CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2024/01/14 - Wyoming - Little Poudre Mountain, Prater Canyon

Published 2024/01/15 by Frank Carus - Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center

Avalanche Details

  • Location: Little Poudre Mountain, Prater Canyon
  • State: Wyoming
  • Date: 2024/01/14
  • Time: 12:00 AM
  • Summary Description: 1 backcountry skier buried and killed
  • Primary Activity: Backcountry Tourer
  • Primary Travel Mode: Ski


  • Caught: 0
  • Fully Buried: 1
  • Injured: 0
  • Killed: 1


  • Type: SS
  • Trigger: AS - Skier
  • Trigger (subcode): u - An unintentional release
  • Size - Relative to Path: R2
  • Size - Destructive Force: D2
  • Sliding Surface: I - New/Old Interface


  • Slope Aspect: --
  • Site Elevation: --
  • Slope Angle: --
  • Slope Characteristic: --

Accident Summary

PRELIMINARY: Party of 2 ascended skin track to ridge after approaching via snowmachines to summer trailhead. Reporting party heard one collapse on skin track, most of which had previously avalanched, to the ridge where they transitioned. Party discussed staying on sub-ridge feature which had previously been wind-hammered during Thanksgiving east wind event. Party skied several hundred vertical feet from ridge without incident. after regrouping and discussed specifics route strategies, the second skier diverted from intended route and triggered a soft slab, 2-3' thick and 50' wide on a steeper terrain feature adjacent to a gully. Debris funneled into gully and carried the victim through brush and trees. Skier 2 was buried under approximately 2 feet of snow. First skier performed beacon search and excavated the skier in ~15min., found victim pulseless with signs of leg injury. First skier performed CPR for 1.5 hours. Skier likely died of trauma. Both were extricated via helicopter due to dangerous avalanche conditions near route and hangfire on scene. Responding LEO witnessed another avalanche while on scene. Forecast team has made two trips to Prater in the past 3 weeks and observed NSF's and surface hoar.

BTAC Observation