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  1. #76
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    I was working Clear Creek Dispatch Thursday. P/A contacted us by radio, and we got people rolling. I won't go into very much detail, but these calls always leave an impression, and tax my tiny brain for months while I try to process what went wrong/how this could have been avoided? I did the same after Sheep Creek, although I wasn't on console that day.

    Some good insights being posted here. I can only say that P/A were for the most part self-sufficient in recovering the victim and getting him out to medics. It's a weird feeling, getting these calls. Although I've pretty much sworn of BC in recent years, I'm at least a little bit familiar with BC travel/safety. Time seems to slow way down from the time the call comes in until a responder makes contact and we start to get a clearer picture of the situation and potential outcome. I sit, I hope, I even pray. I imagine the terror the victim might have experienced as they're caught and carried, maybe praying themselves for it to just stop. Maybe they've got an air pocket, maybe they're still viable. Maybe that's just projection.

    I saw the coroner page a few hours after my shift ended, and knew the outcome then, although I had already heard from several on scene that prospects weren't great. I read the fb post from one of the guests, the post by P/A, read all the comments there and here. Not my place to question decisions, just to try and facilitate the best possible outcome once we've gotten involved, but the impacts as some others have mentioned can be far reaching. It's times like these I'm thankful that the greatest risk in my occupation is paper cuts and losing it with difficult callers/responders.

    Condolences to all.
    Quote Originally Posted by ilovetoskiatalta View Post
    Dude its losers like you that give ski bums a bad rap.

  2. #77
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    Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by SterlingSpikeDancer View Post
    So my (very serious) question is, should the other group that started the slide be identified, would charges be filed of involuntary manslaughter. If the deceased was my friend or family, I would be pretty angry at what I perceive to be very irresponsible behavior.
    Are you fucking Drunk?

    Ruining the life of someone else isnt going to bring resolve, no matter how angry you may be.

    Managing risk in the back country includes variables like other groups, particularity in a professional context.

    Besides, its a small world. The guy you want charged with manslaughter today could be the guy diggin you tomorrow. We are all knowingly and willingly participating in one of the most dangerous recreational actives possible.
    "Its not the arrow, its the Indian" - M.Pinto

  3. #78
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    In France they do prosecute people that drop slides on other people. But if you get buried by a slide someone else triggered you would also have been buried if you remote triggered it or by a natural. Seems to me that there's responsibility at both ends-- not to trigger a slide on someone but also not to park yourself in the run out zone.
    It's worth pointing out that if you get buried on a day where the whole area is a bomb waiting to go off you are risking the lives of a whole lot of SAR folks.

  4. #79
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    Apr 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by skideeppow View Post
    i get that, but why were they even out?
    my guess would be for the same reason the 100 people were at alta/bird the day Jamie Pierre died and the whole mountain was coming unglued
    and they kept skiing and setting off slides on top of each other.
    but im not a professional
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  5. #80
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    Apr 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    On a level 5 day, when cars are being buried on the interstate and mature trees are being knocked down there is no such thing as a safe zone
    probably shouda evacutated and closed the state if the entire state was an unsafe zone
    and you do know the majority of sar is voli
    and everyone ive met knows exactly what they are volunteering for
    so the putting people who volunteered to be at risk
    at risk
    maybe isn't the crime you seem to think it is
    ill let the rest of you get back to patting yourselves on the back for managing your addictions for another day of life
    in a thread where its questionable as to whether it belongs at all
    kudos
    Last edited by skifishbum; 03-10-2019 at 08:23 AM.
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  6. #81
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    Mar 2005
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    land of the free
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    13 years ago was in a party that got hit by a moron dropping a cornice above us. Changed my thinking about “safety”

    These snow pros may have been fairly safe doing what they selected, but idiots from above can change everything.

    Yes,not the best day to do paid tours, but it seems there is an externality in this situation. RIP
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
    Hunter S. Thompson

  7. #82
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    Apr 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by skifishbum View Post
    I pass no judgement and offer vibes for those truly affected by the loss
    i will pass a little judgement on something I read in the article
    Following the death, Clear Creek County commissioners and sheriff’s officers are considering whether to issue a Level 3 restriction, banning backcountry skiing throughout the county until conditions improve, Snelling said.
    i do NOT want to see that precedent set.
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by powdork View Post
    i do NOT want to see that precedent set.
    No shit! Same for the suggested lawsuit against the people who started the slide. Slippery slope (no pun intended) when you start going down either of those paths.

  9. #84
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    Jan 2008
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    Arrrvada, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmcrawfo View Post
    Are you fucking Drunk?

