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Author Topic: 2-25-17 Tatoosh Accident  (Read 4983 times)
vogtski
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2-25-17 Tatoosh Accident
« on: 02/25/17, 07:41 PM »

"NPS rangers at Mt. Rainier National Park on Saturday relayed a report that six people were hit by a large loose dry avalanche that naturally released in the Fly Couloir on Lane Peak in the Tatoosh Range. One or more of the individuals were partially buried. Details are limited but at this time there were no known injuries."
http://www.nwac.us/avalanche-forecast/current/cascade-west-south/
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I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
DenisSeattle
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Re: 2-25-17 Tatoosh Accident
« Reply #1 on: 02/27/17, 12:13 PM »

6 caught, partially buried, self recovered, no injuries. They were about half of a large group on Lane at the time.

Loose dry to ground, occurred at ~5400' on N aspect, on a 38-40 degree slope below steeper terrain.

The day's forecast was Moderate. The concern was wet avalanches on solar aspects with warming, but this dry avy occurred at around 20F on a shaded aspect.  Reporting party said the avalanche was natural, not skier triggered.
http://www.nwac.us/avalanche-forecast/avalanche-region-forecast/3116/cascade-west-south/
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SKIER-X
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Re: 2-25-17 Tatoosh Accident
« Reply #2 on: 02/27/17, 01:09 PM »

  Wow what a large group. Were they a group of novices ? To get 6 people hit makes me wonder about there level of overall mountain awareness.
  Maybe they had there own set of modified avalanche travel protocols or heuristic and financial interests at the forefront of there decision making process. Itll be interesting to find out. X
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vogtski
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Re: 2-25-17 Tatoosh Accident
« Reply #3 on: 02/27/17, 04:04 PM »

The Sunday evening NWAC Discussion was slightly different, five involved, several partial burials and minor injuries.

Figuring the road would open too late for a geezer to get anywhere, I settled for some XC laps at Cougar Rock today (Monday).  It was breezy and snowing over an inch per hour.  Several large natural avalanches could be heard (one viewed) in the big chute at the west end of the Tatoosh.  Some ran all the way to the Nisqually River.  I call this path 'Six-Shooter' for the multiple NW-facing starting zones high on the shoulder of Eagle Peak.
« Last Edit: 02/27/17, 04:08 PM by vogtski » Logged

I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
DenisSeattle
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Re: 2-25-17 Tatoosh Accident
« Reply #4 on: 02/27/17, 04:30 PM »

vogtski- I know those active high chutes, they're visible from Oh My Curve, one of the indicator slopes we observe if possible en route to Paradise.

The latest info I had was from Saturday and I wasn't in the park at the time of the incident. NWAC has the party's contact info and may have made an inquiry, thus the updated info in the Discussion on Sunday night. Glad it wasn't as serious as initially reported.
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kurthicks
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Re: 2-25-17 Tatoosh Accident
« Reply #5 on: 03/05/17, 02:32 PM »

  Maybe they had there...financial interests at the forefront of there decision making process. Itll be interesting to find out. X
Nope. Commercial services aren't allowed in the Tatoosh as I understand it. Beat a different drum.
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SKIER-X
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Re: 2-25-17 Tatoosh Accident
« Reply #6 on: 03/05/17, 06:44 PM »

  How about heuristics or rational ? etc. Do you have any info ? All data is good .  A financial concern could be as simple as this is the only time off of work ,or look how much I have invested in this trip etc.      X    Pum Pum . 
« Last Edit: 03/05/17, 07:19 PM by SKIER-X » Logged
blackdog102395
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Re: 2-25-17 Tatoosh Accident
« Reply #7 on: 03/05/17, 07:54 PM »

Our party of three skied the Zipper and Fly on this day.  Here is what I know. 

As we approached the fan there was a party of 4 preparing to head up Lover's Lane.  There were two climbers ahead of us in the fan proper and four other climbers approaching the base of the  Fly.  All totaled there were 13 people between the party climbing Lover's Lane, the two climbers just ahead of us in the fan, the party of 4 at the base of the Fly, and our party of three.  A  brief conversation with the two climbers as we passed them revealed that they were with the party of 4 heading up the Fly.  We spent considerable time discussing conditions, but also discussing the other parties and how their ascent might affect ours.

The climb up the Zipper, while a wallow fest, was uneventful except for some minor spindrift.  As we skied down, we heard the climbing party of 4 topping out on Lover's Lane.  They shouted down that they would wait for us to clear the chute before rappelling down.  The ski down was great.  At the bottom of the Zipper we agreed to head up the Fly if it was clear of the climbing party of 6.  We did not see anyone in the line as we approached so we headed up.  There was a steady flow of spindrift pouring off the climbers left hand wall the entire climb.  It was another wallowfest.  One in our party topped out with the other two making it about half way up before descending.  Both the ascent and the ski down were uneventful except for one mini loose slide that came down off the wall on the climbers left on the ascent. This partially covered our party's boot track.

My guess is the party of 6, maybe down to 5, got caught in a loose dry slide coming off that climbers left wall while we were in the Zipper.

It's a good reminder of how much of what we do is chance and luck.  We went home with an all time great day all because we skied the Zipper before the Fly.  Sounds like the climbing party may have gone home with a much different experience.
« Last Edit: 03/05/17, 08:24 PM by blackdog102395 » Logged
blackdog102395
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Re: 2-25-17 Tatoosh Accident
« Reply #8 on: 05/29/17, 05:50 PM »

NWAC Report:

http://media.nwac.us.s3.amazonaws.com/media/filer_public/64/77/647788d0-5139-491f-8b5b-2139c020d5d4/20170225_lanepeak_nearmiss_final.pdf
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