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Avalanche at Saddle Peak, Bridger Bowl area

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Posted a few minutes ago by the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center:

Quote:
East side of Saddle Peak ripped huge from a cornice drop. No one caught that we're aware of. Pictures soon.

I learned of it when a friend who lives near the ski area called, worried that we might have been skiing Slushman's there today. It happened this morning. Here are some photos and a report from Bridger Bowl's Facebook page:

19369_333825865638_219783875638_5194983_1426633_n.jpg
19369_333824925638_219783875638_5194977_2030658_s.jpg

Quote:
At approximately 11:10 AM, Tuesday, February 16, 2010, a large avalanche pulled off the steep wind loaded N.E. slope of Saddle Peak, resulting in a large fracture that went to the ground and ran close to 2,000 vertical feet down the mountain. No one was witnessed being caught in the slide or buried. There were several side-country skiers and snowboarders on Saddle Peak when the slide occured, many of whom conducted exploratory searches. The event was witnessed by many skiers within the boundary of Bridger Bowl Ski Area. Gallatin County Search and Rescue was called immediately and responded with about 40 search and rescue workers . As of 3:00 pm today, there have been no burials, injuries or missing people reported. We would like to take this opportunity to remind all side and back country skiers that when they make the personal choice to leave the ski area boundaries, they are assuming all the risks and responsibilities of of back country travel and rescue.

Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center Report for 2/16/10: For today, the avalanche danger is rated CONSIDERABLE on all wind-loaded slopes steeper than 35 degrees and MODERATE on all other terrain. Although the winds have been calm the past few days I'm still concerned with slopes near the ridgelines that got loaded from the weekend's new snow and strong winds.

Edited by nolo - 2/16/10 at 3:39pm
post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
More photos.
post #3 of 10
 Wow. How did such a big avi go without getting anybody? That thing looks huge!
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

 Wow. How did such a big avi go without getting anybody? That thing looks huge!

Fortunately it was a weekday and the area is out of bounds so not many people were over there.  Yesterday there was a congo line heading to that area even though the new snow was deep and heavy and the avalanche danger has been very high all year due to an instable layer at the bottom.
post #5 of 10
Holy CRAP!

That is huge.

Glad nobody was in it.
post #6 of 10
All of you Bridger skiers got really lucky, but you know that.  That was a beast!
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

More photos.

Click on photo 12 then select the original to get a good look.  The powder cloud is reaching to Schlauchman's Chair which is a long way from the slide area.
post #8 of 10
Wow!

PowderCloudLRR.jpg
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio View Post

avalanche danger has been very high all year due to an instable layer at the bottom.

I guess that's no longer the case then.
post #10 of 10
I wouldn't bet my life on it. There is still unstable snow above the fracture line and on either side. It's fortunate that no one died. There is no way you can mitigate the risk others traveling in the area pose to those below them. Best solution, stay off saddle peak, and all slopes like it.
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