IMO, one of the scariest and most sobering parts of this story is the fact that two of the deceased were only buried 2-3 feet deep and the survivor, though not fully buried, was unable to self extract.
This really hammers home the point that self rescue simply cannot be considered as a possibility when considering avalanches. These poor guys were only buried in the neighborhood of 2 feet deep and they were absolutely helpless.
"People say that marijuana smoking is going to get in the way of my career. I say to them that on the contrary, my fighting career is getting in the way of my marijuana smoking." -Nick Diaz