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A tribute to the 34 people killed in U.S. Avalanches 2012

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A tribute to the 34 people killed in U.S. Avalanches 2012

Postby dehrlich101 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:03 pm

Good article from ESPN.. Sobering reminder to be careful out there this winter.

http://espn.go.com/action/freeskiing/story/_/id/8459036/a-tribute-34-people-killed-us-avalanches-2012
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Re: A tribute to the 34 people killed in U.S. Avalanches 201

Postby Alpineair » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:34 pm

Very sobering indeed! Haven't seen the stats for Co. last year but I suspect they may be down due to the mild winter. Thanks for sharing that.
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Re: A tribute to the 34 people killed in U.S. Avalanches 201

Postby dehrlich101 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:43 pm

Alpineair wrote:Very sobering indeed! Haven't seen the stats for Co. last year but I suspect they may be down due to the mild winter. Thanks for sharing that.


Here are the stats for Colorado. http://avalanche.state.co.us/acc/acc_co.php
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Re: A tribute to the 34 people killed in U.S. Avalanches 201

Postby jmc5040 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:00 pm

Thank you for posting this. I wasn't aware that ESPN was doing a series on this, but I'll be sure to follow. I'm glad for this upfront section that they focused on the people themselves and didn't just state statistics, it puts things in a different perspective.
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Re: A tribute to the 34 people killed in U.S. Avalanches 201

Postby USAKeller » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:43 pm

jmc5040 wrote:Thank you for posting this. I wasn't aware that ESPN was doing a series on this, but I'll be sure to follow. I'm glad for this upfront section that they focused on the people themselves and didn't just state statistics, it puts things in a different perspective.

I totally agree.
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Re: A tribute to the 34 people killed in U.S. Avalanches 201

Postby rking007 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:09 pm

Wow, that was a tough read but really glad they did it. It makes me think of my goals and aspirations in the mountains up against my goals and aspirations with my wife and family. I pray that safety is something that will hopefully never take a back seat to a summit for me and for all of us that go up to play this season. Be safe everyone!
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Re: A tribute to the 34 people killed in U.S. Avalanches 201

Postby zdero1 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:22 pm

Refreshing to read an article that goes in-depth into the lives of the people whose lives ended far too soon. Perhaps the general public will gain a greater understanding about why people venture in to the backcountry and show more respect for the victims. Anyone who has read the Yahoo! comments section on one of their articles pertaining to any deaths or injuries in the mountains knows what I mean...

I look forward to future installments, and thanks for posting.

Re: A tribute to the 34 people killed in U.S. Avalanches 201

Postby AndYouSeeMe » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:33 am

That was a very refreshing article for sure! No armchairing, just respectful info on the accidents and great quotes from family and friends about the victims.

Kudos to ESPN and the author.

Re: A tribute to the 34 people killed in U.S. Avalanches 201

Postby MonGoose » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:50 am

See next post.
Last edited by MonGoose on Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: A tribute to the 34 people killed in U.S. Avalanches 201

Postby MonGoose » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:04 am

From the article:

Avalanche fatalities by activity, from 1950 to 2011
Snowmobile 212
Snowboard 57
Ski 291
Snowshoe/Hike/Climb 211
Other 115

It's amazing to me that the number of snowshoe / hikers / climbers is almost as high as skiers. The difference in my mind is that skiers expect to encounter avalanche terrain while most snowshoers do not. I remember taking Avy 1 training and recognizing for the first time the dangers of avalanche terrain. The realization that while snowshoeing and XC skiing, I had undercut and crossed many avalanche paths that I never even recognized. I just assumed because I was on snowshoes that I would be safe. I think it's a good idea for anyone who partakes in winter outings to invest in some type of avalanche education.

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Re: A tribute to the 34 people killed in U.S. Avalanches 201

Postby madbuck » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:46 am

MonGoose wrote: I think it's a good idea for anyone who partakes in winter outings to invest in some type of avalanche education.


I do agree with this -- even a minimum awareness class.

MonGoose wrote:It's amazing to me that the number of snowshoe / hikers / climbers is almost as high as skiers.
...I just assumed because I was on snowshoes that I would be safe. .


But looking into the numbers more deeply (here's an interesting chart breaking down the trend), snowshoers as a group haven't had nearly the prevalance of avalanche fatalities as climbers, and especially BC tourers and snowmobilers. My opinion and observation is that much of the popularity of snowshoeing is occasional use in relatively flat areas (e.g. flatter RMNP trails, Michigan Ditch - Cameron Pass) or close to town (e.g. Chautauqua in Boulder), and many of the guidebooks people use for such recommendations steer people toward low avy risk trails.
That is, I agree everyone could use some awareness -- but I do believe the trend of fatalities continues to be people that really are seeking deep travel into higher-risk terrain more than lighter users accidentally getting into sketchy terrain. And the even bigger threat and challenge is getting people to try outdoor activities for overall fitness, -- it's a challenge to balance some awareness with rational and realistic assessment of risk -- so I don't want sedentary people unduly afraid of these activities. (Notice the armchair quarterbacking in any newspaper regarding SAR missions, falls/accidents, and avalanches).
My observation, though.

*

Very interesting article, thanks.

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Re: A tribute to the 34 people killed in U.S. Avalanches 201

Postby Ross M G » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:27 pm

Outside magazine has a good article about the Steven's Pass avalanche too. Worth picking up.

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