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Author Topic: Avalanche on Mount Washington  (Read 1819 times)

darwined

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Avalanche on Mount Washington
« on: December 29, 2013, 07:49:25 PM »

WMUR is reporting two people were hospitalized after an 800' long fall that occurred when they were caught in an avalanche.  Details anyone?
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DLottmann

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Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2013, 09:17:18 PM »

This was mentioned briefly in today's bulletin which can be found here:

http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/2013/12/29/

Specifically:

"Today we continue to have a combined avalanche problem of left over Storm Slabs and Wind Slabs.  Although many bed surfaces in our terrain are still broken up by rock cliffs, turf, and ice bulges limiting their size they are large enough to harbor unstable slabs sensitive to a human trigger.  This was tested last night when 2 hikers came down from summiting Washington and traveled into “the Lip” at dark and triggered an avalanche carrying them down to the floor of the Tuckerman Ravine.  They miraculously survived but sustained injuries requiring rescue during the overnight.  Through history there have been a number of very lucky people in the world, they are now 2 more of them.  More information will be posted in our accidents page later today."

As of right now an additional accident report is not up but I'll share it here when I see it. I have gathered this info, which has not been verified and is speculative:

They climbed up via Lions Head and intended to descend that route. Sometime after leaving the summit they got lost and ended up heading down into the Lip area of Tuckerman's.

The slab avalanche they triggered had a 2 meter crown line at it's highest and ran almost 120 meters horizontal. While those numbers are estimates (and not confirmed yet), they would indicate a F'ing big avalance that would be very unlikely to survive.

Some volunteer rescuers did not get home until 2am.

I'm hoping more details come soon, but preliminary info suggests the party probably started very late or moved very slow to be descending at 7pm. Navigational skills must have been minimal if their intended descent was Lion's Head. If they were planning on descending Lion's Head I find it very plausible they did not consult the avalanche bulletin or were un-aware of the risk they were taking descending the route they did...

Based on what I've heard of the slide it is pretty much a miracle they survived...

Everything other than what I quoted is speculative, and I hope we all get a better sense of what happened here over the next couple days...
« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 09:43:09 PM by DMan »
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Admin Al

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Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2013, 09:43:41 PM »

Wow...some lucky folks...
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DLottmann

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Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2013, 09:56:52 PM »

WMUR is reporting two people were hospitalized after an 800' long fall that occurred when they were caught in an avalanche.  Details anyone?

One last point... media, and "us" need to stop saying "were caught in an avalanche".

This implies they did not choose to go there, or trigger it themselves, and it just "happened".

My driver's ed teacher in Highschool used to harp on how people who crashed their car would report it;

"The telephone pole was approaching fast..."

"The little old lady was all over the road before she went under my car"

My point is we use language that protects the victim by passing blame or indicating it was some kind of fluke accident...

They were not "caught" by some random act of nature... they triggered it by going to the wrong place at the wrong time, plain & simple.
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lucky luke

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Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2013, 12:40:41 AM »

WMUR is reporting two people were hospitalized after an 800' long fall that occurred when they were caught in an avalanche.  Details anyone?

They said that: "Sunday’s advisory said that there was a moderate and low avalanche danger in Tuckerman Ravine and that human triggered avalanches were possible."

I think that it is not luck that save them. Climbing up hill in an avalanche slab and you have all the snow which burry you. Going down hill and just few feet of snow is over you if the crost broke at the top. I most say that the trail of Lyon head and lip is very similar. The difference is the cairn. when there is no cairn...it is a problem.

leadership: should we always keep the team together? It look like if the first group had wait for the slower one, even if they are not from the same party, they all had took the good trail. Also, if you are in a party, you most follow the leader. To be a good leader is very hard indeed. 
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DLottmann

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Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2013, 07:00:14 AM »

I think that it is not luck that save them. Climbing up hill in an avalanche slab and you have all the snow which burry you. Going down hill and just few feet of snow is over you if the crost broke at the top.

Avalanches are often triggered from the top of the path, whether descending or ascending. Add that to the fact more than 80% of avalanche fatalities on Mt. Washington were from trauma, not asphyxiation, I have to disagree with your point here., “triggering it from the top is somewhat safer”.... dangerous generalization to make. Triggering from above means you get to take a longer ride.
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lucky luke

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Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2013, 11:18:11 AM »

Avalanches are often triggered from the top of the path, whether descending or ascending. Add that to the fact more than 80% of avalanche fatalities on Mt. Washington were from trauma, not asphyxiation, I have to disagree with your point here., “triggering it from the top is somewhat safer”.... dangerous generalization to make. Triggering from above means you get to take a longer ride.

We used to trigger avalanches from the top to learn there dynamics. We went to an old sand pit and there was many shape of avalanche bed.

Mitigation behavior is to understand how an avalanche can be trigger and how to place our self to be safe. Never try to make an exercise while you came from under an avalanche path...always cut a real path from above where your rope is running down so if there is an avalanche, you won't be burry and the rope won't be cut.

