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barkernews

Avalanche at Alpental

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AP-WA--Avalanche URGENT

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. (AP) - KING-TV reports there has been an

avalanche on Summit West at the Snoqualmie Ski Resort that trapped

a skier. The station says he has been rescued and airlifted to

Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

(KING5.com)

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Never thought I'd hear about an avalanche at Summit West - especially not with the 24" base that they've got going there.

 

Hope the guy recovers quickly.

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Speaking of avalanches, I saw a massive, truly impressive one looking up the Muir Snowfield at the upper Nisqually on Sunday. It looked to be as wide as about half the glacier, and, like the energizer bunny, kept going, and going, and going...

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Avalanche was at Alpy. I think the thin, continental-style snowpack had a lot to do with it. Less snow doesn't always mean safer snow. Hope the guy's all right.

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Here's the update:

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. (AP) — A skier was rescued after getting caught in a small avalanche Wednesday, according to a television report.

KING television in Seattle reported that a 28-year-old man was rescued from Alpental and airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

There was no immediate word on his condition.

The station said two skiers were in a closed area, when the avalanche struck around 12:30 p.m.

One man dug himself out, then worked to dig out his friend, KING said.

Both men were wearing avalanche beacons, which helped rescuers find them.

A spokesman for The Summit at Snoqualmie, which includes Alpental and three other resorts east of Seattle, did not immediately return a call for additional details.

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I bet they were shocked!

The forecast was for, "Increasing considerable avalanche danger above 3-4000 feet Wednesday, especially Stevens and Snoqualmie"

 

 

Hope it all ends well...

The dude died. Sad stuff.

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Cptn. caveman and I saw/heard a slide that was full depth where there wasn't much snowpack. It sounded more like a slow moving mudslide, boulders grinding and tree limbs slowly breaking...we ran very fast.

Edited by COL._Von_Spanker

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News report said it was the slopes under the cliffs to the skier's right of International. I was up there dicking around on some of the sorry-ass ice across the valley on Saturday and Tuesday mornings, and it looked like that very slope had been yo-yoed quite a bit by that time, and it also looked like it had some of the best snow - so it's no surprise that folks were hitting it up.

 

The snow on the opposite side of the valley was fairly light and unconsolidated on Tuesday morning - and all of a couple feet deep. Hardly the stuff of crown fracture nightmares. Guess you can never tell for sure unless it's hardpack.

 

Perhaps there was some additional windloading Tuesday night/Wednesday morning?. It'd be interesting to see what the snowpack analysis reveals.

 

Damned shame about the skier. thumbs_down.gif

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Snoboy - the slide was right in the middle of Alpental. If you click on the site for Snoqualmie Summit there should be a map of the area readily available.

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Avy conditions suck everywhere right now. wazzup.gif We were up at Baker today, riding lifts mostly. Skied several runs out over the canyon down to the ropeline and that was plenty good. Saw several 2ft. crowns off the Arm and around Hemis. In bounds was muy bueno! thumbs_up.gif

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Alpental is not open though, eh? I was thinking that this was freaky, 2 inbounds avy deaths in just a few days...

 

Whatever, they all suck. thumbs_down.gif

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The other was at Las Vegas Ski Bowl, 13 year old snowboarder got blown off the lift by the dust cloud.

 

rip.

Edited by steepconcrete

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we were skiing near chair peak at the time or at least that was the plan. we bailed out about 12:15 b/c of snow conditions. the surface layer was more like sand then snow.

the base may not be very good this year but i can definitely see how this could've happened after being back there yesterday.

 

a spfd truck with it's lights frown.gif on was pulling in as we were pulling out. it seemed odd at the time. i'm sorry it wasn't a training drill.

Edited by minx

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Avalanche was at Alpy. I think the thin, continental-style snowpack had a lot to do with it. Less snow doesn't always mean safer snow. Hope the guy's all right.

 

Gaper_Jeffy's link explains it...

The current snow pack structure is not typical of the Cascades. Cold temperatures and low density snow from last week have led to lingering weaknesses within the snow pack. The higher density snow or wind slab from yesterday should overlie 2-4 feet of weaker low density snow which in turn lies on top of the mid-December crust. One or two layers of buried hoar frost most likely remain intact within the low density snow above the crust. Previous tests on these layers have shown easy to moderate shears.

 

with the cold temps, the snowpack will not stabilize much by or during the weekend. be careful out there.

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The poor kid who died a LVSSR was just the start... more avalanches took out the lift shack, bull wheel and two lift towers.

They closed the entire mountain after a big one took out the CCSD roadblock!

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We all love you and are inspired by you Erik. You were someone who kept me going back into the backcountry rather than resorts. It was great to see the look on your face when you found out what I have acheived the last time I saw you at the climbing gym. It was great to know your family and to see them on Christmas day a few years ago and to know that you grew up only 2 blocks from Nunu. It was fun working with you at REI for that breif period of time.

 

I will never forget the great moments of bouldering at Marrymoore Park or giving you a hard time about your tree collection or making first turns at Pinapple Pass. I try to hold the tears back knowing that I have lost another friend and partner to the Cascade Mountains. No luck, you are one my close friends dude!

 

Have fun up there. I will remember you always.

 

T-man

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