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Avalanche at Tuckerman's 1/17/13

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

There's a report of an avalanche at Tuckerman's Ravine.

 

Very few details now, ambulances were called, "at least three injured".

http://www.wcvb.com/news/local/boston-north/Several-hurt-in-avalanche-at-Tuckerman-Ravine/-/11984708/18179762/-/htq8fhz/-/index.html

 

Quote:

Radio broadcasts reported the avalanche about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, with reports of multiple people injured.

 

Here was the avalanche advisory for today:

 

Quote:

Expires at midnight Thursday 1-17-2013

Tuckerman Ravine has CONSIDERABLE, MODERATE, and LOW avalanche danger.  The Lip, Center Bowl and Chute have Considerable avalanche danger.  Natural avalanches are possible and human triggered avalanches are likely.  Right Gully, the Sluice, Left Gully, and Hillman’s Highway have Moderate avalanche danger.  Natural avalanches are unlikely and human triggered avalanches are possible. The Lobster Claw, the Lower Snowfields, and the Little Headwall have Low avalanche danger.  Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely except in isolated terrain features. 

http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/

 

Anyone have details?

post #2 of 18

Apropos of nothing, back when I was into ice and rock climbing, before I became a skier, I knew a guy who was caught in an avalanche in Huntington Ravine, near Tuckermans.

 

He was carried hundreds of feet downslope, suffered a broken arm and facial injuries, but was able to walk out under his own power.

post #3 of 18

I saw something about this earlier but didn't catch the details. 

 

What I did hear is that the climb had something to do with a fundraiser for veterans. 

 

  Hope all involved are okay. 

post #4 of 18

800 foot ride in a massive avalanche ain't no joke!  Dang, that's like being thrown down the entire mountain where I usually ski.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

short video here:

http://www.wcvb.com/news/local/boston-north/Several-hurt-in-avalanche-on-Mount-Washington/-/11984708/18179762/-/btysuo/-/index.html

Quote:

A group of 12 hikers was climbing the mountain to raise money and awareness for families of Special Operations forces killed and wounded in action. Three of them were caught when a slab of snow broke loose, sending them 800 feet down the mountain.

 

Hiker J.P. Politz said being caught in the avalanche was like being caught in ocean waves and getting pummeled around.

"Honestly, it was, 'I think I'm going to die,'" he said.

 

Politz said the group was nearing the summit of Mount Washington after hiking up Huntington Ravine when the snow gave way. He said once the snow gets a hold of you, there's nothing you can do.

 

 

I don't understand this below, was it rescue teams in response to the above who got hurt? The video says the injured from the fundraising climb hiked out.

From:

http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/


Central Gully Incident summary 1-18-2013

Quote:

Thursday night brought dozens of members of volunteer rescue teams to assist snow rangers with an avalanche incident in Huntington Ravine.  Four rope teams of 3 climbers made their way close to the top of Central Gully, a grade 2 snow and ice climb. The upper team triggered a small avalanche (R2 D1.5) which swept 3 of the 4 teams off their feet and down the 45-50 degree slope.  The rope of one of the teams hooked on a rock protruding from the snow, one team was stopped by a really fortunate self-arrest while the third team slid over the ice bulge, fortuitously stopping just before the boulder field.  The forth team, which triggered the avalanche near the top of the gully was the only team to avoid a sliding fall.  The team that took the longest fall was in the center of the gully while the others were along the rock face on the left. No snow anchors were in place and some, if not all, parties where moving simultaneously while roped up, though it isn’t entirely clear how many elected to use this technique.  Rock protection is notoriously difficult to find due to the compact nature of the stone. 

 

This type of multi casualty incident has happened here before, as well as in other ranges in similar terrain, and taxes and potentially depletes available rescue resources.  Fortunately, the injuries this party sustained were relatively minor compared to those who have taken this fall in the past allowing rescue teams to stabilize the situation and evacuate the party via the Forest Service snow tractor. Check the MWAC website for more details and an accident analysis in the near future. Thanks to our volunteer rescuers in helping with this incident!

 

post #6 of 18

Tuckerman's? Huntington's?  Were there two incidents or did the first report get the info wrong?  Very impressive that a 3 person rope was able to self arrest in central gully. When I used to climb there the unwritten rule was to climb unroped if you were simulclimbing and not anchored and belaying--a rope is more likely to turn one accident into two than to prevent a fall under those circumstances.   Not rare for a roped team to fall and floss everyone below off the route. I never cared for climbing below another party.

post #7 of 18

Huntington.  Apparently this was a group deal where there may have been varying degrees of experience, with also an avy adivsory of considerable thrown into the mix.  Fortunately not as bad as it easily could have been.

