Observation: Other Regions

Location: Raggedtop

Route & General Observations

This avalanche was believed to be initiated by a fresh wind slab
that stepped down and pulled out sections of a deeper slab further
down the slope. It washed over and caught one person about 200′
down and carried them 500′. They were able to have the presence of
mind to fight, swim, roll toward the edge, dig into the bed
surface and eventually stop just above the debris.

After a close look the following day, wind damage in the upper
portion of the bowl made it unclear where the slide started. Also,
it is uncertain whether the wind slab(s) released naturally or
remotely by the skier. This was on a SE aspect starting near
~3800′, possibly higher, with the slope ranging from 30-40
degrees. Crown profiles on the deep slab sections (~3200′) showed
failure was in the upper part of the December facets ABOVE the
combination of crusts (including the Thanksgiving rain crust). The
slab was 40-70cm deep with a total snowpack depth around 120cm.

Note: The skier caught used tools explained in a ‘Escape from
Capture!’ paper/schematic, you can find it here