tragic - 1st avi death of the season is Snowmass Patroller

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rocky
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Re: tragic - 1st avi death of the season is Snowmass Patroll

Postby rocky » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:20 pm

Memorial service has been scheduled for Patsy Hileman.

http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/156200

Rest in peace, Patsy.

May you all find peace - friends, family and co-workers.
rocky
south fork, colorado
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Re: tragic - 1st avi death of the season is Snowmass Patroll

Postby rocky » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:16 pm

rocky
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EatinHardtack
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Re: tragic - 1st avi death of the season is Snowmass Patroll

Postby EatinHardtack » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:31 pm

^^^ Those pictures of her last turns are very eery and humbling. RIP and I hope she is forever hitting the powder.
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Dave B
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Re: tragic - 1st avi death of the season is Snowmass Patroll

Postby Dave B » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:00 pm

rocky wrote:CAIC has posted a report about this accident.

https://avalanche.state.co.us/acc/acc_report.php?accfm=inv&acc_id=478


Wow, some really poignant lessons to be learned from this report, especially in regards to previous comments regarding generalized snowpack observations.

The slide occurred in bounds (albeit in a closed area), on a slope that had been blasted and boot packed for avalanche remediation. Further, the slide was triggered from near the crown fracture of a previous slide. This goes to show that even safe "seeming" slopes can be deadly, especially when bounded by cliffs or trees.
The mountains - whose summits reach or exceed arbitrary thresholds for elevation and prominence - are calling and I must go.

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Bean
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Re: tragic - 1st avi death of the season is Snowmass Patroll

Postby Bean » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:53 pm

Dave B wrote:The slide occurred in bounds (albeit in a closed area), on a slope that had been blasted and boot packed for avalanche remediation.

The area where the slide occurred had not been subject to bootpacking. The rest of your points are spot on.
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Dave B
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Re: tragic - 1st avi death of the season is Snowmass Patroll

Postby Dave B » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:24 pm

Bean wrote:
Dave B wrote:The slide occurred in bounds (albeit in a closed area), on a slope that had been blasted and boot packed for avalanche remediation.

The area where the slide occurred had not been subject to bootpacking. The rest of your points are spot on.


Thanks for pointing that out, that's an important distinction.

Indeed, the area above the slide had been boot-packed but not lower due to proximity to the cliff.
The mountains - whose summits reach or exceed arbitrary thresholds for elevation and prominence - are calling and I must go.

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Re: tragic - 1st avi death of the season is Snowmass Patroll

Postby taylorzs » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:30 am

The CAIC did a great job with that write up. Very sad to hear. RIP. Considering her age and profession, she was probably very experienced and made a very slight err in judgement, something we are all capable of doing. A very sad reminder that a small mistake coupled with being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be fatal.
Now, I do not want to derail this thread or detract from paying respects to the deceased but I think Peter303s comment brings up a fallacy in decision making and perspectives on avalanche terrain that "newish" people to backcountry recreation often fall into. I do not believe the following was a contributing factor to this accident as the in bounds closure, blasting, and experience level of the patroller make the circumstances surrounding the accident much more unique but here is something for you to think about Peter303. This is what you said;
paully wrote:peter303 wrote:
I was in the Aspen area this weekend. The snow did not look super dangerous, maybe a yellow-3 on a 5-scale. The temperatures have been too low to crust for past several weeks. And there hasnt been long, big dump recently either. Maybe just bad luck. Dont ski alone.

Remember what Yellow hazard means; Natural avalanches unlikely and human triggered avalanches are POSSIBLE. Moderate hazard is very tricky and many fatalities happen during this time because instabilities are present and not always obvious. Whumping, cracking, and visible avalanche activity are often not present to warn you and yet if you ski down a steep slope it can easily avalanche under your weight when it would otherwise sit till new snow and a new cycle of snow and natural avalanches. Yellow light days are some of the most challenging and dangerous days to be out in the backcountry for this reason. You cannot be "moderately killed". Not trying to berate you, just want you to learn something from your commment here that could save your life or someone you know in the future.
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