Originally Posted by SkiFox
But it sounds like they WERE using the buddy system. ...
The "buddy system" doesn't just mean having some friends on the mountina that day. Here is proper protocol for three skiers on a deep powder day:
The first two guys ski a line that can be observed by the guy above -- one at a time. At least one of the two (the first, usually, since the second down skied past the first guy) stops where he can watch the third guy down. The last guy down takes a very concervative line until he is past an observer. If the last guy down dives into a tree well 300' above his observer, he will likely be dead before anyone can swim up 300' of chest deep snow. Whistles, beacons, and cell phones will not save him.
Keep the legs of the leap frog short.