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  1. #1
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    Avalanche in residential Missoula neighborhood

    This happened a little over a block from my house. I will post more as I learn more.

    http://missoulian.com/news/local/chi...9bb2963f4.html

  2. #2
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    Wonder if they dug a sofa-pit?

    Hope the people trapped make full recoveries.
    Last edited by bendtheski; 03-01-2014 at 06:17 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by ilovetoskiatalta View Post
    Dude its losers like you that give ski bums a bad rap.

  3. #3
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    Holy shit!

    Please post updates as able.

  4. #4
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    Yikes! That is some scary shit. Hope all OK. Damn.

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    The Passion is in the Risk

  5. #5
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    All trapped for a very long time. At least and hour up to almost 3 (in a house, kinda). All alive and responsive. Very wild, I'm one block as the crow flies from the debris pile. Wasn't home when it happened, asked to help when I got home about an hour and a half later but was not needed so I left pretty quickly to stay out of the way.

  6. #6
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    fkna that is amazing, mt. jumbo goes big, old timers say first time they'd seen an avy in their neighborhood.
    b
    .

  7. #7
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    That's insane, I hope all three people are fine.

    Guy said he never even heard of a slide in the 31 years he lived there. You would think if it was a known any path they would control it, or never allow building there in the first place.

    Hope insurance builds them a brick house!

  8. #8
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    Was the kid OK?
    Forum Cross Pollinator

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crampedon View Post
    That's insane, I hope all three people are fine.

    Guy said he never even heard of a slide in the 31 years he lived there. You would think if it was a known any path they would control it, or never allow building there in the first place.

    Hope insurance builds them a brick house!
    The amount of snow (combined with some crazy high winds as of late) makes for an unusual situation around here. The potential for an avalanche would have never had crossed my mind if I was looking at a house in that area!

  10. #10
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    I used to live a few blocks away on Poplar Street and Jackson Streets. I remember having my mind blown when I heard about the guy that died up there years ago, but I never imagined one would actually make it into Lower Rattlesnake.



    Here is a picture of the slide path that comes right down on Holly Street. Aspect pictured is west facing. The Hellgate winds must have loaded that slope up big time from the E.

  11. #11
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    No trees on that face. Harvested or sloughed?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crampedon View Post
    You would think if it was a known any path they would control it, or never allow building there in the first place.
    you might think that, yes. but most would not.
    long live the jahrator

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by huckbucket View Post
    No trees on that face. Harvested or sloughed?
    I believe it's naturally bald. That area gets a lot of sun and not much precip. Missoula is almost a desert with only about 13 inches of water a year and the elevation of that "starting zone" is about 4300'. Valley floor there at deposition zone is about 3300'. You can still see the lake Missoula water lines high up on Jumbo, so I'm guessing there were no trees there either when Whitey showed up and started cutting.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crampedon View Post
    That's insane, I hope all three people are fine.

    Guy said he never even heard of a slide in the 31 years he lived there. You would think if it was a known any path they would control it, or never allow building there in the first place.

    Hope insurance builds them a brick house!
    That run out distance was easily greater than a 100yr slide there...maybe even 500.

    Most years there is maybe a 1 foot deep snowpack on Jumbo.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by stalefish3169 View Post
    I used to live a few blocks away on Poplar Street and Jackson Streets. I remember having my mind blown when I heard about the guy that died up there years ago, but I never imagined one would actually make it into Lower Rattlesnake.



    Here is a picture of the slide path that comes right down on Holly Street. Aspect pictured is west facing. The Hellgate winds must have loaded that slope up big time from the E.
    Holy crap.

    I lived on Palmer for 6 years and can remember years of not seeing any snow there. It's never something I would have ever considered! Fire, yes avalanches? No.
    Flying the Bluehouse colors in Western Canada! Let me know if you want some rad skis!!

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  16. #16
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    Did anyone get pictures of the slide path/crown yesterday before the winds blew them away? I got to Missoula a few hours after this happened and the winds were super gnarly. Same thing this morning. I couldn't see Jumbo through the blowing snow. I'm curious how big this slide was to upend a house. Amazing only one house and three people were caught. This area is not sparsely populated and everything in Missoula is shut down from this blizzard, so a lot of people where home when this happened.

    Reports/rumors indicate that a snowboarder caused it:

    http://www.missoulaavalanche.org/

    "A large slab avalanche was triggered by a snowboarder near the top of Mount Jumbo yesterday afternoon."

    Mt. Jumbo is closed from Dec. 1 - May 15 (or thereabouts) because that's wintering grounds for the Rattlesnake elk herd. It's posted all over and everyone in town knows to stay off Jumbo this time of year. If some asshole(s) decided to break the law and try to shred Jumbo in these conditions I hope they're caught and held responsible for their actions. If it was human caused, they're also lucky there's not one or two more bodies to recover.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crampedon View Post
    That's insane, I hope all three people are fine.

