VIDEO of Snowboarder Taking a 500′ Ride in an Avalanche on Monday in Lake Tahoe, CA

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This video is of the snowboarder who was caught in an avalanche in Lake Tahoe, California on Monday near the Sisters in the Kirkwood area.  The snowboarder who triggered it went for a frightening 500-foot ride.  The guy was lucky and ended up on top and uninjured.

Just another reminder that you can never count avalanches out in the backcountry, even when there’s only one storm’s worth of snow out there.

This is a time of year when many people are in the backcountry as ski resorts don’t have much to offer yet in Tahoe.  When out there, never let your guard down.  Check beacons, dig pits, add up red flags, give new snow at least 24 hours to settle, and be smart.

Today’s avalanche danger is rates as CONSIDERABLE in the Lake Tahoe region.

Sierra Avalanche Center Avalanche Advisory

Exact location of Avalanche yesterday


Skinned out of Carson Pass today toward the sisters.  Saw a lil couloir above round top lake on a North/North East aspect and decided to hike up it.  My friend dropped in without cutting it, causing an avalanche that caught him and took him for a ride.   It went on the old snow surface, didn’t propagate into the bottom layers or cause the slope /snow below to slide when it hit it. He wasn’t buried or injured in anyway and we consider ourselves Extremely Lucky!! I was going to do a pit profile on the avalanche but my friend had to work so we headed out.  Wanted to warn all of our fellow snow friends especially with the upcoming storm and snow weight approaching for the snowpack.  Thanks for keeping the community informed! – SAC

The sisters near Kirkwood, CA.


  • Red Flags:  Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain Terrain Trap
  • Avalanche Type: Slab
  • Trigger type: Snowboarder
  • Crown Height: Less than 1 ft
  • Aspect: North
  • Weak Layer: Storm Snow
  • Avalanche Width: 15ft.
  • Terrain: Above Treeline
  • Elevation: 9 800ft.
  • Bed Surface: Old Snow
  • Avalanche Length: 500ft.
  • Number of people caught: 1


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5 thoughts on “VIDEO of Snowboarder Taking a 500′ Ride in an Avalanche on Monday in Lake Tahoe, CA

  1. ESPECIALLY when there’s only one storm’s worth of snow out there. Sounds like the narrator knows a little something about snow metamorphism. You should have knowingly assumed the new snow (including wind loading) was sitting on facets. Glad to hear lucky dude had a lucky day.

  2. Had a similar incident with a friend on Round Top dozen years or so ago. Thanksgiving time, high avy danger, local posted notes all over trail head signs. Three of us ventured out anyway, dug a pit, threw in some prayer flags. Two of us on tele, other on AT. Skiers right of upper bowl, us on teles dropped first, smooth, stayed in concave part of chute, visible rocks, thus good anchor points, all went well. AT buddy greedy for freshies, went further right to wind loaded convex area, slammed turns, not smooth, quiet, entire bowl, ridge to ridge, busted loose, refrigerator size blocks, he rode it, tumbled, surfed it up, we kept eyes on him as it went by us, we were in safety zone, again rocks anchor points, thing came to a halt before next bench, low tide helped as apron was slightly uphill. Buddy popped up, we went to aid, found gear, all was okay. Scary as all f#@k. Lucky as can be. Next pitch, other friend on teles ski cut and waited, broke the whole thing loose, super sketch conditions, lucky again.
    Made it down to the tree section below, met up w/local, was dumbfounded we went up, lower angle, anchors, shredded.
    So fortunate we all made it out ok, could’ve been so different, so tragic.
    Lesson, early season, mid season, late season, doesn’t matter, use good mountain sense, find safe zones, anchor points, ski cut and wait, keep eyes on each other, don’t be afraid to back off or wait another day or two for things to settle down, not worth having an incident. Live to ski another day.

  3. of what you’re not supposed to do when dropping bc terrain for firsties.
    1. Slash and you will burn, came in hot, didn’t cut and wait.
    2. Release, load point. As soon as he dropped he hit the wind loaded spine with force, then was further below it broke.
    3. Dumba$$, rookie mistake. Hope he knows how really freakin lucky he is, hopefully he’ll learn a valuable lesson and not make the same critical errs again in his next bc travels.

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