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  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Trout Lake Fatality

    From the CAIC:

    "Preliminary: At around 3:00 PM on March 17, 2022, a solo backcountry snowboarder was caught, buried, and killed in an avalanche south of Trout Lake, about five miles southwest of the town of Ophir, in the North San Juan Mountain Forecast zone.

    Telluride Helitrax, a local helicopter-skiing/snowboarding guide service, was guiding in the area. A guide noticed a large avalanche with a set of tracks entering a slide path and none exiting. He did a beacon search from the helicopter and got a signal. Two guides were dropped on the debris field. They located the victim with a transceiver search. The guides excavated the snowboarder. He was buried about 2 meters deep, and unfortunately, he did not survive.

    The San Miguel County Sheriff, San Miguel County SAR, and Telluride Helitrax all responded to the accident site and assisted in the recovery. CAIC staff will visit the accident site on Friday, and we will publish a full accident report in the coming days.

    Our deepest condolences go out to the friends, family, and everyone involved in this incident."

    Initial report here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    465
    Damn, 2m deep. Vibes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    in a suite of vigorous disturbances
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    2,277
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Verdi NV
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    10,453
    Vibes

    Interesting how he was discovered
    I guess under different circumstances he could have been there all winter or longer?
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    7800'
    Posts
    242
    Damn. Seems like a fortuitous recovery, at least. And a reminder to wear your beacon even when solo, victim might have been up there a long time otherwise.
    a witty saying proves nothing
    voltaire

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    7800'
    Posts
    242
    I'm too slow. Helitrax guides saw the fresh slide and dropped two to beacon search it.
    a witty saying proves nothing
    voltaire

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    telluride
    Posts
    9
    Ruff day for telluride, a ski instructor also passed away yesterday due to a heart attack when skiing bees run on 15 (inbounds). Condolences to everyone involved.


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    202
    RIP, I never met him but he was well respected in our southwest corner of the state.

    I followed him on social media. Years ago he suffered from a terrible crash.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B-fDF0dj...dium=copy_link

    Watching his recovery and return to split boarding was very inspirational.

    Dude got after it.



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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    On another tangent.
    Posts
    3,824

    Trout Lake Fatality

    RIP Devin. He was a friend of my nephew and niece and this is tearing them up. A passionate rider and BC enthusiasts that did take high consequence risks. So sad.
    Last edited by Alpinord; 03-20-2022 at 07:07 AM.
    Best regards, Terry
    (Direct Contact is best vs PMs)

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    480
    Through TGR friends of friends, I met Devin when I rolled in unannounced and a stranger at his and his friends campsite in the desert outside Bishop one spring a while back. He was far more gracious and friendly than I would have been in that scenario. Chatting with him that night, while skinning the next day, and at a brewery later left an impression. He was obviously deeply, deeply passionate about snowboarding. A mountain addict for sure. More importantly, he seemed like a good and honest man

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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    6,369
    Quote Originally Posted by durangobrad View Post
    RIP, I never met him but he was well respected in our southwest corner of the state.

    I followed him on social media. Years ago he suffered from a terrible crash.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B-fDF0dj...dium=copy_link

    Watching his recovery and return to split boarding was very inspirational.

    Dude got after it.



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    Quite the highlight reel.
    Rip

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
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    16,044
    Quote Originally Posted by Rideski View Post
    Quite the highlight reel.
    Rip
    No shit. That was a super bright light that got extinguished there.
    From the video I get the impression most of his adventures were solo.
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Gaperville, CO
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Colorado
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    5,513

    Trout Lake Fatality

    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    I love to solo.

    But please don’t solo in that type of terrain in those kind of conditions. If you do,it will simply be a matter of time until it goes sideways.

    Sad. 29. Barely beyond childhood in the grand scheme of things and in the skill of BC travel.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Keystone is fucking lame. But, deadly.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2014
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    Gaperville, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinnikinnick View Post
    ...
    Sad. 29. Barely beyond childhood in the grand scheme of things and in the skill of BC travel....
    He had a high-risk tolerance. I don't think -- unless you personally knew him -- you can judge his BC travel skills. Nor is this the time for such comments. I'm sure we've got plenty of mags that knew Devin.

    But you put it on the line enough over time, your luck can run out -- no matter your skill level. Did Leclerc not have good travel skills because he died at 25?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    bottom of the hobacks
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    556
    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    He had a high-risk tolerance. I don't think -- unless you personally knew him -- you can judge his BC travel skills. Nor is this the time for such comments. I'm sure we've got plenty of mags that knew Devin.

    But you put it on the line enough over time, your luck can run out -- no matter your skill level. Did Leclerc not have good travel skills because he died at 25?
    Thanks, and yes. Risk tolerance (while intertwined) can be unrelated to both experience and/or prowess

    He was a ripper and a very kind soul, RIP
    Quote Originally Posted by The SnowShow View Post
    Keystone is the new Snowbird

  17. #17
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    Oct 2008
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    Colorado
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    Trout Lake Fatality

    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    He had a high-risk tolerance. I don't think -- unless you personally knew him -- you can judge his BC travel skills. Nor is this the time for such comments. I'm sure we've got plenty of mags that knew Devin.

    But you put it on the line enough over time, your luck can run out -- no matter your skill level. Did Leclerc not have good travel skills because he died at 25?
    Fuck you.

    This is a thread in the slide zone.

    Thats why it’s posted here. This is neither a commemorative subforum, nor a commemorative thread.

