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  1. #1
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    PC Ridgeline - Square Top

    Not many details at the moment, but it doesn't sound good. Location is one drainage North, same aspect and elevation, as the Dutch Draw fatality three weeks ago.

    "Rescue operations will resume on Sunday morning"

    "The victim was located and dug out by a friend, who was able to perform CPR. The friend was able to make it down the mountain and is safe and unharmed."

    https://kjzz.com/news/local/person-b...qWJzZDNii4DLiE

  2. #2
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    One dead. Potentially more buried. Seriously messed up. Square top on a high danger day.

  3. #3
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    Yesterday morning I can see a slide on the observer (lower) right at Square Top (run). Hard to imagine anyone decided to get on any backcountry terrain today. Vibes to affected family and friends. Please be safe everybody.
    Last edited by CG_#3; 01-30-2021 at 11:47 PM.

  4. #4
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    Stupid decisions lead to stupid ways to die in stupid places.

    (KUTV) — Unified Police say a man was caught in an avalanche at Millcreek Canyon on Saturday afternoon.

    According to Det. Kevin Mallory, a call came in around 1:05 p.m. about a man who got caught in an avalanche near 8200 E. Millcreek Canyon Road.

    A witness in the canyon saw the avalanche and a male skier or snowboarder caught up in the slide in the Gobbler's Knob area. The man was reportedly waving and yelling for help after getting caught up in the avalanche.

    Search and Rescue teams were able to make their way to the victim and got him off the mountain. The man, who was stated to be in his 30's, was transported to the hospital in fair condition.

    Det. Mallory said no other individuals were involved or injured in the avalanche.
    Main Gobblers - Northwest Aspect - 10,000 - Two skiers were caught, carried, and partially buried in an avalanche that broke 3-4' deep and 350' wide, Main Gobblers ran about 2000' vertical feet. The party sustained injuries but was able to self extract to where they were met by Search and Rescue.
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    Last edited by Bunion 2020; 01-31-2021 at 09:45 AM.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2021
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    Bu ok kt bir haber ..

  6. #6
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    Sep 2005
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    I hate to say this, a Park City guy, too. He definitely should have known better. Not judging, but both Canyons slack country deaths this year were Utards. This surprises me.
    A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.
    ― Milton Friedman

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    Stupid decisions lead to stupid ways to die in stupid places.



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    The gobblers slide was kicked off by a well respected mag. Check the wasatch obs thread...

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    Bunny Don't Surf

    Have you seen a one armed man around here?

  8. #8
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    Nov 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by happytimefunbox View Post
    The gobblers slide was kicked off by a well respected mag. Check the wasatch obs thread...

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    The Wasatch obs thread says the Gobblers slide was started when the second rider dropped while the first rider was somewhere below. If they were pushed into the rat trap at the bottom and survived they were lucky.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by schindlerpiste View Post
    I hate to say this, a Park City guy, too. He definitely should have known better. Not judging, but both Canyons slack country deaths this year were Utards. This surprises me.
    Does not surprise me. Same sitch in Colorado...methinks its a combo of Covid-coop-up and powder-fever in a year that has a shitty snowpack defined by a PWL


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  10. #10
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    I'm sorry, but "Gobbler's Knob"?! Come on...
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by schindlerpiste View Post
    I hate to say this, a Park City guy, too. He definitely should have known better. Not judging, but both Canyons slack country deaths this year were Utards. This surprises me.
    Yes. I also was very surprised by this one. I know square top has slid at least 3 times previously this year. Really weird dynamics on this one.

  12. #12
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    Dec 2007
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    Kurt spent most every day up on the Ridgeline. he wasn't a regular in our group of misfits but we'd ski with him often; He was a Good guy that was always stoked and got after it.

    That line on square top has always been a ticking time bomb due to its proximity of just a few yards from the "safe line" in the trees.



    RIP Kurt

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  13. #13
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    RIP Kurt indeed.

    Skied with him some during my time in PC.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

  14. #14
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    From the wasatch thread re Gobblers Knob
    Quote Originally Posted by D-Roc View Post
    Hey Guys,

    So I have had time to assess and reflect on the Gobbler's avalanche accident. Here it goes:
    My partner and I left the Porter Fork trailhead around 830 AM the goal was to check out the Gobblers Knob lines etc. Between the two of us we had been up there several times in the previous weeks skiing the lookers right flank of Main. My partner had been skiing Davis Gulch, etc. a couple days before. In our discussion the night before we hemmed and hawed about where to go and avoid canyon traffic, etc. decided since we had been on the terrain prior, that was where we decided to go.