 

Having been told in another thread that east coasters couldn't understand avy issues, of course, I am very surprised to see that snow can in fact slide east of the Mississippi.

post #8 of 18
post #9 of 18
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

Huntington.  Apparently this was a group deal where there may have been varying degrees of experience, with also an avy adivsory of considerable thrown into the mix.  Fortunately not as bad as it easily could have been.

 

Having been told in another thread that east coasters couldn't understand avy issues, of course, I am very surprised to see that snow can in fact slide east of the Mississippi.

Back in the day, the snow we had was better quality, and didn't slide, but in recent years we've been using this cheap imported snow, which does slide, just like the stuff out west. They just don't make it like they used to, and add in the fact that the kids these days.....

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

 

Having been told in another thread that east coasters couldn't understand avy issues, of course, I am very surprised to see that snow can in fact slide east of the Mississippi.

 
This list only goes to 2008 and there's been a few since.

 

Quote:
DEATHS FROM AVALANCHES IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RANGE

Aaron Leve, 28, Boston, MA, February 19, 1956

Hugo Stadtmueller, 28, Cambridge, MA, April 4, 1964

John Griffin, 39, Hanover, MA, April 4, 1964

Albert Dow, 29, Tuftonboro, NH, January 25, 1982

Thomas Smith, 41, Montpelier, VT, February 24, 1991

Alexandre Cassan, 19, Becanour, Quebec, January 5, 1996

John Wald, 35, Cambridge, MA, March 24, 1996

Todd Crumbaker, 35, Billerica, MA, March 24, 1996

David McPhedran, 42, Kents Hill, Maine, February 20, 2000

Thomas Burke, 46, West Springfield, NH, November 29, 2002

Scott Sandburg, 32, Arlington, MA, November 29, 2002

Peter Roux, Bartlett, TN, January 18, 2008

 

http://www.mountwashington.org/about/visitor/surviving.php

 

Crevasse Deaths are not uncommon. Even more are falls, some while skiing.

Just last year someone fell in a crevasse and estimate of depth of the crevasse was 125 feet. Body was recovered with alternate access than from above weeks later.

 

Quote:

4/1/2012 Tuckerman Ravine–Crevasse fall fatality

At approximately 3:45pm, Norman Priebatsch was hiking with his son and two others when he fell on steep icy terrain. The group members reported that he fell over a rock band and began sliding downhill. The group received no response to their shouts as the victim slid downhill, and the victim was not attempting to stop his fall at the time. He slid into an open crevasse in the lower portion of the Bowl, below the Lip, in the vicinity of the “Open Book” area. The other members of the group immediately went to the edge of the crevasse, but could not make contact with the victim.

 

...USFS Snow Rangers established two anchors for use in a technical rope rescue system. One Snow Ranger was lowered into the crevasse to a depth of about 40 feet. From this point, he could clearly see another 40 feet down. As the slope angle decreased, the crevasse narrowed to about 4 feet in diameter. There was no sign of the missing hiker in the area that could be seen.

 

,,,On May 20th, Snow Rangers were able to safely descend underneath the snow using an access point located below and to the side of the waterfall. Using this new entry point, the victim was visible approximately 90 feet from the opening, or 125 feet below the original crevasse opening.

 

from:

http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/search-rescue/2011-2012-summaries/

 

 

Quote:

 

