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Bill O
12-14-2008, 09:44 PM
Looks like a skier was killed by an avalanche skiing in-bounds at Snowbird in Utah.

It took one of the most "experienced" crews in the country an hour to find her. With 7 avalanche dogs! Seems like somebody, actually many people, messed up big.

This probably wasn't a massive debris field, just a small slide in steep terrain. It either took 59 minutes for the first dog to arrive or the area was totally contaminated by other people. Avalanche dogs are amazing.

Bill O
12-14-2008, 09:48 PM
It would be amazing if the National Forest stepped up and shut them down until they figure out what went wrong.

UncleFester
12-15-2008, 08:53 AM
I went snowboarding at Snowboard and to be honest, I was a little scared when I was there...I'm from the "ice" coast where the powder on the slopes isn't ever that deep, but when i got there and was in a middle of a blizzard in waist deep powder, it was fun but tough.

Bill O
12-15-2008, 09:27 AM
I've been skiing there in powder so deep it isn't even fun. You had to straight line the steepest slopes just to get down. And watch out if you fell. Dying or at least the thought of dying by suffocation was a real threat.

Its not about deep powder though, its about unstable layers in this case.

WinterWarlock
12-15-2008, 02:16 PM
Two deaths in Colorado (http://www.14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17073) over the weekend, too...one at Aspen and one at Vail. Be careful out there folks!

Bill O
12-15-2008, 02:40 PM
Two deaths in Colorado (http://www.14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17073) over the weekend, too...one at Aspen and one at Vail. Be careful out there folks!

That's not very accurate. I saw one death out-of-bounds at Aspen and one partial burial in-bounds at Vail (non-fatal).

WinterWarlock
12-15-2008, 02:44 PM
That's not very accurate. I saw one death out-of-bounds at Aspen and one partial burial in-bounds at Vail (non-fatal).

Sorry - the second fatal one was at Snowbird, which was the one that started this thread.

It's still early for two in one weekend...plus one close call.

Bill O
12-15-2008, 02:48 PM
...plus one close call.

Probably lots more close calls then we heard about as well. Another slide was triggered outside The Canyons resort, it was non-fatal. And, given the size of Colorado I'm sure many more were triggered.

WinterWarlock
12-15-2008, 02:49 PM
Probably lots more close calls then we heard about as well. Another slide was triggered outside The Canyons resort, it was non-fatal. And, given the size of Colorado I'm sure many more were triggered.

I don't know much about avy's, but I was surprised at the small size of the Aspen one...or is that typical?

Bill O
12-15-2008, 02:57 PM
I don't know much about avy's, but I was surprised at the small size of the Aspen one...or is that typical?

100 yard long by 30 yards wide. Could have been the size of the entire slide, the size of the debris field, or the size of the slab that slid. Either way, you're right, its not very big.

But that is much more common than the massive slides you see in videos. Small slides kill way more people than the dramatic, 200mph monsters. Often below tree line, in a small clearing or glade where people would never think about an avalanche occurring.

ColdWeatherClimber
12-15-2008, 11:11 PM
Do the ski patrols still drop dynamite occasionally to get a controlled avalanche with people out of the area to make it safer?

Bill O
12-16-2008, 07:04 AM
Do the ski patrols still drop dynamite occasionally to get a controlled avalanche with people out of the area to make it safer?

Practically everyday. They do more than just drop them. They fire explosives from cannons to reach the hard to hit areas. The crews at Snowbird and Alta are considered to be the best at this.