Avalanche Incidents

Bridger Range
Bridger Bowl
Skier Triggered Mad Man's Repeat
Bridger Bowl
SS-ASu-R3-D2-I
Elevation: 8,275
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.8156, -110.9230
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A group skied Manman's and triggered the upper chute. When the initial avalanche hit the fan the slide propagated wider and ran "Well past the North Bowl Road"


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Bridger Range
Bridger Bowl
Remote Triggered Avalanche in Patrol Chute and the Pearly Gates
Incident details include images
Bridger Bowl
SS-ASu-R2-D1.5-I
Elevation: 8,300
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.8156, -110.9230
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A group of skiers was ascending above the top of the Bridger Lift. They had noticed many signs of instability such as shooting cracks and the new snow "rippling downhill". They choose to ski down before getting into the steeper terrain above them. A couple of turns into the run they noticed the steep slope above avalanche. They were not caught or affected by this slide. The slide ran in both the "Patrol Chute" and "Pearly Gates" areas. 


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Northern Madison
Beehive Basin
Two skiers caught and carried in Beehive
Beehive Basin
SS-AF-R2-D2
Coordinates: 45.3407, -111.3910
Caught: 2 ; Buried: 0

Skiers caught and carried in 4th of July Couloir, in Beehive Basin on Friday, April 22nd.

From email: "just under the top of the couloir, my partner noted that the new snow
had become much denser, an observation I did not register. Immediately after making this observation,
he watched a crack propagate from his ice axe, upslope and to the left about twenty feet. In response,
he shouted and attempted to self-arrest, but was unable to resist the moving snow and was pushed
over backwards. I was immediately behind him as this happened and noted the moving snow around me
as he called out. I’m not entirely sure how, but I managed to move sideways, out of the moving snow,
before I had been carried through the constriction in the couloir. As I stood up, I watched as my partner
was carried out of the couloir and about halfway down the bowl beneath it, what I would estimate to be
100-200 yards."


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Bridger Range
Bridger Bowl
Skier Triggered Avalanche in Mad Man's
Bridger Bowl
SS-ASu-R3-D2-I
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.8156, -110.9230
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "Skier-triggered avalanche in madman’s couloir. 1 participant caused on 2nd turn and self arrested 3rd. 6" deep crown entirety of chute running 500' feet and burying north bowl road. Propagated storm slab on old snow/moguls."


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Out of Advisory Area
East Rosebud
Five skiers caught in large natural dry loose
East Rosebud
L-N-R2-D2-S
Aspect: NW
Coordinates: 45.1721, -109.6500
Caught: 5 ; Buried: 0

From one group's obs. 4/16/22: "While 3 of us were on ascent( about 2/3 height) we witnessed a large spin drift off the climbers right wall which entrained a lot of snow turning into a significant dry loose event. Our 3rd who was a little ways behind got carried to the apron. There was a 2nd party behind us just above the apron that followed us up the couloir. Their crew of 4 was carried as well. The 2 of us that weren’t carried went into search with our beacons and skied down the the apron where we found everyone on top and luckily uninjured. We never had communication or visual of the other crew on ascent until moments before the incident." 

Other group's obs. 4/17/22: "Yesterday a natural dry/loose avalanche ran in the Chamonix couloir in East Rosebud, partially burry all four people in my party and one person in a party above us. Four of the five of us were able dig ourselves out and there were no significant injuries.

We knew the area had received a lot of snow in the last week but there was only a four or five inches of fresh snow at the lake. At about 8,700 feet, when we transitioned to boot packing, there was roughly a foot of low density fresh snow that was bonded well to the existing snow. Skies were clear at sunrise, clouds moved in throughout the morning and it began snowing lightly around 11:30.

We didn't see the beginning of the avalanche, two members of the party above us said that a sluff that ran off one of the walls above them and was small enough when it ran past them that it didn't effect them. I don't know how high they were above the third member of their party but the third member was a few hundred feet above us. By the time the avalanche reached us it had grown substantially and was an over-head wall of snow. The two skiers who saw the avalanche start didn't see it step down to any deeper layers, it was just the new snow. Based on the data from my watch, we were carried about 750 vertical feet. We didn't take any photos of the slide."


