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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Sandy
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    4,862

    Red Mountain Fatality

    From the Summit County Rescue Facebook page:

    At about 1:40 p.m. on 15 April the Summit County Rescue
    Group (SCRG) was notified of a skier triggered avalanche on Red Mountain, just north of Silverthorne, Colorado, resulting in one fatality. Information about the avalanche was initially obtained via activation of a personal emergency beacon. Red Mountain is located in the Gore Range.

    Three skiers had ascended Red Mountain from the southeast side and spent a short time on the summit before initiating their descent. The trio was at the upper portion of their planned path when a shallow avalanche broke at the location of the uphill skier, who was not caught in the ensuing slide. The other two skiers were knocked down. One slid only a short distance and managed to roll back over onto his skis and right himself. The third member was carried approximately 1800 feet and sustained fatal injuries.

    The skiers were experienced, well versed in backcountry travel and properly equipped with avalanche beacons, shovels and probe poles. One of the individuals had skied this route on previous occasions.

    SCRG, taking into consideration snow and avalanche conditions (danger rating of considerable), fading light, the distance to the victim (about 8 to 9 miles round trip over rough terrain), and the impending heavy snow storm,
    made the difficult decision not to send in recovery teams that evening. When weather conditions permit, SCRG will send in teams for the recovery.
    Information about the victim is not being released pending notification of next of kin. Any additional information will be released by the Summit County Coroner’s Office.
    When life gives you haters, make haterade.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    FEMA RGN X
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    922
    Hope they are able to recover the victim soon and provide closure. Vibes to all

    Skier Killed In Avalanche North Of Silverthorne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    on the banks of Fish Creek
    Posts
    2,612
    I'm glad they decided to wait on the recovery operation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    tree OH TREE!!!!!
    Posts
    3,450
    dam, rip.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    857
    Condolences to the family and friends.

    CAIC confirmed the descent path was the "what big eyes you have couloir".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Midgaard
    Posts
    2,870

    Red Mountain Fatality

    Rip


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    8,911
    RIP

    The fracture in the pic in this article makes it look pretty nasty. 1800' down this thing would not be good. Funnels a lot of snow into some tight chokes.
    https://www.summitdaily.com/news/ski...-silverthorne/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Salida, CO
    Posts
    1,193

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    8,911
    It is slightly NE of that, along the ridge. Basically on the dotted red quadrant line going down from the 12,885' peak.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,283
    "The skiers were all experienced and well-versed in backcountry recreation. "

    I see this in most death reports these days.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    13,984
    And less of, "Avalanches don't care about your being experienced and well-versed in backcountry recreation. "
    Ooof!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    857
    Quote Originally Posted by muted View Post
    "The skiers were all experienced and well-versed in backcountry recreation. "

    I see this in most death reports these days.
    Yeah many questions on this one. Why were they skiing a huge line like that on a considerable day with a clear wind/storm slab without at least first managing the slab? Why were all three of them on the slope at the same time? This wasn't a buried, difficult to assess weak layer, the risk was there the whole time staring at them in the face. At the very least, they were not following proper backcountry protocol, i.e., ski one at a time.

    I am a proponent of folks getting out during this time. I think it is important to get out of the house for physical and mental health. I also think that for some, the mountains are the only thing that can provide a sense grounding in these crazy times...BUT I can't defend skiing that line on that day using the protocol that appears to have been used.

    I mean no disrespect to the dead and send condolences to the family and friends. Its terribly sad and I am sorry for your loss.
    We all fall into traps in our thinking at times and illogically dismiss risks staring at us in the face. I am only commenting so we can all strive to avoid falling into similar traps.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    13,984
    You wrote what many were already thinking except they didn't want to get flamed.
    Ooof!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    8,911
    Quote Originally Posted by muted View Post
    "The skiers were all experienced and well-versed in backcountry recreation. "

    I see this in most death reports these days.
    Well, most people who ski that line consider themselves relatively experienced. I mean it is a pretty long ass approach, and the line is pretty committing once you are in it. It takes some working up to for sure. However, mistakes were made and they paid the price. Unfortunate for sure.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    the vails
    Posts
    1,977
    From what I can remember, there has been at least one close call on that line. The one I'm thinking of involved a guy getting plinko-ed down the whole thing by a 1 foot wind slab. He was miraculously unhurt.

    Lots of temptation to drop that pretty couloir when you already did that big approach and the snow is fresh and inviting.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    695
    Yeah, there was a report a year or two ago of something similar; wind slab release near the top and pinballing down; "if things would have gone a little differently I wouldn't have made it."

    I saw a TR from another group that skied the line a week or so ago, before the new snow moved in. Seemed like a bold choice given the COVID conditions, but otherwise pretty reasonable conditions-wise. Can't say the same once the new snow came in.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    In a van... down by the river
    Posts
    5,228
    So it's this line?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    8,911
    Quote Originally Posted by skaredshtles View Post
    So it's this line?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yes

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    prb, co
    Posts
    78
    rip. sounds like a tough day for SAR and the party...

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    695
    This also made me think of a line from a Totally Deep podcast episode that has stuck with me for quite a while. It was in the context of a skier-triggered slide, and I'm paraphrasing a bit, but it was basically "If I'm involved in a slide, I don't want it to be on the elevation, aspect, and terrain feature called out as a specific problem in the avy forecast." Elsewhere on the internet, I saw someone reporting this as a fatality in "Moderate" conditions. I looked back at the forecast, and that's technically true. Though it was after CAIC switched to spring regional forecasts, without forecasting separate elevation bands. But that framing seems to miss the point. These were the first lines of the Summary:

    The primary concern is triggering avalanches in freshly wind-drifted snow. The Northern Mountains picked up some decent snowfall over the last couple days, and more is on the way for Wednesday. Winds are strong enough to drift this snow into stiffer slabs up to 2 feet thick in areas that picked up more than foot of recent storm snow. The most dangerous slopes are at higher elevations, steeper than about 35 degrees, and face north and east.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    8,911
    That's a lot of snow in a really tight funnel. It gets about 1-2 skis wide in the choke and there's a rock in the middle of that.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Mostly the Elks, mostly.
    Posts
    691
    dang.
    Vibes.

    Hoping for safe recovery.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Denver<C O
    Posts
    143
    Steep with new snow.....what's wrong with that scenario? experienced or not....oops

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    322
    Quote Originally Posted by muted View Post
    "The skiers were all experienced and well-versed in backcountry recreation. "

    I see this in most death reports these days.
    Everybody who bought dynafits two years ago and didn't buy a resort pass this year is basically a forecaster right?

    As always, sorry to the friends and family. Losing someone in an avalanche sucks. Like Jake Huntchinson said in his avalanche hour interview, the worst thing that can happen from an accident is nobody learning. Instead of just saying that people were experts and moving on, I'd like to see partners be more humble with their self assessments of their decisions.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Land of Brine Shrimp and Magic Underwear
    Posts
    6,090
    From the Summit Country Rescue fb page-

    Click image for larger version. 

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    There was a time when I would have skied that on a corny day, which would likely mean nasty, firm snow and ice on that line. Prolly would never have ventured into terrain like that in fresh winter conditions though. Seems like that's how it was back in the day. Stick to low angle and/or low consequence terrain in winter and save the big lines for after spring consolidation. I'm a beater, but man, my appetite for risk in the mountains like that was just never there. For better or worse, it's zero now.

    Rip In Peace Dude.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

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