The Fin Avalanche Accident

3 caught, 3 partially buried, 2 injured

On January 8, 2021 a group of six skiers triggered an avalanche on The Fin on Republic Mountain outside of Cooke City. They were skinning up the slope when they felt the slope collapse and watched cracks propagate 250’ upslope. Three were caught and partially buried. Skier 1 deployed his airbag, was partially buried and able to get himself free.  He freed himself from the debris and began a beacon search which led him to see skier 2 who was buried head down with his airway obstructed. He was uncovered by skier 1, not breathing and unconscious. He sustained injuries, but later made it out under his own power.  Skier 3 was partially buried higher in the path, sustained serious injuries to his ribs and lungs and was evacuated by helicopter. The avalanche broke 1.5’- 2’ deep, 200’ wide and ran 700’ vertical. The average slope angle was 37 degrees. Slope angle at the crown was 33 degrees on an east aspect at 9,700’ elevation. The avalanche is classified SS-ASu-R2-D2.5-O.