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Northern Madison
Wilson Peak
Skier caught and injured on Wilson Peak
Incident details include images
Wilson Peak
SS-ASu-R2-D1.5-I
Elevation: 9,600
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.3325, -111.3300
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

A party of two skiers triggered an avalanche while ascending a subridge of Wilson Peak. One skier was caught and injured in the avalanche. The avalanche broke approximately 6-12" deep, 100 ft wide, and ran 300 vertical feet. Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue evacuated the party via helicopter.


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Cooke City
Woody Ridge
3 skiers caught, 2 injured on Woody Ridge near Cooke
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Woody Ridge
HS-ASu-R2-D2.5-O
Elevation: 9,500
Aspect: W
Coordinates: 44.9933, -109.9250
Caught: 3 ; Buried: 0

On March 24, 2022 a group of six skiers descended the west side of Woody Ridge near an area locally
known as KNB's. Approximately a third of the way down the slope the group triggered an avalanche that
crossed three gullies, broke 1-3 feet deep, 275 feet wide (measured on GoogleEarth) and ran 700 feet
vertical. Five skiers were stopped, watching one descend the slope. Three of the stopped skiers were in a
row of dense trees directly above and adjacent to where the slide broke and two were stopped a few
feet below the trees. The avalanche caught the skier and two members of the group who were stopped
downhill of the trees. One skier was pinned against a tree and the avalanche passed him. The second
skier slid into a tree sustaining multiple suspected rib fractures. The third, who was actively skiing, was
caught, carried and partially buried with just his arm sticking out of the snow, 500 vertical feet below the
avalanche crown. All three captured skiers successfully deployed their airbags.

The three remaining members of the group switched their avalanche transceivers to search and located
all three victims, and unburied the partially buried skier within five minutes. All members of the group
had formal avalanche training: Avalanche Level 1 and 2 up to a Pro Level 2. All members of the group had
avalanche transceivers, shovels, probes and airbags. The group performed field first aid and
self-evacuated to Cooke City.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL REPORT


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Northern Madison
Cedar Mtn.
Snomobile Triggered Avalanche on Cedar Mountain
Incident details include images
Cedar Mtn.
SS-AM-R1-D1-I
Coordinates: 45.2268, -111.5120
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0
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Bridger Range
Bridger Bowl
Skier Triggered Avalanche North of Bridger Bowl
Bridger Bowl
SS-AS-O
Coordinates: 45.8156, -110.9230
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

BBSP reported a skier-triggered avalanche north of the ski area boundary. Minimal information. No one was caught that we know of. 


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Bridger Range
Saddle Peak
Skier Triggered Avalanche Saddle Peak
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Saddle Peak
SS-ASu-R2-D2
Elevation: 8,250
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.7943, -110.9360
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A skier triggered an avalanche mid-slope on Saddle Peak in the Bridger Range early afternoon March 21st. Thankfully the individual was able to ski out of the slide.


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Cooke City
Mount Abundance
Skier triggered slide on Mount Abundance
Incident details include images
Mount Abundance
SS-AS-R2-D1.5-I
Elevation: 9,500
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.0773, -110.0210
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs. 3/18/22: "Slide which looks to be triggered by a skier or snowboarder, on an east facing slope of Mount Abundance. Slide pictured was estimated 100 feet wide, and 12" deep, and ran a couple hundred feet. If you look to the right, on the slope, another crown can be seen, which was equal size to this one."


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Northern Madison
Lava Lake
Skier triggered and caught in slide above Lava Lake
Incident details contain video
Lava Lake
SS-ASu-R1-D1.5
Elevation: 8,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.3765, -111.2460
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

Skier triggered slide on north-facing slopes above Lava Lake. Skier was caught, but not buried.

Video: https://youtube.com/shorts/pRW5XvtBY6E 


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Northern Madison
Big Sky Resort
Skier Triggered Avalanche near Big Sky
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Big Sky Resort
HS-ASu-R3-D2-O
Elevation: 9,800
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.2760, -111.4360
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0; Killed: 0

A skier reported triggering and getting caught in an avalanche that broke widely across "Wyoming Bowl" in the backcountry outside of Big Sky Resort. The avalanche dragged the skier over rocks and thankfully he is walking away with only bruises. The avalanche broke ~500' wide x 18" average depth x 300' vertical on a heavily wide loaded slope. 


