Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2005-11-05
Submitted By: NWAC
Place: Table Mountain near Mt Baker
State: WA
Country: USA
Summary: 1 Snowboarder caught and totally buried. Found with beacon

Avalanche Incident on Table Mountain near Mt Baker

~0930 AM, Saturday, November 05, 2005

Location of incident?Table Mountain near Mt Baker, WA

Number in party?3; 1 caught and totally buried. Found by beacon within ~10 minutes

Type of activity?snowboard

Elevation?4800 ft

Aspect?North

Slope angle?40 degrees

Preliminary Avalanche classification?SS-AR-R3-D2

Other avalanche information: 12-18 inch soft slab, approximately 40 yards across. Slide descended about 75-100 yards downslope before reaching shallow runout.

Preliminary Incident Narrative:

A group of three snowboarders were riding in steep avalanche terrain in the Table Mountain area near Mt Baker ski area when they triggered a 12-18 inch soft slab. The slide caught and totally buried one of the boarders. Two skiers who had witnessed the event found the victim by beacon within about 10 minutes. The victim was buried about 4 feet deep and was still breathing when initially uncovered, however he was unconscious and beginning to turn blue. Apparently the victim recovered consciousness by himself within about 4 minutes of rescue with only minor bruises initially reported.

The party had apparently done some stability tests, and had triggered a smaller slab enroute to the slope that subsequently caught the snowboarder. They had left a larger slope that they felt uncomfortable about when the incident occurred on the smaller slope. At the time of the incident, the Mt Baker Ski Area had not yet opened for the season, with opening day planned for Tuesday, November 8th.

Reported compiled from information provided by Mt Baker Ski Area by Mark Moore, NWAC