Avalanche: Douglas Island

Location: Fish Creek Knob, Fish gill chute

Route & General Observations

Tour up wedding bowl and fish creek knob. 6-8in on new snow overnight. Strong southerlies during storm, 40-50mph

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierAvalanche Type Soft Slab
Aspect North NorthwestElevation 2800ft
Slope Angle 37degCrown Depth 8in
Width 40ftVertical Run 900ft
Near Miss / Accident Details
Number Caught/Carried? 1Number Partially Buried? 1
Number Fully Buried?0Number Injured?0
Number Fatalities?0  
Avalanche Details

First skier released the avalanche about 50ft into the chute, the slab propagated across the entire chute and down to the apron. Skier was swept off his feet and took a 300ft ride with a couple of tumbles but was able to swim and stay on the surface. Skier came to a stop at the stauchwall of the avy path.

Events of the day

Toured up wedding bowl, headed over to fish creek knob skied a lap on the east side. Toured back up fish creek on the northeast ridge, planning on skiing one more lap down the east side and back to the quarry lot. On the skin up toured past fish gill chute, decided to take a look at the chute dug a quick hand pit and found the top to be wind scoured as expected. Did not take into account the major southerlies winds from the night before and disregarded the obvious storm/ wind slab potential. We had a pretty laissez-faire plan for the day didn't initially plan to ski anything steep, but got lured in by the pow. Classic heuristic trap, made a big mistake. The week leading up to the avalanche was great skiing, didn't see many signs of instability throughout the week.

Rescue events

Skier uninjured, pretty lucky...

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

ESE wind 45-70mph previous night during the storm.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Overcast, light snow, mild winds throughout the morning and afternoon.

Photos & Video
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