Imp Peak Avalanche Fatality

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Summary

On Saturday, October 7, two skiers hiked 6 miles from the Upper Taylor Fork trailhead to the north couloir of Imp Peak in the southern Madison Range, approximately 20 miles south of Big Sky. Near the bottom of the couloir (10,000’), they triggered an avalanche while ascending on skis with skins. The avalanche was 1-2’ deep at the crown, approximately 150’ wide, and 300’ long. The slope where the avalanche released was 38-45° steep with a north-northeast aspect (photo, photo). Both skiers were caught, one was partially buried and one was fully buried. Skier 1 searched for his partner, was unable to locate her, and then hiked alone out from the area. On Monday, October 9, Gallatin County Search and Rescue recovered the body of Skier 2 who was 3’ deep. Personnel located her with avalanche probes. The avalanche is classified HS-ASu-R3-D2-O with a runout angle of 27°.

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Date
Caught/Buried/Killed
2 caught, 1 fully buried and killed, 1 partially buried
Activity
Skiing