We reported on this avalanche yesterday but we had very few details. This avalanche occurred on Sunday, just outside of Steven’s Pass ski resort in Washington.
Today, we have a 2 minute video with the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) fully explaining what happened in this avalanche.
The person caught in the avalanche was buried with their head 2 feet below the surface for 15-20 minutes before being rescued. She was rescued just as she was losing consciousness. A very close call.
The avalanche was 1-2 feet deep, 100′ wide and ran for about 200′. The avalanche ran on a crust from November. The avalanche rating for near treeline on Sunday was “Considerable,” the rating where the most people die.
“We have a report of a skier burial at Stevens Pass in Corona Bowl on Sunday. A party ducked a rope and traversed to mid slope and the skier triggered a 1-2 foot x 100 foot crown and was buried with her head at about 2 feet below the surface and was dug out in about 15-20 minutes. The avalanche was on a southeast facing slope at about 5000 feet and ran on the November crust. Control at the ski area Sunday also gave widespread releases of the recent snow mainly on northwest facing slopes with crowns to 25-30 inches also running on the late November crust.” – NWAC
Avalanche Danger in Washington is “High” today:
The buried woman was extremely lucky to have survived for so long under snow. The Canadian Medical Journal states that your chances of surviving an avalanche burial drop to 40% after only 12 minutes. After 25 minutes of burial, your chance drop as low as 22%.