The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek
On February 19, 2012 a group of expert skiers were caught in an avalanche at Tunnel Creek, just outside the Stevens Pass ski resort. Three skiers, Johnny Brenan, Jim Jack, and Chris Rudolph died in that avalanche. Unfortunately, skiers getting caught in an avalanche isn't unique or extraordinary. But, understanding how and why this group of skiers were caught is very important for any backcountry skier to understand. Read and watch Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek to learn a little about how avalanches happen and what leads even experienced skiers into dangerous conditions.
Skiing and snowboarding are risky sports, which is frankly why they are popular. If you ski or snowboard outside of a ski area boundary you are in the backcountry and taking additional risks. Getting educated is as important to backcountry skiing as having skis or a snowboard. A great place to start learning about backcountry snow travel is the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE).
NYTimes - Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek