But on a serious note. Advice for what it's worth of one who had a close friend get buried in an avalanche and he did not survive it.
We always assumed that pretty much any face can slide. We would always go one at a time. Everyone would watch until the first guy had stopped and moved off to the side of obvious slide paths. If you all go at the same time and you all get buried in the same slide, it is game over. You always want to make sure that, if there is a slide,someone will still be able to dig. The smart thing in this case would be for the 3 to listen to the 1. If that doesn't happen, the 1 needs to stay with the 3 and they need to go 1 at a time. If you separate, all kinds of bad shit can happen. Even if the one makes it out, if something happens to the other 3, he won't be able to help isolate their location.
In the case of my friend Howard, they were traversing out along a creek bed, When traversing out on flatter terrain in deep snow, we would leap frog. One guy would ski ahead making a path, the next guy would pick up speed in his track and then pass right where the first guy had stopped and continue to break trail. I wasn't with these guys on this trip and always wonder if things might have been different if I had. We had skied this same location many times before together.
Howard dropped into the creek bed to break trail. It was kind of like being in a natural half pipe and you couldn't see over the walls. My other friends Keith and Chris saw the face to their left break free and start to slide right towards Howard who was now stopped. Despite the slide, Chris dropped into the creek bed and tried to leap frog and give Howard a track to get out on. Howard was starting to panic, because, even though he couldn't see the slide coming, he could hear it. The slide took both Howard and Chris. Chris got spit out to the surface; Howard didn't. They dug for hours, but couldn't find him and finally had to give up. They went to get help and a searchers went out with probes, but had to quit and start up again in the morning. They found Howard's body in the morning and I was there in the parking lot when they loaded his body into the coroner's jeep. I will never forget the sight of my friend in a bag, being taken away.
The really tragic thing about this is thing about this is that the 3 of them had order avalanche beacons, but they had not arrived when they left their house that morning. When they got home that evening, they had been delivered.
I would advise taking avi training courses. I would advise having beacons if you are going ob. I would go one at a time and watch the guy who is skiing very closely. If he goes under, you want to remember exactly where. Assume that any face can slide, and like in Howard's case, it may not be the face that you are skiing that slides. We will never know why that face went at that time. It could have been an elk farting for all we know. Howard had a fighting chance because 2 guys were still able to dig for him. The problem was that he had slid under the snow farther than what it appeared from the top and they were digging in the wrong place.
If this scares the crap out of a few NSers; great! You don't went to be skiing in the back country without knowing that you could get buried anywhere, anytime.