This snowboarder, we’ll call him the Bearded Splitboarder because that’s what he calls himself, tells a pretty crazy story of getting tumbled by an avalanche last spring in Colorado off Vasquez Peak. Spring is usually a time for shredding steeper lines. But in May of last season, Colorado was blessed with a big snowstorm. So things changed.
Myself and my partner decided to summit and ride down a northeastern facing chute that we believed had not been subject to the sun as much. We had both ridden this area a few times in years past but had not done this particular chute before, since it’s steeper than some of the others sitting further up valley.
As we started to ride down the snow was soft, which was unexpected. Everywhere else was firm. My partner descended about 3/4 of the way down and stopped in a safe zone so we could regroup and descend to the other two members of our party. He rode down the least steep portion of the chute and noticed a few rollerballs starting there as well. He yelled up at me about the rollerballing but I did not hear him. I descended next and followed a fall line to drop in. This line had a convexity and became steeper.
I did a few turns and was picking up speed when the slope to my left began to crack. To my right were two large rocks poking out so i decided to go left so if I was swept off my feet I would not be dragged through them. I straight lined it hoping to escape but got swept off my feet. We believe the slide carried me about 200 feet. I was able to keep my face skyward and as I came to a stop I didn’t have any snow on my head so I threw a hand up so as the debris settled my partner would be able to see me quickly. My left side ended up being buried under about a foot of wet snow, while my right side was free.
You can read Bearded’s full account, here.