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Old 01-27-2010, 06:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2nd Utah avy death this week

thoughts to the family ... Utards and tourists dont even think of the BC right now its sooo bad

ksl.com - Man killed in avalanche near Solitude
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I just posted about this in the high avalanche danger thread.

I wouldn't say don't even think about it, but you need to make the correct choices, clearly this group did not.

I do not know if they dug a pit or not. The avalanche warning clearly stated that an avalanche would probably be triggered by a skier on slope facing this direction, elevation, and angle. That should have been in the back of their mind. Lower angle, forested terrain is the way to go, stuff that does not travel on egress avalanche paths. So you are not likely to trigger a slide from below that takes you out.

They also choose to ski a slope that if an avalanche did happen (which it did) you could be carried into dangerous obstacles. In this instance an Aspen grove. From the report it sounds like being strained through the grove likely killed him.

They did do the right thing by skiing one at a time. At least only one person was exposed to the danger. This is a year to dial it back until there is some good bonding of the snow. Everyone may have to wait until spring once the snow goes isothermic to get those conditions. I am waiting for the same thing around here. Sucks you can't get on the most exciting terrain, but it's better to live to ride another day. Dig pits, do stability tests, observe avalanche cycles, watch the weather, read the reports everyday. The devil is in the details, and it's one devil of a season.

I am so sorry and bummed out this happened.

RIP Ricardo.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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we're breaking slabs inbounds in the trees and there are full slabs just peeled off the sides of the road... add in the horrid wind weve been having and its just a kill zone out there .. never really seen it this bad ... we had a long bake then a heavy storm followed by a brief bake then alot of light pow and this latest storm was wet so now theres heavy on top of that .. so unstable .. in fact Little Cwood was closed sunday morning until nine for crews to shoot the gunss ... the hit all the hot spots and opened the canyon only to have another break slide into the road and they had to shutdwn again until noon ... bad mojo
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, I caught that. Some Alta patrollers got caught in a slide too. It's definitely touchy. I think it was the 04-05 season that I last saw it that twitchy in Utah. That was the season where those snowboarders got caught and killed in a slide in Logan Canyon I believe. I don't think they recovered any of their bodies until spring.

The early season snowfall and then nothing for a long time there after really let the temperature gradient wreck havoc on the snow pack. The faceted snow at the bottom of the snow pack around here is anywhere from 10" deep to around 3' deep. Add a buried surface hoar layer and a graupel snow event makes for the most dangerous snow pack I've seen out here. Granted, I've only got ten years under my belt of observing the snow pack but that doesn't change the fact it's sketch.
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