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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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7th Avalanche Fatality in Colorado

A snowboarder was killed yesterday on Dead Dog.

From CAIC.

Colorado's 7th Avalanche Death

On May 21 a snowboarder was killed near the Dead Dog Couloir on Torreys Peak (Front Range zone). Our thoughts go out to their family and friends. We will post more details as they become available.
I tried to do a line on Grizzly Peak yesterday which is Torrey's next door neighbor. All the warning signs were there that we should have turned around at the parking lot. I cut two turns, headed for a safer zone and everything window paned around me and slid. Fortunately I was in shallow snow around rocks and was able to dig in and let it go. Cody got carried a bit further scaring the crap out of me. The fracture was about 20" deep at it's highest point and went over 50ft wide, maybe even 100. New snow sliding on the harder layer underneath. I did have my helmet cam on but visibility was bad. If the footage is discernible I'll post it up.

We pulled the plug after that as the rest of the chute was looking just as sketchy with very few safe spots if any. Unfortunately by that time our way up to the peak wasn't much safer. Complete white out conditions and shooting cracks all over. Took us well over two hours to safely get back to the car.

By the time we got back to Bakerville where our shuttle was we had heard about the slide on Torrey's. S&R was there and we did talk to them about it. They had said the victim was resting comfortably and they were just waiting for a heli to get him out. Obviously not the case.

I had another friend on Christo Couloir yesterday and he kicked off a slide on that. Was just not a day to be in the alpine at all. I wish we had of just turned around and rode the trees at Bert. That had to be awesome. Would have been good today too. I needed a break after yesterday.

My condolences to the friends and family of the snowboarder.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 11:57 AM
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Sounds like a made a good call with the garage cleaning.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 06:18 PM
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KC -

HOLY SHIT! I'm glad to hear you & Cody weren't harmed & able to egress the chute/zone safely.

I'd like to see your POV footage & hear some more details.

When you're ready to get back out, lets tour!

++vibes++ to the family & friends of the splitboarder.

Last edited by bravo_castle; 05-22-2011 at 07:09 PM.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 01:53 AM
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Here's a little more info:

A 38-year-old skier from Superior died Saturday evening from the injuries he suffered in an avalanche in Clear Creek County.

Joel Levenberg was swept more than 1,000 feet over rocks in the slide on the east face of Torrey's Peak. He was found alive at about 12,800 feet in elevation, the Clear Creek County Sheriff's Department said tonight.

The slide happened at about 1 p.m., and Levenberg complained of injuries to his chest and hip when rescuers reached him at about 5:30 p.m., according to a media release from the Sheriff's Department.

The wind was blowing at more the 50 mph,and snow created white-out conditions for the 26 rescuers from several agencies, including Alpine Rescue Team and Summit County Rescue Group. He could not be airlifted because of the conditions, authorities said.

Levenberg died on the mountain from his injuries at about 7 p.m.

His two companions said they had hiked to the 14,275-foot summit of Torrey's Peak and decided to ski down. Levenberg went first, triggering the large slab to slide, they told authorities.

One of the companions stayed with him while another went for help, the Sheriff's Department stated.

It's amazing he wasn't killed on impact. I hope he didn't suffer too much.

Definitely echo what was said above. Glad you and the pup are okay killclimbz!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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We definitely did a lot of things wrong. Too focused on getting onto Grizzly for sure. It was snowing hard and that should have been enough for us to turn around and seek more protected areas. There was plenty of safe stuff to be done that day. Conditions were mid winter above 12k. I've seen a lot of people talking about a warm up at Bert and slides starting because of that. This was not the case on Grizzly. It was brutally cold up there and white out.

I should have climbed down into the chute rather than off to the side. Everything I saw indicated the top of the chute was blown out. Even right above it where we dug out a wind break. If it had of been, it wouldn't have been a problem. As soon as I realized how loaded it was I cut hard skiers right and went towards the rocks where the snow pack was obviously more shallow. That one decision saved me a lot of grief.

Getting out of the chute was tough. Getting back down to the parking at Loveland Pass was tougher. We retraced our steps, but it was considerably more loaded than when we came up. Pete's Iphone was a huge help in allowing us to re trace our steps. We booted down a good thousand vert in semi shallow snow over rocks. After that we got to a spot where we could transition to boards. I spent a lot of time making tight turns to break up the wind slab. It was cracking everywhere. Fortunately we were just worried about the storm slab. I would slope cut the crap out of it break up the slab. I did my best to find safe zones and would call the rest down. We did this for well over a thousand vertical in full on white out. A good 500-600 vertical was completely snow covered, no rocks or anything to give you visual clues. I found a lower angle bench and that was about it. Finally lower down the weather lifted a little and we could start seeing landmarks. It was still tough riding but my nerves were eased a bit. I couldn't have been more happy to have reached tree line. Best turns of the day there, too bad I was spent from making so many tight turns up high.

Saturday was a mini epic for sure. It was close to having to dig in.

It sucks Joel wasn't able to pull something off like we did. We were at 13k, at 14k, it had to be even more brutal. What ever the circumstance, we had seen Joel in the morning getting ready for his day when we dropped off the car for a shuttle at Bakerville. He never made it back.

My most heartfelt condolences to his friends and family. This one really hurts.
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