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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2022
    Posts
    284

    Pole Canyon Oquirhh Fatality- UT

    https://utahavalanchecenter.org/avalanche/77884

    This final report came out recently. Sorry if I missed a thread about it. Really scary shit RE surprisingly thin snowpack- possibly from repeater action during our insane winter. The crown was a mile wide.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    smog lake shitty
    Posts
    286
    I make the trek out there to ski a few times a year. It’s a spooky and challenging place in winter conditions.

    The snowpack is usually radically different than the Wasatch, much shallower and favored by different flows. Stuff can be bomber green light up in the alta periphery and still hair trigger deep slab over there. It is super exposed and just relentlessly, ceaselessly windy even when it’s calm everywhere else. Even without repeaters a lot of these big exposed slopes often seem to have really thin shitty snow profiles just due to wind transport. Although that path is a frequent flier.

    On top of that everything is 35 degrees, planar, treeless, and funnels into terrifying deep gully terrain traps. I’ve never managed to ski anything big out there except in corn conditions, and have run out of there with my tail between my legs more often than not.

    These guys sounded like familiar locals that were pretty well educated and prepared compared to your average sledneck, they just got it wrong in a very unforgiving place. As it goes… mountains aren’t fair or unfair, just dangerous. RIP to the deceased and props to the survivors for being open and honest about the accident and returning to the scene to help with extraction.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dystopia
    Posts
    20,869
    Wow. RIP.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Salida, CO
    Posts
    1,953
    I wonder if a tether to pull the key to the machine would diminish the interference from the screen on the sled

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    14,350
    Quote Originally Posted by whipski View Post
    I wonder if a tether to pull the key to the machine would diminish the interference from the screen on the sled
    Maybe, like a jet ski kill switch. Seems irrelevant in this instance. That was likely not survivable at 3 meters deep and that long of a ride tumbling with your sled

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    8,511
    Re: snowmobile

    I'm not sure what you guys are talking about. For almost 10 years now, snowmobiles mostly have safety tethers. They also have an off button with would eliminate any electrical interference.

    I do encourage everyone that rides in avalanche terrain to consider the differences between motorized and non motorized companion rescue and travel protocols. AAIRE has a mechanized curriculum now.

    The two thinks I see the most are that one, the BSP need to be on your back and your beacon shouldn't be buried under your tech vest. And two, which is really difficult and everyone including myself is guilty of is how to travel from island of safety to island of safety one at a time and maintaining visual contact.

    This is pretty easy in something like a hill climb or chute climb situations. If you are boondocking through the trees fucking off it is really difficult. Personally, the two techniques we use to mitigate this risk are partnering up for the day and trying to roll around in a pod of two and during elevated danger, having a group understanding to not travel in avalanche terrain.

    A situation that takes an hour to develop on skiing where you can't talk about it as it unfolds can take 15 seconds on a snowmobile and just kinda happen. Seasoned skiers with good awareness usually recognize this but it aint' easy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    14,350
    I was being facetious with my jet ski comment.

    Yes, I see too many people in a group exposed to hazard all the time. In trip reports, pictures and in person. Snowmobiles, skiers or snowshoers. Doesn’t matter. Just look at the Marble Mountain report. They were never on the “ridge” they were on the slope the whole time, all three exposed

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