Sunday, March 1, 2009 started out as just another average morning as the Lewiston crew of snowmobiling friends rounded up and headed down to McCall, Idaho to meet the 208 Productions camera crew waiting for their arrival.
There was talk of the level of compromising avalanche conditions as always when riding the country they ride. So, as usual the group conducted a gear check at the trailer that consisted of beacons, probes, shovels, packs, radio and nbsp.
Matt has almost no memory of the day, but the crew said everything was as usual. Routinely, Matt always picked a small steep slope and cut it hard to do a slab test. March 1st was no different than any other ride, with this normal routine of checking the snows stability with a hard cut and no slabs broke that day. So Matt and his crew climbed a handful of hills and kept playing.
However, during the week a fair amount recent snow had accumulated on top of a somewhat unstable layer,so they decided to work their way to an area less prone to sliding as it was a tree and rock littered side of the mountain.
Matt lined up on an average chute that he had climbed a dozen times. Camera was on, he rolled on boost and out of the chute he broke into a side hill towards the top as planned.
The mountain had a different idea this Sunday afternoon. It bit back hard. Upon breaking into the side hill, the wind loaded face broke nearly three feet deep across the entire hill 25 yards above Matt. The wall of snow consumed him, tumbling himself and sled rapidly off the rocky mountain. It finished by crushing him into a tree, and buried him in a badly injured and unconscious state. The snow settled & left Matt Potratz fighting for his life.