    Ruining the life of someone else isnt going to bring resolve, no matter how angry you may be.

    Managing risk in the back country includes variables like other groups, particularity in a professional context.

    Besides, its a small world. The guy you want charged with manslaughter today could be the guy diggin you tomorrow. We are all knowingly and willingly participating in one of the most dangerous recreational actives possible.
    I guess I am asking how this would go. Not drunk or trying to be funny, just trying to understand. Ruining someone else's life is not the answer, and I'm not angry at all about this situation. I am sad for the communities' loss, sad for the families' loss, and sad for all involved from a tragic death. But not angry on behalf of anyone.

    I am asking a grown up question though that boils down to, do you take responsibility for your actions if you started a slide that killed someone in another group? Should you? Would you? Does it make a difference if the slide was started by someone in your group? Help me understand as someone who skis sidecountry, and not true backcountry. It is a dangerous activity and I understand that. But help me understand the decision making that leads to this human caused death.
    Quote Originally Posted by RockBoy View Post
    The wife's not gonna be happy when she sees a few dollars missing from the savings and a note on the door that reads, "Gone to AK for the week. Remember to walk the dog."
    Quote Originally Posted by kannonbal View Post
    Damn it. You never get a powder day you didn't ski back. The one time you blow off a day, or a season, it will be the one time it is the miracle of all history. The indescribable flow, the irreplaceable nowness, the transcendental dance; blink and you miss it.
    Some people blink their whole lives.

  10. #85
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    Apr 2004
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    cordova,AK
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    every man for himself
    off your knees Louie

  11. #86
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    Oct 2003
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    flat lands
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    The problem is you don't have all the details and may never have them. The slide could have been triggered remotely from quite a ways from the start zone by a group staying well back from what they considered a dangerous slide path, or the lower party could have been well out of view from the start zone of what would be a slide of unusually large proportions.

    Compare that to skiing a permanently closed zone above skiers at a ski area or above a small town in Europe with clear indications that there is no recreating above it, or dropping a cornice without being certain without a doubt that no one is below.

    You will not get accurate details from the news outlets: read just a half dozen of the current reports and you will have multiple variations on the incident.

    The details matter. That and there is a certain amount of risk we assume when we go outside whether from ourselves or outside agencies.

    No matter what details do or don't come out its a horrible day and days to come for those involved.

  12. #87
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    Aug 2007
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    5,326
    Quote Originally Posted by bendtheski View Post
    I was working Clear Creek Dispatch Thursday. P/A contacted us by radio, and we got people rolling. I won't go into very much detail, but these calls always leave an impression, and tax my tiny brain for months while I try to process what went wrong/how this could have been avoided? I did the same after Sheep Creek, although I wasn't on console that day.

    Some good insights being posted here. I can only say that P/A were for the most part self-sufficient in recovering the victim and getting him out to medics. It's a weird feeling, getting these calls. Although I've pretty much sworn of BC in recent years, I'm at least a little bit familiar with BC travel/safety. Time seems to slow way down from the time the call comes in until a responder makes contact and we start to get a clearer picture of the situation and potential outcome. I sit, I hope, I even pray. I imagine the terror the victim might have experienced as they're caught and carried, maybe praying themselves for it to just stop. Maybe they've got an air pocket, maybe they're still viable. Maybe that's just projection.

    I saw the coroner page a few hours after my shift ended, and knew the outcome then, although I had already heard from several on scene that prospects weren't great. I read the fb post from one of the guests, the post by P/A, read all the comments there and here. Not my place to question decisions, just to try and facilitate the best possible outcome once we've gotten involved, but the impacts as some others have mentioned can be far reaching. It's times like these I'm thankful that the greatest risk in my occupation is paper cuts and losing it with difficult callers/responders.

    Condolences to all.
    Thanks for your work. It must be really rough some days.

  13. #88
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    off on yet another Tangent
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    2,700
    RIP Hans. He sounded like a good soul. From Joel's Open Snow comments today.

    The Passing of Hans Berg (@wildisreal)


    As I mentioned yesterday, I am sorry to share that Hans Berg, who commented using the handle @wildisreal, died in an avalanche on Thursday, March 7th. More here and here. Hans was both an active commenter and was a thoughtful and happy soul who added incredible energy to this community.



    On December 12, 2017, I posted a comment of his on the Colorado Daily Snow, and I’ll re-post it here. Hans’ comment was in response to a reader who was concerned about a lack of snow at that time. Below is the comment, which perfectly captures Hans' perspective and positive energy.



