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Recreational Observation

East Slopes North - Canadian Border to Lake Chelan

March 15, 2016, 12:30 p.m. PST

Avalanches: This avalanche accident observation was produced collaboratively by both skiers involved. Skier A was travelling solo uphill and had just finished climbing a steep slope and had reached a bench in treed terrain below an open slope. Skier B was travelling in a party of two and was descending a ridge above the open area (the open area is measured at ~37 degrees and is 80-140 vertical feet and roughly 200 yards in lateral extent). Skier B ski cut the upper section of the open area with the intent of skiing the open area and triggered a size D1.5 soft slab avalanche. Skier B did not see skier A on the skin track below. The avalanche crown was measured at 25-45cm deep and the avalanche was roughly 125 feet in lateral extent. Skier A yelled and was hit by avalanche debris and lunged forward into the debris to avoid being pushed downslope. Once the debris stopped, Skier A stood up and was buried thigh to waist deep. Skier B asked if skier A was injured and skier A responded that he was not. Skier B descended further down (skier’s right) the ridge and skied the avalanche bed surface down to skier A while skier A removed his shovel to extricate his lower legs and skis, which had released but were attached to his boots with break-away leashes. The avalanche was SS-ASc-D1.5-R4 Submitted by Joshua Cole and Frank Clements

Latitude: 48.503640

Longitude: -120.627587

Did you see any avalanches? Yes

Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes

Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? Yes