    This subforum was specifically created to discuss avalanches and incidents.

    It NEVER is the “time for such comments”. Thats what you types always say.

    Start a ski/snow commemorative thread to applaud his virtues that are now snuffed due to poor travel skills.

    And yes I can judge his skills. He died. Due to traveling straight into that type of terrain . Not adept terrain management.

    Risk tolerance is bullshit. Risk ignorance more like it. Come back after 30+ years of BC travel and see if you have a different perspective.

    Again, fuck you for the scolding.


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    Last edited by Kinnikinnick; 03-23-2022 at 10:42 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Keystone is fucking lame. But, deadly.

  18. #18
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    Oct 2008
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    Colorado
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    5,513

    Trout Lake Fatality

    Xx
    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Keystone is fucking lame. But, deadly.

  19. #19
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    Jul 2005
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    Verdi NV
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    Slide zone thread on TGR. Seems like a place where you would get right into The Who what and why someone died in the snow

    One more high end backcountry shredder dies in an avalanche
    Seems like we know allot about what not to do ?
    It needs to be discussed
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinnikinnick View Post
    I love to solo.

    But please don’t solo in that type of terrain in those kind of conditions. If you do,it will simply be a matter of time until it goes sideways.
    People make mistakes. Every time someone is caught in an avalanche that means a mistake has been made. It happens solo and in groups. From the caic write up it does not appear a partner would have helped him with a rescue since it took the people from Helitrax (presumably more than one) over an hour to excavate him. A second person may have made the difference in decision making but oft times that's why people choose to go solo.
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  21. #21
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    Jan 2014
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    Gaperville, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTT View Post
    Slide zone thread on TGR. Seems like a place where you would get right into The Who what and why someone died in the snow

    One more high end backcountry shredder dies in an avalanche
    Seems like we know allot about what not to do ?
    It needs to be discussed
    My point wasn't to stop discussion. It was to frame it in a that isn't dismissive of the individual. The who, what and why I've got no problem with. How to avoid the accident, what we can learn, and put into place in our own systems to have better outcomes -- great to discuss.

    I do not think risk tolerance and risk ignorance are the same things. Nor do I think someone dying in an avalanche is necessarily an indication of their travel skills. There are too many highly skilled people who die in avalanches for that to makes sense to me. Those types of arguments further the victim from our own decision-making (no one thinks of themselves as ignorant or lacking in skills) and lead us into thinking we would never make the mistake. That's not conducive to learning.

    The things I'm personally taking away here are: some people just have a much higher risk tolerance than I do -- I need to probably not tour with them. (This judgment comes from talking to avalanche professionals who knew Devin and have cited this.) And that changing aspects that may have been red-lighted in my plan to chase good snow can be fatal.

  22. #22
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    Nov 2012
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    I-70 West
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    4,683

    Trout Lake Fatality

    Some conversations are better suited for barstools, this may be one of them.

    One does not need to spend much time touring, or in a classroom, to understand the potential outcomes that come with soloing 40 degree paths in mid winter, above consequential terrain, with a lingering persistent slab issue. I guess you can argue if it's "risk tolerance" or "risk ignorance", but he seemed comfortable with it. I don't agree with that choice, but it's not mine to make, and if I learned anything during COVID, if that's some people are going to do what they want, to hell with science, expert opinions, statistics, public perception, etc.

    These reports always suck to read, and it is wise to look for takeaways. Burning suspect aspects into your brain, after every AM report, seems like a good one. YMMV
    Last edited by hatchgreenchile; 03-24-2022 at 09:56 AM.

  23. #23
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    Aug 2006
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    Comfortable risk tolerance: would he have been comfortable with the risk he was taking knowing ahead of time that he’d trigger an avalanche and die? I didn’t know the guy (rip), but the answer (“NO”) seems obvious to me. I’m unclear how that’s “risk tolerance.” Can somebody define some terminology for me (and maybe others)?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    Comfortable risk tolerance: would he have been comfortable with the risk he was taking knowing ahead of time that he’d trigger an avalanche and die? I didn’t know the guy (rip), but the answer (“NO”) seems obvious to me. I’m unclear how that’s “risk tolerance.” Can somebody define some terminology for me (and maybe others)?
    Here's a useful blog about it from one of the best in the industry: https://thepowdercloud.com/learn/ava...ceptable-risk/

    Rather than thinking about "risk tolerance" as "knowing" (e.g. certainty) you're going to get in an avalanche and die (which noone is going to choose), it's about how you deal with uncertainty. There's uncertainty that you're going to die every time you go into the backcountry, or drive a car to a trailhead. The question is about what level of uncertainty (and for what consequences) are you willing to deal with. You OK with a 1% chance you set off the avy and it kills you? A 0.01% chance you get in a fatal car crash?

  25. #25
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    Verdi NV
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    Comfortable risk tolerance: would he have been comfortable with the risk he was taking knowing ahead of time that he’d trigger an avalanche and die? I didn’t know the guy (rip), but the answer (“NO”) seems obvious to me. I’m unclear how that’s “risk tolerance.” Can somebody define some terminology for me (and maybe others)?
    I think experience leads some to become comfortable with putting themselves in harms way. The first time they pushed known limits it was a risk to them

    They have no negative impact. Just a great run
    They do it again. And again. I wonder if they stop thinking about how risky the behavior is?

    Sooner or later. It’s going to happen

    This is my theory

    I’m not reading about noobs. Getting caught in avalanches
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

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