Detailed Accident Report
Submitted By: Mike Jenkins UAFC-Logan
Place: Portneuf Range Caribou National Forest
Summary: 1 skier caught and injured
Avalanche Location: McShoot path N and E of Mt. Bonneville and Pebble Cr. Ski area, ID
Date: Feb. 20 ,1999
Type: HS AS
Crown Height: 4 inches
Maximum Debris Depth: 3'
Starting Zone Elevation: 9000'
Starting Zone Slope Angle: 40 degrees
Bed Surface: sun crust
Accident Account: Six skiers who had accessed the back country from the Pebble Cr. Ski area were in the area known as McShoot. The victim skied ahead of the group and triggered a small slab (crown height of 3") that carried him down a steep (40 degree shoot) where he slammed into a tree fracturing his femur and burying him up to his chest. He called his partners on a citizen band radio indicating he was injured. Two of his party skied in from above to assist him and a third hiked to the ridge to get help. Two other party members went looking for two doctors known to be skiing in the area.
Rescue: Skiers in the Pebble Cr. area heard the distress call and notified the ski patrol who notified Caribou Co. Sheriff SAR and Air Idaho at eastern Idaho Medical Center. The ski patrol returned to the site guided by witnesses. At the site the victim's friends had dug him out, removed his skis and applied traction to his injured leg. When the doctors arrived they splinted his leg using his skis. The ski patrol hasty party arrived within 20 minutes with a rescue sled, loaded the victim and transported him down hill to the landing zone aided by snowmobile.
Other Pertinent Information:
Victim(s): Tom Sherwood
Other Party Members: Chris Barnes, Chris Howell, Linda MacButch, Sue MacButch and Ryan Butterfield
Condition of the Victim: fractured femur
Avalanche Danger from the UAFC-Logan Advisory: moderate on wind loaded slopes 35 degrees and steeper.
Actual Weather Conditions: Mostly sunny, calm winds
Avalanche Path Characteristics: Steep chute in rock bands