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Thread: Death in the backcountry

  1. #1
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    Death in the backcountry

    Let's put all of the unidentified people killed in 2021 Hiking, Skiing, etc. accidents here. We can move them if/when they are identified.


    MILLCREEK ? Four people were killed in an avalanche in Millcreek Canyon Saturday.

    Unified police said that four others were able to dig themselves out and survived. The survivors were able to dig out the victims, according to UPD Sgt. Melody Cutler. All those involved are between the ages of 23 and 38 years old.

    Reports of the avalanche first came in at around 11:40 a.m., and officials reported that all of the skiers involved were wearing beacons. The Utah Avalanche Center reports the avalanche was "unintentionally triggered" at 9,300 feet.

    Authorities are at the scene near the Alexander Basin, according to the Unified Police Department. All four survivors have been brought down the canyon for medical treatment; they are doing well with just one experiencing hypothermia. Recovery efforts for the four victims may extend into Sunday.

    Officials appear to be turning cars away at the base of the canyon as search and rescue efforts continue. Search and Rescue crews are continuing to survey the area to confirm no one else was caught in the deadly avalanche.


    The National Weather Service and Utah Avalanche Center warned of high avalanche danger this morning, saying there had been "large natural avalanches" overnight.

    Gov. Spencer Cox advised Utahns to "please exercise extreme caution" with the high avalanche danger.

    "This is a terrible tragedy and our prayers go out to the victims and families involved," Cox tweeted. "We are grateful to the first responders and others who engaged in this rescue and recovery effort."

    Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson acknowledged the multiple agencies that will continue working throughout the night.

    "The Salt Lake County Sheriff's Canyon Search and Rescue Unit, Unified Police Department, Unified Fire Authority, and other partners are on site responding to the situation," Wilson said in a statement. "We deeply mourn the loss of life due to this devastating incident."
    https://www.ksl.com/article/50102621...nyon-avalanche
    Last edited by puzzld; 02-07-2021 at 09:36 AM.

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    Earlier today, we reported that at least four climbers hoping to summit K2 today have yet to return to high camp. It?s currently after midnight at K2 with extremely cold temps. We also reported that Bulgarian climber and Himalayan veteran Atanas Skatov has died from a fall while descending from camp three. Skatov is reported to have likely fallen when transitioning from one rope to another, with early reports of a rope breaking being dismissed when it was noted that the fixed ropes high on K2 are new.

    Among those missing is Icelander John Snorri, who is the only climbers from his home country to have climbed K2 in summer. With Snorri is Ali Sadpara and JP Mohr. Sajid Sadpara was part of the summit team, but turned around due to equipment failure.
    https://gripped.com/news/icelander-j...ear-k2-summit/
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CK6PmlHAPqV/
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

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    Andy Jessen was the mayor pro tempore of Eagle, Colorado. Sarah Moughamian, a lover of all things outdoors, spent all the free time she had in the Utah snow. Army Ranger Matthew Nyman survived a helicopter crash in Iraq that crushed his foot but he learned to climb again, most recently on Alaska's Bear Mountain.
    Jessen, Moughamian and Nyman are three of the 14 people who've died in avalanches since February 1. It's the highest number of avalanche deaths recorded in a seven-day period since the US Forest Service's National Avalanche Center started tracking deaths, according to Karl Birkeland, the center's director.
    Moughamian and three others were killed this weekend when an avalanche swept through a backcountry ski area near Salt Lake City on Saturday. Theirs are the most recent in a string of deaths caused by avalanches in six states:

    A 57-year-old Utah man was killed when he was caught in an avalanche near Park City Mountains Canyons Village resort a week ago, just a few miles from the site of Saturday's avalanche.
    Jessen and two other skiers, who were all local government officials, were killed in an avalanche in Colorado Monday. Their bodies were recovered Wednesday.
    In New Hampshire, the body of a skier was recovered Wednesday after an avalanche in the White Mountain National Forest.
    Five snowmobilers were caught Saturday in an avalanche on Montana's Swan Range and one was buried in snow and subsequently died, according the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
    On February 3, a backcountry skier and snowboarder were caught in an avalanche near Etna Summit in California. The snowboarder survived but the skier was buried by snow and despite an hour of CPR by his partner, he was unable to be revived and died.
    In Alaska, Nyman and two other climbers were reported missing on February 2 after they had not returned from a hike on Bear Mountain in Chugach State Park. During the search, Alaska State Troopers discovered what appeared to be a recent avalanche. In the avalanche slide area, troopers found the bodies of the three missing climbers buried in the snow.

