VIDEO: Skier Triggers Avalanche Near Hyalite Reservoir
If you've never witnessed an avalanche in person, you need to watch this video. The video shows a skier triggered avalanche on Flanders Mountain near Hyalite Reservoir on Saturday, January 9. Fortunately, neither skier in the video was caught in the avalanche and no injuries were reported.
On January 8, a group of skiers from the Bozeman area triggered an avalanche on the Fin outside of Cooke City, Montana. Three skiers were caught in the avalanche, two were injured, and one was evacuated by helicopter due to serious injuries.
According to the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, Avalanche danger and likelihood of triggering an avalanche have decreased, but conditions are far from safe.
Here is a statement from the skier that took the video of the avalanche on Saturday.
We dug a pit and found a really weak snowpack! Regardless of the poor stability result, we proceeded to ski an East facing bowl south of Flanders Mountain knowing that the slope angle was low and only flirted with 30 degrees in some parts of the bowl. We could have chosen to ski the trees further to our left, but after evaluating the consequence associated with skiing the bowl, we decided that the center of the bowl did not pose too big a risk given we skied one at a time. My partner skied first, he skied practically all the way back to the skin track when the slope failed and the entire bowl released. He was pretty well out of the way of danger by the time the bowl began to move. From our perspective, the trigger happened at the bottom of the slope.... The bowl was not the only slope that slid, the avalanche propagated around the ridge and released a slide on the more south-easterly facing aspect just south of the bowl. We tail-tucked and went home glad no one was caught or hurt.
The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center offers online avalanche awareness courses, and provides updates on avalanche danger. Avalanche danger and conditions can change rapidly. Before you head out, make sure to get the latest updates on avalanche danger at mtavalanche.com.