Eaglecrest Ski Area, AK, has confirmed a large inbounds avalanche occurred yesterday in a closed area of the resort. Crews using beacons, probes, dogs, and RECCO equipment searched the scene but found nobody trapped.
Eaglecrest has received 25″ of fresh snow in the last five days. The slide, in the East Bowl Chutes, was seven feet deep and ran for 100 yards.
“At 10:10 am on January 26th, Eaglecrest Ski Patrol received a report of an avalanche in closed terrain in the East Bowl Chutes. Upon investigation, ski patrol found a large avalanche approximately 6 to 7 feet deep and approximately 75 yards wide and approximately 100 yards long. A preliminary avalanche transceiver search was immediately launched, which was followed by a secondary transceiver search. Our RECCO detection equipment was then dispatched for the search. Alaska SEADOGS, Juneau Mountain Rescue, and the Alaska State Troopers were notified and called on scene. SEADOGS performed a search with two dogs. The Ski Patrol staff probed through debris and catchment spots in an abundance of caution to be sure that no one was entrapped despite this portion of the mountain being closed for the day. Eaglecrest has just gone through a very active week of weather, with inches of rain and snow-water equivalent moisture over the last 7 days. The mountain had extremely limited terrain open today off the top of the mountain as we were allowing the snowpack to adjust to all of the additional weight and drain.”
Eaglecrest has seen 211″ of snow this season and has a 136″ base. Much of the upper mountain was closed yesterday to protect the fragile snowpack. The mountain is closed to uphill traffic today.
Let this be a reminder that areas are roped off for your safety, and while that fresh powder might look appealing, ducking ropes puts your lives and the lives of resort employees at risk.