Well, calling it a debate may go a bit far, but at Teton AT they posted a video of an Avalanche in Hatcher’s Pass Alaska. They are skiing with dogs, and the slide starts when a kid hops off a small rock, falls, and releases a slab. The post on Teton AT goes on to talk about backcountry safety saying
“ Dogs in avy terrain? NO!!!
♦ Are you truly in a safe zone?
♦ Is it smart to huck in the BC? NO!!!”
which seems to have gotten some people angry in the comments. I think it’s more a question of ability and judgement (as the blog’s author states as well) and don’t have any real problem with the rock dropping in general but think it’s more a function of judgement in general. The particular area is known for extremely large surface hoar, similar slides are common. I’ve personally had a horrible experience where a small rock drop triggered a slide, but still insist it was a judgement issue (horrible day to be in the area) then a particular rock dropping or large group issue. Although they both contributed.
I would be interested to hear what people on this site thought of the issue, general thoughts on the necessity of conservative skiing in the back country would be excellent.