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killclimbz 03-11-2010 08:21 AM

Ok Summit County Front Ranger SBF'rs check in.
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None of you better have been involved in the avalanche that killed a snowboarder yesterday in the fingers slackcountry outside of A-Basin. He was carried into some trees and died from the trauma. We've posted up plenty about how crappy the snow pack is in this state. So sound off.

RIP, may your powder turns be endless...

BurtonAvenger 03-11-2010 08:22 AM

First year snow carnie living/working in Breck. Don't think it was anyone on here.

burritosandsnow 03-11-2010 08:25 AM

glad its most likely not someone on here but sucks that it has to be anyone at all ... its not that folks are stupid its that they are just uneducated... well ok guess theres some stupid in there


killclimbz 03-11-2010 08:37 AM

1 Attachment(s)


Avalanche Details
  • Date: 2010/03/10
  • Time: Unknown
  • State: Colorado
  • Location: Preliminary report: Steep Gully #1, west of Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
  • Primary Activity: Sidecountry Rider
  • Summary Description: 1 snowboarder caught, partially buried, and killed
  • Number Caught: 1
  • Number Partially Buried, Non-Critical: 1
  • Number Partially Buried, Critical: 0
  • Number Fully Buried: 0
  • Number Injured: 0
  • Number Killed: 1
  • Location Setting: Sidecountry
  • Site Elevation: 11600 ft
  • Slope Angle: unknown
  • Slope Aspect: NW
  • Slope Characteristic: unknown
  • Avalanche Type: unknown
  • Avalanche Trigger: AR - Snowboarder
  • Avalanche Trigger (subcode): u - An unintentional release
  • Avalanche Size - Relative to Path: unknown
  • Avalanche Size - Destructive Force: D3
  • Sliding Surface: G - At Ground/Ice/Firm
  • Crown Depth: 12 in
  • Crown Width: 150 ft
  • Vertical Run: unknown
Events Leading to the Avalanche

Party consisted of 3 snowboarders, all male in their 20s. None carried avalanche gear.
Accident Summary

There is a convex knob in the middle of the starting zone for Steep Gully #1. The first rider triggered the avalanche as he rode over the knob. The avalanche broke to the ground along the convexity. The snowpack was very shallow, and rescuers estimated the average crown depth about 12 inches, and around 24 inches at the deepest. The avalanche was the full width of the gully, but left large areas of hangfire.
Rescue Summary

The rider was caught and carried for most of the avalanche's run. He was stopped by trees in the upper portion of the runout, and partially buried. His partners descended the path and used their snowboards to excavate him before organized rescue arrived. The avalanche broke trees approximately 6 inches in diameter.

The Steep Gullies are numbered from east to west. The morning of the accident, there was a remotely triggered avalanche in Gully #4 (2' deep, 30' wide, ran about 800 vertical feet). Monday, two days prior to the accident, there was a skier triggered avalanche in Gully #2. The most recent fatality in the area occurred on January 25, 2000.
A 20yr old rider, no gear, and obviously no knowledge of backcountry safety. He was killed by the impact of being carried into the trees. Convexities this season have been hair trigger. I have started a few slides by jumping or slope cutting these this year. To be avoided for sure. This really sucks.

Like I said, it better not be anyone on this forum. I'll be kicking your ass in the afterlife when I get there if it is...

burritosandsnow 03-11-2010 08:49 AM

12 inches of coverage ... seriously anyone with any small bit of knowledge should have known that was a crap ride to begin with even if there was no avvy danger present ... the "just moved to breck" that angry responded with definitely fits this scenario...

AWNOW 03-11-2010 08:55 AM

It wadn't me!

tomtom88 03-11-2010 09:42 AM

Was not I.

linvillegorge 03-11-2010 11:13 AM

Wasn't me! I was riding A-Basin yesterday - in bounds.

killclimbz 03-11-2010 11:16 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Were you around when the rescue operation started?

This is so sad, from reading the report this kid and his friends had absolutely no idea that what they were doing was dangerous. Lucky that only one person was killed and not all of them.

and Mr Polonia if you happen to check this thread out, this is why I post up the warnings. This accident is basically the same type of thing as going out the gate at 9900.

linvillegorge 03-11-2010 11:27 AM

I had to be around because I rode from about noon to 4:00. I didn't notice it though. But, I was heading east on 6 leaving to head home, so I wouldn't have passed the probable rescue site. I also stayed in Montezuma Bowl pretty much all day too, so I didn't get over to the Pavalicini Lift. It sounds like these guys were probably in that OB terrain farther down the Pali Cornice. That shit looks tempting, but yeah, if you're caught in a slide there, there's no way save luck to avoid being carried into DENSE trees.

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