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Bridger Range
Northern Bridgers
Snowboarder triggered, un-injured, N. Bridgers
Incident details include images
Northern Bridgers
HS-ASu-R2-D1.5-O
Elevation: 7,500
Coordinates: 45.9196, -110.9760
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs 3/12/22: "Upon descending a ~35 degree slope, I (the snowboarder) kicked loose a wind slab that propagated 100 feet wide, 8 inch deep (max, 4 inches at edges) wind slab that traveled approximately 300 feet (entire slope over 30 degrees) before settling in 2 debris fields, each about 30’ wide and with a maximum of 2’ depth. No one was swept by the debris/buried/injured."


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Cooke City
Scotch Bonnet
Snowmobile triggered large slab on Scotch Bonnet
Incident details include images
Scotch Bonnet
HS-AMu-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.0754, -109.9500
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Riders saw the crown and debris of an avalanche on the north side of Scotch Bonnet on 3/6/22. It appeared to have happened that day or within 24 hours.


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Cooke City
Goose Creek
Skier triggered Soft Slab Avalanche in Goose Creek
Incident details include images
Goose Creek
SS-ASu-R2-D1.5-O
Coordinates: 45.0923, -109.9510
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

From Obs: "A group of six of us were sled-skiing in Goose Creek today and I triggered a soft-slab avalanche on a wind loaded slope. We had skied 3-4 runs in the trees before lunch and had seen little to no signs of instability. We'd come to this area three days earlier to dig pits and found the PWL noted in avalanche report for Cooke City. There was an older crown about ~5 days old clearly visible in the bowl we decided to ski after lunch. I dropped in and skied off a cliff just to lookers left of the crown "triangle" and when I landed I triggered the avalanche. It broke roughly 60 feet wide with a crown depth of 12-16". I was able to self arrest less than 20 seconds after the avalanche started and the snow slid around me. I lost a ski but was otherwise unharmed. I also had an airbag but did not need to pull it." 


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Bridger Range
Northern Bridgers
Skier triggered and caught in avalanche N. Bridgers
Incident details include images
Northern Bridgers
HS-ASu-R1-D1.5-O
Elevation: 8,300
Coordinates: 45.9196, -110.9760
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

From email 2/26/22: "Skiing in the Northern Bridgers today, one skier in our party of three triggered an avalanche in October bowl. The slide was approximately 40 yds wide and ran around 150 yds. The skier was carried approximately 100 yds, but was not buried and sustained no injuries. Neither of the other members of our party were in the slide path when it occurred."


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Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Snowmobile-Triggered Avalanche near Round Lake
Incident details include images
COOKE CITY
SS-AMu-R3-D2-O
Coordinates: 45.0202, -109.9380
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A group was riding near Round Lake and triggered an avalanche that broke 200' wide by 24" deep and ran the full 50' vertical of the slope. The group estimated the debris pile was 5' deep and would have easily buried someone. Thankfully, no one was hurt. 


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Cooke City
Sheep Creek
Avalanche Fatality on Miller Mountain (snow bike)
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Sheep Creek
SS-AMu-R3-D3-O
Elevation: 9,800
Aspect: S
Coordinates: 45.0390, -109.9810
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 1; Killed: 1

On February 19, 2022, three snowmobilers and two snow bikers were in Sheep Creek on the south face of Miller Mountain north of Cooke City. The two snow bikers were high on the slope when one stopped on a small ridge while the other climbed higher and triggered a large avalanche. The avalanche carried him down through a gully and over a cliff where he was partially buried near the toe of the debris. His arm and airbag were visible and his head was 1 foot under the surface. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. The avalanche was 800 feet wide, averaged 2 feet deep (estimated) and ran 1200 vertical feet. The avalanche likely broke on facets and depth hoar at the bottom of the snowpack in an area that was thinly covered and recently wind-loaded. The debris was up to 15 feet deep. The avalanche is classified SS-AMu-R3-D3-O.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT


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Cooke City
Sheep Mountain
Rider-Triggered Avalanche SW face of Sheep Mountain
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Sheep Mountain
SS-AMu-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 9,900
Aspect: SW
Coordinates: 45.0722, -109.9280
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From Obs: "On the morning of Sunday February 6, a snowmobiler triggered a slide in new snow on the SW face of Sheep Mountain. The slide triggered remotely while the rider was lower on the slope and he was not caught (the visible track is not from the rider who triggered the slide, his track was buried in the debris field). The crown was about 18" deep and 75 feet wide and the slide and the slide ran about 250 feet."


