View Full Version : CO Avalanche - Grand Mesa
04-01-2005, 04:24 PM
From 7 news:
Skier Dies In Grand Mesa Avalanche
Few Details Available
POSTED: 11:39 am MST April 1, 2005
UPDATED: 3:34 pm MST April 1, 2005
A skier was killed in an avalanche on the Grand Mesa of Colorado Friday morning, but few details were available.
The victim was a man in his 20s, according to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.
The location of the slide was just off Colorado Highway 65, near mile marker 35 -- also know as the Sky Way area.
The sheriff's office said a skiing companion went for help and the man's body was recovered about two hours later. He was not identified.
BZ commentary: The skiing companion went for help. Sounds like they did not have the proper equipment. This is a sad story, but it seems that people just don't get it! :nonono2:
04-01-2005, 05:16 PM
“The challenge in this particular search effort was that the individual trapped under the snow did not have a beacon with him,”
more here (http://www.gjsentinel.com/hp/content/news/stories/2005/04/01/4_2_avalanche_WWW.html;COXnetJSessionIDbuild69=CNl PoiE5dm63NDWsSNDjz3JeGytd2fc2IetzGAxlYVdmf5mnPgTH! 219250347?urac=n&urvf=11124013592120.5795340162646028)
04-05-2005, 01:55 PM
CAIC report (http://geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche/Default.aspx?tabid=44#Grandmesa04012005)
The signs -- literally -- of obvious avalanche danger (fresh avalanches, a road sign, piles of debris from a week earlier, and personal advice) were there. The pair's failure to recognize the seriousness and validity of these signs (or clues) and to adjust their actions to lessen their risk, lead to this accident. Avalanche accidents usually happen because of ignorance, arrogance, overconfidence, or distractions; the pair knowingly or unknowingly assumed a combination of these factors and put themselves into harm’s way.
Ignorance can be overcome by getting educated and using the Center's forecasts. At least one of the men had some avalanche awareness as they mentioned doing a snowpit. The pair may have seemed arrogant in their actions, but no one likes to be advised by someone else not to do something, especially when they have done it many times before. (We do not know if they had been in this area before.) Arrogance is best overcome when one realizes they can make mistakes. The pair was not planning on making a mistake, as they carried no rescue gear. Overconfidence is overcome by expecting the unexpected. On Friday morning the pair did not expect to encounter an avalanche. And, distractions are overcome by focusing on the avalanche conditions.
This accident was mostly likely the result of ignorance and arrogance. Perhaps with more avalanche training the pair would have had the knowledge to put the clues into the proper context. Unfortunately their ignorance was compounded by their arrogance. Not carrying avalanche rescue gear on an obvious avalanche slope during times of obvious danger is a death sentence for a buried friend. A beacon, probe, and shovel in the hands of a skilled companion might have changed the outcome.
Everyone venturing into avalanche terrain should carry and know how to use avalanche rescue gear; however, we must remember that surviving an avalanche burial is more a matter of luck than skill and equipment. Therefore we should travel as if we left our rescue gear at home.
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