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  1. #26
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    Oct 2010
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    1,963
    The whole thing is total nightmare fuel. A 3.5 hour long self-extrication? Airbag being completely ripped off the pack and beacon separated from body? Rider #1 just peacing out and abandoning partners? I can't even imagine how brutally terrifying (and traumatic for the rest of your life) it would be to start digging for your buddy and just find a beacon by itself. Holy hell.

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Aspen
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    3,116
    Harrowing night to say the least! RIP

  3. #28
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    Dec 2007
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    base of the Bush
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    14,987
    Just awful, so much to ponder in that report.
    www.apriliaforum.com

    "If the road You followed brought you to this,of what use was the road"?

    "I have no idea what I am talking about but would be happy to share my biased opinions as fact on the matter. "
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  4. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dystopia
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    21,323
    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon3 View Post
    The whole thing is total nightmare fuel. A 3.5 hour long self-extrication? Airbag being completely ripped off the pack and beacon separated from body? Rider #1 just peacing out and abandoning partners? I can't even imagine how brutally terrifying (and traumatic for the rest of your life) it would be to start digging for your buddy and just find a beacon by itself. Holy hell.
    Yeah. Wow. Brutal read.

    Snowboarder hit on the head and dazed and confused. Finally stumbled into a house at 3am?

    Skier self extracting with a broken hand for over three hours?

    Then searching uphill only to find a beacon?

    Fuckkkkkkkk

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Salida, CO
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    1,989
    Core temp of 85 degrees. Lethal arrhythmia's are reported below 88. Lots of lessons in this report. Remarkable that two survived. Heavy burden.

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Paradise
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    5,255
    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon3 View Post
    The whole thing is total nightmare fuel. A 3.5 hour long self-extrication? Airbag being completely ripped off the pack and beacon separated from body? Rider #1 just peacing out and abandoning partners? I can't even imagine how brutally terrifying (and traumatic for the rest of your life) it would be to start digging for your buddy and just find a beacon by itself. Holy hell.
    Rider 1 didn't peace out on his partners, he got the shit kicked out of him and had a serious head injury.

    The thing that hit me as far as what to learn is that they were still climbing at 3 in the afternoon. I like to try to be free and clear of my bigger concerns by 1 or 2. It's scary to think of shit going south that late in the day.
    dirtbag, not a dentist

  7. #32
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    Dec 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona13 View Post
    Rider 1 didn't peace out on his partners, he got the shit kicked out of him and had a serious head injury.

    The thing that hit me as far as what to learn is that they were still climbing at 3 in the afternoon. I like to try to be free and clear of my bigger concerns by 1 or 2. It's scary to think of shit going south that late in the day.
    Actually, the biggest take away for me is to stay the f away from the big and dangerous slopes if there's any concerns/red flags at all. To be fair I've lived now to become old and turning back to ski another day while having a more conservative overall mentality is easy for me at 47. It's a lot more challenging for the young and hungry. A lot of us have been there as well. RIP.
    dirtbag, not a dentist

  8. #33
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    Sep 2005
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    33,186
    Yeah, I saw the 3pm bit after a 730am start and thought the same, why are you still climbing? (Not trying to armchair QB)

    That whole read was terrifying.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "everybody's got their hooks into you, fuck em....forge on motherfuckers, drag all those bitches across the goal line with you." - (not so) ill-advised strategy

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    NCW
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    4,630
    Brutal outcome and harrowing read. RIP to the deceased. I hope the survivors are able to recover in due time and that they find the poor dog.

  10. #35
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    Apr 2004
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    Three-O-Three
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    15,469
    Wow, that was an incredible read; I can't even imagine what that was like for the survivors.

  11. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Your Mom's House
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    8,326
    This was probably the most intense report I've ever read. If you haven't read it yet, you should, but pour a good stiff drink first, you're gonna need it.

    Posted this elsewhere....

    The idea of "scouting mission" or "just going to go have a look" is a tool I've used all the time to try to guard against the Commitment human factor. Even when the goal is totally to ski the Dumb Idea Couloir. "Yeah, let's just go have a look at it, maybe ski it if it looks good."

    This accident is just a brutal example of how well-meaning mentalities can still lead to tragic decision making. We're just hardwired as humans to put greater weight on observations that support what we already want to do. We're our own worst enemies.

    I could totally have made the mistakes they made. I'm still in disbelief the other two survived. RIP.

  12. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    19,417
    The 2 survivals blow me away way more than the fatality.
    Is it radix panax notoginseng? - splat
    This is like hanging yourself but the rope breaks. - DTM
    Dude Listen to mtm. He's a marriage counselor at burning man. - subtle plague

  13. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    in a suite of vigorous disturbances
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    2,282
    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    This was probably the most intense report I've ever read. If you haven't read it yet, you should, but pour a good stiff drink first, you're gonna need it.

    Posted this elsewhere....

    The idea of "scouting mission" or "just going to go have a look" is a tool I've used all the time to try to guard against the Commitment human factor. Even when the goal is totally to ski the Dumb Idea Couloir. "Yeah, let's just go have a look at it, maybe ski it if it looks good."

    This accident is just a brutal example of how well-meaning mentalities can still lead to tragic decision making. We're just hardwired as humans to put greater weight on observations that support what we already want to do. We're our own worst enemies.

    I could totally have made the mistakes they made. I'm still in disbelief the other two survived. RIP.
    I totally get what you’re saying. .

    I’ve been out plenty of days to “take a look” and, almost always end up skiing that very objective. Something to think about.

