Chute – 2 Skiers Caught and Carried

On November 30th, the first of two skiers ascending the lookers right edge of an east facing funnel shaped couloir called Chute, triggered a wind slab which fractured from his feet up and across the slope. The resulting 30′ wide and 2’+ deep crown spanned the width of the gully at the chokepoint. The skiers were spread out but were both captured by the flowing debris. Their Strava app indicated that the triggering skier was carried for 200 vertical feet while the second skier was pushed about 30 vertical feet downhill. Both had skied Left Gully just prior to the incident.

Analysis: Chute is very steep and accumulates a great deal of snow due to the funnel shape of the terrain. The slope is a repeat offender with a crown-line of human triggered and natural avalanche within a couple hundred feet of this crown. Due to the steeper angle and tendency to load with more snow than Left Gully, care should be exercised before committing to this run. Booting up this run during periods of uncertain stability offers no opportunity for escape with no real islands of safety.