    "You have made a great decision introducing your family to this fine sport and clawing your way back in as well. For the skill levels you describe conditions are completely irrelevant, the only thing that matters is they have a good time. Strategically your job is to maximize stoke and smiles because it will mean more trips with better conditions down the road. You already know this, but it is 100% true.

    That effort begins today. The very worst thing you can do is bemoan forecasts. Your family will pick up on this and imprint skiing as an unpredictable and stressful activity. The conditions are likely to be well below average, yes. Own it, anticipate it, and then let it go. Look forward to skiing groomers in the Colorado sunshine and most importantly mentally itemize other possible activities (drive to road closures and hike/snowshoe around the glory, take in some hot springs, spa, etc...)...

    Bottom line is your vacation can no longer be about anticipating skiing, it must be about enjoying the mountains with your family. That will serve you well in the long run. ENJOY!!!"



    Hans’ clarity and positive energy will be missed.
    Best regards, Terry
    (Direct Contact is best vs PMs)

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  14. #89
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    ^That's an awesome vignette in tribute! Berg sounds like he was a great guy and a great ambassador for the sport. RIP
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  15. #90
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    a swamp
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    Below is the comment, which perfectly captures Hans' perspective and positive energy.
    "You have made a great decision introducing your family to this fine sport and clawing your way back in as well. For the skill levels you describe conditions are completely irrelevant, the only thing that matters is they have a good time. Strategically your job is to maximize stoke and smiles because it will mean more trips with better conditions down the road. You already know this, but it is 100% true.

    That effort begins today. The very worst thing you can do is bemoan forecasts. Your family will pick up on this and imprint skiing as an unpredictable and stressful activity. The conditions are likely to be well below average, yes. Own it, anticipate it, and then let it go. Look forward to skiing groomers in the Colorado sunshine and most importantly mentally itemize other possible activities (drive to road closures and hike/snowshoe around the glory, take in some hot springs, spa, etc...)...

    Bottom line is your vacation can no longer be about anticipating skiing, it must be about enjoying the mountains with your family. That will serve you well in the long run. ENJOY!!!"





    I'm glad to have read that, such a great response -- it's something I will be sharing with others in the future. A beautiful personality comes strongly thru even that short passage.
    you know there ain't no devil,
    there's just God when he's drunk---- Tom Waits

  16. #91
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Denver
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    780
    Rip Hans.

    The people suggesting that the triggering party (if there even was one) should be charged are insane. If you put yourself below a steep slope on a high/extreme danger day, no one is to blame but yourself. Anything could have triggered that slide. Naturals were ripping through old growth forests all over the state.


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  17. #92
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    Dec 2004
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    11,701
    ^^^ Pretty much.

    If you drop in above another party that you knew was below you it would be another matter.

    Given the extreme nature of the events in CO the past week this could be viewed as an act of an angry God.

    Whether or not it was wise to be there in the 1st place is another nother matter.

  18. #93
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    Dec 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiracer88_00 View Post
    Rip Hans.

    The people suggesting that the triggering party (if there even was one) should be charged are insane. If you put yourself below a steep slope on a high/extreme danger day, no one is to blame but yourself. Anything could have triggered that slide. Naturals were ripping through old growth forests all over the state.
    That whole discussion is incredibly fact specific, and we don't have any facts.

    There are scenarios where the triggering party would clearly be responsible for their negligence. Just because the caught / deceased party may have also been negligent doesn't absolve the triggering party of culpability.

    But it all depends on the exact specifics of what happened. We don't know anything about those specifics, so there's not much point in speculating.

  19. #94
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    Sep 2014
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    67
    Quote Originally Posted by skiracer88_00 View Post
    Rip Hans.

    The people suggesting that the triggering party (if there even was one) should be charged are insane. If you put yourself below a steep slope on a high/extreme danger day, no one is to blame but yourself. Anything could have triggered that slide. Naturals were ripping through old growth forests all over the state.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I think people are used to what happens with, say, car accidents, and forget how much they pay for car insurance and the fact that they can buy car insurance to begin with.

    Charging people, or trying to impose civil liability, here would be a good way to stop pretty much all non-patrolled skiing, and also climbing while you're at it. (Yes, rocks fall from above, similar to slides, and even careful people knock them off.) Safer environments are available, people choose the activities they want.

    Very sad.

