Safety Maroon Bowl Avalanche Report is Out

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Mike King, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
    Pretty tragic. And amazing that a current and former member of Mountain Rescue Aspen apparently had not read the avalanche forecast. Sidecountry is backcountry.

    http://avalanche.state.co.us/caic/acc/acc_co.php#

    Select the Maroon Bowl report.
     
  2. Jack skis

    Jack skis Ex 207cm VR17 Skier Skier

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    I was going to "like" Mike's post on the Maroon Bowl Av, but then thought better of it. I found the report very interesting, and sad too. The details in the report were comprehensive and informative. The call of the powder is some times too powerful to ignore. Easy to forget that untracked snow and challenging terrain can be deadly. Some days are best spent staying at home. I usually remember that some time after I've left home.
     
  3. James

    James Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Wow. Only 16 inch crown but it's enough. Killed by impact with tree I guess.

    Video summary: Is Higlands Bowl just to the left of that ridge on the left? That ridge is what you hike up?

     
  4. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Yes.

    An image from the report shows it better:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. tball

    tball Unzipped Skier

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    Direct link to the report:
    http://avalanche.state.co.us/caic/acc/acc_report.php?accfm=inv&acc_id=665

    This stood out to me:

    It is notable that snow safety personnel were also concerned about snow conditions that day. The AHSP did not open the Highland Bowl on the day of the accident for the first time since it opened for the 2017-18 ski season. After the accident, professional ski patrollers and search and rescue members made the difficult decision not to travel to and enter the accident site because of the level of and exposure to avalanche hazard.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
    jmeb likes this.


  6. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I find it all very puzzling, but I am guessing the familiarity trap is most likely the main one, here. Not fresh pow, not closing day, but, Oh I've done this a million times, I know the danger zones, I can skirt them. (Me, I am only familiar enough with Maroon Bowl for it to scare the crap out of me, just looking at it.)
     
    SShore and jmeb like this.
  7. James

    James Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    It sounds like if they had stuck to the original plan of starting near the trees and not gone higher they likely would have been ok. The scary thing is once they started up they pretty much were screwed.
     
  8. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Yeah, and they knew it but were stuck.
     
  9. tball

    tball Unzipped Skier

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    Oh my, I just watched the video. A time-lapse of the accident was caught on the highlands webcam. Chilling. RIP.
     
    newboots likes this.
  10. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
    Maybe. Given the avalanche danger, they had no business being there in the first place.
     
    SShore likes this.

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