    We broke trail the entire way up and to the ridgeline and stopped on the lookers right flank of main gobblers and thought this would be a great warm up for the day and we could get back to our skin track pretty quickly. It was a great line down and had a great time. We decided on another lap.

    On the second lap there was a party ahead of us. We went up to where we originally had been and continued a little further, this was an effort to avoid some steeper roll overs and cornices. The goal was to ski down, and head left to align with our first set of tracks and end at the same point. We got to the top as per our plan and transitioned.
    (Also, there were no visible / auditory indicators from a red flag perspective – collapsing, cracking, etc.; not that we let our guard down, but just wanted to address that point).

    Given the nature of the terrain and the groups of trees at our location, we discussed leap frogging so that once one of us was out of sight, the other would yelp once clear, etc. and we could keep an eye / track of each other. I went first skiing a low angle alley to just before a group of trees and stopped. Gave a yell.

    My partner came down the opposite alley way of me and that was when everything broke. It was like watching glass shatter in all directions around me. I realized what had happened and quickly started polling towards the nearest trees. As I reached out to grab the tree, I got swept, I was so fucking close – inches.

    I threw my poles, and then began tumbling. One ski ripped off and then the other. It was like washing out from being in the ocean or being in a washing machine. Everything went black, then white, then black, then white – every time I saw white I reached for it, swimming, fighting, screaming. I came to the top – somehow, then BAM, another section of hang-fire snow hit me (assuming) and shot me down further, but I sort of skidded – like sliding into a base.

    Once I stopped, I knew I was fucked, my left knee was jacked and my right hand throbbing. I just let out a visceral scream. I started yelling for my partner – nothing. I picked up my left leg and moved it around – snap crackle pop, but realized I had function. My right hand I pulled on the fingers and relocated them.

    I got up on my knees and looked around to see if there was any indication of him, a ski, pole, limb, sticking out – nothing.

    I ripped open my jacket while screaming my partner’s name and flipped my beacon into search – nothing. I kept screaming his name. I looked up behind me and saw my ski sticking out of the debris and scrambled through the facets, dirt, etc. to the ski because I knew that was my only chance of being faster. I got the ski and sat on It and sledded down with my beacon in one hand and arresting with my legs / arm to go slower.

    Then I heard him.

    As I sledded down towards his voice I found him at the bottom of the debris pile there, shivering… We did a quick assessment and there were potential broken bones, but he was completely cognitive. We needed to take advantage of the adrenaline window and got moving downhill towards our skin track. (no cell phone service). I started breaking trail and making a trench as he followed.

    Then we heard the helicopter. It turns out the other party who was heading towards Cabin Run / Davis Gulch had seen the slide and called it in since they were on the ridgeline. We attempted to flag the helicopter but did not have any luck.

    The party who saw the avalanche had skied over to us eventually since we had made it to the drainage of Davis Gulch, we discussed with them that we just needed to get down, there wasn’t much we could do until we got emergency services. We asked them to help pack down the snow so we could get to the skin track faster. They did.
    We made further progress and came upon another skier coming up the skin track, he was great (Andy?) he helped us immensely, we each got onto a ski (one legged) and managed to side hill our way into the tree line and onto the path.

    We made our way down and found SAR / EMS team coming up and they quickly got onto treating my partner, secured the litter and got him down trail (thanks to all of you). Nikki from UAC was in the vicinity and came over and I gave her the brief on the situation.

    I continued after everyone skiing one legged down the trail with 2 other SAR folks (thanks to the two of you). Once we were at the trailhead (where the porter fork trail starts / road meet) I got onto the snowmobile with the litter and took the ride down. Once at the end EMS got my partner into ambulance.

    Then I broke down. The emotion finally caught up. I answered the questions to the officers and whomever asked. A man forced a blue Gatorade into my hand and I cried again (thank you). I said to everyone I needed a minute and walked up to my truck and threw everything down, put my head on the door and sobbed. I grabbed the hidden key fob opened the truck and started taking off my gear. I was in incredible pain and had to sit down to take off my left boot and choked down advil with the remainder of my morning coffee. I walked back down, to check on my partner (the ambulance hadn’t left yet). The officials told me where he was going and I answered a couple more questions. I stopped and thanked everyone again, cried again, and walked back to my truck.

