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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Taterville
    Posts
    53

    Silver Mt, ID 1/7/2020 Three Fatalities

    Last edited by UCMERIP; 01-11-2020 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Update

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    350
    I was skiing Chair 4 at the same time as the slide, didn't see if because of visibility, but was definitely considering the potential of a slide. Upside-down snowpack and all, I stuck to the trees mostly for some anchor safety. I usually wear my beacon inbounds, but forgot it today. I'll be wearing it from now on on deep days.
    Snow was deep and heavy, wind-loaded like crazy in spots. There was a hell of a crown on the big slide with the fatality (maybe a meter?).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    ID
    Posts
    757
    Condolences.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Gaperville, CO
    Posts
    4,052
    Vibes to all. Tragic.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    The Fish
    Posts
    3,230
    Updated with 2 fatalities... Shitty.
    a positive attitude will not solve all of your problems, but it may annoy enough people to make it worth the effort

    Formerly Rludes025

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    12,913
    ugggh. reports of a skier still missing. from their FB page
    "Update: Silver Mountain Resort received a call today at approximately 7:30 a.m. from a concerned family member about a skier they have been unable to contact. This person has been confirmed to be skiing yesterday at Silver during the time of the avalanche. An intense search is currently underway with Silver Mountain Ski Patrol as well as multiple teams and dog units from various agencies. Silver is closed for skiing today to focus all available resources on the search"
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    21,552
    woah. condolences.
    be safe and beep, even inbounds.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    In a parallel universe
    Posts
    4,799
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    woah. condolences.
    be safe and beep, even inbounds.
    X2.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sea Level
    Posts
    3,666
    Wow, terrible news… I’ve only skied Silver once but did that hike. Clearly avalanche terrain, but I don't remember it being super gnarly and I wouldn’t expect it to go big enough to bury so many people.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,059
    "One man, in his excitement about being found, yelled, “Yeah!” for several minutes after his rescue, search volunteers said."

    Understandable.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Keep Tacoma Feared
    Posts
    678
    The thread below posted a copy of a letter from one of the persons that was rescued from the avalanche.

    http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewt...174970#1174970

    01/07/2020
    Personal Summery by Bill Fuzak
    Avalanche burial at Silver Mountain Ski Area / Wardner Traverse / 16 to 1 run
    On Tuesday Jan 7, 2020 around 11 AM I was involved in and consequently fully buried for approximately 50 minutes in an inbounds avalanche at Silver Mountain Ski and Snowboard Park. The avalanche occurred in a recently opened part of the ski area where over 20 inches of new snow had fallen in two days.
    I was part of a group of 10+ skiers and boarders that had entered the Wardner Traverse area and started setting a ski packed path on the Traverse. We had been waiting for the rope to drop for the area and entered the traverse only after the closed sign had been removed and with a Silver Mountain Ski Patrol member giving the verbal ok to “start cutting the traverse ourselves or wait for a Ski Patroller to break trail on the traverse”. I personally heard the conversation with the 3 lead skiers and the patroller as I was the 4th person going out onto the newly cut traverse. Our understanding was avalanche mitigation with explosive charges had been completed off the top of Wardner Peak before skiers and boarders entered the then uncut traverse.
    The going was slow and all but 6 or 7 riders of the original group dropped into glades prior to reaching the run named 16 to 1. The three lead skiers dropped in to ski the fresh snow about a third of the way across 16 to1. The rest of us, appx 4 or 5 people, dropped in closer to the tree edge. After only one or two turns the snow started to fracture above us as well as below us and the slide started to propagate and accelerate. I heard a female voice over my right shoulder, I think it was Rebecca, say calmly that “it’s giving way, try to stay on top”. I lost my left ski almost immediately and fell backwards while trying to release my right ski to no avail. A few seconds later while swimming to try and stay on top of the slide it slowed and pulled me down completely under the snow. As the moving snow ground to a halt and compressed around me I started punching upwards with my right fist to create an air hole above me. I was able to successfully reach the surface with my right fist and then started creating space around my mouth and face to get air. When I had air flowing unobstructed into the hole I had created I started waving my gloved hand out the air hole hoping someone would see me. I also shouted for help for several seconds before calming down. I was glad to have air and thought I had a good chance to be rescued.
    Within seconds, another, more powerful slide hit and buried my breathing hole under what felt like feet of snow. I heard and felt the snow compress around me and I was unable to move anything but my right hand to clear my face and mouth. At this point I tried to calm my breathing and conserve air. I don’t know how long I stayed conscious after that. I had already relegated myself to the inevitable as I knew the air would not last long. I was in no pain and knew I wasn’t injured. I’m really surprised how calm I felt but knew there was nothing I could do but wait and pray.
    The first thing I remember when coming back to consciousness was a group of rescuers cheering that a survivor had been located, me. I cannot express the surprise and relief I felt to hear and see other people digging me out. Ski patroller Bill held my hand and helped keep me calm as he and the others helped dig me out as I was buried upright in the deep snow. Apparently, my lips were blue when they unburied me and I was initially unconscious. My hands and feet were extremely cold but I was uninjured, breathing and moving well. I was elated to still be “here”. I was more than ready to get out of my encasement, afraid that a 3rd slide would bury me again. Bill asked me about other members of the party I was aware of. I thought there were at least 3 others buried in my general vicinity. I believe Ski Patroller Maya Pardue found me with her probe then other volunteers came over to help dig me out. Maya, thanks for sticking to it, finding me and consequently saving my life. I am eternally grateful to you and your group of patrollers.
    During and after extrication Patroller Bill checked me over and concluded I was not severely injured. I was able to walk and with help load into a toboggan attached to a snowmobile. A snowmobile driver and Ski Patroller Bill transported me down to the snow cat maintenance facility to be checked out by local medical professionals and warmed up. I sat with and spoke with another rescued local skier named Ken who had also been buried for 50 minutes. He also survived by creating an air space and through the incredible efforts of Ski Patrol and other volunteers on scene. I was interviewed extensively by the Sheriff as well as the head of Silver Mountain Ski Patrol in the Ski patrol office.
    I cannot give enough thanks and compliments for the effort shown by the Silver Mountain Ski Patrol, Search and Rescue volunteers as well as other skiers and riders that played a role in saving my life and the other riders lives. My family especially wants to thank them all for saving us. My heart goes out to the families of the two riders that did not survive.
    Sincerely,
    Bill Fuzak

