Skier Caught and Carried in Human Triggered Avalanche Near Bridger Bowl, MT

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Yesterfday a skier in a group of three triggered and was caught in an avalanche near The Apron at Bridger Bowl Ski Area, MT. The ski area is closed and backcountry conditions exist. | Photo courtesy of the Gallatin Avalanche Center

A skier triggered and was caught in an avalanche near The Apron at Bridger Bowl Ski Area on Thursday. According to the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, no one was injured and the ski area is closed.

The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center reports the skier was one of three in a group that was skiing near The Bridger Apron. After triggering the avalanche, the group sent an email to make others aware of what just happened:

“We had a group of three skiing up at the Bridger Apron today. We skied a more main slope in the field north of the slope with hidden couloir, snow was very stable and has been getting a lot of tracks. For a second run we skinned up the main slope under hidden and started our run in the trees slightly south of this slope. Not many tracks over there and not a good enough evaluation of the snowpack. We were planning on skiing a northeast facing chute through the trees that had very nice looking snow similar to what we had skiied earlier. I skiied in and had about 3 amazing turns, definitely partially due to the wind loading at this aspect. After three turns my feet were taken out from under me and I got caught in a slide keeping skis perpendicular to slope for 15-20’. This avalanche carried me rapidly and cleared the snow to the rocks below in which I was able to come to a hault and watch the rest of the sluff slid past me. After looking at the conditions after, this windy aspect seemed to have a very faceted layer about 8” down that acted as the crown. No injuries, a lost ski pole in the runout which extended down the slope maybe another 40’. The wind scoop on top and seeing these facets should have been a clear sign prior to skiing. Must be more diligent even in areas of high traffic. When dropping in to ski on first turn or so I remember hearing a possible whumpf. Northwest wind loaded slopes are not solid.”

Further details regarding the incident are yet to be released.


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