Avalanche at Blue Lakes

These pictures were taken Monday, March 28, 2011, of a huge avalanche in Polaris Bowl that slid some time between Sunday and Monday. It was inside Polaris Bowl at Blue Lakes, South Lake Tahoe, and it was the shoot straight ahead as you are entering Polaris Bowl coming down the regular trail from the main road (bottom of the meadow). There were chunks of snow as big as trucks in the debris! The debris covered about 300 x 500 feet of the flat ground below the hillside.

Also, the bowl immediately to the right of this one (the one below Stack Rock) had slid too earlier in the week but the slide had been covered by new snow so I didn’t even notice until I realized that all the trees at the bottom were gone in an area of probably 300 x 600 feet.

Be careful out there! We were on our way to that area Sunday afternoon but turned around as the visibility was very low. Lucky us!

Richard Brightman of CNSA says “Awesome but very sobering pictures. I would recommend riders to stay away from highmarking for the next week or more. Avalanche danger is going to be Extremely High. Make sure to wear avalanche beacons and know how to use them. Carry shovels and probes.”

Hanna Bernard
Tahoe Sierra Snowmobile Club