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Lionhead Range
Lionhead Ridge
Small Snowmobile Triggered Avalanche
Incident details include images
Lionhead Ridge
SS-AMu-R1-D1-I
Coordinates: 44.7145, -111.3180
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs: "Today I watched as a sledder dropped a cornice causing the cornice to fall triggering an
avalanche chasing him down the hill. The snowpack consisted of a wind slab on top of near-surface
facets and a couple of buried layers of surface hoar."


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Lionhead Range
Ski Hill
Fatal Avalanche Ski Hill
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Ski Hill
SS-AMu-R1-D2-O
Elevation: 8,100
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 44.7016, -111.2930
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 1; Killed: 1

On Sunday, one snowmobiler in a group of four was caught and killed in a small avalanche on Ski Hill at the south end of Lionhead Ridge. He was on a 45-degree slope when it released and partially buried him against a tree. The slide was only 4"-11" deep, 75 feet wide and ran 300 feet vertical. His head was a foot under the snow. The avalanche was not witnessed and the victim was buried an estimated 15-25 minutes before he was uncovered. Rescue efforts were not successful. The group was familiar with the area and had rescue gear. The shallow, steep slide ended in trees, a terrain trap. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the rider. 

A detailed report can be read here.

 


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Cooke City
Goose Lake
Partial Burial on Sawtooth Mountain near Goose Lake
Incident details include images
Goose Lake
SS-ASu-R2-D2-O
Elevation: 10,800
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.1437, -109.9040
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 1; Killed: 0

This morning while ascending a line on Sawtooth Mountain (Lower Novocain) we triggered an avalanche (ASu-SS-R2-D2-O)  that caught and carried my partner an estimated 180M and partially buried him. His leg and hand were unburied and excavation of the head was done in less than 2 minutes of the incident. The avalanche only involved new snow from the last 48hrs and was triggered on a MF crust/facet combo 30cm down(formed 1/30/22). The avalanche was 30cm at its deepest and 20-30M wide and ran 250M. We were lucky to find both skis and poles a little ways downslope. No injuries were sustained.

We both agree that we were trying to outsmart the instability that was present on steeper S facing terrain and should have turned around much sooner, we were very lucky. There was 30+cm HST in favored areas and the high winds from 1/31/22 formed some sensitive windslabs in specific areas. 

 


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Cooke City
Mt Fox
Skier Triggered Wind Slab, Mt Fox
Mt Fox
SS-AS
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.1212, -109.9300
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Skier-triggered avalanche reported on Mt. Fox. Details unknown


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Bridger Range
Playground
Human-triggered Avalanche, Playground
Incident details include images
Playground
SS-ASu-R2-D1.5-I
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.8426, -110.9290
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0; Killed: 0

From Obs: "While skiing the playground, a northeast aspect in the Bridgers, my friends and I released a wind slab. The slab released on a rollover and was approximately 20 ft wide and 6-12" deep at the top. The slide carried my friend about 150 ft." 


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Northern Madison
Beehive Basin
Skier triggered cornice beehive basin
Incident details include images
Beehive Basin
SS-NCu-R3-D2-O
Elevation: 9,300
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 45.3379, -111.3990
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From email 1/9/21: "Skier triggered cornice failure avalanche. Broke at skis 10-12 feet from the lip. No one caught or injured."


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Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Snowmobile triggered slide outside Cooke City
COOKE CITY
SS-AMu-R2-D2
Coordinates: 45.0202, -109.9380
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

 

From facebook: "This morning 1/7/2022 by lower lady I set off a avalanche about 2ft deep 100ft wide just a heads up out there the new snow is not very safe!! Glad my whole group stayed low, I was up there alone digging it out when it broke loose! Stay safe ride on!"


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Cooke City
Mt. Abundance
Human-Triggered Avalanche, Mt Abundance
Incident details include images
Mt. Abundance
AMu-R3-D2-O
Coordinates: 45.0772, -110.0210
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Snowmobilers riding near Mount Abundance north of Cooke City unintentionally triggered two avalanches on Dec. 27th. No one was caught or injured. 


