Let's put this in perspective. These guys did have experience and did follow protocols. The thing is the best way to survive and avalanche is to not get caught in one. Around 70% of those buried die from the trauma of getting buried. Of those 30% left over, the only chance to be recovered alive is your partner. That is where avy gear comes into play. When recovering a person in a burial situation the average amount of snow you have to move is two tons. Of the people who you are capable of being recovered alive, if you pull it off in under 15 minutes you have a 90% success rate. It drops but is still a high number if you pull it off in 30 minutes. 60-70% somewhere in there. After 30 minutes the numbers really go south. Less than 5% I believe.
So if you are out there making stupid decisions and relying on your avy gear and partners to save you, you are playing with a loaded gun. Avy gear and training is a must, but consider it more like a seat belt in a car. You know your chances are increased that you'll survive a wreck, but you also know there is no guarantee that you will.
We are in a bad stretch right now. Lot's of deaths out there. Some of the best in backcountry experience have been killed out there and some of the least informed. An avalanche just doesn't give a shit on what you do or do not know. It'll kill you dead just the same. It's a harsh reminder. I wish Caleb was still here to share his experience.
RIP Caleb and my most sincere condolences to his friends and family.