5 boarders killed in backcountry avalanche at Loveland - Page 3 - Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums
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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 05:04 PM
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Wow... there's some really sobering information in there. I don't know anything about avalanches, but I know a bit about physics, and that's pretty scary.

"my only interest in statistics is in not becoming one"

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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 07:42 PM
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I've been reading a lot about this ...Many comments saying that Sheep Creek is known for being unsafe especially the past week or 2. I wonder why experienced riders would make the choice to venture into the area. This coming from people who regularly ride LL pass ( which I don't ) so I don't have much opinion nor experience in the BC to agree or disagree. Wondering what others think about this?

heres a example of what I have read

"The general consensus among regular Loveland Pass skiers is that Sheep Creek is a not a good choice most days of the year. I have skied around the pass countless times, ascended via car, boots, and skins, and in no way shape or form would I have skied or recommended to ski that area. There were many other options that day, from fun meadows to long and mellow north facing gullies off the divide.

To me, these individuals were not experts or experienced, at least in terms of skiing at Loveland Pass. Id rather skin and ski in terrain that wont avalanche, alone and without a beacon, shovel or probe, than expose myself to the types of risk these individuals did.

I showed my wife the terrain they exposed themselves to. She has 5 days of backcountry skiing in her back pocket. Her reaction? Are you kidding me, why did they do that?

This is not a harsh assessment. These individuals made decisions that directly lead to their death. We all need to be frank and upfront about this and make sure we do everything we can so it never happens again." comment from Kahn on Wildsnow.

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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 08:06 PM
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Here's what I got from the AP article. Avalanche survivor buried for 4 hours, 1 arm free

They read the center's avalanche bulletin together, were aware of the deep persistent slab problem, and aimed to avoid threatening north-facing slopes as they planned to climb a few hundred vertical feet onto northwest-facing slopes, the report said.

But to get to that safer spot, they had to cross a dangerous area, Greene said. They decided to reduce the risk by leaving 50 feet between each person as they trekked. That turned out not to be enough for the large avalanche they triggered.
That stuff is like cement when it settles. The one guy had an arm free and still couldn't move only enough to clear the snow from his face, that's it.
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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 08:42 PM
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I just can't answer that question. The first thing I thought when I saw the area was that it had very high consequence. A loaded slope above you and trees below with a valley at the bottom. All of the worst conditions of a huge terrain trap. Yet we've seen this accident three times alone this season. Cameron Pass on March 2nd. Vail Pass April 18th. Now of course Sheep Creek on Loveland Pass. Time and again we've been warned, very sternly that the snow pack likes to go big if given the chance.

I know none of this group thought that from down so low they would trigger such a huge slide. It was a critical lapse. It is late in the year, generally speaking almost everything is safe right now. We had the green light just a couple of weeks ago and now we are in mid winter conditions. We need to treat it with the respect it demands.
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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 08:54 PM
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A couple of my coworkers/riding partners were up on vail pass all day prior to the vail pass death. They dug pits and cut lines but found nothing unstable. They lapped the area all day with the guy that died and two other guys with him. Two of them had just come down and were about to shuttle back around at the time of the avalanche. They found nothing that would have told them a slide would have occurred that day. He snowed me a picture from the day the slide happened that snows the fracture line with a 6'3" guy standing by the wall of snow. It was all the way to the ground/dirt and around 13-15' high. Massive and deeper than they would have ever imagined needing to examine. He and the other guys have been riding snowboards and snowmobiles in the area for 8-15 years from Loveland pass to indepence pass and all areas in between. He said he has never seen it so dangerous with no signs of danger on the slopes he was riding. He summerized his sleds and is done for this season.

I'm no BC pro but a lot of people up here spend a lot of time skinning the region or snowmobiling and they are all pretty shaken with the current snow pack and loss of friends. I'll take their experience and word for it. Including the lucky few that really ot away with murder the da vail pass slid last week.

I don't think the people on Loveland that day had anything more they could do other than ignore their passion. They took great precaution and did what they could to try to prevent danger. RIP to that crew....
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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 10:49 PM
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Really makes you stop and think.

Sad News
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