On Sunday, January 22, 2023, a group of 8 riders departed the Marble Mt SnoPark on the south side of Mt St Helens en route to the Plains of Abraham. The group was spread out over a few small drainages playing on different slopes and features as they traveled. Around 9:50 am the lead rider was traversing across a steep side slope when he triggered an avalanche. The slide broke 10-15ft above him, carried him down the slope, and buried him under approximately 6 ft of snow. Another member of the group witnessed the event and radioed his teammates for help. Six other riders converged on the scene. The buried victim was located with a transceiver and probe. The group then quickly dug out their teammate uncovering him 10-15min after the slide occurred. The victim was reported as cyanotic and not breathing. However, after a few moments, he spontaneously began breathing on his own and ultimately regained consciousness. The party located his snowmobile buried under approximately 10ft of snow. The rider was taken to the hospital for evaluation but did not sustain any significant injuries and was released that afternoon.
While this avalanche did not travel far downhill, a subtle bench in the terrain acted as a terrain trap to pile the snow, resulting in these deep burials.