Basic details of avalanche:
- 1st skier traversed under lift and below rock slab, 2nd and 3rd skiers followed, 3rd skier was approx. 10 ft behind 2nd when the slab broke loose above.
- 2nd skier alerted 1st and skied out right into large trees
- 1st skier looked up and skied out to right side and kept eye on 3rd skier that was caught in slide.
- all 3 skiers had beacons on, but no shovels or probes.
- 3rd skier was taken for approx. 250+ ft ride, lost both skis and poles, stayed close to surface with swimming motion, self rescued with no injuries,
- all 3 skiers regrouped and called ski patrol.
- 2 other skiers traversed into the area above, located both skis and retrieved them, poles are gone
- ski patrol arrived, informed of details and left.
Lessons to be learned:
- skiing one at a time should been mandatory, 3rd skier was too close to the 2nd, loading the slope and not able to have any speed to ski out of the slide
- not to be complacent with conditions even when inbounds
- if you have a beacon on, should have a shovel and probe
- on deep powder days if you have an air bag take it no matter where you ski
What was done right:
- 2nd skier alerted the 1st asap
- 2nd skier skied out right into safety zone
- 1st skier kept an eye on 3rd skier from safe side zone
- both 1st and 2nd skiers were above and ready to rescue
- 3rd skier was able to keep legs and arms moving to stay on surface.
This felt like a close call, was scary but thankful that there were no injuries or great loses. There were large trees in the slide zone but none were hit by the 3rd skier.