Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2002-12-14
Submitted By: Doug Abromeit
Place: Central Idaho
State: ID
Country: USA
Summary: 2 backcountry skiers caught and buried in seperate accidents

The past three days two Central Idaho backcountry skiers

were totally buried and then found and recovered by their partners using


The first burial occurred Saturday 12/14 on Copper Mountain near Ketchum

and Stanley, Idaho. At this time details are lacking on this burial;

however the victim was totally buried and was reportedly unconscious when

he was recovered by his partners.

The second burial occurred Sunday 12/15 on Granite Mountain near McCall,

Idaho and Brundage Ski Area. Seven friends had ridden snowmobiles to the

base of Granite and then skinned along a low angle slope to a ridge over

looking a rather steep north tending slope. The group had heard whumping

and seen shooting cracks on their way up to the ridge. Because of the

obvious warning signs the group decided not to ski the north tending slope.

They were kicking cornices and talking when one person noticed what they

thought was a large natural or sympathetic slide.

Soon, however, they realized one of their party was missing and saw tracks

leading into the bed surface. Luckily for the victim the other six people

were very experienced including Payette NF avalanche forecaster Randy

Skinner. They reacted quickly and fully recovered the victim about eight

minutes after they realized he was missing. The victim was buried 42

inches below the surface and was breathing laboriously. He was in a very

contorted position but suffered no trauma. His 3-pin skis were still on

his feet and probably exacerbated his contorted position.

Doug Abromeit, Director

Forest Service National Avalanche Center