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dystopia
    Posts
    10,445
    ^^^^ holy shit first person burial account.

    Not armchairing this, but it seems odd that there was no traverse cut by patrol?
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
    Hunter S. Thompson

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
    Posts
    1,425
    Bone chilling story!


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Eastern WA
    Posts
    391

    Silver Mt, ID 1/7/2020 Two Fatalities

    Quote Originally Posted by Core Shot View Post
    ^^^^ holy shit first person burial account.

    Not armchairing this, but it seems odd that there was no traverse cut by patrol?
    Agree. But after a decade of skiing Silver, I’ve been the one to put in the traverse on a big storm day more than once. Just not sure it’s always standard procedure

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The 8th best place in the LBP
    Posts
    3,153
    Wow. Amazing story, that guy is so lucky. He did not say if he had a beacon, so I guess not? Damn.

    Condolences to the friends and families of the lost riders.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sandy
    Posts
    1,884

    Silver Mt, ID 1/7/2020 Two Fatalities

    Sounds like he was found by probe line. Lucky guy. Thanks for posting that up, altasnob.

    I'm in the beep inbounds camp personally. Shit happens in the mountains and nothing is 100% safe.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Northern BC
    Posts
    1,863
    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    The thread below posted a copy of a letter from one of the persons that was rescued from the avalanche.

