When an avalanche releases some distance away from the trigger point.

Someone does not need to be on the avalanche to trigger the avalanche. Especially in a snowpack with well-developed persistent weak layers (facets, surface hoar, depth hoar), a person can initiate a fracture from some distance away. We call these “remote” triggers. It’s common to remotely trigger an avalanche from the ridge above a slope, a gentler slope next to the avalanche, and from a flat or gentle area below the avalanche. Needless to say, if you remotely trigger an avalanche, the snowpack is extremely unstable and you need to choose your routes very carefully.

Our area commonly experiences persistent weak layers that are susceptible to remote triggering, and understanding this concept is important to traveling safely in the backcountry.

This avalanche was triggered from lower angled terrain 800-1000′ away. The group felt a collapse that propagated across the bowl into steeper, wind-loaded terrain. 

This avalanche was remotely triggered from below the slope by riders in the Pole Creek. It happened after the fourth rider had crossed under the steeper slope above.

This avalanche was triggered from the lower-angled ridge crest on Titus Ridge.