Avy Bombs Away: What it's Like to be Ski Patrol on a Powder Day

Bombs away! Dave Thibodeau throws a charge off the east side of Peaked Mountain. - ©Cody Downard Photography

Bombs away! Dave Thibodeau throws a charge off the east side of Peaked Mountain.
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

Bombs away! Dave Thibodeau throws a charge off the east side of Peaked Mountain. - ©Cody Downard Photography
Dave Thibodeau, Lindsey Fell and Joe Calder protect their ears from a safe zone well above the explosion. - ©Cody Downard Photography

Dave Thibodeau, Lindsey Fell and Joe Calder protect their ears from a safe zone well above the explosion.
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

Dave Thibodeau, Lindsey Fell and Joe Calder protect their ears from a safe zone well above the explosion. - ©Cody Downard Photography
Grand Targhee ski patroller Joe Calder goes over the morning avalanche route plan as Dave Thibodeau and Lindsey Fell boot up. - ©Cody Downard Photography

Grand Targhee ski patroller Joe Calder goes over the morning avalanche route plan as Dave Thibodeau and Lindsey Fell boot up.
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

Grand Targhee ski patroller Joe Calder goes over the morning avalanche route plan as Dave Thibodeau and Lindsey Fell boot up. - ©Cody Downard Photography
Dave Thibodeau, Lindsey Fell and Joe Calder ride up Sacajawea lift. - ©Cody Downard Photography

Dave Thibodeau, Lindsey Fell and Joe Calder ride up Sacajawea lift.
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

Dave Thibodeau, Lindsey Fell and Joe Calder ride up Sacajawea lift. - ©Cody Downard Photography
Grand Targhee ski patrol crew bootpacks up the last pitch to the summit of Peaked Mountain to begin avalanche mitigation. - ©Cody Downard Photography

Grand Targhee ski patrol crew bootpacks up the last pitch to the summit of Peaked Mountain to begin avalanche mitigation.
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

Grand Targhee ski patrol crew bootpacks up the last pitch to the summit of Peaked Mountain to begin avalanche mitigation. - ©Cody Downard Photography
Long hikes and hard work offset with a tow to the top of Peaked Mountain. - ©Cody Downard Photography

Long hikes and hard work offset with a tow to the top of Peaked Mountain.
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

Long hikes and hard work offset with a tow to the top of Peaked Mountain. - ©Cody Downard Photography
Joe Calder tosses a charge approximately 20 meters down the north face of Peaked Mountain attached to rope so it would tumble down the face prior to detonating. - ©Cody Downard Photography

Joe Calder tosses a charge approximately 20 meters down the north face of Peaked Mountain attached to rope so it would tumble down the face prior to detonating.
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

Joe Calder tosses a charge approximately 20 meters down the north face of Peaked Mountain attached to rope so it would tumble down the face prior to detonating. - ©Cody Downard Photography
Boom! - ©Cody Downard Photography

Boom!
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

Boom! - ©Cody Downard Photography
Calder examines the slope to see if the explosion cleared the dangerous layer of snow. - ©Cody Downard Photography

Calder examines the slope to see if the explosion cleared the dangerous layer of snow.
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

Calder examines the slope to see if the explosion cleared the dangerous layer of snow. - ©Cody Downard Photography
Thibodeau ski cuts a slope after throwing a hand charge to clean off any remaining snow that could slide later once the mountain is open to the public. - ©Cody Downard Photography

Thibodeau ski cuts a slope after throwing a hand charge to clean off any remaining snow that could slide later once the mountain is open to the public.
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

Thibodeau ski cuts a slope after throwing a hand charge to clean off any remaining snow that could slide later once the mountain is open to the public. - ©Cody Downard Photography
Calder relays the plan as the patrol team prepares to ski cut the steepest open terrain on Peaked Mountain. - ©Cody Downard Photography

Calder relays the plan as the patrol team prepares to ski cut the steepest open terrain on Peaked Mountain.
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

Calder relays the plan as the patrol team prepares to ski cut the steepest open terrain on Peaked Mountain. - ©Cody Downard Photography
Grand Targhee patrol ski cutting in formation. - ©Cody Downard Photography

Grand Targhee patrol ski cutting in formation.
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

Grand Targhee patrol ski cutting in formation. - ©Cody Downard Photography
Pre avy bomb views as the sun rises over Grand Targhee. - ©Cody Downard Photography

Pre avy bomb views as the sun rises over Grand Targhee.
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

Pre avy bomb views as the sun rises over Grand Targhee. - ©Cody Downard Photography
The very important job of keeping skiers safe is not without its perks. Lindsey Fell rips some powder on her way down from the top of Peaked after all the avalanche work is complete. - ©Cody Downard Photography

The very important job of keeping skiers safe is not without its perks. Lindsey Fell rips some powder on her way down from the top of Peaked after all the avalanche work is complete.
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

The very important job of keeping skiers safe is not without its perks. Lindsey Fell rips some powder on her way down from the top of Peaked after all the avalanche work is complete. - ©Cody Downard Photography
Calder points out small sluff avalanche areas that released after ski cutting. - ©Cody Downard Photography

Calder points out small sluff avalanche areas that released after ski cutting.
Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

Calder points out small sluff avalanche areas that released after ski cutting. - ©Cody Downard Photography

Resort: Grand Targhee Resort