EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Coming up on the 30th anniversary of the devastating avalanche at Alpine Meadows, in which several died. Given some recent events might be worth a pause to reconsider the flip side of stoke, and the people who work so hard to try and keep skiing safe for the public.

 

A pretty sobering story, recapped here.

 

"It was an extraordinary event, and something, I believe needs to be recalled from time to time, even after all these years," says Heywood. "When you think that 70 percent of all currently employed patrolmen in the country, all ski industry people for that matter, were in their cribs or gradeschool at the time. They don't even recollect this happening. That is unfortunate because the biggest thing that changed after that slide was the fact that we'd discovered a frightening knowledge about Mother Nature."

 

 

I posted this in another thread, but figured it deserved its own.
post #2 of 16

Thanks for posting that JC. It reminds me that I need to continue updating the resort page.

 

I'm sure we'll be doing some memorial stuff in March at the mountain. Many of the people who were here then, are still employed at the mountain. Gary, one of the patrollers in that film is still working patrol, as are a number of others.

post #3 of 16

Remember it like it was yesterday.

JF

post #4 of 16

Thanks for posting.

post #5 of 16

That was moving.  Thanks.

post #6 of 16

Well done video, thanks for sharing

post #7 of 16

Ah man, I've heard about that slide, but never saw anything but pix. Thanks for sharing!

post #8 of 16

great job.  Keep up the hard work.  we are gratefully for the work that patrols do.

post #9 of 16

I was touring the Country that year from PA and skiing 7 different states to see where I wanted to move.  I was scheduled to ski Alpine Meadows that day, my birthday, March 31st, but when I went to turn up the access road by the River Ranch I was turned away so I went to ski Squaw Valley instead.  Glad I didn't get up there an hour earlier!  At Squaw the Headwall chair ride was actually below the ski run.  I was riding up the chair through a channel cut by the cats and watching skiers coming down the run above my head.  It was insane.

 

Years later after settling in Mammoth (3 hours down the road) I met Anna Conrad through my room mate who later married her and they are still married to this day.  Anna's story was amazing and though she lost a leg, you would never know seeing her walk or ski!

 

bud

post #10 of 16

Bud,  I remember riding Headwall in a trench that year as well. An unbelievable snow year. It started snowing around Christmas and seemed like it would never stop. Things were so filled in that the runs off the Palisades seemed like blue square.  If you've never lived in Tahoe you can't believe how fast and how much it can snow.   I don't think anyone would have thought what happened at Alpine was possible. Can't believe it's been 30 years.

post #11 of 16

Thanks for sharing this.  

Very humbling.

 

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

I was touring the Country that year from PA and skiing 7 different states to see where I wanted to move.  I was scheduled to ski Alpine Meadows that day, my birthday, March 31st, but when I went to turn up the access road by the River Ranch I was turned away so I went to ski Squaw Valley instead.  Glad I didn't get up there an hour earlier!  


Wow! I got chills reading that! I can only imagine what it must have felt/feel like to you! I was living in the Bay Area then (1982), and I'm sure I was exposed to the avalanche story in the news at that time, but didn't really have a memory of it. I've been reading Dick Dorworth's excellent book "The Perfect Turn", and he has a chapter devoted to it. Got me curious.

 

No doubt a lot was learned from that tragedy, and no doubt avalanche science and prevention has evolved greatly over the last 30 years, but when Nature dumps that much that fast...I guess it's kind of like choosing to live by the ocean...a hurricane or tsunami is always a possibility. We choose, but Mother rules!


Edited by jc-ski - 11/16/11 at 6:00am
post #13 of 16

AC-SKI,

 

Thanks for posting that.  Although I have skied hundreds of days at Alpine Meadows, I was living in Louisiana in 1982 and skiing and living in California was not on my hrizon.  It's a reminder everytime we hear the avalanche blasts what could happen and we need to respect mother nature and those brave souls who try to tame it.

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post

Bud,  I remember riding Headwall in a trench that year as well. An unbelievable snow year. It started snowing around Christmas and seemed like it would never stop. Things were so filled in that the runs off the Palisades seemed like blue square.  If you've never lived in Tahoe you can't believe how fast and how much it can snow.   I don't think anyone would have thought what happened at Alpine was possible. Can't believe it's been 30 years.

I hear ya!  This was my first time ever skiing Squaw so I had no idea what the place looked like on a normal snow year?  Until I went back years later and was in awe of how much snow there was in 82!  

 

I was touring the Country alone and while skiing Squaw that day I connected with a few locals who were ripping around the mountain.  This group never stopped to talk until the chair lift ride and when they got off a the top of each chair they didn't even wait for their buddies behind them.  It was like cat and mouse all day and I was worked staying up with them and realized much later who some of these guys were.  You may know, Scot Schmidt, Tom Day, and a few other crazies!  Needless to say I got a great tour of the mountain!
 

 

post #15 of 16

That spot where Headwall was under the snow was at least 30' off the ground.

post #16 of 16

Thanks for the posting. I was skiing at Alpine last year for the first time and heard people still talking about the avalanche. Having read this sobering story, it reminds me of another tragic avalanche in the Alps on 23rd February 1999 where the avalanche killed 31 people in the village of Galtur. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche