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Old 11-17-2010, 08:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Colorado early season avalanches.

There have been a couple of close calls already. One person injured at Berthoud yesterday. Sounds like he got some fairly serious injuries. . The area where he is rumored to have gotten slid is notorious and a very obvious avalanche hazard. If you know what you are looking for. In fact this area is so dangerous that I haven't put a line through it in over 5 years. This might be the season I do some lines down Rush and Nitro, but it won't be until spring.

Quote:
Avalanche Injures 1 On Berthoud Pass
BERTHOUD PASS, Colo. (CBS4) ―

One person was injured in an avalanche in the backcountry on Berthoud Pass Tuesday morning...
Avalanche Injures 1 On Berthoud Pass - cbs4denver.com

Another close call near Keystone and Loveland Pass.
Summit County: Skier carried 100 feet in slide near Keystone Summit County Citizens Voice

I can not stress enough on how sucky our snow pack is. The temperature gradient here causes facets to form near the ground surface of the snow pack. Last few pits I dug had about 3 inches of this. A lot less than last year, but it's still a ball bearings layer. Great for stuff to slide on. It wasn't much of a worry as the slab above it was well bridged and there just wasn't a ton of weight on it. That layer is now loaded with all of the recent snow. It's not going to take much to break that slab layer above the depth hoar and take you for a ride. All it probably needs is you for it to rip.

Still there is lots of fun things to do out there. Stick to lower angle, well anchored terrain. Ride one at a time. Remember that cherry line will still be there tomorrow, the next day, next season. With the way things are setting up, if we keep getting snow, we are going to be able to do the big lines soon enough. Right now we're getting into the killing zone months, so be careful.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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killclimbz,

Is there a link that shows some of the basics of what to look for when in the backcountry?

Such as the shape/terrain of the mountain (I believe I read that concave areas are prone to slides, etc.), what type of weather can cause slides, etc.?

I live in Michigan so in no way do I actually need this info, but it is very interesting and I'd like to read up on it.

Thanks
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Turbo here ya go http://www.snowboardingforum.com/bac...he-course.html
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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A book to read that I know Killblimbz has recommended is "Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain" by Bruce Temper. It is a pretty good read that I learned a lot from.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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here is a page of links: Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center (NWAC) — Avalanche Awareness Tutorials | Videos and Tutorials on Avalanches and Snow Safety from NorthWest Avalanche Center... lots of good stuff.

the "textbook" for my Avy 1 class was Snow Sense:Amazon.com: Snow Sense: A Guide to Evaluating Snow Avalanche Hazard (9780964399402): Jill A. Fredston, Doug Fesler: Books: Reviews, Prices & more

it's only $7-8
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think the natives have done a good job on recommendations here. Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain is probably my favorite book. Snow Sense is also great.

A lot more resources can be found at Avalanche.org. Links to all the regional centers, education info, and other good stuff.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So the latest update I read about the skier who was caught at Bert yesterday is that he has a broken back. Season done. Hopefully he'll recover.
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow thats awful. I read a story from a Denver TV station and it said the skiers injuries were not related to the slide It seemed very odd but I guess I just dont know how to read.
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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More info from Channel 7.

They are saying it was a snowboarder. Swept over the West Side cliffs.

I heard there was another incident at the bottom of the North Chutes on Russell. A couple of skiers triggered the avalanche from below. They got out ok, but lost a couple of poles. I guess they plan to find them in the spring.

Be smart out there.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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No surprise with the Bert slide. Snow has been piling up there quite a bit in the past few days.
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