Very nice Karasene! Psyched you are having a great time. One of these years I am going to put together a summer trip down there. I should have done it when I was much younger.
As for the dude in an avalanche. Gear really doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot. It's a last ditch effort to save your or someone else's bacon if it all goes south. Obviously if he was carrying gear he would have probably of been thinking about the danger and maybe not have chosen that line. He is lucky to get out relatively unscathed. Especially since he triggered a slab that broke above him. More often than not that situation ends badly, even if the victim was carrying avy gear.