Category Archive:Accidents

There have been many fatal avalanches recently in the Alps. Some of the people caught were inexperienced, but professionals have also died.

Last week there were five fatalities in France. Additional accidents occurred in France over the weekend.

There was at least one fatal avalanche in Italy.

Switzerland, where ski resorts are open, has had 16 avalanche deaths so far this winter.

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A Mt Washington avalanche buried a skier who was successfully rescued. He was swept under the moving debris and lost skis and poles.

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A North Caucasus avalanche struck a skiing area in the region of Karachai-Cherkessia. Russian authorities say as many as 12 people may have been buried under snow.

Russia’s Emergency Ministry said on January 18 that the avalanche hit the area around the resort town of Dombai. On Mussa-Achitara mountain at around 1:30 p.m. local time.

Rescue work to locate and extract those trapped by the avalanche is under way.

The wall of snow buried two ski equipment rental stands and damaged a cafe.

Dombai is a popular skiing resort in the North Caucasus.

A North Caucasus avalanche struck a skiing area in the  region of Karachai-Cherkessia
On the scene at an avalanche in the North Caucasus
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The second avalanche death in two years in Dutch Draw, and at least the fourth in total, has spurred an Avalanche Risk Discussion.

The victim and his girlfriend exited the backcountry access gate atop the Ninety-Nine 90 Express. Then they hiked up the ridge before dropping in to snowboard down a run called Conehead. The victim went first, and when he was about halfway down his girlfriend followed. Then an avalanche occurred. The woman was not caught in the slide.

Some people have argued more should be done to warn skiers who may be unaware of the dangers posed by backcountry terrain. They could put resort personnel near the gate to inform people of the risk. Or require checking out with ski patrol and carrying an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe. A check-out procedure is used at some other resorts.

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Maurice Kervin has spent 65 days snowboarding so far this season. Friday is a day he won't forget. On that day the snowboarder was caught in an avalanche.

Kervin had recently completed a Level 1 safety course through the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). Despite that, he did not avoid the recognized risk.

"I remember telling my buddy 'I don’t know man. I’m kind of nervous about this run, and if it goes it’s probably going to go big,'" said Kervin.

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An avalanche south of Cooke City carried three skiers down Republic Mountain, two were injured in the avalanche. One had to be evacuated by helicopter and another was temporarily unconscious and not breathing, according to a report.

In many ways, the skiers had done everything right. All six were carrying beacons and had rescue gear. They had radios to summons help.

However, they did not check the snowpack in the place they decided to ascend the mountain. They had dug a snowpit 2 meters deep to check the likelihood of an avalanche. But a hundred feet off to the side the snowpack changed, with much less snow, only three feet.

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Silverton Avalanche School is the beneficiary of the second annual Know the Snow Rando Race. The race at Purgatory raises money for the Know the Snow Fund.

In 2020, the race raised more than $10,000 and provided 19 scholarships for skiers to attend avalanche education courses with Silverton Avalanche School.

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Kevin Jack Steuterman, 31, died Friday, while snowboarding in the Dutch Draw area. Which is just off the 9990 chairlift in the Canyons area of Park City Ski Resort.

Steuterman was with his girlfriend around 10 a.m. when the avalanche occurred. According to the Utah Avalanche Center, Steuterman was buried under 2 feet of snow in a slide that was 150 feet wide and 400 feet long.

Steuterman was on a snowboard and his girlfriend was on skis. Neither was carrying avalanche rescue gear.

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A total of three people died in an avalanche that struck the Otdelnaya Gora ski resort in northern Russia overnight, investigators said on Saturday. A fourth family member was injured.

Between four and six huts at Otdelnaya Gora were buried by the snow, according to Russian media reports.

A search and rescue operation involving more than 200 people and 29 vehicles was launched.

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Peter Marshall died in an avalanche during an avalanche safety class near Red Mountain Pass in 2019. In an avalanche lawsuit his family names the school, the guide, and Backcountry Access.

The slide swept six skiers down a slope. All of them were part of a Level 2 American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) class. Which was offered by the Silverton Avalanche School.

The family is suing the guide, school and local rescue group. And also the maker of an avalanche airbag and its private equity firm owner. This lawsuit marks the second recent legal action involving avalanches based on reports by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).

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