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    At least 21 people in the US have died in avalanches since the start of the season in December 2020, according to Avalanche.org, a site from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center that tracks nationwide avalanche accidents.
    Avalanches caused devastating damage across the world this week, too: A glacier burst triggered an avalanche in India's northern Uttarakhand state on Sunday, killing at least 19 people
    Why it's been an active year for avalanches
    There are two probable reasons why there have been more avalanche deaths this year: More people are enjoying the outdoors in the wilder parts of the West and a "really dangerous snow pack," said Nikki Champion, a forecaster at the Utah Avalanche Center.
    This year's avalanche season has likely been more active because of a "persistent weak layer" of snow, she said.
    How to avoid avalanches and what to do if you're caught in one
    How to avoid avalanches and what to do if you're caught in one
    Snowfall was relatively minor in November and December compared to years previously, and because there were periods of dryness in the early winter, that early snowfall doesn't bond together, she said. That weak layer of snowfall is making up the base of the snowpack across the West, including Utah, Colorado and Montana. All the new snow is sitting on top of that weak base, Champion said.
    That layer is more persistent in years past, too, she said. Utah and Colorado are experiencing less snow than usual, so that weak bottom layer is sticking around for months.
    The uptick in deaths might also be explained by the increase in people visiting the West's backcountry to ski and hike. Since many ski resorts have shuttered during the pandemic, "more people are choosing to enter the back country," Champion said.

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/08/us/av...rnd/index.html
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

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    US nears record avalanche deaths as risky snow conditions plague mountains

    https://nypost.com/2021/03/10/us-nea...gue-mountains/

    The U.S. is on track to surpass its all-time record for avalanche deaths this season after extreme winter weather conditions heightened avalanche danger.

    From the end of January to Feb. 6, 2021, 15 backcountry skiers, snowboarders and others were killed by avalanches, marking the most deaths in a week since 1910.

    Thirty-three people have been killed by avalanches since Oct. 1, 2020, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).

    The previous record was set in both the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 seasons.

    This worrying trajectory comes after months of heavy snow, ice and extremely cold temperatures, threatening communities from California and Texas to Illinois and New Hampshire.

    As city streets were shuttered, also buried under snow and ice, Americans increasingly turned to outdoor backcountry sports and activities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

    But, as interest grew, so did risk.

    And, although experts were on high alert, human error triggers nine out of 10 avalanches — especially as the number of skiers and snowboarders surge.

    CAIC director Ethan Greene told The Associated Press in December that Colorado’s snowpack was the weakest it had been since 2012.

    The early-season snow in addition to a dry period in the West — with fires in California lasting through the end of the year — created a weak layer in the snowpack before even more snowfall was added on top.

    While more people usually die in avalanches in Colorado than in any other state, mountain snow is particularly tricky.

    A person can suffer brain damage in four to six minutes when buried in an avalanche their airway blocked and 75% die from asphyxiation, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

    However, winter is not over yet and even as avalanche season — between December and April — draws to a close, avalanches can occur during any month of the year.

    In the next few days, fire weather threats, rain and snow will impact the country.

    The National Weather Service reported on Tuesday that a front from the Northern Plains to the Great Basin is expected to move east to the Great Lakes to the Southern High Plains by Thursday, producing snow over Colorado’s Rockies.

    Thunderstorms are possible over the Plains and Mississippi Valley on Wednesday, which will change to snow as cold air moves southward. Snow will continue in the Midwest on Thursday.

    On the West Coast, snow will fall at a high elevation and spread inland by Tuesday night, moving through the Rockies and Plains.

    On Wednesday, more snow will fall over the mountains and additional snow and rain will move into the Southwest by late Wednesday.

    One to 2 feet are forecast over the Sierra Nevada into Northern California’s coastal mountains.

  5. #5
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    Wyoming skier killed in avalanche at Grand Teton National Park

    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011333102854

    https://nypost.com/2021/02/23/wyomin...national-park/

    A skier was killed after getting caught in an avalanche in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, park officials said.

    Matthew Brien, 33, of Jackson, had been leading a group in the upper part of the Broken Thumb Couloir when the avalanche occurred around noon Monday, the National Park Service said.

    The avalanche swept him over a rappel and down the slope for around 1,000 feet, officials said.

    Others with the group called 911 and alerted other friends skiing nearby for help.

    “Both parties made their way to Brien and found him partially buried. They removed him from the debris and initiated CPR,” park officials said.

    Emergency crews were dispatched via helicopter to the scene, officials said.

    Brien was determined to have suffered “significant trauma” and was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. His body was airlifted to the county coroner.

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