FF Safety: Out-of-Bounds at Tunnel Creek

 

Social Factors and Risk Assessment

Tunnel Creek Avalanche

This past February 19th, 16 highly experienced skiers and snowboarders, making up an impromptu group, attempted an out-of-bounds run near Stevens Pass, Washington.

These expert skiers had read the avalanche forecast and were thoroughly familiar with the dangers posed after a 32-inch snowfall, yet they went ahead.

The ensuing avalanche killed three.

The New York Times has created a stunning visual presentation of the event that is a must see.  When you do, substitute “collapse”, “flash-over” and “interior firefighting” for “avalanche” and ”skiing”.  Ask yourself if you would make the same risk assessment.  Ask yourself if you would behave differently.

Several skiers survived, one because of the deployment of personal protective equipment.  Their experiences are crucial because they spotted and heeded the signs ahead.

Warning:  Don’t click on the link unless you are prepared to be pulled into a gripping vortex of words, sights and sounds.  We can all learn from their experience.

The link:

http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/#/?part=tunnel-creek

 

(Credits:  NYT and Alan Ross)

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Comments
Bill Hand
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Thanks for the story Eric. I knew that you had been there, but never heard any of the stories. Got any other mountains on your bucket list?
2014-10-22 02:34:59
Eric Lamar
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Thanks, Betty. Super seeing you. Eric
2014-10-22 01:24:29
Betty K
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Eric, you are so right. Keep up the good work and thanks for the visit.
2014-10-21 18:47:57
Eric Lamar
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Thanks, Tom. High praise from a professional editor.
2014-10-21 02:06:55
tom walter
Nepal: Disaster On A High Pass
Very informative, Eric, and good background for the recent tragedy. Especially striking your description of the sky and mountains before dawn. Tom
2014-10-20 12:13:45
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