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Thread: Avalanches this year

  1. #1

    Avalanches this year

    I just wanted to reach out to everyone and say please be careful this season. I'm sure most of you have heard that as of recently there have been a number of deaths in Colorado within the past few days. Here in Utah we have been having slides all over the place as well.

    The fundamental issue as I understand it it, is that we had about a month of no snow and the snow turned to sugar. That means the water evaporated out of it, making it a very "airy". When new snow piles on top of that sugar layer, the sugar can break easily and create very large slides where the entire upper layer of snow slides when the sugar layer breaks.

    In the slides that have been happening so far, I'm told that less then half of the sugar is going with it, which means it can easily slide again when more snow comes on top of it again.

    A lot of slides are happening in bounds in places that are normally very stable.

    The bottom line is that there is going to be a lot of slides this year, both in and out of bounds. One of my examiners in Whistler lost his best high school friend to an in bounds slide. The slide was not on some steep scary area, but in some little place that nobody would ever suspect as being a problem, but somehow this little mini slide occurred and buried his friend just upside down enough to suffocate and kill him. Just because you are in bounds, does not mean you are completely safe, though staying in bounds and out of closed areas will minimize your risks substantially.

    Please be careful, not only in the days ahead, but for the rest of the season; particularly if you are in Tahoe, Utah, Colorado; the areas that had a super dry December/January.

  2. #2
    Home Sweet Home Snow Sport Instructor Lars's Avatar
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    Ya, i've been reading the Summit Daily.

    Three fatalities from inbounds slides just this weekend.

    13 year old boy at Vail who ducked a rope and it cost him his life.

    Just be smart people and be aware of what can happen.

    Talked to my Cousin today who skis backcountry around Summit Co all the time. I've been with him on several trips and I trust him and his knowledge. He said even the slopes below 30 degrees are sliding. A friend of his set off a large slide across from ABasin a day ago. Which my Cousin said wasn't the smart thing to do and the place to ski.

    Be safe people.
    all the knowledge in the world is of no use to fools

  3. #3
    Bought a home Freaq's Avatar
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    This is still relevant and important. Bumpin' it to the top.
    Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.
    -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  4. #4
    I have my own seat in the pub Bushido Princess's Avatar
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    This is really good to know. Thank you for starting this thread BTS.

  5. #5
    Bought a home Skier Village Coach songfta's Avatar
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    And just to show the power of even a slow-moving avalanche, this happened over the weekend in France:



    Very slow-moving, very wet and deep fracture, naturally occurring in this case. Still, though - food for thought.

  6. #6
    My horse knows his own way home Little Tiger's Avatar
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    yeah that was spooky!

  7. #7
    Living in a van down by the river
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    I guide groups and have every trip some skier who "defies" nature ! Great skier technically, but not humble, respectful of nature! Thinks all he ( because it is a male thing) has to do is get his cell out for help !

  8. #8
    Living in a van down by the river
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    Just to confirm why you must not ski alone.
    Read this.

    A back country skier who plunged 50 metres into a crevasse near Blackcomb on Friday managed to get out—with the help of search and rescue teams—without a scratch.

    Nikolai Popov, from Seattle, was skiing on Decker Mountain, just northeast of Blackcomb, when he fell into a deep crevasse.

    "I saw that there was a little crack and started probing with a pole to see where the crevasse is," Popov told CTV News. "Just as I was doing that, the whole thing collapsed under me and I found myself in a very nasty hole, it was quite deep."

    Popov said he was lucky that he did not fall all the way down the crevasse.

    "The hole itself treated me better than it could have because there were at least another 20 metres down," he said. "I could have gotten stuck there."

    Another person who had been skiing ahead of him noticed he had disappeared and called search and rescue. Still, it took two hours before the search and rescue team could hike to the crevasse and pull Popov out of the hole. While rescuers said Popov was lucky that he was not injured, they warn that skiing alone at this time of the year is a bad idea.

    "I wouldn't recommend touring alone," said Daren Romano with Whistler Search and Rescue. "Be prepared for self-rescue if you're going with a party. Take some ropes with you."

  9. #9
    A considerable measure of slides are going on in limits in spots that are regularly extremely steady.

  10. #10
    yes. I lost my one of relatives there also

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