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jintoku

Shasta fatal accident last week (6/9 or 6/11)

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Has anybody heard of the incident on Avalanche Gulch last week? I spoke with a ranger today and she reported that an experienced climber tried to turn around just before at the red banks at 7:30 AM and his crampon got stuck in his pants. He fell and cartwheeled down and didn't manage to self-arrest. Went down 2,000 feet and didn't survive. Apparently the conditions were unusually slippery due to recent rainfall freezing over irregularities in the snow. I'd like to know more about what led to this if you have any information, since neither the news nor shastaavalanche.org mention it in their latest report. E.g., why did the climber turn around, how unusual were the ice conditions last week, and is the situation improved? Thanks in advance.

 

Edited by jintoku

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Warm temps and rain, followed by freezing temps. Doesn't have to be rain either, just warm followed by cold. Happens on Rainier even in the summer. Same results also. Your crampons and axe need to be really sharp if you run across these conditions. You probably don't want aluminum crampons or a super-light axe either.

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