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On January 5, 2019, a group of motorized snow bikers was stopped on top of Spring Slide Mountain to take pictures and check maps. A large cornice broke beneath one of the riders as he was walking near the edge of the ridgeline. The cornice subsequently triggered several thick slab avalanches in very steep, rocky and cliffy terrain. These were approximately 3-foot hard slabs up to 120 feet wide that likely failed on faceted snow. The hiker fell 200 feet over cliff bands and was carried another 100 feet down the slope by debris and buried. He suffered numerous serious injuries. His partners performed a companion rescue and stabilized their patient while initiating a SAR response. Two Bear Air evacuated the victim and he is currently recovering from surgery.
The attached snow profile was dug 450 feet away from the crown location due to overhead hazard concerns. This location held a more consistent snow depth than the start zone of the avalanche. Aerial photos courtesy of Two Bear Air.
North face of Spring Slide Mountain, near Lost Creek.
Multiple crowns on the face with similar dimension. Dimension estimated from 200 feet away for safety precautions.
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