Originally Posted by SBlue
With all due respect to Keith Ames and condolences to those close to him, this CAIC report/video is worth watching. There is something to be learned here.
SBlue - thanks for posting that. This graphically illustrates a point that I think a lot of folks don't realize or take seriously - just how little it takes to kill you. Once on Loveland pass in the early season I got caught, carried and partially buried by a slide just a little bigger than the one shown in the video. If my ski had snagged on a shrub when I was being swept downslope, I'd likely have been covered. Since I'd been separated from my partner, I'd have likely suffocated before the guys I was with that day could find me.
It still amazes me that after postholing through the undisturbed snow, I was able to walk around on top of the avy deposition snow after I dug myself out- it was that firmly packed.
CAIC stated the skier's partners worked their way back up and dug him out, so he must've been recovered pretty quickly, but he still died. A beacon may not have helped in this case, and one certainly won't help in a bigger slide if you get racked up in the trees or get munched by slab blocks the size of refrigerators and washing machines.
If its steep enough to be fun, if the snow's deep enough to ski, and the pitch is long enough to make turns, its steep enough, deep enough and big enough to kill you.
Be safe out there,