Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

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Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by Jorts » Mon May 04, 2020 8:08 am

This is prime wet slide season and there remains a lingering pandemic. Stay safe.

https://avalanche.state.co.us/caic/acc/ ... iew=public
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Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by Squirrellysquirrel » Mon May 04, 2020 8:46 am

Yes... saw this yesterday, too. Even seemingly innocent snow pack right now can be sketchy. Thought that this commentary from CAIC is worth reading... especially considering potential of hikers rock-hopping up slopes:

As we move into some cooler weather the avalanche danger is slowly decreasing. Don't let your guard down though as you can still trigger a large and dangerous avalanche. Stay away from steep slopes with unsupportable snow, especially those that face a northerly or east direction. Be sure to start your day and end your day early before melt-freeze crusts deteriorate.

A slight reprieve for the snowpack is in sight. Cooler temperatures will help slow the meltwater that is moving through our snowpack. Overnight low temperatures in the twenties will contribute thicker surface crust formations that will last longer into the day. Still, the snowpack will need more than 24 hours to recover from the last week of above-normal temperatures. This means that on some slopes, 1 to 3 feet of wet snow exists under crusts that form overnight. When these crust break down you can trigger avalanches that are just as big as over this past weekend. The main difference will be that the window to recreate in the mountains will last a little longer into the morning, natural avalanche activity will be less, and more slopes can be traveled on safely.

Wet Slab avalanches will still remain a concern especially in shallow snowpack areas. The places in your zone during the winter that were most worrisome for dry Persistent Slab avalanches are now the places you have to be wary of for slabs of wet snow. Weak layers still exist near the bottom of the snowpack, and once these weak layers become wet and lose strength, the chance of triggering a wet slab goes up.

Besides the geographically shallow areas to be aware of, you should also use caution and consider avoiding rocky, locally shallow, and steep terrain. Dark rocks have a lower albedo than snow and absorb more solar radiation. The warm rocks melt snow faster sending more meltwater flowing through the snowpack resulting in cohesionless snow and potential for meltwater to affect deeper weak layers.

The bottom line is that although the avalanche danger is decreasing, you should continue to take certain precautions when traveling in and around avalanche terrain. These steps to stay safe are- Start your day and end your day early. Avoid slopes with unsupportable snow. Consider sticking to open slopes with a deep snowpack rather than rocky, constricted terrain.

An avalanche accident occurred on Saturday in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. A hiker was attempting to glissade down a snow-filled gully when they triggered an avalanche. They were carried 1000 feet down the gully suffering injuries. In the area around the accident, there was very little snow except for these snow-filled gullies. This accident is an unfortunate reminder that our snowpack is far from summer snow conditions and wet avalanches are possible especially later in the day and in shallow areas of snow. Custer County Search and Rescue, Flight for Life, and the Colorado Army National Guard assisted in the rescue. You can view the preliminary report here.
Last edited by Squirrellysquirrel on Mon May 04, 2020 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by Trotter » Mon May 04, 2020 9:15 am

Wow, I wouldn't have thought that gully could slide like that.
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Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by rijaca » Mon May 04, 2020 9:18 am

Trotter wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:15 am
Wow, I wouldn't have thought that gully could slide like that.
Slope angle was 36*.

Custer County Search and Rescue, Fremont County Search and Rescue, El Paso County Search and Rescue, Flight for Life, and the Colorado Army National Guard assisted in the rescue.

Lots of folks unnecessarily at risk.
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Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by CaptCO » Mon May 04, 2020 10:14 pm

One word comes to mind.. lazy
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Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by XterraRob » Mon May 04, 2020 10:42 pm

Just bad luck, I hope the brave adventurer is safe.
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Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by pfiore1 » Mon May 04, 2020 10:51 pm

CaptCO wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:14 pm
One word comes to mind.. lazy
Unless you have any idea what happened please keep this thread just for actual info and sympathies.
Last edited by pfiore1 on Tue May 05, 2020 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by Ptglhs » Mon May 04, 2020 11:03 pm

CaptCO wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:14 pm
One word comes to mind.. lazy
Not sure who is lazy here, other than the person who had to be rescued off of belford and Oxford after spending a November night with their dog and friend above treeline and is now launching 6 word attacks against someone they'll never meet on an anonymous internet forum from the safety of their keyboard.

Horn peak isn't a lazy undertaking, neither is any of the volunteer work the SAR groups did to get them back safely, neither is being buried by an avalanche and trying to survive multiple injuries. You had one of the laziest rescue stories I've yet seen -you couldn't be bothered to get down in time on your own, uninjured power. This person was actually hurt in a weird, hard to predict accident.
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Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by d_baker » Tue May 05, 2020 5:20 am

CaptCO wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:14 pm
One word comes to mind.. lazy
One word comes to mind...moron.
Capt Moron.

Seriously Alec, why would you think someone is lazy in this situation? You've lived here for how long and your experience in the CO mountains is what?
And you've already been involved with a rescue. #-o
You need to grow up.
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Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by ker0uac » Tue May 05, 2020 6:58 am

So question - why were so many different SAR teams needed? Its a real question, not trying to be an a**hole. The person wasn't MIA, wasn't buried deep and it was wet snow. The person was injured and needed medevac, but I'd think that a chopper with 2-3 people could handle that.
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Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by d_baker » Tue May 05, 2020 7:09 am

ker0uac wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 6:58 am
So question - why were so many different SAR teams needed? Its a real question, not trying to be an a**hole. The person wasn't MIA, wasn't buried deep and it was wet snow. The person was injured and needed medevac, but I'd think that a chopper with 2-3 people could handle that.
What does wet snow look like to you?
I think a broken slab of wet heavy snow is not going to be a simple extraction. Sounds like she was buried up to her head as well.

I also think it's often the case that more than one SAR team will be involved, in particular if resources of one team is not adequate. Plus, I think there was mention of the chopper not being able to land due to winds.
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Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by blakhawk » Tue May 05, 2020 7:19 am

pfiore1 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:51 pm
CaptCO wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:14 pm
One word comes to mind.. lazy
Unless you have any idea what happened please keep this thread just for actual info and sympathies.

I understand why you edited your first response,and get it...But I thought it was well warranted. Thanks for your sar duties.

I hope your friend makes a full recovery,and will be able to enjoy the mountains again with a new found respect for them.

I'm not as experienced as some are on here,but I do have a good base knowledge of snowpack,and have been doing this for almost 24 years now,and I can see how easy it would be falling into that trap judging by the pics. Looks like early summer conditions on that side of the mountain. Except it's not consolidated snow. Very deceiving. Be safe folks
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