Yesterday (Sunday, Jan 16) we narrowly escaped being swallowed by a massive avalanche at the base of Squash Head in Santaquin Canyon. It was by far the biggest avalanche I’ve ever seen in my life, and we were lucky to escape with our lives. My partner was knocked down and partially buried, but managed to scramble out of the impact zone before being completely engulfed. I was directly in the impact zone when the slide was spotted coming from above, but had just enough time to run to the base of Martini and hide under the roof. The slide persisted for 1-2 minutes, and buried the base of the route to the road in at least 8 feet of dense snow (maybe more in places).
We lost quite a bit of gear, either from it being buried or from trying to flee the scene as quickly as possible (for fear of another slide). A blast of air preceding the slide blew most of our gear down slope and kept it from being buried, but we lost a few items:
•Pair of one of a kind, custom made ice tools. They’re I-beam in construction and silver colored aluminum with black handles.
•Stuff sack full of gloves and clothing
•Couple of ice screws
•10 quick draws on the mixed route, Martini. We didn’t want to hang around and retrieve the draws – please leave them fixed until we can get back and pull them down
This gear is going to melt out eventually – if you come across any of it please send me a PM.