Carrabassett Valley, Maine- Saturday and Sunday were some of New England ski resorts’ best days in recent memory, as mountains across the region saw a bountiful amount of snow. However, this new snowfall led to a rare in-bounds avalanche at a famous Maine ski resort.

On Sunday, a skier triggered an in-bounds avalanche on a chute off the Skyline trail at Sugarloaf. Nathan was very familiar with this chute, as it was an area of the mountain he’d been shredding for decades. While skiing down the chute, Nathan got caught in a fifty-foot wide, thirty feet long, getting stuck neck-deep in the snow. In a Facebook post, Nathan described the avalanche in detail:

“It was a spectacular day on the hill today. The snow gods graced us with 24 (inches) of light, Utah-like powder overnight and a bluebird day to enjoy it. The mountain did lash out briefly this morning however, and it bears sharing to remind us all just how dangerous it can be to play in the mountains...

Deep snow, which, once moving, pitched me forward and carried me about 20 feet with large slabs breaking over me as we went. I was lucky to get an arm up and was able to swipe snow clear from my face as I came to a stop...

I’ve dropped this line by myself dozens of times — it’s right next to a trail and only a few hundred feet long, but long enough. And remote enough, in retrospect. The most surprising thing — well, other than finding myself in a slide in the first place — was how calm I stayed about the whole thing … As I started sliding face-first downhill I also immediately realized I should try to get face-up and get an arm up and I’m very thankful for that. Respect the mountains friends. They are a wonderland, but they won’t hesitate to bite. Hard.”

Nathan was rescued by Nik Krueger, who was skiing with friends. Here’s what Nik told the Sun Journal about the rescue efforts:

“I noticed that there was a huge shelf on the trail that broke. It basically swallowed him right up. I dug as fast and as hard as I could, probably 10-15 minutes of digging, and I was able to clear him out of the snow, haul him up, made sure that everybody was good, and we just kept skiing for the rest of the day. Nathan seemed pretty assertive he was good to go … so, we kind of just went our separate ways.”

Ultimately, the situation is a reminder to be cautious of potential avalanche hazards, especially when skiing steep in-bounds terrain on a powder day.

Image Credits: Nik Krueger, Sugarloaf Mountain

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