I've been reading the RMRU rescue reports. I said it before, and will say it again: very impressive.
On 'Skyline Broken Leg', they mention how avalanche debris can be like concrete blocks. It is something I have experienced, and it is very sobering to realize that suffocating to death in soft snow may not be the worst fate in an avalanche. We were descending Mt. Tom in the Sierras. Started down the ridge we came up. Doug Mantle suggested taking a shortcut down a chute. Being in an agreeable state of mind, I said 'Fine, let's do it'. Should have paid more attention to the fact that nobody else joined us. A few hundred feet down the chute, an avalanche started above us. We stepped to the side of the chute and watched it go by. It seemed harmless, about four or five inches of snow sliding down the chute, making a musical swishing sound. Lower down, we turned a corner in the chute and saw the avalanche debris. It gave me a chill that I can feel to this day. Acres of debris, the same as a boulder field. Except the boulders were rock-hard snow.