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Four Skiers caught in Avalanche

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
At least this story has a happy ending. Four skiers were caught in a slide in No Name Bowl, just out side the gates of The Canyons Ski Resort. They were able to dig themselves out but still needed to be rescued becuse they lost all thier ski gear. Anybody out there have a metal detector? might be an opportunity to get some new slightly used skis.
post #2 of 16
Has Dutch's slid yet this year?
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Has Dutch's slid yet this year?

Nope, hopefully people would have learned from last year that you need to be more responsible in there.
post #4 of 16
Unfortunately I think it's the lemming syndrome - people see tracks from the lift and even thought the gate/signs are there they figure that it must be ok if all those other people were through there... here's the write-up on this from the UAC (it's very interesting to note the Comments section of this report).
post #5 of 16
Cirquerider wrote: "Has Dutch's slid yet this year?"

Dutch's, Squaw Top & Western Monitor slide *every* year. It's just a matter of when.


sphrrt wrote: "Unfortunately I think it's the lemming syndrome - people see tracks from the lift and even thought the gate/signs are there they figure that it must be ok if all those other people were through there..."

Actually, it's a little different than 'lemming syndrome'. No-Name is not visible from either PCMR or The Canyons, and certainly not on Saturday with visibility below 1/4 mile. They were also the 1st (and only) party in that are that day. These skiers were accomplished BC travelers (up to 30 years experience) and accessed the area from Iron Canyon (don't believe Sheriff Edmons statement about access from the resort). They were making progressive laps in the bowl and were working their way from lookers left to right (further into exposed terrain). Their big mistake was that their over-exuberance for freshies repressed their avy senses and they ventured too far into exposed terrain. This is the most common way that experienced BC travelers get caught - by momentarily letting better judgement go by the wayside in favor of the lure of virgin powder.

Powdr
post #6 of 16
I read the report yesterday and what was interesting to me was the slide ran in the "exposed" areas of the slope (see "diagram of slide path" link on the report). Three of the skiers were caught in the exposed area on the southeast side of the slide (left in the picture). It seemed to me that the "proper" place to stop to be out of danger, would have been the finger of trees just upslope of where they stopped or the cluster of trees down below. Again from reading the report, it sounded like a case of "irrational exuberence". I'm gald it turned out OK.

http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/Accide...05/NoName2.jpg
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie
... It seemed to me that the "proper" place to stop to be out of danger, would have been the finger of trees just upslope of where they stopped or the cluster of trees down below...
Actually, the finger would be a *really* bad place to stop. The debris from the slide would sweep you into the trees where serious bodily damage would occur as you get bashed against the bare trunks of those trees. Slides can penetrate deep into the trees before petering out.
post #8 of 16
Powdr, I was taking about the area just left of where the debris field starts. Wouldn't the presence of the older trees indicate a location that has traditionally been protected from re-occuring slides on an avalance prone slope like this one? If we were talking historic/record slides like the ones last spring, I would agree about a bad decision. Either way, both places would have been better that staying exposed in the open like they did. Again, if you look at the slide you can almost discern the slide path from the existing trees, and this was intriguing to me...

EDIT: Additionally, there may be other terrain features that produce this pattern that we are unable to see.

But it's reasons like this that I RARELY venture outside the resort...

EDIT2: I goolge Earth'ed the spot and there is a bit of a "knoll" where the debris field starts. I'm sure that this figured into the thinking of the group.

L
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie
Powdr, I was taking about the area just left of where the debris field starts.
Ahhh. I though you were talking about the one just to the lookers right of where the three were caught.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie
Wouldn't the presence of the older trees indicate a location that has traditionally been protected from re-occuring slides on an avalance prone slope like this one? .
Generally, yes. But that doesn't guarantee a monster slide won't chew up everything in its path, including decades old trees.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie
Either way, both places would have been better that staying exposed in the open like they did.
Easy to second guess, but yes, terrain selection on the uphill & downhill are probably the most important factors in avoiding tragedy in the BC. Can't tell you how many times I've stayed on the conservative side and played on <35 deg slopes while being flanked left & right on steeper slopes by less careful powder hounds.

Powdr
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah49
but still needed to be rescued becuse they lost all thier ski gear. Anybody out there have a metal detector? might be an opportunity to get some new slightly used skis.
:grin:
post #11 of 16
In Relation to PCMR and The Canyons, where is this bowl? I assume its on the backside somewhere, but in what direction from say Jupitor or 9990?
post #12 of 16
I realize they were probably seeking powder and not speed, but as someone once pointed out to an ignorant speed freak from the east many long years ago, the best places to go fast, the really steep slopes with nothing in the way, are that way because they are the best places for avalanches and slides keep the growth out of the way.

It definately pays to know a little about avalanch avoidance if you go out back. And to pay attention to what you know, and that little voice inside your head that whispers that what your about to do is really stupid, and maybe you shouldn't do it today.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr
This is the most common way that experienced BC travelers get caught - by momentarily letting better judgement go by the wayside in favor of the lure of virgin powder.Powdr
It's like looking at college girls. Tempting, but oooh so dangerous.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiUtah
In Relation to PCMR and The Canyons, where is this bowl? I assume its on the backside somewhere, but in what direction from say Jupitor or 9990?
It's between the two. N of PCMR and S of the Canyons.

L
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
It's like looking at college girls. Tempting, but oooh so dangerous.
Hmmm...is there something I should know about college girls that I don't?
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodro
Hmmm...is there something I should know about college girls that I don't?
Context: I'm in my early 50's - so even the thought is dangerous. The safeguard - age.

You know what's really funny? You forget that you've aged - seriously!

I sometimes think "I shouldn't look this lady's way because I don't wanna open that door". Yeah - in my dreams!

It takes awhile for the brain to catch up with the body. A humbling experience.
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