Author Topic: Avalanche forecaster killed  (Read 1364 times)

Offline old_school

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"Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes."


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Re: Avalanche forecaster killed
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2013, 03:47:07 pm »
Tragic. RIP and thoughts to the family. I’ll copy the article from your link for others:

"Crews recover body of Utah avalanche forecaster killed in snow slide
Craig Patterson » He died while checking slope stability in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
By Bob Mims | The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published 6 hours ago • Updated 3 hours ago
Search and rescue workers located and recovered the body of a state avalanche forecaster early Friday morning, about six hours after he had been reported missing in a Big Cottonwood Canyon snow slide.

Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal reported the remains of 34-year-old Craig Patterson had been retrieved from the east face of the Cardiff Fork area just before 1 a.m. Friday. Patterson had been reported missing by his co-workers at the Utah Department of Transportation, about 7:40 p.m. Thursday.

Hoyal said his family reported him overdue to UDOT, and his co-workers located Patterson’s car parked near Cardiff Fork — on the south side of the canyon, and contacted UPD.

Crews, aided by a helicopter, spotted Patterson’s body just before sunset. Hoyal said he had been out checking snow stability when he got caught in an avalanche.

UDOT spokesman Nile Easton released this statement regarding the incident:

"The UDOT family lost one of our own Thursday when veteran avalanche forecaster Craig Patterson died in a snow slide. Craig had worked with the department since 2006 and was a veteran back country skier. He was out doing the job that he loved to do, making the canyon safer for everyone to enjoy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones as we continue to gather information about this terrible tragedy."

Evelyn Lees of the Utah Avalanche Center also expressed sorrow, calling Patterson "a friend, avalanche educator and integral part of Utah avalanche professionals trying to unravel the mysteries of snow and avalanches, and working to keep people safe."

A UDOT team was at the avalanche site Friday to investigate the incident. The State Medical Examiner’s Office planned an autopsy."

Offline lucky luke

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Re: Avalanche forecaster killed
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 01:48:11 pm »
I quote old school as I take what I found on the article he cited;
One can travel into many avalanche prone areas safely. The key is route planning. However, even the best can get caught in an unexpected slide. Think about the kids killed this past winter when the bank of snow they were standing on next to the road gave way. (from icemancometh)

The answer of icemancometh is from the question: "Now, can anyone tell me why the state avalanche control people allow their inspectors to go into avalanche-prone mountainous areas alone?"

What is route planning?

and if someone go from rock to ice field and have to travel at the top of the snow field to an another icefield and rock section to go to the top...why do we need an avy danger reports???

Offline hobbsj

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Re: Avalanche forecaster killed
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013, 08:39:06 pm »
Man, that's unfortunate.  A reminder that no matter your experience level, something could always happen.  And for what I imagine his knowledge base to be, I bet the community took a loss too. With that kind of job, although dangerous, I bet he got to see and experience some amazing things.


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