Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2003-01-04
Submitted By: Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center; Mike R.
Place: near Ski Lake on Teton Pass
State: WY
Country: USA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: 1 snowboarder caught, carried, and killed

A snowboarder died in an avalanche at approximately 2pm near Ski Lake on

Teton Pass. The group of seven were using snowmobiles to access two side by

side chutes that then go into a bowl with North East aspects above Ski Lake.

During their second run a rider entered each chute when a large hard slab

avalanche released including both main chutes, some other minor chutes and

the bowl below. The 19 year old rider in one chute (lower) was caught and

carried full track. He was not buried but was dead from head/neck trauma

received during the slide (either rocks or the hard slab). CPR efforts were

performed. The rider in the other chute was not caught as the avalanche

released just below him.

The slab ranged from two to four in depth and ultimately failed on a layer

of weak faceted snow topped with surface hoar that is the result of a dry

period in November. Slabs have run on this layer throughout our last storms

with easy triggers. On Saturday the hazard in that location was rated as

CONSIDERABLE, noting that due to the previous days high winds, slabs may

"release after venturing onto them."

The slab ran 800 vertical feet, approx a 300 yards track, was 100 yards wide

at the crown, had a 30 to 40 degree start zone (varied throughout) and had

9' of deposition.