Category Archive:snowboarding

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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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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An avalanche survivor is talking about being buried by snow to encourage others to be safe while in the mountains. A year ago he had a life changing experience. He and some friends were snowboarding at Steamboat Resort when an avalanche was triggered above them.

Miraculously, he says his friends found him just as ski patrol was arriving. “I guess my buddies were saying they took my arm out and it just flopped and I was just blue.” He was taken to a hospital and was not injured.

He wants people to know that enjoying the mountains is still a good thing. Just make sure you go with people who have avalanche training.

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'Your life is not worth that day of powder skiing': Officials warn of severe avalanche risk.

Avalanche Canada is warning this is not the time to be in the backcountry. They are reminding those who want to venture out, to check forecasts before going.

This has been a deadly week in B.C.’s backcountry. On Monday two snow bikers were killed in an avalanche near Pemberton. Then on Thursday a backcountry skier fell into a tree well and died near Whistler.

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“We have a block of harder snow over a section of weak sugary facets of the ground, so we have something over nothing," said Dave Zinn, avalanche expert. "This is the recipe for an avalanche, all you need now is a steep slope and a trigger.”

“Really watch out for those signs of instability -- like shooting cracks. Do some avalanche testing - dig stability tests, do an extended column test, see if you get stable results," said Zinn. "And if you don't see (stable results), find a different slope."

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An avalanche swept a snowboarder into a tree on Tuesday afternoon. It happened on Snodgrass Mountain near Crested Butte. The snowboarder was on a split board.

While there have been several media worthy avalanche accidents already this season the official fatality list shows none in the US so far.

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