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Whitefish Mountain Avalanche

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
This is turning out to be one deadly season. The white dragon has struck again.
Condolences to all friends and family++++++++++++

Avalanche in the Backcountry
At Least Two Dead in Avalanche Near Whitefish

WHITEFISH (AP) – An avalanche on the back side of Whitefish Mountain Resort killed two backcountry skiers Sunday and searchers combed the slide area for other possible victims, Flathead County Sheriff Mike Meehan said.

Meehan said the avalanche occurred on Fiberglass Hill in the Canyon Creek drainage.

The number of people missing in the slide is unknown, Meehan said.

He described the avalanche as "massive," and said the slide area began high on the mountain side, is several hundred feet wide and piled up between 25 and 35 feet of snow by the time it came to a stop.

Emergency responders were alerted to the avalanche around noon, and more than 100 search and rescue people were quickly called to the scene.

Meehan released a statement indicating the body of a male victim was recovered at about 1:18 p.m. and a second body at 4:16 p.m. The gender of the second victim was not specified and sheriff's officials could not immediately be reached for clarification.

No names were released.

"At this time, there are conflicting statements to responders about how many more victims might have been buried in the avalanche," Meehan said. "If the scene of the avalanche is safe for rescue workers, rescue efforts will continue throughout the night."
post #2 of 9
Rest in Peace.

As further evidence of dangerous snowpacks:

There aren't any real details yet, but it's been reported that three snowmobilers were killed yesterday in an avalanche near Afton, WY (about 60 miles south of Jackson).


We saw significant cracking and fracturing on convex rollovers today in the sidecountry south of the Jackson Hole ski area boundaries. Enough to make me very nervous about going anywhere with serious exposure.

Everybody be safe out there.
post #3 of 9
Bad news yet again.

It is a season to be cautious!
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

some sobering thoughts

Found this on another board:

post #5 of 9
6 people were killed over the weekend in avalanches. It is definitely one of the worst seasons I have seen. I think the average is 23 deaths in the US. We are already at 21. This sucks. If you add our brethren to the North 31 people have died. I think that makes it an above average season. It seems that the snowpack is sketchy just about everywhere this year. Plenty of safe lines to be done. We just need to use sound decision making. Sometimes that is easier said than done.

Check out A Dozen More Turns for a sobering look at the consequences of getting caught in an avalanche. This is a must watch for any bc user or wannabe bc user. Not for the squeamish though...
post #6 of 9
Sorry, but one of the White Fish victims is a candidate for the Darwin awards. A few weeks before the accident one of his best friends was caught in an avalanche in the exact same area resulting in a broken leg. Even after that the victim would rush out to the same area every time it snowed without checking the avalanche conditions (his friends bragged you couldn't keep him off the hill) and without a transceiver. He was buried on a day the avalanche conditions were rated as 'considerable' in an area prone to avalanches without a transceiver.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Wow! A Dozen More Turns. Very sobering account indeed. This film should be shown at every R.A.C and Level 1 coarse.
post #8 of 9
The younger victim was a brother of one of the girls on the ski team the same time as my daughter. He stopped racing right before my daughter started, so although they were the same age, she didn't know him, but many of her teammates are pretty shaken.
post #9 of 9
Wow, A Dozen More Turns is really a great film. VERY sobering. Really makes you think.
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