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Avalanche at Crystal Mt

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Apparently a skier has died in an avalanche at Crystal Mt today (according to king 5 news).


Report stated the skier was "out of bounds" in an un-avy controlled area.


Was wearing an avy beacon - according to the report - which helped searchers locate the body.


Avy forecast was for "considerable" late Friday night and going higher for Saturday. Todays forecast was for "High" danger level and an avy warning had been issued for today.


Avalanche Forecast


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According to the report the victim was skiing with a partner whom was unharmed.


The news had little detail.





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Here is what the new said.



Fatal avalanche at Crystal Mountain


06:22 PM PST on Saturday, February 24, 2007


Associated Press


CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash. -- A skier was killed Saturday afternoon when he was buried in an avalanche in an out-of-bounds area at the Crystal Mountain ski resort.


Ski area spokeswoman Tiana Enger says the avalanche occurred about 3 p.m., when the victim and a male companion were in an area that was roped off and marked as permanently closed to skiing. The area is on the back side of the resort and actually within the boundary of Mount Rainier National Park. The ski area is just east of the park.


Enger says the victim was wearing a transponder, which helped rescuers narrow the search, but he was unconscious and not breathing and could not be revived.


The second skier was not hurt.


Names, ages, hometowns and other details about the two skiers are not immediately available.


Enger says it's not yet known how the avalanche was triggered.


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A bit more info (unconfirmed) from NWAC...



EXCERPT FROM NWAC WEBSITE ..http://www.nwac.us/products/SABSEA



845 AM PST SUN FEB 25 2007..



Most areas in the Olympics and Cascades near and west of

the crest received 5 to 10 inches of new snow over the

past 24 hours with greater amounts received near Crystal

Mountain where up to 14 inches accumulated. The slopes

east of the Cascade crest received about 4 to 8 inches.

Most of the recent snow fell during the day Saturday with

only light accumulations overnight and early Sunday with

diminished winds. Strong winds and warmer temperatures

and moderate to heavy snowfall early Saturday caused a

significant increase in danger, especially in areas

exposed to southerly winds. These conditions lead to a

fatal avalanche accident on a slope in the Mt Rainier

National Park accessed from the Crystal Mountain area

Saturday afternoon. Details are still to be provided

however preliminary information indicated that a skier

triggered a 3 foot slab on a recently wind loaded WNW

aspect at about 6700 feet. The victim was caught and

carried a very long way down the slope and may have died

as a result of trauma suffered in the slide..."

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Completely un-comfirmed but hearsay info comes from a pretty good source. The skiers went down Kempers to do a ski to the 410, a fun and challenging route. Apparently, Kempers has no snow/avy managment performed on it all year and there was a fairly large cornice at the top. Also reported is that Kempers has been roped off all season with plenty of warning signs.


My condolences go out the the victims friends and families.



Edited by mbcracken

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This was a sad event. I have a few details and will share the following as the news was not entirely correct.


Two skiers skied off the back side of high campbell leaving the Crystal boundary and entering Mt Rainier Natl Park into an area known as Park Place that skis down to hwy 410. This is out of Crystal's boundary and into an uncontrolled area. Crystal has an open boundary into MNRP and surrounding forest lands with the exception of the Kempers area. Kempers is a permanently closed area at all times and marked with numerous signs and a double-ropeline.


These two skiers were NOT in the Kempers area as has been reported. Both wore transceivers.


Crystal strongly recommends BC gear for any backcountry travel at Crystal including the North and South BC where the patrol does perform avy control. Always travel smart and safely in the BC.

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Thanks for the clarification on whether they were in Kempers or not. Again, I was given this information 3rd hand.


Very sad story.



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