for sure . If you look at the crown from the were the the slide released from it is a least 4 feet deep I don't think you tell the size of it from the picture. There was another group of trees below this slide. I could not tell the full extent of the damage but it appeared to have snapped a few thees in half. 
The slides took place on north and north east slopes.
We went down to a safer location and tested the snow pack. There is a very weak layer at the bottom of the new snow. I think this layer of bad snow is from the December snow fall. The thing that bothers me about this situation is the Lake Tahoe area has received up to 10 feet of new snow and it is sitting on top of this very weak layer. I would suggest if you are going to be out in the new snow in this area that you use extreme caution. I hope the layer is not something that will haunt this area for the rest of the winter season?


T-bone said...

Wow, not what I want to be reading. Glad you all are okay!

ian ruhter photography said...

sorry about the types . im so tired i will fix it later.

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