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Old 04-06-2012, 02:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A very sobering read.....

Over the past year I've picked up the habit of reading through avalanche accident reports (from NWIC, CAIC, etc) in hopes that I'll learn something about the mistakes of others that turned tragic. For the most part, they're all pretty sobering to read through, but this one really stuck with me yesterday. It just goes to show that even if your friends are there to dig you out in time, that's not always enough. This scene kept playing through my head the rest of the day. Fair warning, this one is slightly graphic....

Cashmere Avalanche 3/5/11
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've heard of head injuries from rocks, but nothing quite like this.

Originally Posted by 2hipp4u View Post
Im all for having fun, showing your tits and getting fucked up on a river float but it can be done without being a pig.
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Alex88 was killed by being carried into trees this season in Utah. Trauma is a serious problem when you get carried by an avalanche. The guy in Telluride who was killed in the sidecountry there, had it all. Avalung, Airbag, beacon, etc. He triggered a slide and got taken through the "bread slicer". Trees, rocks, and such. Airbags work great on slopes where you don't have very many obstacles to run into. Not so great in terrain with lot's of trees and/or cliffs and rocks.

We carry the rescue gear for when everything else fails us. Our decision making is the number 1 asset in staying safe out there. When the shit hits the fan, that gear is your last ditch chance if you survive the burial process. Tons of examples out there where a person was buried or carried by an avalanche, recovered in mere minutes and still passed.

You don't want to be on the receiving end of an avalanche. Plain and simple.
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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^^I agree with ya Kill. I always forget the percentage of avy deaths that are from trauma. This is the first one I've read that has involved dismemberment and bleeding out. I can't even imagine coming up to that scene. Bread slicer, cheese grader, strainers.....definitely not where you want to get caught. There was a pretty decent size avy near Baker last year that pinned a guy up against a tree and basically crushed his pelvis to oblivion.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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"hasty hand pits". that just about sums it up.
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This incident is the first one that alerted me to the potential trauma of an avalanche. "Boston Dave" is a friend of mine from growing up, and I got the first hand witness account from him as well. Very chilling...
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mjd View Post
"hasty hand pits". that just about sums it up.
Not sure what you mean here, but want to share my view (I was taught this): one uses the pits (hand or shovel) to find instability, check layers, but NOT to find proof that things are fine and justify dropping in in the face of other warning factors.

This is a very hard read, I saw it last year and still remember it clearly.

I try to review most of the Accidents in NA mountaineering, lots of climbing cases but also some avy and ski mountaineering. I find the little booklets give me a healthy dose of respect for the mountains
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