DEATHS FROM FALLS IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RANGE
 

John W. Fowler, 19, New York, NY, April 1, 1936

Edwin P. McIntire, 19, Short Hill, NJ, June 9, 1940

John Neal, Springfield, MA, April 7, 1943

Phyllis Wilbur, 16, Kingfield, ME, May 31, 1948 Died June 3, 1948

Paul H. Schiller, Cambridge, MA, May 1, 1949

Tor Staver, Norway, February 2, 1952, died February 5, 1952

John J. Ochab, 37, Newark, NJ, September 1, 1956

Thomas Flint, 21, Concord, MA, June 2, 1956

Daniel E. Doody, 31, North Branford, CT, March 14, 1965

Craig Merrihue, 32, Cambridge, MA, March 14, 1965

Scott Stevens, 19, Cucamanga, CA, January 26, 1969

Robert Ellenberg, 19, New York, NY, January 26, 1969

Charles Yoder, 24, Hartford, WI, January 26, 1969

Mark Larner, 17, Albany, NY, February 9, 1969

Richard Fitzgerald, 26, Framingham, MA, October 12, 1969

Christopher C. Coyne, 21, Greenwich, CT, May 17, 1972

Peter Winn, 16, Bedford, NH, April 21, 1973

Karl Brushaber, 37, Ann Arbor, MI, December 23, 1974

Margaret Cassidy, 24, Wolfeboro, NH, March 26, 1976

Scott Whinnery, 25, Speigeltown, NY, May 8, 1976

Robert Evans, 22, Kalamazoo, MI, July 12, 1976

David Shoemaker, 21, Lexington, MA, February 14, 1979

Paul Flanigan, 26, Melrose, MA, February 14, 1979

Gary Saad, 26, East Hartford CT, August 6, 1979

Patrick Kelley, 24, Hartford, CT, August 21, 1980

Charles LaBonte, 16, Newbury, MA, October 12, 1980

Peter Friedman, 18, Thomaston, CT, December 31, 1980

Kathy Hamann, 25, Sandy Hook, CT, March 28, 1982

Edward Aalbue, 21, Westbury, NY, January 1, 1983

Kenneth Hokenson, 23, Scotia, NY, March 24, 1983

Mark Brockman, 19, Boston, MA, March 27, 1983

Edwin B. Costa, 39, Manchester, NH, June 3, 1990

Cheryl Weingarten, 22, Somerville, MA and Hewlett Harbor, NY, May 1, 1994

Chris Schneider, 31, Pittsfield, VT, March 28, 1995

Donald Cote, 48, Haverhill, MA, February 2, 1996

Robert Vandel, 50, Vienna, ME, March 2, 1996

Steve Carmody, 29, Danbury, CT, September 27, 1997

Ned Green, 26, of North Conway, NH, died February 18, 2001, in Damnation Gully in Huntington Ravine, as a result of a fall after an "ice dam" in the gully gave way.

Hillary Manion, 22, of Ottawa, Ontario, died as a result of a fall while skiing in Tuckerman Ravine, June 3, 2001

Jason Gaumond, 28, of Southbridge, MA, died in a fall in Yale Gully, Huntington Ravine, January 27, 2004.

Rob Douglas, 39 of Vershire, VT, died as a result of a fall while on a ski trip in Pipeline Gully, Mount Clay, March 7, 2004.

Wieslaw Walczak, 62, of Bedford, New Hampshire, died on (or about) November 21, 2009, as a result of a fall on the Tuckerman Ravine headwall.

 

http://www.mountwashington.org/about/visitor/surviving.php

 

Quote:

1/9/2012 Tuckerman Ravine

A solo hiker died as a result of injuries sustained in a fall while descending in the vicinity the Lip area of Tuckerman Ravine. The fall was witnessed by the AMC caretaker at Hermit Lake Shelters, who immediately notified USFS Snow Rangers and initiated rescue efforts. Despite the fact that rescue was immediately begun, the victim passed away while rescuers were preparing for the evacuation.

 

http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/search-rescue/2011-2012-summaries/

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

 
This list only goes to 2008 and there's been a few since.

 

 

Crevasse Deaths are not uncommon. Even more are falls, some while skiing.

Just last year someone fell in a crevasse and estimate of depth of the crevasse was 125 feet. Body was recovered with alternate access than from above weeks later.

 

Quote:

 

 

Yes, there's a reason it's a great training ground for alpinism, and multiple reasons why so many people move to the area to pursue summer/winter mountain-based sports.  You've got serious mountains, great and fairly solid alpine granite -- and some really sketchy granite elsewhere, too -- and a pocket version of Yosemite just down the road.  Pretty much the works.  

 

Huntington is a cool place, in the summer the ridge climb there is a real gem.  Glad the slide and falls there this time did not add to the list.   

post #13 of 18

So now that we've established that was an avalanche in Huntington Ravine, not Tuckerman, and it involved climbers, not skiers, is there any news concerning avalanches and skiers or snowboarders? Have any skiers at Tuckerman ever been rolled and tumbled by an avalanche?

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post

... Have any skiers at Tuckerman ever been rolled and tumbled by an avalanche?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLjigCsFmnI&noredirect=1

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7nPItbPPOk

 

Skiing's not limited to Tuckerman there, though, and other areas there also have significant slide issues.  The variability of the wind in particular and weather in general make it a fairly dynamic environment there, though that's part of what makes it a neat place as well.

post #15 of 18

http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/search-rescue/2011-2012-summaries/  The Jan  3 2012 summary re two skiers in Huntington is also a good read, fortunately again not a downer at the end of the day. 

post #16 of 18

There are a bunch of ways to get hurt in Tuckerman aside from avalanche or falling down a hole.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjTmE4nMjJ4

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 

That face first slide at 0:40 is high speed. ^

 

Here's another in April '09 caused by a skier.

 

      video:shotstar34                                                                            http://youtu.be/RW_ekQSiPTA
 

post #18 of 18
That is an amazing video, Tog.
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