As asphyxiation is not the major cause of death, we can understand that the climber is not burry by the avalanche, but drag to the bottom of the hill. Self arrest seems to be an essential knowledge to have. Protecting on rock before traversing a dangerous path is also a most. I don't thing that it is a way that people climb odell couloir. If you use mitigation method...running belay in odell will be avoid most of the time, going to an anchor place to an other anchor place (snow picket in the avalanche is not so good) is a better way to climb safely the couloir.
 

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darwined

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Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2013, 12:37:22 PM »

WMUR is reporting two people were hospitalized after an 800' long fall that occurred when they were caught in an avalanche.  Details anyone?

One last point... media, and "us" need to stop saying "were caught in an avalanche".

This implies they did not choose to go there, or trigger it themselves, and it just "happened".

My driver's ed teacher in Highschool used to harp on how people who crashed their car would report it;

"The telephone pole was approaching fast..."

"The little old lady was all over the road before she went under my car"

My point is we use language that protects the victim by passing blame or indicating it was some kind of fluke accident...

They were not "caught" by some random act of nature... they triggered it by going to the wrong place at the wrong time, plain & simple.
FWIW How would I know who triggered the avalanche?  That wasn't part of the wmur story I read.  Just sayin
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frik

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Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2013, 03:23:17 PM »

Luke.... you are officially retarded.
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lucky luke

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Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2013, 03:43:35 PM »

They said that: "Sunday’s advisory said that there was a moderate and low avalanche danger in Tuckerman Ravine and that human triggered avalanches were possible."
Just for the record it happened on Saturday. It was posted considerable at the lip area where they were.
I don't have an opinion either way and I'm not siding with either of you nuts.  ;D
>
I google lip area tuckerman mt Washington and I found an article on the accident where the official said that it was moderate to low avalanche. Maybe a mistake, but a mistake that people can do.

Just think that it is always considerable danger and you will lower the danger by mitigation technique
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lucky luke

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Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2013, 07:16:48 PM »

I google lip area tuckerman mt Washington and I found an article on the accident where the official said that it was moderate to low avalanche. Maybe a mistake, but a mistake that people can do.
It was a mistake in your comprehension.

Dave...I red an article in an electronic journal about the accident, I enlighted the text and copy it. I paste it directly in the forum.

So the mistake was done by a guy like you. Did he red too fast, had the good report, I don't know.   

I pasted it!!!!

For me, I read the bulletin to know the friction between layer. Not always easy to figure it out with your data. I always try to do, as I make mistake too, as if the danger is considerable. With low friction, I won't traverse a slab, with high friction, I will be very carefull
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JBrochu

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Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2013, 07:47:51 PM »

I google lip area tuckerman mt Washington and I found an article on the accident where the official said that it was moderate to low avalanche. Maybe a mistake, but a mistake that people can do.
It was a mistake in your comprehension.

Dave...I red an article in an electronic journal about the accident, I enlighted the text and copy it. I paste it directly in the forum.

So the mistake was done by a guy like you. Did he red too fast, had the good report, I don't know.   

I pasted it!!!!

For me, I read the bulletin to know the friction between layer. Not always easy to figure it out with your data. I always try to do, as I make mistake too, as if the danger is considerable. With low friction, I won't traverse a slab, with high friction, I will be very carefull

You pasted it but you still made a mistake in comprehension. (I know you're actually just trolling but I will correct it here for all the gullible people.)

Here is the full quote:

"The Mount Washington Avalanche Center had reported in its avalanche advisory posted on its website Saturday morning that there was a considerable avalanche danger in "the Lip" area of the ravine, noting that human triggered avalanches "are likely." It warned hikers that "safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience."

Sunday's advisory said that there was a moderate and low avalanche danger in Tuckerman Ravine and that human triggered avalanches were possible."

http://gazette.com/2-hikers-who-triggered-new-hampshire-avalanche-rescued/article/1511743

The article was correct for both Saturday (pre-accident) and Sunday (post-accident).
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lucky luke

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Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2013, 09:31:17 PM »

The article was correct for both Saturday (pre-accident) and Sunday (post-accident).

A chance that the avalanche occur saturday at 5h30, if it was at 7 hours in the evening (tweve hours from both advisory) we won't know which advisory is good!!!

I understand. They made the post on saturday to sunday morning... and sunday morning, at seven approximately, the condition change dramatically to moderate and anybody would have been able to go in the cliff.

I respect the science behind the advisory and it is a good thing to have it. It is just a tool, but knowing the mitigation technique and practice them is a lot safer than a sign.
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tradmanclimbz

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Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2013, 10:00:15 PM »

JB. wheres the Gif? 8)
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sneoh

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Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2013, 10:02:58 PM »

Luke.... you are officially retarded.
No, not retarded.  More like pig-headed, bulldog to the core, and likely in denial! :)
Keith Richards does not need more drugs.  But LL/Champ does!! :)
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