Thanks for sharing. This is very sobering and, on a personal level as an avalanche survivor (thankfully with no fatalities or injuries involved), it brings up some scary memories. From a technical perspective, I have a couple of questions related to the nature in which this particular avalanche started. First, it was a bit unclear to me based on the report if the author was actually the one who triggered the avalanche. The author's account of the start of the avalanche goes like this: "As I come to a gentle spot on the top of the ridge above the small bowl the other 3 skiers were on, I heard an extremely loud bang from behind me… it sounded like someone fired a shot-gun from about 6 feet behind me." I guess the part that confused me is, when he says "As I come to a gentle spot on top of the ridge", does he mean that he stopped at this point, or is this simply the spot where the avalanche was triggered? I'm also trying to understand how the avalanche could have started behind (and presumably above) him when he was on top of a ridge. Recalling the avalanche that I was involved in, there was no question that I and the person I was with were the ones who triggered it, and I would describe the point of release as being pretty much exactly where we were, not above. We were on foot, however, and I can see how if the author was skiing at the time the avalanche occurred, it's possible that even if he did trigger it, he was already below the release point by the time that he heard the noise Anyway, these questions are certainly not meant to question or judge the author in any way, just trying to construct a full picture of the entire sequence of events based on the description.