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Remote triggered avalanche in Goulies on a northeast aspect on old snow, southeast of the pond. About 4 inches of light, fluffy powder without any noticable crust or hardpack underneath. Whitefish Mountain Resort reported no new snow overnight but it had been snowing all day. The forecaste was rated moderate. One skier caught and carried about 20 feet close to the surface with no injuries.
Forecaser note: the skier was solo, After their first run ended near the Beaver Ponds, they began climbing back up towards Ghoulies. They chose to set a track in a familiar area. While ascending, they encountered steeper slopes than exepcted and some shooting cracks. On reaching an area that appeared more wind-loaded, they skier decided it was safer to ski back down to the flatter area and start over. The skier, who has avalanche mitigation experience, made ski cuts on the way down. When the slab released, they were moving too slowly to escape. The debris fanned out, reducng the chances for a deep burial.
I was skinning up and southeast of the pond in the Goulies area and I was much further west than I thought I was. I chose a poor route that continued getting steeper and steeper, but at the time I thought I was skinning to mellower terrain. After side hilling for a bit, my route started getting sketchy and steep and I noticed a lot of windblown snow so I decided to transition to ski mode and traverse down to the flats and continue skinning around instead of straight up. As I was traversing on a roughly 30-degree slope, (estimated), I heard a boom from above me and soon after I was carried about 20 feet to the flats. The slide probably fractured 10-20 feet above me. I was buried to my neck but I was very close to the surface so I was able to get out without a problem. The crown was probably a foot deep and 30 feet wide. It was probably only 30-40 feet from the flats.
The avalanche fractured directly above me about 10 feet or so. I was caught and carried roughly 30 feet before it stopped. I was buried to my neck but I was very close to the surface so I got myself out easily. I never would have thought I could have triggered something at that angle, which I estimate was maybe 30 degrees. I was super shaken up and didn't want to stick around to get more precise measurements, so all of the numbers are estimated aside from elevation and time because I had those recorded when I dropped a pin on my map.
Forecast Hotline: 406.257.8402
Call or text an observation: 406.66AVYOB