Human Triggered Avalanche in Left Gully, Tuckerman Ravine

December 5, 2021

SYNOPSIS:

On December 5 at approximately 12:00 pm a skier triggered a shallow soft slab avalanche near the top of Left Gully. The skier was caught and carried, and a short distance later triggered a 2nd, larger avalanche. The skier was carried 800 vertical feet, unharmed and landed on top of the snow at the mouth of the gully. 

At the same time, a solo skier was half way up the gully transitioning from climbing to skiing when hit by the avalanche. The skier was carried downhill 450 vertical feet, hitting exposed rocks along the way with serious injuries the result, coming to a stop on top of the avalanche debris pile well below the entrance to the gully.  After medical needs were addressed, the patient was placed in a rescue litter and transported to an ambulance waiting at the trailhead by a group including Forest Service Snow Rangers, Harvard Cabin Caretaker, the two other skiers involved from above and several bystanders. The rescue effort involved 9 people and 5 hours.