    Guy said he never even heard of a slide in the 31 years he lived there. You would think if it was a known any path they would control it, or never allow building there in the first place.

    Hope insurance builds them a brick house!
    There's hardly much snow on that slope. Literally bare to no more than a few inches at a time. Missoula is at about 3200' and significant snow accumulation is usually about 5500', so somewhere above the top of that mountain.
    And just to reiterate, all parties pulled out alive.
    Possibly triggered by snowboarders, or at least Missoula Avalanche is saying so, but cops are saying no comment.

    Oh, yeah, bigsky, good point.
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsky406 View Post
    Did anyone get pictures of the slide path/crown yesterday before the winds blew them away? I got to Missoula a few hours after this happened and the winds were super gnarly. Same thing this morning. I couldn't see Jumbo through the blowing snow. I'm curious how big this slide was to upend a house. Amazing only one house and three people were caught. This area is not sparsely populated and everything in Missoula is shut down from this blizzard, so a lot of people where home when this happened.

    Reports/rumors indicate that a snowboarder caused it:

    http://www.missoulaavalanche.org/

    "A large slab avalanche was triggered by a snowboarder near the top of Mount Jumbo yesterday afternoon."

    Mt. Jumbo is closed from Dec. 1 - May 15 (or thereabouts) because that's wintering grounds for the Rattlesnake elk herd. It's posted all over and everyone in town knows to stay off Jumbo this time of year. If some asshole(s) decided to break the law and try to shred Jumbo in these conditions I hope they're caught and held responsible for their actions. If it was human caused, they're also lucky there's not one or two more bodies to recover.
    this one needs to be followed for a few more days.
    b
    .

  19. #19
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    Some idiot triggered this.

    I hope to whatever Gods all you maggots pray to that no here would ever try to ride a line in avy terrain...two days after a rain/sun crust formed...followed by a huge dump...followed by huge sustained winds...above a residential neighborhood.

    You couldn't fabricate a worse set of conditions.

    Oh, and throw in that this asshole was up there illegally in an area closed to the public to protect wintering elk.

    I know this idiot didn't meant to hurt anyone, but it needs to be said how fucking stupid this is.

    Neighbors search for Rattlesnake avalanche victims' belongings
    Three survivors remain hospitalized

    The avalanche that rocketed down the west face of Mount Jumbo on Friday afternoon was probably going 120 mph when it obliterated Fred Allendorf and Michel Colville’s house at the base of the hill.
    An all-neighborhood rescue crew recovered the couple, and 8-year-old Phoenix Scholes-Coburn, after hours of digging in the snow and debris. All three remained hospitalized Saturday.
    A snowboarder likely triggered the slide near the summit of Jumbo, which was primed for trouble by a mid-week warm spell followed by the first serious blizzard Missoula had experienced since 1997.

    “All it was waiting for was a trigger, and we got that with the snowboarder,” said West-Central Montana Avalanche Center director Steve Karkanen. “He was on a slab probably 2 or 3 feet deep. It collapsed with a whoomp and he started to go for a ride. He got caught in it for a while, but got free.”

    The snow slab channeled into a shallow vertical gully aimed directly at the intersection of Holly and Harrison streets in the lower Rattlesnake neighborhood. Karkanen said it was probably moving at least 80 mph after its first 2 or 3 seconds, and sped up as it hit lower slopes. Karkanen’s inclinometer measured the hillside angle just above Allendorf’s house at 36 degrees, with angles of 40 degrees or more farther up.
    “That’s certainly steep enough for a slide,” Karkanen said. “I think it came from a catchment basin all the way at the top, just below the ridgeline.”
    Allendorf and Colville were inside their home and Scholes-Coburn was playing nearby outside when the slide hit. It tore the house off its foundation and plowed the mangled remains about 50 feet into the intersection. A rental house to the south was still standing, but had all its windows blown out. An SUV was shoved up against the house roof and buried, leaving only its broken rear window showing. An apartment building on the north side had everything on its south lawn swept away. The remains of the Allendorf house were mixed with a smashed garage belonging to a third home on the west side of Harrison Street, which marked the end of the runout zone.
    “We heard this huge whump,” neighbor Cheryl McMillan said of the 4 p.m. incident. “At first we thought it was just snow falling off the roof. But it was also more like a roar. It didn’t last very long.”
    Cheryl’s son Caleb looked up the Mount Jumbo slope and saw a snowboarder walking down, carrying his board. Looking farther, he noticed the Allendorf house was gone.

    Dozens of neighbors converged on the wreckage within minutes and started looking for survivors. Missoula Fire Department and other agencies soon had almost 50 personnel on the scene. The air filled with the smell of natural gas from broken service lines. The debris pile knocked a power line loose, dropping its wires right across the middle of the runout zone.

