The Utah Avalanche Center has released photos and a thorough report from the slide that killed pro skier Jamie Pierre on Sunday.
Pierre and a friend were riding in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon at the Alta and Snowbird resorts, which were closed at the time and had not yet done any avalanche control. They triggered one large avalanche that did not catch them, then proceeded to the South Chute area of Gad Valley, where another slide caught Pierre and carried him about 800 feet over cliffs.
The avalanche center’s report reads like a textbook on early-season instability, much like the assessment Jackson Hole forecaster Bob Comey gave Saturday regarding the Teton snowpack. The Utah center had been warning of the danger on north-facing slopes because of weak layers of snow that fell in October.
“This incident is difficult for many reasons,” the report states. “We heard of over 10 human triggered avalanches on the day of the fatality, primarily in the upper elevation terrain in the unopened Alta ski area.”