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Cooke City
Scotch Bonnet
Double Avalanche Fatality, Scotch Bonnet Mountain
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Scotch Bonnet
SS-AMu-R2-D2.5-O
Elevation: 10,000
Aspect: SE
Coordinates: 45.0566, -109.9510
Caught: 2 ; Buried: 2; Killed: 2

On December 27, two snowmobilers were caught and killed in an avalanche on Scotch Bonnet Mountain, north of Cooke City. A group of 8 snowmobilers from Minnesota were on their second day of riding when 2 of their machines got stuck on the SE face of Scotch Bonnet Mountain. Two members of their group rode up to help them dig out and the avalanche was triggered soon after. It broke 4-5 feet deep, ran 300 feet wide and 500 feet vertical and killed 2 riders, burying them under 4-5 feet of debris. Everyone had rescue equipment and they were recovered by their party. Park County Sheriff Search and Rescue brought the victims to town. The avalanche broke on a layer of facets 1.5 feet off the ground underneath a thick slab of wind drifted snow. The avalanche is classified SS-AMu-R2-D2.5-O.

 


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Cooke City
Goose Lake
Snomo triggered small avalanche outside Cooke City
Goose Lake
SS-AMu-R1-O
Coordinates: 45.1153, -109.9140
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

A sledder triggered an avalanche on a wind-loaded slope near Goose Lake. It was maybe 75-100 feet wide but only slid 3 feet before arresting. It was on a low-angled slope and failed on facets on a rocky band. They triggered it as they were sidehilling and rode off the slab. Doug interviewed the party in Cooke City.


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Southern Madison
Bacon Rind
Remote triggered avalanche, Bacon Rind
Incident details include images
Incident details contain video
Bacon Rind
SS-ASr-R2-D2
Elevation: 8,900
Aspect: E
Coordinates: 44.9609, -111.1000
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

Skiers remotely triggered an avalanche in the Bacon Rind area from the flats above the Skillet


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Bridger Range
The Ramp
Small, skier triggered wind slab
The Ramp
SS-ASu-R0
Elevation: 8,000
Coordinates: 45.8289, -110.9310
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

My partner had a 6" deep, about 15' wide slab release roughly 40 feet beneath him about halfway up the ramp, lookers right, on a NE facing, untouched aspect. Seemed more in line with wolverine bowl aspect vs the ramp. We dug a pit just a little further up the ramp and got a little movement about 15cm's from the top of the pack but not solid enough to call it a clean break. 60-65cm total depth in our pit.


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Northern Gallatin
Hyalite - East Fork
Ice climbers triggered small avalanches in E. Fork Hyalite
Incident details include images
Hyalite - East Fork
SS-AFu-R1-D1-S
Elevation: 7,600
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.4539, -110.9210
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

The slide was on the ice climb in Comet Alley.

From email (12/5/21) : "Small avalanche triggered while approaching ice climb in East fork of Hyalite basin. 

Another D1 natural avalanche was observed later in the day similar aspect/elevation

NE @7600’
SS-AFu-D0.5-I"


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Bridger Range
Naya Nuki Bowl
Skier caught in slough in the The Great One
Incident details include images
Naya Nuki Bowl
L-ASu-R1-D1.5-S
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.8883, -110.9590
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

From e-mail 11/7/21: "Today, my partner and I set out to ski The Great One, with a plan to come up and over Sac Peak and then walk the ridge to Naya Nikki before skiing the Great One into Airplane Bowl. We found more snow than expected at the TH, about 6inches. On our way up to the pass just north of Sac we noticed the characteristic wind stripping down to scree on the trail to the pass. On one of the switch backs we were able to get about an 1-2” deep wind slab to propagate but not move down slope. Given the depth, we didn’t put too much stock into this. We proceeded to walk the almost snow free trail over to Naya Nuki before booting down to the top of the Great One. The skiers left side of the Couloir had some obvious wind load and after a few ski cuts felt comfortable continuing to ski. After my partner skied the majority of the top section, I followed and was entrained and taken for a slide in my own ‘slough’. I was carried about 40’ before I stopped, while the slough kept running for another 100-150’ arresting on the shallower angled slope before the break in the Couloir wall that feeds into Airplane Bowl. The entrained width of moving snow was about 3-5’ wide. There were no injuries, and we continued down to the base of the Couloir, deciding it would be more dangerous to try and go back up to get out. Once in airplane bowl we saw multiple large slides that ran last night, syn-storm. Most of which came down from the East face of Sac. A few 200-300’ wide and running the length of the bowl. Early season hubris, and is not even thinking about overnight wind totals has us more or less absent minded when we set out this morning. A mistake that could’ve been a lot worse if the slough had taken a larger wind pocket with it, and carried me over the same aspect that led to the fatality in the Great One last fall. No pictures of the slough, attached is a grainy cell phone pic of the slides in Airplane Bowl."


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