Accident: Snowbird Ski Resort

Observer Name
Craig Gordon, Brett Kobernik
Observation Date
Monday, December 15, 2008
Avalanche Date
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Region
Snowbird Ski Resort
Location Name or Route
Elevation
10400
Aspect
Northwest
Slope Angle
36
Trigger
Skier
Trigger: additional info
Unintentionally Triggered
Avalanche Type
Hard Slab
Weak Layer
Facets
Depth
12"
Width
125
Vertical
1000
Carried
1
Caught
1
Buried - Fully
1
Killed
1
Accident and Rescue Summary
At 12:24 a group of snowboarders was on the high traverse of Northwest Mt. Baldy and watched the avalanche initiate; the crown face bisected the high traverse. The event occurred as they were crossing the slope but did not involve them. According to witness reports from near the starting zone, as the slide was in motion they spotted a person in the middle of the track who was hiking up the slope to retrieve a ski. Warnings were yelled, but when visibility returned, the slope was empty, the alarm was sounded to the ski patrol, and many public skiers and snowboarders in the area began a search for missing people. A hasty search team was immediately dispatched with dogs, beacons, and Recco. Probe teams were assembled and dispatched along with extra probes for the public on scene already searching. Due to approximately 150 people on site, their scattered equipment, and the resulting contamination of the deposition, the dogs had interest in numerous locations but were unable to locate the victim. The victim, a 27-year-old female, was the same person who had been seen hiking in the track. She was not equipped with a beacon or Recco and was located with a probe line at 58 minutes, 3’ deep.
Coordinates

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