Avalanche: Douglas Island

Location: Troy between headwall and Y gully

Route & General Observations

Skied boat show, then headed to Troy. Toured up Troy via standard route. Observed sporadic wind slab on N aspects, but absent in Y gully which was our first run on Troy. Wind slabs were unreactive to ski cuts and other traveling tests. For our second run on Troy, we intended to ski lower angle terrain to skiers right of the headwall. We got turned around in the whiteout and found ourselves at the right entrance of the Y gully. We decided to ski the rib to the right of the Y instead of ascending back up to lower angle terrain.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierAvalanche Type Soft Slab
Aspect NorthElevation 2500ft
Slope Angle 38degCrown Depth 12in
Width 60ftVertical Run 125ft
Near Miss / Accident Details
Number Caught/Carried? 1Number Partially Buried?0
Number Fully Buried?0Number Injured?0
Number Fatalities?0  
Avalanche Details

Skier 1 ski cut a steep wind slabs with no results and proceeded to ski the lowest angle terrain to the transition meadow. Skier 2 skied slightly right from skier 1's ski cut on slightly steeper terrain and triggered the wind slab, sliding about 40ft. Skier was able to self arrest with ski edges. Skier was uninjured and not buried.

Key problems leading up to the avalanche: whiteout navigation, complacency, skiing steeper terrain than necessary.