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Case

studies

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Rescue at cherry bowl

This Is A Story That Needs To Be Told

In March of 2013, four friends from Whitehorse, Yukon, made the 1200 km road trip south to Shames Mountain, BC. With fresh snow and clearing skies, they embarked on a week-long adventure exploring the area’s backcountry. Four days in, on a bluebird day in Cherry Bowl, their trip came to an abrupt end.

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The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek

The snow burst through the trees with no warning

A last-second whoosh of sound, a two-story wall of white and Chris Rudolph’s piercing cry: “Avalanche! Elyse!”. The very thing the 16 skiers and snowboarders had sought — fresh, soft snow — instantly became the enemy. Somewhere above, a pristine meadow cracked in the shape of a lightning bolt, slicing a slab nearly 200 feet across and 3 feet deep. Gravity did the rest.

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The Human Factor 2.o

changing the way we look at risk: Glory & survival in avalanche terrain

Olivia Buchanan panned the telescope across the top of Kendall Mountain, looking for slide activity. From her friend’s living room in downtown Silverton, Colorado, she could make out what looked like a half-decent approach to the summit ridge, 4,000 feet above town. She saw open, wind-loaded powder shots funneling into Idaho Gulch on looker’s right and—as a potential Plan B if the gulch proved sketchy—the twin entrances to the Rabbit Ears (also known as the Arcade Chutes) funneling straight to 12th Street. She saw two sets of tracks on the summit, beckoning, It’s good to go up here!