    I drove out of Millcreek and called everyone to let them know.

    I pulled over to get control of myself. Then I drove straight to the hospital and made contact with family there. Once I knew he was going to be ok. I went home.

    That’s my story. Im sure there are some details I am missing, but sometimes it is a blur and in more time maybe some more clarity will come.

    I write this with my leg in the air in ice. I am awaiting tomorrow’s MRI, its looking like an ACL tear, I tell myself im okay with that, but I know its going to be fucking hard. Ive been mourning the loss of this year, my Alaska plans, my Ecuador plans, but they are just plans. I have a pregnant wife at home and the thought of not being able to meet my son just absolutely crushes me that I could have missed the opportunity to be a Dad, be the Dad that I wanted.
    For those of you that know me, I am one determined motherfucker. I have a drive for adventure, experience, and exploration; this will not define me, but will let it teach me. This is not defeat, it is delay.
    I look forward to meeting many of you and hope that my story helps some other’s learn.

    -Zac
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  15. #15
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    Dec 2004
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    Referencing the other thread, people don't die on Portal or Angel's Landing every year, but they also don't die going out the 9990 gate every year. According to UAC data (roughly) and my memory, there have been, what, 5 Canyons slackcountry deaths in the last 15 years? Given how many knuckleheads go out that gate every freakin day, it is really remarkable that the number isn't higher. So, call it a death every 2-3 years on average. I really hope Vail doesn't make a stupid permanent decision based on short term memory. The ability to put in a little work and be in outstanding and expansive backcountry terrain off a lift is pretty unique, and is what keeps me coming back and getting a pass year after year. There are so many contexts in which people have to make decisions about their own safety that result in more carnage than this particular gate. That being said, it is Vail's decision, and I am frankly surprised that it hasn't closed the gate permanently already.

    Also, as many of you have as well, I skied with Kurt on that ridgeline in the past and an really surprised he chose to ski that line on that day, walking by so many safer, available lines on the Squaretop nose that would have been a far better choice. A really puzzling, bad choice for an experienced skier than knew that ridgeline.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    After reading the UAC report:
    a) Kurt made a fatal decision.
    b) As others have said, the partner did not want to ski lower Squaretop; Kurt should have respected that and not skied it either.
    c) Personally I would've gotten on the bed surface and down to Kurt, but I've been working with avalanches a long time; I understand the partner's trepidation to do so.
    d) And this is the big one. This partner is gonna second guess himself the rest of his life because of ultimately Kurt's lack of judgement.

    I've dug a bunch of people out from under the snow over the years and understand the process of what the partner went through and the aftermath. It never gets easier.

    Really feel for him and would love to reach out. If anybody has contact info. for said partner please pm me...
    Time spent skiing cannot be deducted from one's life.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by telefreewasatch View Post
    Really feel for him and would love to reach out. If anybody has contact info. for said partner please pm me...
    That is a really solid and stand up offer.

  20. #20
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    Heartbreaking to read.

    Shitty little pocket in a bad place and perhaps some complacency on the part of the victim because it was very familiar terrain.

    And yes, very kind offer on your part JC.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    Heartbreaking to read.

    Shitty little pocket in a bad place and perhaps some complacency on the part of the victim because it was very familiar terrain.

    And yes, very kind offer on your part JC.
    The survivor mentioned that they were tired as well, which could have played a role in the dynamics of their decision-making.

    You're a good man, TFW.

  22. #22
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    Evey time I look at the right side of Square Top I think how much it looks like the right side of Dutch Draw
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Long Duck Dong View Post
    According to UAC data (roughly) and my memory, there have been, what, 5 Canyons slackcountry deaths in the last 15 years? Given how many knuckleheads go out that gate every freakin day, it is really remarkable that the number isn't higher.
    9 Since 2000, according to WB Skiing map.
    4 in the last decade.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  24. #24
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    Splitting hairs but the The redpine chute fatality was inbounds.

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  25. #25
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    the avalanche mitigation prior to recovery
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