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| | |-+  December 11, 2016, Alpental Tree Well Death
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Author Topic: December 11, 2016, Alpental Tree Well Death  (Read 3127 times)
mmendel98
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December 11, 2016, Alpental Tree Well Death
« on: 12/13/16, 09:43 AM »

I've posted one of the news articles below regarding the recent tree well death at Alpental, which describes a skier seen falling into a tree well, a prompt rescue, and yet a death nonetheless. 

Until we know more I find it difficult to know the lessons for us TAY-ers, and I am hopeful that others will fill in the blanks as new information becomes available.  What we know now is that Richard Glade, 45, was skiing alone, so of course that was a mistake.  Yet, luckily, the guy he went up the lift with saw him fall in.  But rather than effect a rescue himself that guy screamed for others to do the rescue.  Why? Was he too far downhill in powder to deep to move up through?  How long was the delay until the two other guys started the rescue?  Would the skier still be alive if he only had a partner skiing behind him? 

Please share whatever you've got folks so we can be safer in the future.

Mark


SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. —  A skier died at the Alpental Ski area after falling into a tree well, confirms the King County Sheriff’s Office.

The skier, identified as Richard Glade, 45, was found face down in the snow just after 2 p.m. Sunday.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office said Monday that the cause of death was asphyxia due to immersion in snow. Manner of death was listed as an accident.

Guy Lawrence with Summit at Snoqualmie says the man was found rather quickly by someone who was on the same chair lift as he was. Two other men helped out and started CPR on the man, but he was unconscious. Ski patrol quickly arrived and took the man down the mountain.

Lawrence says it appears the man was skiing by himself at the time of the accident.

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snoqpass
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Re: December 11, 2016, Alpental Tree Well Death
« Reply #1 on: 12/13/16, 10:37 AM »

But rather than effect a rescue himself that guy screamed for others to do the rescue.  Why? Was he too far downhill in powder to deep to move up through?  How long was the delay until the two other guys started the rescue?  Would the skier still be alive if he only had a partner skiing behind him? 
I don't know how you got this from the article
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mmendel98
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Re: December 11, 2016, Alpental Tree Well Death
« Reply #2 on: 12/13/16, 10:45 AM »

I don't know how you got this from the article

I guess I got it from a different article; the KOMO article says:

The other skier saw the victim fall into a tree well.
He then yelled for help to get him out. Two other skiers showed up – and were able to pull the victim out. One of the skiers initiated CPR right away while the other called 911.

I am not trying to find fault here, just to understand what happened.
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snoqpass
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Re: December 11, 2016, Alpental Tree Well Death
« Reply #3 on: 12/13/16, 10:55 AM »

The article is poorly worded, the first skier dug him out

I copied and pasted from the TGR Forum :
a facebook post shared with me. i do not know the writer...but this is painful, but worth the read:

To all my friends who love and partake in SNOW:

I need you all to know something. Or if you already know it, I need you to hear it again.

Snow, can kill.

This weekend was one of the most incredible opening weekends I can remember at Alpental. Lap after lap of full throttle deep powder shredding, in the purest and most innocent of spirits.

To cut a highly complex and convoluted story short, this weekend for me, ended in incredible heartbreak.

I was nursing my tired legs along a traverse track that I've traveled literally hundreds of times. When I stopped for a second to unstrap and hike up a small uphill, I heard the faintest of sounds... and it sounded like a deep and muffled "help". I wasn't sure of what I heard, but then it happened again, and again.

I decided to yell to my partners that I was going to investigate, and started hiking back up hill. The "helps" transformed into very clear and audible screams for help. I know this scream, from when I was a 12 year old boy, stuck in my own tree well...(different story).

My interest in these "helps" transformed into deep urgency. As multiple skiers and snowboarders passed me, I kept asking, "one of you guys, please please, come with me to figure out what's going on". Nobody, for the love of god, was willing to halt their powder quest and help me. And mark my word, every one of them heard the same bloody sounds I was hearing. It will take me a long time to figure this behavior out.

I got to the point where the screams were viscerally as close as I was going to get by hiking, so I strapped in and dropped into waist deep snow off the traverse track, solo, knowing that I may be putting myself in danger.

I rode towards the screaming, and came upon the WORST of my darkest nightmares... several guys giving CPR to a limp body in the snow.

I've never felt this degree of fear, EVER, in my life.

I felt absolutely, profoundly, unable to help.

I watched, as a person who was still alive, with labored breathing, turned blue and stopped breathing. It was literally as if I witnessed the life force of a human being leave his body, and in an instant, I knew, he was gone..

I had this understanding that I had just watched a man pass away.

Just a moment later, Alpental pro patrol arrived, and took over the efforts.

They worked on the victim for at least an hour. At times, a faint pulse would arrive. In fact, the AED computer would not shock him, because it detected a pulse. They even mentioned moments when they thought he was responding to them, but then he would slip away again.

More and more ski patrol began arriving. CPR shifts were then assigned, and the guys traded off on chest compressions. Hearing his ribs break under compressions, is a sound that won't likely ever leave my consciousness.

Eventually the call was made to load him into a toboggan. Seeing his lifeless limp body flop around as they loaded him into the toboggan, is also something I will never, ever, in my life, forget.

Cutting this short again, a heroic and monumental effort began to belay the toboggan down the mountain, all the while continuing to administer CPR. It took what seemed like forever. I was able to recover the victim's skis and one pole, and carried them down the mountain.

In talking with the victim's ski partner, he had tripped during a turn, and had fallen headfirst into a tree well. They were able to get him out, literally, in less than 2 minutes. And again, not only was he breathing by the time they got to him, but he was fighting and wrestling to get out. If wasn't until he was out that he fell under the surface, and went lifeless.

The victim was 41 years old.

I don't really have much of anything philosophical to say about this, other than, be BLOODY careful out there. This guy died because of 1:30 under the snow.

I've been on the verge of tears all evening, if not actually in tears.

To our brother in arms who lost everything today, this moment of silence is for you ❤️
« Last Edit: 12/13/16, 05:51 PM by snoqpass » Logged
haggis
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Re: December 11, 2016, Alpental Tree Well Death
« Reply #4 on: 12/13/16, 11:40 AM »

Never ever believe anything ski related from Komo, King, Fox etc.  They got the fact there was a death at Alpental correct but there are so many inaccuracies its laughable and nothing should be inferred from their source.

Picture the photo on one of their reports that was of Summit West.  Another that it was on Eisfallen trail.  The details are wrong and I've seen it in other reporting such as paragliding accidents too that I don't trust what they say until I can read it elsewhere or from those who were there.
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