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One killed in Vail Pass Avalanche

Threads related to Colorado mountaineering accidents but please keep it civil and respectful. Friends and relatives of fallen climbers will be reading these posts.
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One killed in Vail Pass Avalanche

Postby Nelson » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:31 pm

Sadly, another accident:

https://avalanche.state.co.us/acc/acc_report.php?acc_id=504&accfm=rep&view=public

These are dangerous conditions and not typical for this time of year.

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Re: Avalanche Fatality

Postby jaymz » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:59 pm

The deep, persistent-slab avalanche is described as 10-20' deep and close to 1,000' wide

:shock:

RIP

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Re: Avalanche Fatality

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:28 pm

Damn, this is sad.

We were there yesterday (4/17) doing sled/ski laps near Ptarmigan and I'm not surprised the north side went. It's a known slide area which had to be pretty loaded based on what we saw on other aspects in the area. Plus, the area got an additional 6-8 inches of snow last night with some strong winds.

Horrible
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Re: Avalanche Fatality

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:37 pm

jaymz wrote:
The deep, persistent-slab avalanche is described as 10-20' deep and close to 1,000' wide

:shock:

RIP

It appears they changed that to:

The deep, persistent-slab avalanche is described at 10' deep and close to 300' wide. It broke trees 3-5" in diameter. It released on a north aspect in a near-treeline area.

I suspect this is the area of the slide, but I don't know for sure:
ptarmigan1.jpg
ptarmigan1.jpg (270.49 KiB) Viewed 2268 times
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Re: Avalanche Fatality

Postby geojed » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:42 pm

WOW! That crown is huge! :shock: :shock: :shock:

So sad
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Re: Avalanche Fatality

Postby Obese_goat » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:00 pm

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Damn it!! [-o< Such sad times, and the real sad thing is we are right on schedule with the average amount of yearly avy related deaths in CO. Even being cautious I have had my fair share of close calls in the moderate and considerate danger rating this year and in the past. Even had strange slabs inbounds in the trees this season. I saw a lot of natural avys around love pass yesterday and luckily i had the time of life I was unable to come with mine. I was so exhausted I decided to stay home today and I'm kinda glad. CAIC IS NEVER JOKING WHEN THEY PUT OUT THOSE SPECIAL WARNINGS like they did this past week!! BUT I understand how it is so hard to resist with the season melting away and conditions appearing to be so prime. No matter what this s**t always is so sad and so eerie to me. Always humbles me and makes me thankful. Thoughts and prayers to the victims, their families, and their friends. :(

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Re: Avalanche Fatality

Postby screeman57 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:09 pm

Agh, that sounds like an enormous slide. Very sad--RIP.
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Re: Avalanche Fatality

Postby jaymz » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:35 pm

BillMiddlebrook wrote:
jaymz wrote:
The deep, persistent-slab avalanche is described as 10-20' deep and close to 1,000' wide

:shock:

RIP

It appears they changed that to:

The deep, persistent-slab avalanche is described at 10' deep and close to 300' wide. It broke trees 3-5" in diameter. It released on a north aspect in a near-treeline area.


I figured it must have been a misprint, but that's still one monster of a slide! So sad someone got caught up in it.

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Re: Avalanche Fatality

Postby USAKeller » Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:28 am

Wow - this hits hard after having been right up there. That slide was huge. Very sad.
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Re: Avalanche Fatality

Postby Bean » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:18 am

Sad, and that's huge. This is one of the scarier late-season snowpacks I can recall. Second half of april and we're still dealing with hudge deep slabs going off.
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Re: Avalanche Fatality

Postby Steve Climber » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:04 am

Sad news to hear. Got word on FB feed from CAIC this morning laying bed. Said deep persistent slab, so was expecting a big crown, but that is huge. Looks insanely wind-loaded from the detail shot of the crown with a giant cornice still hanging over the center. Scary snowpack this year.

RIP to the rider.
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Re: Avalanche Fatality

Postby ajkagy » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:50 am

wow this sucks, one of my good friends already lost someone really close to them this year...It's still a winter pack, stay safe out there.
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