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Skier injured during Berthoud Pass Avalanche

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Skier injured during Berthoud Pass Avalanche

Postby dehrlich101 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:21 pm

http://www.9news.com/news/local/article/239357/222/1-skier-injured-during-Berthoud-Pass-avalanche

GRAND COUNTY - One skier was caught in an avalanche near Berthoud Pass on Sunday, according to Grand County Sheriff.

The skier was rescued by Search and Rescue officials and his friends.

He was taken to a Denver hospital by helicopter.

His condition is unknown at this time.
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Re: Skier injured during Berthoud Pass Avalanche

Postby ajkagy » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:42 am

heard from some friends there was a ton of wind deposit the last few days, be careful out there.
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Re: Skier injured during Berthoud Pass Avalanche

Postby Peakjumper » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:09 pm

Not much info on the slide from that reprt there is a little more here http://avalanche.state.co.us/pub_bc_avo.php?zone_id=1. We were up there on saturday and it was dumping light fluffy snow from sunrise to about noon, and the winds were very strong. When I woke up that morning to check the weather there were 90+ mph winds allready being reported at Berthoud. We decided to go anyways and stick to the trees in hopes that all that snow was settiling in them. Well it was quite a drive from the time we got off at Empire having to stop and pull over several times due to 0 visibility and I mean 0. The snow was definatly being deposited into the trees and that is where we decided to stay due to the good possibility of developing wind slabs in obstacles up high. There were small wind slabs forming even in the trees. We were about the only car there until about 10:30 or so when the weather started to settle down. The snow was definatly variable with bare ground to knee deep powder, to shallow wind slabs and that was just in the trees. By the time we were leaving the parking lot was quickly filling up and the sky clearing.

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Re: Skier injured during Berthoud Pass Avalanche

Postby COBuckeye » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:54 pm

Hope the injured party recovers quickly.

We were up in the 2nd creek drainage today and ran into two CAIC workers/volunteers who were headed up to investigate this slide. The slide occurred on the 2nd creek headwall, east facing aspect.

At and above treeline on east facing aspects we experienced no less than a half dozen "whumfs" and collapses. These occurred mostly on freshly wind loaded areas, but a couple were on hard packed wind slabs. Needless to say it is very unstable right now with these wind loaded pockets and wind slabs resting on 12-18" unconsolidated sugar. Please exercise caution.

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Re: Skier injured during Berthoud Pass Avalanche

Postby ajkagy » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:16 pm

pic of the slide
Image
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Re: Skier injured during Berthoud Pass Avalanche

Postby dehrlich101 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:22 am

Great Picture ajkagy.

An updated article from 9news and a video.

http://www.9news.com/news/article/239523/339/Backcountry-skier-was-buried-up-to-his-head-in-snow

WINTER PARK - Following an avalanche along Berthoud Pass Sunday, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued a warning for backcountry adventurers.

The moderate warning was issued after a man nearly died while skiing on the pass.

Officials haven't released his full name yet, but they say his first name is Matt and he's from the Fraser Valley.

Matt and a friend were skiing along Berthoud Pass when they accidentally triggered an avalanche.

The 300-foot-wide avalanche dragged Matt down 400 vertical feet through a field of sharp rocks.

Matt's entire body was buried, except for his head.

"His face was still exposed. He was able to yell and scream, which is how he was found," Greg Foley, an incident commander with Grand County Search and Rescue, said.

Matt had a tracking beacon on him. His friend was able to find him using another device.

Matt suffered a few broken ribs and was flown to a hospital in Denver.

Foley says strong winds shifted weak layers of snow on the mountains over the weekend and likely lead to the avalanche on Sunday.

"People that are skiing up there right now are skiing on wind loaded slopes. And it's a slabby condition on top of poor rotten conditions underneath," Foley said.

Even though the current avalanche warning is at moderate, Foley says you should prepare for worse conditions.

"Any backcountry adventurer should never travel alone. That's the first cardinal rule," he said.

Foley says you should also carry a beacon and a small shovel with you in case you get stuck. Cellphones are important too.

For the latest on avalanche danger in Colorado, visit http://avalanche.state.co.us/index.php.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)
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Re: Skier injured during Berthoud Pass Avalanche

Postby dehrlich101 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:53 pm

CAIC's preliminary report - 2012/01/01 - Second Creek headwall near Berthoud Pass

http://avalanche.state.co.us/acc/acc_report.php?accfm=rep&acc_id=426
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Re: Skier injured during Berthoud Pass Avalanche

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:53 pm

Not nearly as large as this avy but triggered one this weekend right above treeline on Bartlett Mtn. Steped onto this face that was not very steep and immeadieatly a shooting crack goes seriously ~150' to the left of me and 50' to the right. The crack width in some places was at least 1/2" and looked like it went quite deep.

Whoa....

We descend a little more and see that this shooting crack turns the corner and the otherside of the face has avyed. Pretty crazy slab action and I'm thinking a cornice broke off. :shock:
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Re: Skier injured during Berthoud Pass Avalanche

Postby Peakjumper » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:27 am

Some compelling evidence that the winds played havoc over the end of last week. Its hard to believe that the guy on Berthoud only had a couple broken ribs, and Fireonthemountain good pics you dont see many slides on smaller slopes but this is a great reminder that if it can slide it will slide givin the right combinations of terrain, snowpack, weather, and a trigger thanks for posting.

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Re: Skier injured during Berthoud Pass Avalanche

Postby robco » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:55 pm

Thanks for sharing the pictures, guys.

Abe, wow, a 150' shooting crack and having it propagate all the way to the other side of the face? That's pretty impressive. I've heard of such things, but never seen it myself. Was it the eastern aspect that slid? You should submit your observations to CAIC.

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Re: Skier injured during Berthoud Pass Avalanche

Postby outsidemike » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:47 pm

Abe,

Do you have a beacon yet? That is a pretty good sign that the snow is terribly weak out there -especially where it is wind loaded.
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Re: Skier injured during Berthoud Pass Avalanche

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:07 pm

Ya I have a Beacon and shovel.

Rob, I put in a report on CAIC today. It was on a NE face.
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