Should You Ever Ski The Backcountry Alone? Solo Skier Triggers HUGE Avalanche in Miller Bowl, UT

Martin Kuprianowicz | BackcountryBackcountry | AvalancheAvalanche
A solo skier triggered a huge, 500′ wide avalanche last Sunday in the Northern Wasatch backcountry near Tony Grove Lake, Utah. Photo: UAC Logan

A solo skier triggered a HUGE slab avalanche and was taken for a ride in Miller Bowl near Tony Grove Lake, Utah last Sunday. The avalanche was reported to be at least 500 feet wide and was at least 6 feet deep. It was a massive slide to say the least and the skier is beyond lucky to have lived to tell the tale. The Utah Avalanche Center in Logan, Utah issued a report yesterday that read:

Sunday, a solo skier triggered and was caught and carried by a huge avalanche in Miller Bowl near Tony Grove Lake. Luckily he was spit out at the bottom just as the very deep pile of debris came to a stop. The avalanche was triggered on a repeater path at about 8700′ and was at least 6 feet deep and about 500′ wide. It failed on a deeply buried sugary persistent weak layer near the ground with a loud crack, and took the skier under the snow for a 500′ vertical, spin-cycle ride. The skier lost both his skis and his ski poles, but he is happy to have walked out alive.

Remember, when you travel alone there is NO ONE TO RESCUE YOU. Adjust your route selection to compensate for this added risk by choosing more conservative terrain.

This incident begs the question, should you ever ski in the backcountry alone? This situation could have ended much differently however we are thankful the skier made it out relatively unharmed.

A distanced view of the slide that almost took the solo skier’s life last sunday… Photo: UAC Logan

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