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Thread: East Vail Slide, 4 caught one killed Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-23-2014 04:05 PM
killclimbz Huge crown. I am actually quite amazed that it wasn't four dead after seeing the details of the path and terrain they were caught in. This could have been much worse.
01-23-2014 02:39 PM
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post
The final report from CAIC is up. Worth your time to read it.

Watching that video is freaking crazy. The guy standing next to the crown face... it's twice as tall as he is! Holy balls.
01-23-2014 01:43 PM
killclimbz The final report from CAIC is up. Worth your time to read it.

01-12-2014 09:45 AM
killclimbz It doesn't help that even slopes that are teetering on the edge let people get away with it. Sometimes for days. Which sounds like from Argo's description happened here. I am sure the first people to do CDC probably did a slope cut. If that had of popped there would have been wide eyes and a fyck that attitude. Persistant slabs don't react very often to those measures as we well know. You can dig around, do pit tests and they still give you no warnings. Then you jump on a slope and they go huge and well above you.

Argo, to your point on avalanche bowl last season. That was a classic deep persistent slab. We had about two weeks before that week started where just about everything was a go. I did almost all of the alpine lines at Bert multiple times. Confidence was high about going for bigger objectives with more complex terrain and higher consequence. We were set to do the Silver Couloir on Buffalo in Summit. A true classic.

Then it started snowing again and we got something like 30" that week. Snow does not like rapid change and that is the epitome of rapid change. The Silver is steep, long (3k vert maybe), little in the way of escape or safe zones and it ends in strainer trees. I sent an email out saying it was a bad idea, convince me otherwise and everyone else agreed. No one even thought about doing it, consequence was too high.

The day after we were going to do the Silver was the day of the Avalanche Bowl accident. At that point I had seen enough. It was mid winter conditions to me at that point and went back riding below treeline where that persistent slab was not very present.

The next week was Sheep Creek. That was a rough two week stretch.

When CAIC starts harping on persistent and deep persistent slab issues, you should be very scared. You just can't tell when they are going to go. When they do they go huge and are stone cold killers. Airbag, avalung, whatever. You are the .05 percentile if you survive. If you don't know that the slab doesn't exist on a slope, especially at or over 34 degrees I would just skip it. Fortunately of you are out in an area frequently you may know paths that are cleaned out and may not have that problem. That is where digging down can give you solid info.

Hopefully this persistent slab problem will start to back off over the next two to three weeks. I have no idea right now. It may become a deep persistent slab that will gives us fits through March. Some of the largest slides I have seen are during those conditions.

Also, I don't want to say thay East Vail is a no go. From the pictures I've seen there are a lot of good bets back there. CDC is probably the most dangerous and high consequence line in the area. You don't have to commit to it either. Easily avoidable.
01-12-2014 02:14 AM
It's just the risk some of us are willing to take. I know I've thought about it every time I've walked through those access gates. RIP
With resort gate access, Its more like a young mans feeling of invincibility and thinking that its not gonna happen me. And even if it does someone will rescue me since I can see the chair lift from the ridge im about to drop off of into snow I know nothing about.

I'd gamble that 75 percent of people leaving the gate don't truly believe they are at risk of dying in an avalanche.

People definitely need to chill out with their line selections. But everyone with a go pro is a film maker and everyone with a slr is a photographer and every shot has to be EPIC and SICK. Mellow slopes in fresh snow are fun too. Eventually the conditions will right and youll be able to ride steeper lines. The mountains aren't going anywhere.
01-12-2014 01:35 AM
marlo_df Condolences to Family and Friends. Sad.
01-11-2014 11:53 PM
FL_Boarder It's just the risk some of us are willing to take. I know I've thought about it every time I've walked through those access gates. RIP
01-11-2014 04:56 PM
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post
Since 2001 93% of the avalanche victims or their friends triggered the slide that killed them. This is sadly the case with both victims this year. We have met the enemy and the enemy is us...
This is a statement EVERYONE should read and understand.

Originally Posted by hikeswithdogs View Post
I know your probably just being a wiseass but this is actually some of the best advice anyone can give\get.............I've turned back to run the skin track back down or find safer lines multiple times....listen to your gut.
Nah, that statement is an actual piece of advice I give all the kids I know that are rushing into the BC to get that "pow" shot for their sponsor. I am not looking forward to the day I get the call one of my friends is dead.

Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post

The biggest problem we have is that the skier or rider out there is an expert at their sport. They are not experts in determining avalanche danger in avalanche terrain.

Avalanches really don't give a shit. Expert or beginner skier, professional guide or first time out in the bc, they are equal opportunity killers if given the chance.
This, this is so spot on.

One of the biggest issues I'm noticing from an observational stand point is that these avy's that are taking out full groups are a result of the group pushing it and not having a rational voice of reason. Whether this is something that gets neglected by the individuals or something that needs to be added to the curriculum when taking any avy course it needs to be addressed.
01-11-2014 01:30 PM
Argo When I personally call some experienced I don't say it just based on ski/board ability level. If they are riding out of bounds or BC I would not classify someone as experienced unless that have avy training, knowledge of the terrain and can ride it comfortably. wether people use their brains or follow the crew is where things seem to go wrong in the comfortable zone you ride often... These chutes for them.

Last year another local died on Vail pass on a avy that slide after it had been ridden and sledded on all day. I had about 6 other friends riding the same face all day doing sled laps.... It slid on like run #100 of that day... Just got too comfortable and didn't reassess after the day's conditions changed.

Either way....

RiP Tony
A segment of Vail will learn from your final shred day. So far 3 of our friends have signed up for avy courses and gotten the basic essentials since Tuesday.
01-11-2014 12:54 PM
Originally Posted by CassMT View Post
such an odd and poorly written article, clearly only a fraction of the actual story..i hope someone will do a better, more informative job of it

so he (apparently) wasn't buried?
CAIC will do a full report. They'll publish it as soon as it's finished. Some take longer than others.
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