    But. Still. Midwinter on a “considerable” day with lots of recent local activity? To choose to ski this line?

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    Oftentimes I read the reports and think “I could see how this could happen” (Vallecito. And The Nose from a few years ago.) But this one? It’s all terrain choice. That’s big scary terrain that all the heuristic traps in the world wouldn’t pull me in.

    Mmmmmaybe the trees on the far lookers-right of the photo. But to punch a skin track up that ridge would make me shit my pants.

    A nightmare story. My heart breaks for them and the dog. RIP.


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  14. #39
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    Jan 2005
    Location
    cb, co
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    5,064
    ^^^ Interesting, the different takeaways that can be had. Vallecito was harder for me to understand, it just looked like there were much more appealing and safer ways to skin up on the ridges to either side of where they were.

    Unless I read the Marble report wrong, they were planning to ski lower angled terrain by following the S ridge from the summit, not that cool looking face. 10 or 20' higher and they would have topped out.

    Re: "just going to take a look". I haven't done that in over 10 years, and I doubt I'll ever do it again. By far the closest incident I've personally had involved that mindset. I try to look at it from home in the way that a heli/cat operation looks at a run list. There are green checkmarks, and red X's. I'm picking a green checkmark, and I can always back off or choose a different green checkmark, or go back down the skintrack, but I can't change my mind and choose a red X. As much as I understand the need to guard again a specific objective mindset, I think that allowing the freedom to choose in the field leads to poor choices. It's like deciding to jump into the hotel pool from the 3rd floor balcony- should you make that decision sober, or after 10 beers? Hopefully our decision making process while backcountry skiing is better than that 10 beers example, but it's certainly better while sitting at a computer reading the forecast and looking at maps or past experiences than it is while you're looking at an aesthetic line with great snow.

    This report shows it well, starting with the "The quality of the snow on the north-facing slopes they planned to descend did not look as good and the visibility was better than they expected". That's what started the decisions to end up where they did. I doubt they would have drawn that ascent line up on Google Earth or Caltopo when they were sitting at home the night before.

  15. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    1,068
    I read the description of their plan differently: "They planned a "scouting mission" in the Rapid Creek drainage to figure out access for future outings."

    To me, that means "we're going to check out access and we're not going to ski any significant lines." Not "we're going to sniff at big lines and see if they're reasonable to ski today."

    That said, either way, they obviously continued to change the plan and ramp up exposure.

  16. #41
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    On another tangent.
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    3,855
    On top of what's been stated, I cannot wrap my head around how anyone who owns a pet and is entrusted with their well being, can justify bringing them into risky terrain and conditions like this. It is flat out irresponsible, IMO.

    I hope the dog, the survivors and all those affected comes out of this in good shape. Hard to read and imagine being trapped and taking that long to excape. It's been a rough year with 6 snow related deaths in our area (that I know of), plus throughout the west and Canada. Be safe!
    Best regards, Terry
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  17. #42
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    Dec 2006
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    Your Mom's House
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    Yeah, I hear ya Tech Tonics. I agree, I don't think I could have been lured into that specific piece of terrain. But I certainly have changed plans midday based on conditions being different than expected. I can't think of a time that I pushed into more consequential terrain than planned (as it should be) but I can certainly see how it could easily happen.

    GB, I've always like the strategy of creating open and closed terrain like a heli/cat operation does. I generally do it, but I need to make of point of is to be more explicit about it, both in my trip planning and in discussions with partners, for exactly the reasons you mention.

  18. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    North Vancouver/Whistler
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    14,050
    Tough read. So close to their island

    "All three were within a few switchbacks of each other, 10 to 20 feet below the main ridgeline"

  19. #44
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
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    16,169
    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
    On top of what's been stated, I cannot wrap my head around how anyone who owns a pet and is entrusted with their well being, can justify bringing them into risky terrain and conditions like this. It is flat out irresponsible, IMO.
    Well you must hate watching the 7 year olds drop into Corbet's then huh.

    They didn't plan to go there that day so why not bring the dog along? And there's no problem with the dog walking up the skin track with them (their plan wasn't to ski that terrain). The ridge heading south to their objective could be different if it's knifelike or if the cornices are a problem. There are reasons not to bring a doggoe, and many of those reasons depend on the dog. The dog wasn't the problem in this case. The problem was their frothing and their inexplicable decision of riders 2 and 3 to start up before 1 made it to the ridge.
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  20. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    11,328
    I’m just a newbie jong looking to learn - how much would the 48 reported avalanches (up to size 3) in the week prior factor into decision making about even getting onto any steep alpine slopes - regardless of how disciplined you are about wide spacing and regardless of how safe it will be once you summit the ridge top

    (maybe that’s too complicated to answer in a general sense and is more dependent on what you are seeing in the immediate zone surrounding you?)

  21. #46
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    16,169
    should be a ton, but apparently none. that's the frothing aspect
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  22. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    138
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    Beautiful but terrifying knowing the forecast and what the next few minutes would bring. To think back to what they'd started the day having planned and where they ended up.

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    In a van... down by the river
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    Looking at those photos... it sure doesn't look as if there was *any* objectively safe way to get up that ridge.

    Man, this whole event was really scary.

  24. #49
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    shadow of HS butte
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    6,480
    ^those pics are straight up spooky


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  25. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Not in the PRB
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    33,186
    That second pic, does it show their skin track on the left edge zig-zagging up the slope?
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "everybody's got their hooks into you, fuck em....forge on motherfuckers, drag all those bitches across the goal line with you." - (not so) ill-advised strategy

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