Spring avalanches are slow but destructive. Check out these videos of a recent climax avalanche in France (notice that the entire snowpack slid down to dirt). This is the kind of avalanche cycle we saw last year at Crystal, when the snowpack reacted to warming rather than new storm deposits. These types of avalanches can be deceptive, and deserve our attention as we move towards warm spring days this month.
The first video shows the bottom of the lift. You can hear the towers breaking like toothpicks. The second video was taken by someone riding the lift. You can hear him cheering, which isn’t as strange as you might think. He must have been thrilled by the sheer, grinding force of the slow-moving beast and also heartened that he was above it and not in it.