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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Sandy
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    4,851

    Vail Avalanche Deaths

    Saw this on FB:

    Hunter Schleper is in Vail, Colorado.

    Yesterday was a extremely heavy day out in the Backcountry... as our group of 6 were heading back to the trucks, we were notified by a group of riders that a couple of Timbersledders were buried in an avalanche. We all rushed as quickly as we could to help assist in locating the guys. Between 10 of us, we each dug and dug for hours. The riders were buried so deep that none of our probes could reach them. We finally located each of the riders at a depth of around 20 feet. It was clear that there was no chance of survival from early on. Everyone involved in the search executed the quickest recovery we could, but after 5 hours of digging and uncovering the riders, Vail Mountain Rescue finally arrived and we were immediately told to suspend the recovery. They felt it was too late into the evening and we were still in avalanche danger. We all made it out of the woods around 9pm, hearts heavy. We want to thank our friends and other riders who worked alongside us no questions asked to get the buried riders out. We extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to the families... @ Vail, Colorado

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/colorad...ay-2020-02-16/
    When life gives you haters, make haterade.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
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    1,399
    Fuck - vibes to those affected


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Funland
    Posts
    1,280
    Lots of photos here. The last few show how deep the people really were. RIP.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B8pFplqpaQ1/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Driggs
    Posts
    254
    Quote Originally Posted by sfotex View Post
    Saw this on FB:

    Hunter Schleper is in Vail, Colorado.

    Yesterday was a extremely heavy day out in the Backcountry... as our group of 6 were heading back to the trucks, we were notified by a group of riders that a couple of Timbersledders were buried in an avalanche. We all rushed as quickly as we could to help assist in locating the guys. Between 10 of us, we each dug and dug for hours. The riders were buried so deep that none of our probes could reach them. We finally located each of the riders at a depth of around 20 feet. It was clear that there was no chance of survival from early on. Everyone involved in the search executed the quickest recovery we could, but after 5 hours of digging and uncovering the riders, Vail Mountain Rescue finally arrived and we were immediately told to suspend the recovery. They felt it was too late into the evening and we were still in avalanche danger. We all made it out of the woods around 9pm, hearts heavy. We want to thank our friends and other riders who worked alongside us no questions asked to get the buried riders out. We extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to the families... @ Vail, Colorado

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/colorad...ay-2020-02-16/
    You answered the call, and did your best. Five hours is strong work. Hoist one for the lost, and hoist one for the fellow first responders. Again, Strong Work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    12,835
    What is a timbersledder vs just a sledder?
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Salida, CO
    Posts
    1,130
    wondering if remote trigger from road or side hill riding

    https://avalanche.state.co.us/caic/a...=744&accfm=rep

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Your Mom's House
    Posts
    6,614
    Quote Originally Posted by powdork View Post
    What is a timbersledder vs just a sledder?
    This is a Timbersled or motorized snowbike:

    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!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    666
    Vibes. Were the two that were fully buried wearing beacons?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Hell Track
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    9,203
    Quote Originally Posted by Cravenmorhead View Post
    Vibes. Were the two that were fully buried wearing beacons?
    They must have been if the probes weren't able to reach them but they still knew where to dig.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    666
    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    They must have been if the probes weren't able to reach them but they still knew where to dig.
    I guess it wasn't clear to me whether they knew where to dig or not.

  11. #11
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    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cravenmorhead View Post
    Vibes. Were the two that were fully buried wearing beacons?
    I have not seen anything that said definitively, but assuming the details in that Instagram post are accurate (20' burial depth, too deep to probe, victims located by lay rescuers ie no RECCO or dogs) I don't know how the victims could have been located any way other than with beacons.
    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!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    666
    The other bits that made me wonder were the bit in the Vail Daily report that the partially buried rider extracted himself and went for help, and that 10 people dug for 5 hours without getting to the deeper burials. But maybe I'm just underestimating what it takes to get down to a 20' burial.

    Reminded me a little of this story: https://www.blackdiamondequipment.co...alanche-rescue

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Methow Valley
    Posts
    888
    I would guess that a full depth slide would involve some fairly compact debris compared to the BD link.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    land of the free
    Posts
    9,344
    Quote Originally Posted by tBatt View Post
    Lots of photos here. The last few show how deep the people really were. RIP.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B8pFplqpaQ1/

    And how short the slide was for how deep the burials
    Terrain traps are evil.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
    Hunter S. Thompson

  15. #15
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    Oct 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    I have not seen anything that said definitively, but assuming the details in that Instagram post are accurate (20' burial depth, too deep to probe, victims located by lay rescuers ie no RECCO or dogs) I don't know how the victims could have been located any way other than with beacons.
    From the CBS link:


    "It took a long time to locate them," Schleper added. "The beacons were showing four to five meters, even when we were directly above."
    When life gives you haters, make haterade.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    666
    Ah. There we go. Spooky.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    143
    Quote Originally Posted by Cravenmorhead View Post
    Vibes. Were the two that were fully buried wearing beacons?
    Wouldn't have mattered at that depth. Seems like they were if they knew where to dig.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    61

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Church of the Nifty Blue Chrysler
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    5,371
    Holy shit. That is a mellow slope. Brutal.
    Set my compass North, I got Winter in my blood.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    13,183
    The group spent the entire day playing in dense trees or on low-angle slopes, specifically avoiding avalanche slopes. At the end of the day they decided to enter an unfamiliar drainage, and attempted to turn around and retreat when they saw the steeper slope. Maybe the only thing they could have done to avoid this situation is to use maps or a mobile phone app to look at the area before they left the road. Both the open nature of the slope and the slope angle over 30 degrees are apparent in satellite imagery and contour maps.
    Fuck!
    Ooof!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Church of the Nifty Blue Chrysler
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    5,371
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    Fuck!
    Right? Even the "steeper slope" really wasn't all that threatening. Aside from a couple spots it was sub 35 degrees. It was well supported, etc. This report sketches me out because I could see myself traveling below a slope like that (likely crossing one at a time, but still) on a "moderate" day.

    Sobering.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    In a parallel universe
    Posts
    4,769
    Quote Originally Posted by glademaster View Post
    Sobering.
    Indeed...

    RIP to the departed condolences to loved ones

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    108
    Scary to think how you can make good decision pretty much all day, and still get killed by a quick slip up.

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