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Five dead in Colorado avalanche

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by MileHigh, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Deadliest avalanche in the Colorado highcountry in more than 50 years.

    Happened at the top of the very popular Loveland Pass. There's one survivor and it appears the snowboarders were skiing out of bounds. It's on the east side of the Divide, closer to Loveland Ski Area and just south of the Eisenhower-Johnson twin tunnels, 60 miles west of Denver.

    The views on top of Loveland are spectacular. Driven over the pass numerous times and with lots of fresh snow the past month, it was, I'm sure, quite tempting for the boarders.

  2. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Jason Blevins did an absolutely fantastic job today of recounting what happened up there. Just a great job of reporting what I'm sure was not an easy assignment. The photos also are tremendous.

  3. Roscablo

    Roscablo Well-Known Member

    When I read that earlier today the first thought that came to mind was how great the reporting was, especially with such a difficult topic.

    Sounds like these guys knew what they were doing and were aware of the danger. Maybe they should have waited a week. Maybe just really bad luck. Regardless a terrible event.
  4. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Probably a little bit of both. But even after what happened, there were boarders hitchhiking up U.S. 6 today and going back down.
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    A friend from college had his brother killed while skiing out of bounds about a decade ago... It's dangerous shit... Don't do it...
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I have little sympathy for these guys. It's like deciding you want to skateboard on the freeway because the pavement is smoother.
  7. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    MileHigh, isn't there a whole, massive industry now behind backcountry skiing and snowboarding? I seem to remember that great New York Times multimedia piece about another group that was "expert" at doing the same thing, that ended in tragedy.
  8. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Certainly, backcountry skiing, boarding, snowshoeing has gotten a lot bigger in the past decade.

    It's certainly not for the faint of heart, and you've got to be aware of things. It sounds like these guys were very aware and the slide was bigger than anyone probably could have imagined, but really, with how much snow has fallen in the past month, it's not completely surprising.
  9. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I'm told all five victims were wearing avalanche beacons. Didn't do them much good unfortunately.
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Just FYI, they weren't out of bounds. They were above Loveland Ski Area and outside of its boundaries, but where they -- and hundreds of boarders and skiers every day/weekend there -- were on free, open federal land that is open to anyone who wants to hike to the top (or hitchhike) up U.S. 6 that goes over Loveland Pass. But the avalanche danger was high and warnings given.
  11. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Very detailed first-person account from one of the members of the group not caught in the avalanche but was one of the first on the scene to help with the rescue:

  12. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    Oddly enough, I read the NYT backcountry avalanche story earlier today. One of the things that stuck out to me was when one of the skiiers (Jim Jack, I think), said something along the lines that avalanche beacons are for finding bodies, not saving people.

    It's a hell of a read. Have yet to read the Pulitzer finalists it beat, but I can see why it won.
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