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Submitted By: SNFAC; Kellam
Place: Patriot Bowl-west of Trinity Mtn. Lookout
Summary: 1 snowmobiler caught, buried, and killed
Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center
Janet Kellam, Director
April 8, 2006
Snowmobile avalanche fatality
Trinity Mtns. northwest of Fairfield, Idaho in the Boise National Forest
Patriot Bowl-west of Trinity Mtn. Lookout near the headwaters of Roaring Creek
Aspect: West facing
Slope angle: unknown, estimated mid thirty degrees or steeper
There are no witnesses to the event itself, but it is believed the ridgeline cornice broke beneath the weight of the rider and snowmachine. All fell on to the slope beneath and triggered a class D-3 avalanche. (SS-AM-R3-D3) The slide was an estimated 200 feet across and ran about 600 to 700ft.
Series of Events:
The avalanche was discovered approximately 1 hour after it occurred by members of another party. It is believed a portion of the sled was sticking out of the snow. The victim was not wearing a beacon and was located about 3 feet deep, after 30-45 minutes of probing. CPR was initiated without results.
Conditions at Time of Avalanche:
The nearby Trinity Snotel site had received approximately 3.5? of snow water equivalent the week prior to the accident. Warming temperatures and strong winds had been a component of the recent storms and warm temperatures were a factor that day. Of note, this is the same area where a fatality occurred in December of 2002.