video of Pucker Face avalanche

By Jim Stanford on January 4, 2012

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Despite repeated warnings of high danger, as soon as skies cleared last weekend skiers and snowboarders jumped into avalanche terrain.

On Saturday, New Year’s Eve, I watched a pack of brightly clad snowboarders drop into the gut of Glory Bowl. One of them reportedly was caught in a slide and carried over the cliff band on the south side of the bowl, but was unhurt.

This avalanche occurred Monday on Cody Peak, just outside the south boundary of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. A snowboarder triggered the slide after at least one other rider had been down the steep slope, called Pucker Face.

I once watched a cornice break and start an avalanche on Pucker Face years ago, back when ski patrol opened the boundary only when avalanche danger was low. With a shallow, weak base, these kind of deep slabs can release after many people have tracked the slope.

Along with this photo of a skin track between two slides (triggered remotely), the footage begs the question: Is the run really worth it?

The answer, for many of us who live to ski another day, is no. Not this year.

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Posted under Environment, Ski Resorts, Sports

12 Comments so far

  1. Dick January 4, 2012 4:07 pm

    Idiots.

    Too many of them in Jackson.

  2. D January 4, 2012 4:15 pm

    I carry TP in my pack for occasions just like this. They don’t seem to be to shook up with all the hooooping and hollaering?

  3. sc January 4, 2012 6:56 pm

    All fun & games until you’re dead. Stupid!

  4. M January 4, 2012 9:21 pm

    maybe the biggest dumbass move ever.

  5. JB January 4, 2012 9:39 pm

    aka Sucker Face

  6. jd January 5, 2012 8:16 am

    How stupid can they be? The first idiots run ended in a bunch of rocks, sweet bro!Moron #2 almost got killed. From his first lame couple of turns its pretty clear he should never have been on that run in the first place. And the best part? I’ll bet he was in the VC bragging about it an hour later.

  7. Ski guy January 5, 2012 1:59 pm

    Hey JD being a bartender at the VC I know that no one in any way was giving props to these two! What I was hearing was “absolutely no Avy savvy!” nether of these guys came into the VC let alone got a high five for their actions! Don’t bring the Village Cafe into this like we approve or endorse stupid decisions in the backcountry! Be safe and look out for others!

  8. Bones January 5, 2012 4:07 pm

    BT Avalanche Report for 1/2/12:

    “Backcountry travelers venturing into steep terrain are likely to trigger slab avalanches two to four feet in depth on a variety of aspects at all elevations. Mountain temperatures are already close to 20 degrees warmer than yesterday morning. On southerly aspects, these temperatures and sunshine will increase the likelihood of triggering slab avalanches and make natural activity possible. On those sunlit slopes, wet loose sluffs could also release spontaneously. Clear skies and recent new snow may lure skiers and riders into compromising terrain. Evaluate the snowpack carefully, use cautious route finding and make conservative decisions.”

  9. js January 5, 2012 5:21 pm

    The slide occurred just before noon, when it was really getting hot up there. On those days, you want to be back at the VC before noon.

    This is one of those winters when people should be glad for ski patrol and avy-controlled, in-bounds terrain. You want to be rad? Style the Alta Chutes. Everyone on the lift will see you. These sidecountry lines will be there come spring, when hopefully we have a safer base.

  10. david January 7, 2012 3:46 pm

    and the video sucks, too.

  11. whaaa January 14, 2012 10:53 am

    that skier nearly wreked it for the snowboarder.

    Gotta watch out for skiers. Always. They are dangerous!

  12. Jim Stanford December 26, 2013 6:51 pm

    The video has since been deleted.

    Another avalanche on Pucker Face killed a skier today: http://www.jhunderground.com/2013/12/26/avalanche-kills-skier-on-pucker-face/

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