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Old 12-03-2007, 11:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Let's talk Colorado snowpack.

In short it's loaded.

Most places along the Front Range have received over a foot. Places like Crested Butte and Wolf Creek have gotten 30 and 40 inches respectively. That is a lot of new snow on a less than desirabe base. Take a rubberband stretch it out and then put a knife to it. That is what we are playing with at the moment. Even ducking ropes at the resort could cause a release and bury you. If you are going to duck or play out of bounds, it's time to be conservative. Watch your angles, keep it 30 degrees and under. Use tree'd slopes, but remember if you get carried in the trees you could really get pinballed in them. Beating the life out of you.

There was close call in the Montgomery Pass area up above Fort Collins, here is the report from the CAIC.

The accident occurred mid-afternoon Sunday. A party of 3 went to Hot Dog Bowl, south of Zimmerman Lake and east of the Pass. The Bowl has a northerly aspect, tops out around 11,200, gets wind loaded, and had weak snow prior to the weekend storm. One person was caught and fully buried. Initial reports are of a 2 meter deep burial. The other party members found and uncovered the victim in short order, a fantastic rescue. The victim was flown out after rescue for advanced medical care. Everyone should cross their fingers or pray that he makes a fully recovery.

Mind you sounds like this guy is going to survive, but in all likely hood his season is done. Being flown out indicates he was beat up by the slide. With a shallow pack, he probably got banged up by plenty of rocks, ice, and other debris that laid just under the snow. Think broken bones, internal injuries.

So if you go out have a buddy, have your avy gear and know how to use it. It would be a really good time to put new batteries in your beacon and practice. Backcountry is a riot, but it's no joke. Your safety is 100% up to you.
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well the rider (originally reported as a skier)I mentioned in this was more beat up than I thought. He passed today. These guys had him recovered in about 10 minutes. This just underscores how serious it can be.

RIP Luke.

Last edited by killclimbz; 12-10-2007 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wolf Creek has had 10 to 12 feet in less than 2 weeks. I am not even sure you can get to the pass right now.
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