    http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewt...174970#1174970

    01/07/2020
    Personal Summery by Bill Fuzak
    Avalanche burial at Silver Mountain Ski Area / Wardner Traverse / 16 to 1 run
    On Tuesday Jan 7, 2020 around 11 AM I was involved in and consequently fully buried for approximately 50 minutes in an inbounds avalanche at Silver Mountain Ski and Snowboard Park. The avalanche occurred in a recently opened part of the ski area where over 20 inches of new snow had fallen in two days.
    I was part of a group of 10+ skiers and boarders that had entered the Wardner Traverse area and started setting a ski packed path on the Traverse. We had been waiting for the rope to drop for the area and entered the traverse only after the closed sign had been removed and with a Silver Mountain Ski Patrol member giving the verbal ok to “start cutting the traverse ourselves or wait for a Ski Patroller to break trail on the traverse”. I personally heard the conversation with the 3 lead skiers and the patroller as I was the 4th person going out onto the newly cut traverse. Our understanding was avalanche mitigation with explosive charges had been completed off the top of Wardner Peak before skiers and boarders entered the then uncut traverse.
    The going was slow and all but 6 or 7 riders of the original group dropped into glades prior to reaching the run named 16 to 1. The three lead skiers dropped in to ski the fresh snow about a third of the way across 16 to1. The rest of us, appx 4 or 5 people, dropped in closer to the tree edge. After only one or two turns the snow started to fracture above us as well as below us and the slide started to propagate and accelerate. I heard a female voice over my right shoulder, I think it was Rebecca, say calmly that “it’s giving way, try to stay on top”. I lost my left ski almost immediately and fell backwards while trying to release my right ski to no avail. A few seconds later while swimming to try and stay on top of the slide it slowed and pulled me down completely under the snow. As the moving snow ground to a halt and compressed around me I started punching upwards with my right fist to create an air hole above me. I was able to successfully reach the surface with my right fist and then started creating space around my mouth and face to get air. When I had air flowing unobstructed into the hole I had created I started waving my gloved hand out the air hole hoping someone would see me. I also shouted for help for several seconds before calming down. I was glad to have air and thought I had a good chance to be rescued.
    Within seconds, another, more powerful slide hit and buried my breathing hole under what felt like feet of snow. I heard and felt the snow compress around me and I was unable to move anything but my right hand to clear my face and mouth. At this point I tried to calm my breathing and conserve air. I don’t know how long I stayed conscious after that. I had already relegated myself to the inevitable as I knew the air would not last long. I was in no pain and knew I wasn’t injured. I’m really surprised how calm I felt but knew there was nothing I could do but wait and pray.
    The first thing I remember when coming back to consciousness was a group of rescuers cheering that a survivor had been located, me. I cannot express the surprise and relief I felt to hear and see other people digging me out. Ski patroller Bill held my hand and helped keep me calm as he and the others helped dig me out as I was buried upright in the deep snow. Apparently, my lips were blue when they unburied me and I was initially unconscious. My hands and feet were extremely cold but I was uninjured, breathing and moving well. I was elated to still be “here”. I was more than ready to get out of my encasement, afraid that a 3rd slide would bury me again. Bill asked me about other members of the party I was aware of. I thought there were at least 3 others buried in my general vicinity. I believe Ski Patroller Maya Pardue found me with her probe then other volunteers came over to help dig me out. Maya, thanks for sticking to it, finding me and consequently saving my life. I am eternally grateful to you and your group of patrollers.
    During and after extrication Patroller Bill checked me over and concluded I was not severely injured. I was able to walk and with help load into a toboggan attached to a snowmobile. A snowmobile driver and Ski Patroller Bill transported me down to the snow cat maintenance facility to be checked out by local medical professionals and warmed up. I sat with and spoke with another rescued local skier named Ken who had also been buried for 50 minutes. He also survived by creating an air space and through the incredible efforts of Ski Patrol and other volunteers on scene. I was interviewed extensively by the Sheriff as well as the head of Silver Mountain Ski Patrol in the Ski patrol office.
    I cannot give enough thanks and compliments for the effort shown by the Silver Mountain Ski Patrol, Search and Rescue volunteers as well as other skiers and riders that played a role in saving my life and the other riders lives. My family especially wants to thank them all for saving us. My heart goes out to the families of the two riders that did not survive.
    Sincerely,
    Bill Fuzak
    Vibes to all involved. Heavy stuff.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    30,927
    Anyone care to guess the odds of surviving full burial for 50 minutes? Big WoW!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Issaquah
    Posts
    2,006
    Scary and sad. That could be any of us.
    License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Salida, CO
    Posts
    1,176
    Wow heavy hearts for for family and patrollers. Testament to the patrollers for the salvation story.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Ogden
    Posts
    5,962
    Vibes to all involved. I feel for the patrollers, not only will they have guilt and doubt, but heavy scrutiny.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    5,856
    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    not only will they have guilt and doubt, but heavy scrutiny.
    As they should.
    I remember a bottomless freedom...

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Your Mom's House
    Posts
    6,623
    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    Anyone care to guess the odds of surviving full burial for 50 minutes? Big WoW!
    Approximately 25%

    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    9,300ft
    Posts
    18,128
    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Approximately 25%

    Depends on the dataset. Euro dataset is optimistic

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Haegeli, Falk, Brugger et al (2011) CMAJ

    Probably closer to 10%

    Lucky survivor of an incredibly tragic event
    Last edited by Summit; 01-09-2020 at 11:07 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    207
    Any updates on the potential third victim?

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