Death @ Stowe on Tuesday likely from snow immersion - Page 3

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  1. #21
    fbrissette's Avatar
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    According to the report, he was skiing in a stream drainage. Even at a small scale, this is a terrain trap. I don't care how deep the snow, you will not die if you fall in bottomless powder on a terrain with a continuous pitch.

    A small gully with steep banks can kill you in deep snow conditions.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by VTKilarney View Post
    How do you know that this was not immediately reported?

    Here is what the article says:
    Cohen went missing around 3:30 p.m., close to the end of the day, after a friend reported him missing.

    The article doesn't say one way or the other how much of a delay there was in reporting the person missing. The article is worded rather poorly. Technically, the article says that the snowboarder went missing after he was reported missing.
    I'm "assuming" it admittedly. Why? Because if he was skiing WITH the buddy, presumably the buddy knows the general area/lines they were skiing. Yet it took 8 full hours to find the friend in an on-map location? Does that add up? Maybe I'm 100% wrong but it seems odd. If we're skiing together in the glades and one of us gets lost and the other gets help, all the searchers should have been in the generally correct area. "We went in here, we skied to the right over here, here's where I last saw him........etc...." Just seems odd to me that it would take so long to find him, and roughly 2 hours of that search would have been in solid daylight. Makes me wonder if they were skiing "less together" than the ski patrol is aware of.

    Quote Originally Posted by dlague View Post
    I took my skis off to help and sunk to my waist. It was insane. Obviously we got out but it did make us think about the situation.
    That's exactly the sort of situation I was commenting about at Smuggs. FWIW, this weekend is probably going to exactly those conditions at Stowe, Smuggs, and Jay Peak. It should be amazing.
    President - Bicknell's Thrush Extermination Solutions (BTES), LLC



  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by fbrissette View Post
    According to the report, he was skiing in a stream drainage. Even at a small scale, this is a terrain trap. I don't care how deep the snow, you will not die if you fall in bottomless powder on a terrain with a continuous pitch. A small gully with steep banks can kill you in deep snow conditions.
    The artist does a great job showing that topography on this map I enlarged and snipped.

    President - Bicknell's Thrush Extermination Solutions (BTES), LLC



  4. #24
    Rowsdower's Avatar
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    I mean, he could have been hidden under snow/debris if he fell into some kind of hole or something. They were searching at night. Not surprising it took so long to find him, especially if he was already unconscious.
    Dude.

  5. #25
    JimG.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fbrissette View Post
    According to the report, he was skiing in a stream drainage. Even at a small scale, this is a terrain trap. I don't care how deep the snow, you will not die if you fall in bottomless powder on a terrain with a continuous pitch.

    A small gully with steep banks can kill you in deep snow conditions.
    I have skied that drainage; there are a few steep gullys and a stream bed with steep banks in places. You also have to be careful to keep moving skier's left to the exit or you can wind up on the wrong side of a ridge in there making getting out very difficult.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by JimG. View Post
    I have skied that drainage; there are a few steep gullys and a stream bed with steep banks in places. You also have to be careful to keep moving skier's left to the exit or you can wind up on the wrong side of a ridge in there making getting out very difficult.
    I'm trying to figure out where this accident happened. If you look at the trail map BG shared, everything within that dotted line is technically out of bounds, but patrol made it sound like it happened in bounds.

    The map does just an okay job of showing the topography. It's really two drainages separated by a knife ridge in the center, which is the Hazelton hiking trail. The ski out to that ridge starts off Rim Rock though, not Cliff Trail. The drainage skiers left of the Hazelton is pretty minor and completely fills in and offer some okay low angle trees back to Perry Merrill. On the opposite side towards Nosedive is a much more substantial stream that doesn't fully get covered. There's some short but steep terrain heading down that way, but it requires finding a skiable cross point for the stream and then a hike out to Nosedive. It's a real pain in the ass to be honest.

    I'm usually not so forth coming publicly about off map terrain, but if the big drainage towards Nosedive is where it happened, people reading this thread should know what they're getting into. Truthfully, that whole basin within the yellow boundary lines is something I avoid all together now. There's so much better stuff to ski on the mountain that it's a waste of time. I only know the terrain from wanting to explore most everywhere on the mountain as a local passholder back many years ago.

    And there has been some questions about length of search time. That area within the yellow lines is at least a couple hundred acres. If someone is buried in snow and it's dark out, no question it could take a long time to find them.

    Sent from my XT1565 using AlpineZone mobile app

  7. #27
    JimG.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadheadskier View Post
    I'm trying to figure out where this accident happened. If you look at the trail map BG shared, everything within that dotted line is technically out of bounds, but patrol made it sound like it happened in bounds.
    Saw some tracks going into several rabbit holes. Asked a local and was told it was OB but that it gets skied and to keep moving skier's left. The first 100 yards or so were like a wormhole but then it opened up into fairly mellow trees in a gully. I surmise this unfortunate snowboarder wound up on the other side of that ridge.

  8. #28
    Glad you got good advice. Yes, if you are going to head in there, keeping a skiers left track is what you want to do



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