The reporting party stated. "Three friends and I left from the Henderson Mine and skinned up Butler Gulch" This is actually in the Front Range Zone. The reporting party says he is new to the area. "My friends were skiing at the same time when the avalanche occurred." From the picture it is hard to tell where it initiated, but it looks like a wind drifted area that failed at the ground. The crown looks 4 feet deep at its deepest spot. The avalanche looks to be about 100 feet wide at the widest spot and maybe 200 feet long at its longest extent.
- BC Zone: Front Range
- Area Description: Butler Gulch main area
- Route Description: Low angle descent near/below tree line with steep and removed NE slope above (skiers left of the slope).
- Weather Description: Increasing wind speeds (30 mph gusts). Moderate temps.
- Snowpack Description: Observed subtle wind loading earlier in the a.m. but no propagation. Skiing near and below tree line.
- Avalanche Description: Remote trigger, well underneath/away from the start slope. R2 D2. This was a large wind slab avalanche which stepped down to the ground (wide, somewhat deep, with long runout). triggered from group below on adjacent lower angle slope. Hard to judge crown height from a distance but likely in the 6–10' range.
2 partial burials, 1 full burial, 1 observer/responder (myself), no injuries, some equipment loss. Could have been a much worse outcome.
|| 2016/12/10 †
|| Butler Gulch
|| AS / u