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Old 01-18-2011, 02:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Snowboarder missing at Berthoud

Snowboarder missing near Berthoud Pass | coloradoan.com | The Coloradoan

Shit.

I hope he's OK and I hope if he is he's well prepared to spend a night out. It's going to be pretty brutal up there tonight. NOAA is saying a low of around 14 with winds up to 35mph for a windchill of -4. That's almost certainly on the optimistic side. Hwy 40 across Berthoud was shut down for much of the day (may still be as far as I know) for avalanche concerns.

This is not good.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It wasn't a very cold storm at all yesterday. It was raining all the way to Empire when I was driving up. It was also nuking up on the pass like I have never seen with high winds thrown in. I knew on my second lap that the pass was going to close. After an all time run down Floral Park that is exactly what happened. There was a CDOT guy in the parking lot letting us know they had just closed the pass and that if you dropped below the parking lot you were probably not a getting a ride back up. I took that as a time to bail notice as they were no longer plowing the pass too. There was a fair amount of people sticking around playing on the east and west side runs. As far as temps go, it was fairly warm and the snow was a bit on the heavier side. Not nearly the dangerous conditions of a couple of weeks ago. Still, it's pretty hard to get lost on the pass. Stinks like a NARSID or something of that ilk. Hopefully this guys is just lost and can't figure out that the road is somewhere below him...
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It was a pretty warm storm, especially compared to the brutal cold we had a couple of weeks ago, but the temps really started dropping last night around 8. I know it was 27 at the house when I posted this, so 14 at Berthoud was very possible. My concern is that if he was dressed for the temps during the day and didn't have some extra clothes with him, he'd be in a shitload of trouble when the temps dropped.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Damn I really hope if he is injured they find him before tonight, and as Wolf said he better be prepared to spend the night.
Good luck to him.
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Old 01-18-2011, 04:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I am afraid this one isn't going to have a happy ending. S&R is evidently searching the Apron.

Search continues for snowboarder missing at Berthoud pass - The Denver Post

Quote:
The search is concentrated in an area where an avalanche occurred on Monday afternoon. The area is above Seven Mile Run, near the second switchback from the top of Berthoud on the Grand County side, according to Foley. Backcountry skiers might refer to the area as "below the fingers."
"Below the fingers" would be the Apron which is the slope below the High Trail Cliffs. The Choke, The Knuckle, and the fingers all go through that cliff band. It's a pretty rad area, but you have to be wary of getting swept from above. Then the snow at the exit is a big Apron (hence the name) of snow working down. It slides a lot and it also tends to slide big. Yesterday morning I observed that it already had three naturals on it. Two point release slides and slab fracture. Snow was already reloading it. I really hope this guy was not out there, one could be buried very deep in that spot.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah it was a big slide, but that was Stanley Slide Path and not at the area where the snowboarder is probably lost. Stanley is a huge path that crosses the highway in two spots. Took some cars out four or five years ago and caused me an eight hour drive back to Denver.

By reading the article it sounds like they had a very specific area to search and it couldn't be that huge. A probe line should have found him. So maybe, just maybe this guy went down the Seven mile (3.5 miles long) trail and got trapped by the flats there. It's very hard to get through on a board if the trail hasn't been broken. I hope they thought to send someone down it. It's not threatened by avalanches except maybe once every 100+ years. Definitely not this time. Of course spending another night out there is not a good thing either and that could do it.

I also understand they are not doing avy control on the pass until they either call it or find him. That doesn't help either, as backcountry users who would be out there and might find him are not going to be there. *Edit, they have opened the pass, good hopefully someone will find this guy*
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowolf View Post
"Officials in Grand County say Miller and a friend were snowboarding in an area called "The Fingers" when a small snow slide occurred near the two men and Miller's dog. According to the friend, Miller and his dog were behind him, though he lost track of the two a short distance later. He told searchers that he snowboarded the same drainage two more times looking for Miller but was unable to find him."

NOT good.

I'm gonna go ahead and guess that these guys didn't have beacons.

killclimbz, where is "The Fingers"? I've never heard that. The only thing I could think of that could be referred to as "The Fingers" would be Ten Little Indians and if those guys were in those chutes then holy hell...
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The fingers are just east of the second switch back down berthound (coming from the interstate) and north of the old ski area. "fingers" are a pretty generic name for fluted terrain so you should be able to pick out the terrain on you r way to or from winterpark/maryjane. In other words its the treed chutes viewers left of the open chutes and flutes. Been a minute since I've been there but I hope that helps.

This dude and his dog are gonners (unfortunately). No way he could be that lost. It would take an idiot less than a day to climb out of seven mile especially with the traffic it receives.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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on an unrelated note, what runs would you recommend when avy danger is considerable to high on some aspects? Is telegraph pretty safe from slides?
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The only thing I know of that is called the Fingers is the High Trail Cliffs. The tree runs are High Trail Trees, Shop Chutes, Sentinel, and North Chute. All of which have avy danger, but not really any towards the bottom of the trails. I still believe they are looking around the apron, but this is all media reports so who knows. With the amount of snow that came down, I could see a person on a snowboard getting stuck there overnight, but certainly not two nights.

As far as safe runs go. Hoop Creek, Telegraph (the very bottom of that is threatened by slides from Floral Park), Hells Half Acre, Current Creek 90's area, the Meadows, and Pumphouse are all relatively safe bets.
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