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Stevens Pass Avi

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Following on the heels of yesterday's fatal avalanche at Alpental...

Just saw a thread on this over on TGR: http://www.komotv.com/stories/34785.htm Apparently no injuries, but a slide on an inbounds run is scary - especially if it was officially open. Someone speculated it was on Wild Katz. Someone else claims it was on Rock Garden - but provided no additional info. Rock garden is probably the most popular double black on the hill. They did get 10 inches last night.

Anyone have any solid info? Pics? I'm also curious how fast patrol was able to react - real response times for dogs, beacons, probes, Recco, etc???????

If we had not hit such crappy conditions up there on Monday (& sworn to stay away for a while) & did not have some kid logistics to deal with today, odds are good either my spouse or I (or both) would have been up there today - and almost certainly would have skied Rock Garden...
post #2 of 9
I would guess it was off of 7th Heaven. Rock Garden seems suspect to me because it gets so much traffic that a lone skier wouldn't be a very common event. It could have also been over at Bobby, Nancy, or Outback. Maybe those unnamed areas above the Barrier Bowl on Skyline, or Maybe even Winnie Hill. If someone knows I would like to hear as well.

I once watched an avalance triggered by the howitzers go from the top of 7th all the way down to the top of what is now Hogsback. It can happen.
post #3 of 9
Wow! Any information you guys come across I would like to hear. That is really tragic. I go visit a cousin once a year in Leavenworth and we go ski Stevens. That really hits home.
post #4 of 9
Whoops! I thught they lost someone in it. Thank God everyone was all right.
post #5 of 9
Hmm, i would guess that the most likely place for a slide would be 7th or Wild Katz. &th is skied enough that the layer under 10 inches of new would be slick and icy. On the other hand, Wild Katz is one of the least run trails on the mountain, is very narrow, and probably does not get much avi control. I would be interested to know if anyone hears for sure where the slide was.
post #6 of 9
While it won't stop some people, Wild Katz is not currently lift served. The Double Diamond/Southern Cross lift is not yet open because of low snow pack. That means a bit of a hike to get to WK. That's why I thought it was probably 7th Heaven.

By the way, does anyone else remember Glenn Katzenberger who the run is named after? He was an unassuming guy who was the Forest Service Ranger at Stevens during the 70's and 80's. You'd never guess by meeting him, but he was a hell of a skier.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I talked with the resort. Here's a summary of what I was told:

It was a small (I don't have exact size) slide in an area the resort folks refer to as Lower Annie's. I know the area, but had not heard that name until today. It is below the area off of Seventh Heaven labeled "Meadows" on the trail map (not to be confused with Marmot Meadows). If you know Steven's, it is between Cloud 9 and Skyline. It can be reached by veering left onto the bench near the bottom of Cloud 9, or by traversing as high as possible on skier's right from the Skyline lift. Either way gets you to a bench with some small/short chutes and pitches that drop onto Hog Heaven. That's the place. It is off-piste, but is pretty mainstream and gets skied a reasonable amount.

As mentioned above, the slide was described as pretty small. Apparently, however, a skier was knocked off his feet. The resort started a search of the area & continued until they were satisfied (based on talking to the people involved) that no one was trapped. Sounds like they were very reasonable.

One other interesting observation. It sounds as though the slide was more sloughy than slab. The person I talked to said they had looked at the area and saw no distinct crown wall at the site of the slide.
post #8 of 9
Thanks for the update. Sounds like they handled it well.
post #9 of 9
Originally Posted by spindrift
It was a small (I don't have exact size) slide in an area the resort folks refer to as Lower Annie's.
Thanks for the info. Just for reference, it's the Lower Annie. The Annies are the two cliffs, one above the other that are at the lower end of Meadows and can be viewed from Skyline. The upper cliff is Upper Annie, the lower one is Lower Annie. Thus, the Annies. You can do a long traverse from the top of Skyline and pass between them.
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