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Five killed in Loveland 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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Please be respectful when posting - family and friends of fallen climbers might be reading this forum.

Five killed in Loveland Pass Avalanche

Postby Nelson » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:50 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/04/20/us/ap-us-colorado-avalanche.html?hp&_r=0

Guys, I'm starting a new thread because I think it is essential that anyone thinking about going out tomorrow to do anything know and understand the nature of the conditions.

There have been two monster avalanches in the last three days that have killed 6 people. These have been hundreds of feet wide 8-10 feet deep and have run for over a thousand feet.

If you get caught you will NOT survive.

Read the avalanche reports!

Nelson

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Re: Five killed in Loveland Pass Avalanche

Postby screeman57 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:28 pm

bump
"Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was." -Dag Hammarskjold

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Re: Five killed in Loveland Pass Avalanche

Postby MountainHiker » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:42 pm

We heard a lot of emergency sirens as we were wrapping up our day at Loveland. When we were leaving around 3:00 an ambulance pulled into the parking lot. We waited as it drove past on the side of the lot with the Ski Patrol building.

My condolences to the family and friends of those lost today.
Red, Rugged, and Rotten: The Elk Range - Borneman & Lampert

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Re: Five killed in Loveland Pass Avalanche

Postby thevagabond » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:30 pm

This is very sad. My thoughts are with the families of those who have passed, Rest in Peace. :(

Be careful out there.

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Re: Five killed in Loveland Pass Avalanche

Postby Johnson » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:31 pm

Very sad to hear this. Condolences to the families and friends. Be safe.
In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. - Psalm 95:4

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Re: Five killed in Loveland Pass Avalanche

Postby shredthegnar10 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:22 am

It's been a shitty couple of weeks for avys all over. Two people died in a slide in WA last weekend. Condolences to the families those lost. :(

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Re: Five killed in Loveland Pass Avalanche

Postby susanjoypaul » Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:27 am

Nelson wrote:Guys, I'm starting a new thread because I think it is essential that anyone thinking about going out tomorrow to do anything know and understand the nature of the conditions.

The Denver Post article notes:

"I feel really bad for these guys. I think they were trying to do a lot of things right. These weren't guys who were reckless and didn't care. They all had gear, and I think they cared about making good decisions," said Tim Brown, a Summit County avalanche forecaster with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

"That is an important message right now. You can do a lot of things right but still be caught in a dangerous situation."


So sorry for these guys, their families, and their friend who was able to walk away. Horrible, just horrible...

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Re: Five killed in Loveland Pass Avalanche

Postby MountainHiker » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:08 am

Also from that Denver Post article:
http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23070812/avalanche-kills-five-snowboarders-near-u-s-6

"Dale Atkins, the president of the American Avalanche Association and a longtime member of the Alpine Rescue Team, was part of the early rescue team.

"As rescuers, what we've been dealing with lately is avalanches that are sort of like angry sleeping dogs. They are unreactive for a long period of time, but with recent heavy snows and the deep weakness, somebody in the wrong place at the wrong time can bring a whole mountainside down."
Atkins said the bowl that released the avalanche Saturday was not an extreme slope.

"This would be a slope that looks like a lot of fun for good riders." he said. "But the conditions this spring are unusual, and unusual conditions result in unusual avalanches. You really need to dial it back this spring."

Late Saturday, the chunks that funneled from a 4-foot to 8-foot lip of snow clogged a deep ravine at the bottom of the wide bowl. Some of the icy chunks were the size of golf carts. The tracks of rescuers wended through the massive chunks toward deep holes.

The avalanche triggered while all six riders were nearing the bottom of the bowl and the beginning of the narrow ravine only a couple hundred yards above the top of the Loveland Valley chairlift.

"With all the snow and wind we've had over the last couple of weeks, winds are really building that slab up, and it's really kind of reached the tipping point this last week," said Colorado Avalanche Information Center executive director Ethan Greene. "Especially in that area. We are very much in a winter snowpack right now. The calendar may say it's April, but the snowpack looks more like February and it needs to be treated as such.""
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Re: Five killed in Loveland Pass Avalanche

Postby MountainHiker » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:58 am

The CAIC now has a diagram of the location and some photos:
https://avalanche.state.co.us/acc/acc_report.php?accfm=rep&acc_id=505
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Re: Five killed in Loveland Pass Avalanche

Postby killstorm » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:17 am

Names have been released:

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/5-snowboarders-killed-in-avalanche-near-loveland-pass-identified-sunday

Note that one of them was with American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education where he is listed as a Level 1 Course Instructor.

Be careful out there!

Re: Five killed in Loveland Pass Avalanche

Postby mikefromcraig » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:58 am

test test test
Last edited by mikefromcraig on Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Five killed in Loveland Pass Avalanche

Postby susanjoypaul » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:08 am

I don't think it's appropriate to question the actions of that survivor. One of the victims was buried under twelve feet of snow. We don't know if he would have been able to dig out even one victim, but it is quite certain that he wouldn't have been able to dig out all of them without help. He probably made the best decision, given the circumstances. I wish him peace and healing in the coming days, weeks, and years. What a horrible ordeal to have survived. Peace.

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