  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyIsland View Post
    Charging people, or trying to impose civil liability, here would be a good way to stop pretty much all non-patrolled skiing, and also climbing while you're at it. (Yes, rocks fall from above, similar to slides, and even careful people knock them off.) Safer environments are available, people choose the activities they want.
    A biking buddy of mine of mine went to jail for manslaughter for trundling a rock off the tallest peak in MT. He didn't know or think there were climbers below. It didn't stop anyone from climbing it. But yeah we don't know details on what happened in this accident and I only play a lawyer online.

  21. #96
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    IF powder addiction is to be believed that this was triggered by others, and IF the news is to be believed that the victim was behind trees after being dropped off by the cat, then it would be quite likely that the party above didn't know the guide was there and certainly they weren't intending to cause an avalanche that took out the trees and anyone behind it. But I'm not a lawyer.

    I think it would be very complex because this isn't ducking a rope into a closure and knocking a car off a road. This isn't someone sawing off a cornice to intentionally cause a slide. This isn't muted's friend tossing a rock off a cliff.

    This would be, if PA and the DP are correct, someone skiing something the state forecasters had advised against and unwittingly triggering a historic slide that took out a guide working for an operation who at best were slaves to inappropriate SOP and at worst should have known not be there on that day. How is blame assigned there? IANAL but I don't think there is precedent in the US (although there is that case from Teton Pass, how did that turn out?)

    This slidy slope is how you end up having to buy an umbrella policy to ski or perhaps have a license you apply for after your avalanche class.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  22. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    IF powder addiction is to be believed that this was triggered by others, and IF the news is to be believed that the victim was behind trees after being dropped off by the cat, then it would be quite likely that the party above didn't know the guide was there and certainly they weren't intending to cause an avalanche that took out the trees and anyone behind it. But I'm not a lawyer.
    nor am I, a lawyer, but that seems right

    of course some people must know, but until the CAIC report comes out, for all we know, the assertion "triggered by skiers above" is at best a red herring

    Even before the report and other information comes out there are some lessons we can draw from this tragic loss... enthusiasm for a historical powder event adds a risk factor on top of the warnings and analysis. How do we assess that factor?

    I was at Wolf Creek and Purgatory two weeks ago, dialing back in a historic storm is VERY difficult when you are there
    Last edited by daviski; 03-11-2019 at 07:01 PM.
    you know there ain't no devil,
    there's just God when he's drunk---- Tom Waits

  23. #98
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    Oct 2008
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    Colorado
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    Jones Pass Fatality

    Interested to hear more details as the full CAIC comes out.

    The one lesson that I draw from this tragedy is that in conditions like this, all bets and normal operating procedure are off. You can’t rely on your normally effective travel methods and skiing things that haven’t gotten you into trouble before.

    I this case IMO the approach road that they use as well as this run are exposed to multiple slide paths from above. Typically it’s not a problem because the exposure is remote as this path infrequently slides and other exposures are south/SW facing and don’t often offer a threat.

    This is why MY protocol in avalanche warning/high Avy conditions is to avoid. Your knowledge and experience are not going to guarantee safe passage when things are so out of the ordinary.

    I absolutely think that the expert halo and familiarity breeds contempt are dangerous elements. All bets are off and your dozens or hundreds of days of BC experience are NOT this day and this condition.

    IMO you can get out and manage through your knowledge and terrain management on most days, but not when things are like this.



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  24. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinnikinnick View Post
    Interested to hear more details as the full CAIC comes out.

    The one lesson that I draw from this tragedy is that in conditions like this, all bets and normal operating procedure are off. You can’t rely on your normally effective travel methods and skiing things that haven’t gotten you into trouble before.

    I this case IMO the approach road that they use as well as this run are exposed to multiple slide paths from above. Typically it’s not a problem because the exposure is remote as this path infrequently slides and other exposures are south/SW facing and don’t often offer a threat.

    This is why MY protocol in avalanche warning/high Avy conditions is to avoid. Your knowledge and experience are not going to guarantee safe passage when things are so out of the ordinary.

    I absolutely think that the expert halo and familiarity breeds contempt are dangerous elements. All bets are off and your dozens or hundreds of days of BC experience are NOT this day and this condition.

    IMO you can get out and manage through your knowledge and terrain management on most days, but not when things are like this.



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    Doesn't mean that much to me, to mean that much to you.

  25. #100
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    Jones Pass Fatality

    Quote Originally Posted by Kinnikinnick View Post
    Your knowledge and experience are not going to guarantee safe passage when things are so out of the ordinary.
    I feel that this is a bit overstated. When everything is coming down, just stay off of and out from underneath avalanche terrain. Its not rocket science. Human factors may make the decision difficult, but just be disciplined. Think about the consequences of everything around you and just say no.

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