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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Total of six people caught in three avalanches in 24 hours

    "True love is much easier to find with a helicopter"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Colorado
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    I assume the Front Range avalanche referred to in the article was the incident on Hagar, where four people were caught while booting up for a second run:

    https://avalanche.state.co.us/observ...c-a8c619448e81

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    In a van... down by the river
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy m View Post
    I assume the Front Range avalanche referred to in the article was the incident on Hagar, where four people were caught while booting up for a second run:

    https://avalanche.state.co.us/observ...c-a8c619448e81
    Holy crap.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2005
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    cb, co
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    People are skiing pretty aggressive lines in my neck of the woods, even though the CBAC just bumped it back up to considerable due to the warm temps setting off another natural cycle.

    I'm going to keep riding chairs and maybe do a bit of ice climbing, personally. We almost always get a PWL, but this year's version seems particularly shitty.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2006
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    idaho panhandle!
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    Wow, just nuts.


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  6. #6
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    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    We almost always get a PWL, but this year's version seems particularly shitty.
    The pits I dug this past weekend had some of the weakest snowpack I've ever seen. I don't yet have a good handle on "normal" for the San Juans, but for Colorado in general, particularly shitty seems like a good descriptor.

    Anyway here are the observations from the other two incidents, all three are fascinating to read in their own way.

    Meaden Peak NW of Steamboat, party of 3 with 1 caught and not buried
    https://avalanche.state.co.us/observ...a-7fdbb694a9a2

    Red Mountain 3 N of Red Mountain Pass/Silverton, party of 2 with 1 caught and partially buried
    https://avalanche.state.co.us/observ...4-2a4b6ff07ded

  7. #7
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    Dec 2008
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    Salida, CO
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    1,990
    Essentially side country on Hagar?

  8. #8
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    Apr 2016
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    1,070
    Hagar isn't that easy to get to. Loveland has a cat skiing operation it can run in the basin, but Hagar never struck me as having a side country vibe.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Denver
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    200
    Quote Originally Posted by whipski View Post
    Essentially side country on Hagar?
    Not really, as craven said above. There is a gate off of 8 but it's pretty low and requires a good walk to get to Hagar/Dry Gulch.

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    8,963
    The hits keep coming. Sort the field reports by "caught". The narrative right now could be substantially different if it where not for some remarkable luck, in my opinion. I have noticed a change in the message from the avalanche center basically saying, "If you are going to sent, this is how you stack the deck in your favor".

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    cordova,AK
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    Someone took a ride yesterday behind my house on Del Norte peak. No injuries airbag and the debris spread out.https://avalanche.state.co.us/observ...0-7e74bfd5243a
    Last edited by BFD; 01-31-2024 at 07:47 PM.
    off your knees Louie

  12. #12
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    Nov 2005
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    Land of Brine Shrimp and Magic Underwear
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    Lots of catch and carries and other close calls out here in UT lately too. "Scary Moderate" is my rating, PWL like you guys. I'm not smart enough to be skiing avi terrain in these conditions. Things that are happening give me a bad feeling.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow, flying through the air

  13. #13
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    Nov 2010
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    Montrose, CO
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    4,677
    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Red Mountain 3 N of Red Mountain Pass/Silverton, party of 2 with 1 caught and partially buried
    https://avalanche.state.co.us/observ...4-2a4b6ff07ded
    Seeing this slide from the highway Sunday was sobering. Didn't stop a group from punching serpentine on Red 2 though, a similar aspect/elevation one peak away. I think I'll be skiing the resort and keeping it mellow for a while.

    I'm on the fence if I'll even bring my touring gear to the Wasatch next week.

  14. #14
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    Jan 2004
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    SW CO
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    Holy shit that Red Mountain one is nuts. My touring gear is gathering dust, been reading the report daily and just can't justify going out. Lapping chairs at Purg is where it's at. Hope these next two storms dump what's forecasted. Looking more and more that the backcountry will have to wait until spring.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2005
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    cb, co
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    The narrative right now could be substantially different if it where not for some remarkable luck, in my opinion.
    Yeah, we could pat ourselves on the back right now since there has only been one death, and even that one could have had a lucky outcome. But I feel like there could just as easily been 10+ by now if not for luck.

    Stay safe out there, this is a tough pack this season.

