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Old 02-16-2012, 04:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default CAIC reporting avy death on Wolf Creek Pass

No other details available right now. RIP

That would be #6 in CO, our yearly average - in mid-February.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No other details available right now. RIP

That would be #6 in CO, our yearly average - in mid-February.
Bummer, they got 3' of snow in the past few days.... I'm sure the danger is beyond extreme.....
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Shit. They just posted up about another one in Vail today. East Mushroom Bowl. This one just an incident as of right now, not a death.
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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No death, just injury in east vail, two slides though..... His buddies saved him.

Colorado: Skier buried, suffers broken ribs in avalanche near Vail; ‘considerable’ slide danger persists in the backcountry Summit County Citizens Voice
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There is a big storm rolling through this weekend with higher snowfall amounts than this last one.... Unfortunate tha there will probably be some issues on the holiday weekend
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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There is a big storm rolling through this weekend with higher snowfall amounts than this last one.... Unfortunate tha there will probably be some issues on the holiday weekend
I'm stoked it's coming, but yeah... with the timing and this snowpack it's going to be an anxious, nervous weekend for patrol and rescuers.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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can someone tell me why CO snowpack is generally weaker than say a PNW snowpack? reason i ask is i have been doing a bit of research on avalanches and it seems that CO and UT seem to always lead the nation in avalanches and any deaths. Just curious as to why they are more common than other snowfields.

Its also very hard to find any information on avalanches in Australia as we rarely have the snowfall amounts that would cause a slide.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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To accurately compare the figures from place to place you need to have data on exactly how many people venture into the back country in each zone. 6 deaths in one place might sound a lot but if there is 20x more people out there then the death rate per head is actually less.
In Australia we really dont have many people out in the back country.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Understand and of course it always has its variables, ohh and hotham and falls creek both have a pretty avid backcountry following, of course not the same as OS. And splitting is becoming more and more popular
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The CO snowpack is a continental snowpack and a bad one at that. It sucks because it's relatively shallow, cold, and dry. A shallow snowpack = a weak snowpack. To make it worse, we tend to get frequent small snows and that leads to a lot of layering. The interaction between these layers varies and creates additional weaknesses.

This year is especially bad because it's a bad snow year. We got very little snow for much of the season and all that snow turned to facets. Facets are basically snowflakes that have rounded off. Think about a nice, fresh snowflake. It has all kinds nice structure and angles to it that bonds well with other snowflakes. Facets don't bond. They create a very weak layer. Now we're starting to get some snow. So on top of this weak layer of facets, we're adding weight and we're adding weight in layers of snow that are relatively well bonded together compared to the base. This creates a slab. When you have a slab sitting on top of a weak layer, you've got the perfect recipe for avalanches. That's what we have now. Shit is fucked.

Yes, the amount of people in the CO BC contributes greatly to the number of deaths, but the CO snowpack really is THAT dangerous.
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