    “I’ve never seen so many probe poles in one place,” said Tarn Ream, a neighbor and former student of Allendorf’s. The boy was found pinned next to a fence on the west side of Harrison Street about an hour after the search began. At first feared dead, he was soon reported in critical condition at the St. Patrick Hospital intensive care unit.
    Fred Allendorf was found an hour later, trapped beneath the remains of his brick chimney. The retired University of Montana biology professor was able to talk with rescuers, and told them Colville was standing to his east when the slide hit.
    Ream said unfortunately, the place Allendorf last saw Colville was under the fallen power lines. Rescuers had to stay away from that spot until the electricity could be shut off. At times, they were even using the area to deposit snow dug from other places. Colville was dug out about three hours after the slide hit.
    All three survived thanks to getting caught in air pockets in the debris that kept them from suffocating. Avalanche snow congeals hard as rock just seconds after it stops moving.
    St. Patrick Hospital spokeswoman JoAnn Hoven said Allendorf had been upgraded to serious by Saturday afternoon. Colville remained in critical condition Saturday, while Scholes-Coburn was greatly improved and in fair condition.
    ***
    The slide left the building looking like it had been ground through a snowblower. On Saturday, friends and neighbors dug for belongings in a snow berm 15 feet above the street surface. Bits of window curtains hung in tree branches 10 feet above that. And one big fir tree had branches snapped off more than 30 feet above its base.
    In the snow, shards of construction lumber poked out in all directions. Cinder blocks lay cracked or smashed. A camper van had its sleeping roof sheared off. The top room of the three-level house was sitting cockeyed in the snow.
    “They had just put the upper story on this summer,” McMillan said. Colville had a home business making craftware. McMillan was shoveling through the snow, finding hanks of yarn, sea shells and other materials.
    “I’m also looking for their cat,” McMillan said. But another digger said she’d seen a policeman leaving the scene holding a small bag on Friday evening – possibly the cat’s remains.
    “Once in a while, we’d see a little something slide down the hill, but nothing this big,” said McMillan, who’s lived on Harrison Street for 31 years. “There’s a woman who’s lived here 50 years, and she said she’s never seen anything like this.”
    Ream was looking for particular things in the hardening snow.
    “He was one of my huge inspirations at the University (of Montana),” Ream said of Allendorf. “I took every one of his classes. Fred kept notebooks – he was always scribbling in them. I’ve found a couple of those, and I’m drying them personally.”
    “I think I’ve found a closet,” Jeanne Twohig said from another spot in the pile. “There’s something that looks like furniture, and hangers.”
    She started pulling shirts and coats out of the snow. Another digger found a floor rug. Torn books, cracked CDs, and an occasional bottle of frozen wine appeared in a high-speed archaeological excavation.
    “You don’t know where to start, so you just start,” Twohig said. “We all feel anything we can piece back together for them is to the good.”
    Missoula Police officers were still investigating the cause of the incident on Saturday and were not available for comment. Anyone with information about the slide cause is asked to call Det. Dean Chrestenson at (406) 552-6705 or Det. Guy Baker at (406) 552-6284.

  20. #20
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    I used to live in Missoula for almost 30 years. That neighborhood is about 100 years old. It is not like some idiot Californians building a new subdivision in a slide path. Vibes to those involved. Also props to those in the community who helped with the rescue, Missoula is full of good people.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry View Post
    I used to live in Missoula for almost 30 years. That neighborhood is about 100 years old. It is not like some idiot Californians building a new subdivision in a slide path. Vibes to those involved. Also props to those in the community who helped with the rescue, Missoula is full of good people.
    Norman Maclean — 'The world is full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the further one gets from Missoula, Montana.'

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsky406 View Post
    Some idiot triggered this.

    I hope to whatever Gods all you maggots pray to that no here would ever try to ride a line in avy terrain...two days after a rain/sun crust formed...followed by a huge dump...followed by huge sustained winds...above a residential neighborhood.

    You couldn't fabricate a worse set of conditions.

    Oh, and throw in that this asshole was up there illegally in an area closed to the public to protect wintering elk.

    I know this idiot didn't meant to hurt anyone, but it needs to be said how fucking stupid this is.
    .
    "He wasn't trying to hide anything," said Karkanen, adding the snowboarder was likely unaware of local rules involving Mount Jumbo."

    he is unlucky he caused it, but it sounds like the rules of that area might be vague for some. Kids sledding/snowboarding all the same junk show games during a huge event.

    Maybe the city/county/state had an obligation to better assess the slope and potential safety issues. Maybe they needed avalanche fences.
    Terje was right.

    "We're all kooks to somebody else." -Shelby Menzel

  23. #23
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    The mountain is closed to public access. I think its pretty obvious the snowboarder did not know what he was doing.
    long live the jahrator

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry View Post
    I used to live in Missoula for almost 30 years. That neighborhood is about 100 years old. It is not like some idiot Californians building a new subdivision in a slide path.
    Classic. That's never happened.

  25. #25
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    No, It's pretty obvious that the area is closed.
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

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