  16. #16
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    Nov 2005
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    Land of Brine Shrimp and Magic Underwear
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    Two scary close calls for us this week. They were both very lucky, each could have easily ended badly. 4-6 slabs. One ran 2000' but the skier got pushed out a side eddy after a few hundred. They other, famous freeskier, got swept through trees and boulders, no helmet even, came out partially buried with a broken ski and a minor tweaked knee.

    Thing about luck is, it runs out.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow, flying through the air

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2023
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    34
    "The group did not observe any signs of instability, like cracking or collapsing". I feel like I read this comment all the time, but never understood why that would then turn into a green light.
    seeker of sastrugi

  18. #18
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    Feb 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    People are skiing pretty aggressive lines in my neck of the woods, even though the CBAC just bumped it back up to considerable due to the warm temps setting off another natural cycle.

    I'm going to keep riding chairs and maybe do a bit of ice climbing, personally. We almost always get a PWL, but this year's version seems particularly shitty.
    https://classic.avalanche.state.co.u...=863&accfm=rep 2/11/2024 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

  19. #19
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    Apr 2007
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    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  20. #20
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    Sep 2010
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    Golden, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    Yeah, we could pat ourselves on the back right now since there has only been one death, and even that one could have had a lucky outcome. But I feel like there could just as easily been 10+ by now if not for luck.

    Stay safe out there, this is a tough pack this season.
    Exactly how I'm feeling about this year's snowpack. A lot of people around this time of year are banking on midpack bridging, but that's pretty unreliable this year given how much worse it is than more normal years. Too much 'seems stable' going around in my neck of the woods.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    64
    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    Exactly how I'm feeling about this year's snowpack. A lot of people around this time of year are banking on midpack bridging, but that's pretty unreliable this year given how much worse it is than more normal years. Too much 'seems stable' going around in my neck of the woods.

    Yes same here people in Summit are definitely stepping out into pretty serious terrain. Silver got hammered on Sunday

  22. #22
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    Oct 2003
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    slc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irlts View Post
    "The group did not observe any signs of instability, like cracking or collapsing". I feel like I read this comment all the time, but never understood why that would then turn into a green light.
    Those are reliable indicators for reactive near-surface instabilities in recent snowfall, but they mean fuckall for a PWL.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmorgg View Post
    Yes same here people in Summit are definitely stepping out into pretty serious terrain. Silver got hammered on Sunday
    Yeesh...

  24. #24
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    Mar 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irlts View Post
    "The group did not observe any signs of instability, like cracking or collapsing". I feel like I read this comment all the time, but never understood why that would then turn into a green light.
    I am growing increasingly agitated when seeing this sentence in field reports this season. Clearly the messaging is not getting through. My question is how do we fix that? I have some involvement on the education side, and am all ears on ideas for more effectively ingraining the message that a lack of flashing red instability clues are not an indicator of stability for a PWL.

  25. #25
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    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    Exactly how I'm feeling about this year's snowpack. A lot of people around this time of year are banking on midpack bridging, but that's pretty unreliable this year given how much worse it is than more normal years. Too much 'seems stable' going around in my neck of the woods.
    Yep and the problem is, for much of the state, the PWL of concern is ABOVE the mid-pack slab. It's not the depth hoar like it is on many years. CAIC is starting to become a little more direct on this at least in the forecast discussions. All three forecast discussions (northern, central, and southern) are specifically calling out faceted layers buried in early February as the most concerning right now. In our hasty pits on Berthoud this weekend, very weak layers producing planer failures were very easy to find sitting above the dense mid-pack slab and ever-present depth hoar. I do think CAIC could be doing better to call this out in the forecast summary and not hiding it in the discussion, or doing what CBAC does and providing a text paragraph describing the details in the section where they list avalanche problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by North View Post
    I am growing increasingly agitated when seeing this sentence in field reports this season. Clearly the messaging is not getting through. My question is how do we fix that? I have some involvement on the education side, and am all ears on ideas for more effectively ingraining the message that a lack of flashing red instability clues are not an indicator of stability for a PWL.
    I too am very interested in this. My first thought, at the awareness level when we first introduce red flags - we introduce them as "indicators that dangerous conditions may exist." Perhaps we need to be more explicit that lack of red flags does not equal green light? At what level should we start getting into the weeds of behavior of specific types of avalanche problems and red flags that you can expect/not expect to see for each?

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