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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Ogden
    Posts
    5,059

    16 dead in Swiss Alps

    Including large part of a group frozen to death on the Haute Route, did I miss this thread somewhere else here?
    http://pistehors.com/4-deaths-on-cha...e-25418532.htm
    Last edited by zion zig zag; 05-06-2018 at 03:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Walpole NH
    Posts
    7,061
    Holy shit, that’s just awful.
    crab in my shoe mouth

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The 8th best place
    Posts
    1,998
    Brutal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    North,NorthEast
    Posts
    1,848
    “The other skiers decided to stop and shelter as best they could, they were only a few hundred meters from safety. Their cries for help were heard early in the morning.”

    Brutal indeed. Awful way to go


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    bucks county pa
    Posts
    2,401
    Just awful to read and then to see the pic at the end of there first day as group was truly heart breaking. Horrible and vibes
    always forward but never straight

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    idaho panhandle!
    Posts
    5,566
    How horrible and sad. RIP

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    heart in terrace, ass in cowtown
    Posts
    2,703
    I've skied a couple of weeks at Arolla the last couple of years. Massive terrain there. My heart goes to the victim's families but also to the locals (It's not a heavily populated area), they must have been involved in some of the recovery operations and knew there was people up there in trouble and they couldn't get there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Out There
    Posts
    1,752
    Staggeringly tragic. The title of the piece implies that it was one incident but in reality there were seven incidents this weekend, throughout the alps. Spring storms can be devastating.

    "It was was a catalog of errors, we should never have set out when we knew bad weather would start at 10am, we were lost four, or five times, I was the only person with a working GPS but we eventually reached a point where we could no longer move due to the visibility and the storm, night arrived and we found ourselves on a ridge, that was a huge error because in a storm you don't stop on a ridge, you need to be lower down where you can make a snow cave and shelter. I tried not to fall asleep because in those conditions if you sleep, hypothermia will kill you. Thinking of my wife kept me going." The group were stuck on rocky ground so were unable to make snow caves and sheltered as best they could among the rocks. They were well equipped. "At that point I knew that most of us would die, we did not know the tour was long and hard because no-one had told us. Whether you survived was down to our individual fitness, experience and where we could find some shelter, all my friends are dead."

    Many lessons here for the rest of us. Here's hoping that they and their loved ones will eventually find peace.
    "We need sometimes to escape into open solitudes, into aimlessness, into the moral holiday of running some pure hazard, in order to sharpen the edge of life, to taste hardship, and to be compelled to work desperately for a moment at no matter what. -George Santayana, The Philosophy of Travel

    ...it would probably bother me more if I wasn't quite so heavily sedated. -David St. Hubbins, This Is Spinal Tap

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Northern BC
    Posts
    1,342
    Beyond tragic. The simultaneousness is almost hard to believe.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Warm parts of the St. Vrain
    Posts
    959
    Wow. RIP and vibes. Tragic.
    If we're gonna wear uniforms, we should all wear somethin' different!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    215
    Wow. Sometimes we forget just how dangerous what we are doing really is. On a completely different level, this weekend the mood changed dramatically when my dad lost a ski (pre-ejection) near the top of left gully at tux. Just realizing how serious the danger is and how important being prepared and double-checking is hits hard.
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    After the ski was reattached my uncle shredded and turned the mood back around.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    But again at the bottom some serious refrigerator sized ice chunks tumbled down the right side of the bowl into lunch rocks. The power of the mountains then becomes multiplied by the weather. Be safe everyone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    8,669
    Quote Originally Posted by The Duke of Hurl View Post
    Staggeringly tragic. The title of the piece implies that it was one incident but in reality there were seven incidents this weekend, throughout the alps. Spring storms can be devastating.

    "It was was a catalog of errors, we should never have set out when we knew bad weather would start at 10am, we were lost four, or five times, I was the only person with a working GPS but we eventually reached a point where we could no longer move due to the visibility and the storm, night arrived and we found ourselves on a ridge, that was a huge error because in a storm you don't stop on a ridge, you need to be lower down where you can make a snow cave and shelter. I tried not to fall asleep because in those conditions if you sleep, hypothermia will kill you. Thinking of my wife kept me going." The group were stuck on rocky ground so were unable to make snow caves and sheltered as best they could among the rocks. They were well equipped. "At that point I knew that most of us would die, we did not know the tour was long and hard because no-one had told us. Whether you survived was down to our individual fitness, experience and where we could find some shelter, all my friends are dead."

    Many lessons here for the rest of us. Here's hoping that they and their loved ones will eventually find peace.
    This sums it up. When you're lost in a storm get out of the wind and if possible out of the cold before you're exhausted. Hard to believe a group with guides (?how well trained) would not have stopped and hunkered down sooner. They had shovel to dig a cave if they weren't on a rocky ridge. When lost or overcome by bad weather stop.

    A friend and I climbed a gully on Mt Washington, when we topped out--soaked from water under the ice--we were pinned down by winds clocked at 100-140MPH. We headed for the closest trees on our hands and knees (the wind had already blown me 10 feet through the air clear of the ground) but we immediately found an overhanging rock that sheltered us from the wind and sat it out. We were never in danger of dying, despite high temp of --10F and low of --30.

    Staying awake is not going to keep you from dying of hypothermia unless you move in place to generate heat.

    "We did not know the tour was long and hard because no-one told us." Wow. I asked a Chamonix guide I had been skiing with about the Haute Route. He told me to forget about it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tahoe City
    Posts
    554
    Thoughts for families of the deceased. Bad reminder to pack the safety puffy and rope
    Like I told my last wife, I never drive faster than I can see, besides it's all in the reflexes.

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