Accident: Pioneer Peak

Observer Name
UAC Staff
Observation Date
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Occurrence Date
Saturday, March 16, 2002
Occurence Time
12:30pm

Region:

Location Name or Route
North face of Pioneer Peak
Elevation
10000
Aspect
Northeast
Slope Angle
50
Trigger
Snowboarder
Avalanche Problem
Persistent Slab
Weak Layer
Facets
Depth
2.5'
Width
300
Vertical
500
Carried
2
Caught
2
Buried - Fully
2
Killed
2
Accident and Rescue Summary

Richard Jones, 19 and Allen Chatwin, 18, died in a large avalanche they triggered off of Pioneer Ridge, a backcountry area west of Brighton Ski Resort. Twelve young snowboarders rode the Crest lift at Brighton and proceeded past the ski area boundary to Pioneer Peak to build some jumps in the Dog Lake area. As the two victims traversed a very steep, 50-degree slope just below the ridge, they triggered a 300 foot wide, 2-8 feet deep hard slab that took out the entire bowl. Luckily, all of the other snowboarders were off to the side at the time. No one in the party carried any beacons although they did have several shovels with them for building jumps. Ski patrollers from Alta and Brighton responded and located the victims using avalanche rescue dogs. They had both died from asphyxiation.

Coordinates