Category Archive:Avalanches

British Columbia is rolling out the artillery and bombs for avalanche bombing. There have been closures on some major roads for the first time in decades as the province grapples with record snowfall and rain.

The province uses helicopter avalanche bombing, remote-triggered explosives, and howitzers to keep roads open. But nonetheless critical routes to Vancouver are being disrupted by avalanche control.

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The Sierra Avalanche Center is not a typical government service. Every day paid Forest Service forecasters grab their gear and go skiing.

In order to fund themselves the Forest Service Sierra Avalanche Center seeks donations and holds events.

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WATERTON PARK, AB – A Waterton townsite avalanche resulted in a close call in Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada.

This past weekend a class-4 avalanche roared down Bertha Peak. Which is just outside the small resort community.

The avalanche dumped 10 metres of debris on the Bertha Falls trail and stopped just ahead of Evergreen Avenue South. Entry to the town using that street past Cameron Falls is not recommended due to the risk of further avalanches.

Additionally, the Akamina Parkway is closed until further notice. Pedestrian access on Akamina and Red Rock parkways remains open. The parkway will reopen to vehicles when conditions improve.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported, and no structures were damaged. The risk of avalanches, and another townsite avalanche, has increased significantly in the park. This is due to large snow falls, extreme wind gusts and rising temperatures.

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The family of Peter Marshall, who was killed in an avalanche during an AIARE advanced avalanche safety class with the Silverton Avalanche School, has dropped the school and teacher from their lawsuit. It appears that a settlement was reached. A complaint remains open against Backcountry Access, their owner K2 Sports, and K2 owner Kohlberg & Company.

Last month the family dropped its claims against the county, school and guide. Attorneys for the Marshall family have not returned calls or responded to emails and representatives from the county and school declined to comment, indicating a settlement amount was most likely agreed upon.

The family had argued that the school and guide had misled Marshall into taking the class by “falsely presenting” that school staff “possessed deep operational experience in avalanche terrain.” The family also claimed the school and guide displayed “gross negligence.”

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) report pointed to several mistakes during the advanced class, including a group of skiers gathered on a slope steep enough to slide, those skiers misjudging the steepness of that slope and a failure to recognize clear avalanche hazards. The guide triggered the first avalanche, which swept the whole group down the slope. A second avalanche buried Marshall under several feet of snow.

The family of the 40-year-old Longmont skier is still suing K2 Sports and its subsidiary Backcountry Access, which makes an air bag backpack that was not deployed when rescuers found Marshall buried in more than 8 feet of avalanche debris. “Peter Marshall attempted to trigger his Float 32 avalanche air bag system but it did not fully deploy or inflate,” according to the complaint filed in Boulder District Court.

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A skier was killed in an avalanche Saturday, December 11, in Silver Basin, a closed area of Crystal Mountain, Washington, that ski patrol had not mitigated for avalanche hazard. Six skiers from the same party were caught in the slide. Four skiers were partially or fully buried, three of whom were successfully recovered. The fourth skier was found unconscious and did not respond to resuscitation efforts. All skiers involved were carrying avalanche equipment and several had taken a recent avalanche course.

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Scotland avalanche forecasting season has begun.

The Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) assesses snow and avalanche conditions in six mountain areas from early or mid-December to mid-April.

The areas are Lochaber, Glen Coe, Creag Meagaidh, Southern Cairngorms, Northern Cairngorms and Torridon.

Last season, 212 avalanches were recorded - 10 of them involved people but there were no fatalities.

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A week from graduating high school, Alaska avalanche survivor Peter Schutt was physically on top of the world as he climbed Donoho Peak near the Alaska/Canada border.

Unfortunately, Schutt’s adventure took a dangerous turn when an avalanche struck. Snow that was once a fixture on the frigid face of the mountain suddenly cut loose and turned into a freight train of cold, sugary crystals stampeding in rapid, unstoppable motion.

The avalanche pitched him over a 75-foot cliff on his tumble down 2,500 feet of the jagged mountain face. He remembers covering his head as best he could to prevent further injury.

After the avalanche Schutt’s friend and partner made his way down, contacted National Park Service via cell phone and provided cell phone GPS coordinates to aid the rescue response.

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Frightening photos capture the moment a Mount Everest avalanche narrowly missed a group of tourists. It crashed down and headed right towards them. Part of the trail on the Himalayan peak collapsed, creating an avalanche headed straight towards the group of tourists.

Tour organizer Pemba Gyaltsen said they were doing a summit rotation to acclimate. They had just arrived from Nutspe mountain when the scary avalanche incident unfolded. He said: "The massive avalanche approached us at Camp 2 upon our arrival from Nutspe."

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An avalanche trapped bikers on Thursday, May 13. At about 6:30 pm Glacier National Park rangers responded to a report of three bikers who were trapped behind an avalanche near Triple Arches on Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Three bikers - a husband and wife along with a friend - traveling up the road encountered an avalanche across the road, turned around, and started back down. Soon after, they encountered a second avalanche in progress. The wife was ahead of her husband and friend and heard the avalanche. She warned her husband and friend to stop. The avalanche came down between them. So the avalanche trapped bikers - the woman’s husband and friend - on the uphill side.

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An Aleutian avalanche woke three climbers on Easter morning. They found they were tumbling down the Neacola Mountains in Southwest Alaska. Their tents were propelled down Mount Neacola in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve by an air blast from an avalanche above them.

The climbers received a grant from the American Alpine Club to fund the north face attempt. The three have more than a decade of experience. Two work as avalanche instructors. They work together as climbing guides in New Hampshire. The team had traveled to Alaska planning to spend about 3 1/2 weeks on the mountain. They returned home to New Hampshire on Thursday but are keeping an eye on Alaska weather in hopes that conditions in the Neacola Mountains will improve enough in the next few weeks that they can return.

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