Accident: Other Regions

Location: Rainbow Ridge, Delta Range

Sat, December 6th, 2014
2 backcountry skiers caught, 1 partly buried, 1 buried and killed
Accident Report

This was a soft wind slab avalanche, triggered by two skiers and a dog ascending up the slope. It was medium size relative to the avalanche path where a new wind slab released on facets on top of an melt freeze crust bed surface (SS-AS-R3-D2.5-I). The avalanche start zone was a NW facing bowl feature that funneled into a gulley and down into a narrow creek bed. The crown face, about 600 ft above the trigger point, was estimated to have a maximum height of 1 meter and average height of 0.75 meters. The avalanche was close to 150 feet wide and ran nearly 1100 feet vertically down to the creek bed. All numbers here are estimates from the air, since direct ground access to the accident site was not possible due to the avalanche conditions and terrain trap location.