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CAIC Report - The Latest East Vail Avalanche Death

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I haven't seen this posted yet...the Colorado Avalanche Information Center's preliminary report of the most recent East Vail avalanche death:

http://avalanche.state.co.us/Acciden...n/20080112.htm

Certainly looks like a tempting line down that chute. This year we have been ultra conservative in the backcountry. After a 1/2 day skiing at Loveland, we headed up Loveland Pass for some car laps. I was amazed at the volume of boarders (mainly) and skiers last weekend who had no avy gear.
post #2 of 4
Sounds like they either didn't ski one at a time or skier#1's safe zone, wasn't.

I felt like the snow pack was shaping up very nicely until the wind event on the 30th. It totally loaded the eastern aspects in the Elk's.

Be safe!
post #3 of 4
Looking at the maps, the layout seems familiar. If the decision was to go, typically skier #1 would drop the chute and ski hard to skier's left to the ridge. It could be the fracture propagated farther than he went for his safe zone. When skiing this kind of line, I typically end up right on a ridge with an escape route either way, but I don't know if any safe haven existed under the circumstances here.

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay_p View Post
After a 1/2 day skiing at Loveland, we headed up Loveland Pass for some car laps. I was amazed at the volume of boarders (mainly) and skiers last weekend who had no avy gear.
This is unfortunately the norm there. There was a survey done either last year or the year before (by CAIC? I'm not sure) that found 75% of boarders and skiers on the pass did not have avy gear. I saw at least a dozen boarders (mostly teenaged boys) there last spring on a day when the entire cirque was riddled with spontaneous wet slab releases and when there was a big slide on the other side of I70 that brought out a Flight for Life heli to A-Basin to pick up patrollers and avy dogs. Many of the kids were jumping into avy terrain on the pass, not just riding the gentler terrain. None had packs, so no gear is a reasonable assumption.
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