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Author Topic: East Peak slide Feb 6, injury accident  (Read 5080 times)
Charlie Hagedorn
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East Peak slide Feb 6, injury accident
« on: 02/07/16, 10:06 AM »

Text from NWAC forecast discussion:

Quote
There was a serious accident that occurred in the Crystal backcountry on Saturday. Two skiers descending East Peak crossed from a windward slope to a lee slope above Ted's Buttress a few hundred feet below the peak. One triggered a wind slab upslope of his position. Both were caught, at least partially buried by the slide and sustained injuries. One was able to self-extricate and then eventually freed his partner after considerable digging. Initial estimates are the slab averaged 30-50 cm, max 1 m in depth, and about 100 m in width. The slope in question would have been loaded by SW winds. Preliminary details were provided by Crystal Mt Pro-patrol and are subject to change as more information becomes available.

Full-size marked-up photo diagramming the slide path here:

http://media.nwac.us.s3.amazonaws.com/media/uploads/2016/02/06/overview-of-teds-buttress-and-east-peak.jpg

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CookieMonster
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Re: East Peak slide Feb 6, injury accident
« Reply #1 on: 02/07/16, 10:58 AM »

Very glad to hear it's just an injury, and hope it's not a bad injury at that.

Is that picture recent?

If so, besides being an obvious ref flag by themselves, drift lines off tree trunks always point in the direction of loading, and this could have been a very nice clue as to where the missing snow ( AKA the windslab ) might be found.
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Scotsman
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Re: East Peak slide Feb 6, injury accident
« Reply #2 on: 02/07/16, 02:08 PM »

Very glad to hear it's just an injury, and hope it's not a bad injury at that.

Is that picture recent?

If so, besides being an obvious ref flag by themselves, drift lines off tree trunks always point in the direction of loading, and this could have been a very nice clue as to where the missing snow ( AKA the windslab ) might be found.

Yes, drift lines are very easily seen and the day before Crystal had been on wind hold most of the day due to strong winds and massive wind transportation was occurring.  Not hard to figure out... glad they are OK but not the line to ski on that particular day. That area very prone and most winters you can see naturals there.

Today I came across a trio skinning up SE trees in Silver Basin. Not only is that a bad run to try and skin up with people dropping in from above but the solar radiation was intense and rollerballing was naturally occuring. I told them they where in a dangerous position and I suggested they try a skin track in a less steep, less solar effected area and away from the skiers dropping in and even tried to point out the normal skin track position but they told me to fuck off and that Patrol had told them it was OK the skin in Sliver Basin ( which was true but just because you can doesn't mean you should)

I know we are all learners at some time but the shit that is happening with this massive influx of new backcountry tourers is pretty bad and a lot of people are going to get killed.

Climbing off soap box and promise myself that I'll never try and help a bunch of kooks again!!!
« Last Edit: 02/07/16, 07:16 PM by Scotsman » Logged

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CookieMonster
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Re: East Peak slide Feb 6, injury accident
« Reply #3 on: 02/07/16, 04:35 PM »

Thanks for the info Scotsman! I've only been up that area a half dozen times, and once was with you and Tinkerbell. It's not really very intimidating on first look, and I think low intimidation factor + close proximity to parking lot probably makes it even more dangerous.

I think you should feel free to get up on your soapbox as often as you like. More people should get up on the soapbox in fact, especially with hordes of new backcountry skiers who don't know their hat from a hand grenade. If you make them feel a little bit less / a lot less, some of them will actually learn something. Maybe not on the spot, but they'll take it in.

I'm going to shut up before I start writing lots of politically incorrect things about Amazon employees out and about in the Snoqualmie Pass backcountry.
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bbrelje
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Re: East Peak slide Feb 6, injury accident
« Reply #4 on: 02/07/16, 07:31 PM »

I think you should feel free to get up on your soapbox as often as you like. More people should get up on the soapbox in fact, especially with hordes of new backcountry skiers who don't know their hat from a hand grenade.

As a relative newcomer to the backcountry, if you see something, please say something. I know it's nobody else's responsibility to monitor what I'm doing, but I would hope that if a vet noticed my party doing something unsafe that he/she would tell me so, especially where local knowledge comes into play. (To be clear, I wasn't anywhere near the incident in question).

Finding info openly on the web can make people lazy about using their brain and finding mentors, but it might save a life now and then if there was a way for locals to contribute to a map showing the "usual suspect" slide paths and the normal uptrack routes for aiding in trip planning. Liability and other issues probably preclude this, but it'd sure be nice.
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Blizz Mountain
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Re: East Peak slide Feb 6, injury accident
« Reply #5 on: 02/07/16, 07:50 PM »

+++ what bbrelj said...

...if you see something, please say something. I know it's nobody else's responsibility to monitor what I'm doing, but I would hope that if a vet noticed my party doing something unsafe that he/she would tell me so, especially where local knowledge comes into play....



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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: East Peak slide Feb 6, injury accident
« Reply #6 on: 02/07/16, 09:39 PM »


That's a superficially attractive slope, but I can't recall if I've ever actually skied it. It has always made me nervous because as you're skiing down you have this steep deposition zone above you on the left. On the upper part at least, it's like skiing the left wall of a half-pipe, so you're testing a different part of that deposition zone with each turn. Kind of spooky. I'm glad both skiers made it home.
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calvinh4
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Re: East Peak slide Feb 6, injury accident
« Reply #7 on: 02/08/16, 09:05 PM »

There was a slide later in the day on the 6th in Cement Basin also.

https://goo.gl/photos/CDXL2zEwUTEaRHGz6

Wind loading on steep slopes was a problem.




* IMG_4797-2.JPG (174.03 KB, 886x800 - viewed 914 times.)
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Mattski
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Re: East Peak slide Feb 6, injury accident
« Reply #8 on: 02/10/16, 01:18 AM »

Not the first time someone tempted fate here after a significant wind event. I think we have reached the tipping point of new bc riders, crowds and lack of awareness. Maybe we need a Drew Hardesty sit down:
1/16/00- East Peak Ted Buttress , Crystal Mt, south central WA Cascades   
One skier caught, partially buried and injured, rescued by ski area employee
http://www.nwac.us/accidents/accident-reports/

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