Avalanche - orientation NW Avalanche Ten Mile Range, Colorado , secteur Bartlett Mountain , N20E

31 October 2009 11:00
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Avalanche Ten Mile Range, Colorado , secteur Bartlett Mountain , N20E - Photo 1
4 photos © Atkins Dale
3 backcountry skiers hiked in about 5km to ski a very steep, rugged chutes on the north side of Bartlett Mountain. The first skier skied an adjacent, less-steep, couloir from where the avalanche occurred. Once at the bottom this skier set up to take photos of his friends. The second skier made 5 or 6 turns when he triggered the avalanche. He was swept down and partly buried (head and one arm out) in the round zone. The 17-year-old victim also suffered a broken leg.Using a mobile phone one friend called 911 to report the accident. A medical helicopter was sent to the site and retrieved the injured skier.One of the largest molybdenum mines (Climax) in the world is carved into the west side of Bartlett Mountain -- the skiers were on the east side -- and miners have lowered mountain's summit by as much as 100 meters.
Observator: Atkins Dale
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Avalanche characteristics

Break: thickness 30 cm, max 80 cm, length 25 m. ? m. Starting zone angle was 37 degrees in steepness Flow: Mixed fast running avalanche produced a signif icant powder cloud despite only falling a short distance 3877 m. Avalanche track transitioned abruptly to a flat bench.
Characteristic
Hard slab
Main origin
Ski touring, downhill
Snow quality
Hard dry The fist hard weak layer -- up to 10 cm thick -- consisted of loose faceted grains, topped by a one-finger wind slab of mixed forms and rounds.Plaque dure (on enfonce seulement un doigt) sur une couche fragile de grains anguleux (on enfonce facilement le poing).

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