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Craig Patterson of the UAC was killed yesterday in an avalanche.

From the UAC's site.

special announcement

No words to truly express our sorrow at the death of UDOT avalanche forecaster Craig Patterson yesterday – a friend, avalanche educator, and integral part of Utah avalanche professionals trying to unravel the mysteries of snow and avalanches, and working to keep people safe.

Craig was by himself and caught in an avalanche on Kessler Slabs, in Big Cottonwood Canyon yesterday. When he was reported missing, a search found his body on the surface of the debris. Several staff will head to the accident scene early this morning and we will create and update an accident report on line with details as we get them.
Advisory | utahavalanchecenter.org

Sad day. Thanks for all the hard work you did.

My condolences go out to his friends and family.
 

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Saw this earlier, RIP Craig. :(

Kessler seems to claim at least one victim a year. I don't know much about Kessler Peak, but it must be a pretty gnarly area.
 

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I don't know much about it either. Snowvols, B&S, and some of the other Utah guys on this forum can probably shed some light about this spot.
 

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I havent ridden it but I have hiked it in the summer a few times. Overall its a really steep area.

Im sure I have a better pic but this is all I could find right now.



Kessler peak is the triangular peak to the far left of the photo. The patch running down the middle is called Gods lawnmower, clear free of trees from who knows how many avalanches. The patch of snow to the left of gods lawnmower, about a third of the way down from the summit, is where they found him. Called kessler slabs due to the fact that it its a giant slab of rock. We will have to wait to see what they determine in there report but Im kind of thinking a glide avalanche due to the warm temps yesterday and the fact that that area sits on a giant hunk of heat conducting rock.

Either way, its sad to hear. Condolences to his family. It makes you realize how much you are rolling the dice out there when even the experts get in trouble.
 

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You hypothesis sounds dead on mhaas.

Really sad. Even if you are the best, if you let your guard down for just a second, the results can be life threatening. We lost a good one for sure.
 

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Really puts the danger in perspective when an expert gets killed in an avalanche. It's surprising more people don't get hurt or killed every year.

RIP
 

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huge respect for all avy professionals, going out every day looking for suspect conditions to report so we can have fun safely.
 

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Guess it was a small wind slab he encountered on the way up.

I imagine UDOT is understaffed and they want to strech their staff as far as it could go. I see nothing wrong with him being out alone. He knew what he was doing Sounds like it was just a case of terrible luck. Says he died of trauma during the slide. A partner wouldnt have helped. I probably tour 50 percent of the time alone. You just have to use your head and not take unnecessary risks, knowing there might not be someone there to save you. And besides in the Wasatch, touring solo doesnt necessarily mean alone, not that you should expect to be rescued by a stranger.
 

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Most avalanche forecasters travel alone in the field when they are taking observations. It is not unusual. It is unusual for them to be in a spot where they are exposed to serious consequence. The final report should more light on this.

Sent from Verticalsports.com Free App
 

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Saw this earlier, RIP Craig. :(

Kessler seems to claim at least one victim a year. I don't know much about Kessler Peak, but it must be a pretty gnarly area.
Been off of the forum for awhile. Super sad about Craig. Ran into him a few weeks ago I guess I should say he blew by me a few weeks ago on the skin track.

Kessler is my favorite mountain in the snatch. It is just straight gnar. Best run of the year for me was down the East Couloir. Here are a few photos from Kessler showing how amazing it is.

From a solo tour on the area I assume he was heading to check on, Gods Lawnmower. The area that popped on him always has crept me out. When I heard he slid on the up track I knew it was on the convex rollers. I always try and kick it back into the woods as the skin track generally goes out into the open. Not MMQB here by there way.



Here is from the run down the East Couloir. Every turn was choking on snow I had to throw the avalung in just to breathe.

 
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