Inbounds Avi at Silver Mtn, ID - Jan 7, 2020

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Inbounds Avi at Silver Mtn, ID - Jan 7, 2020

Postby EMSC » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:30 am

It's a very dangerous snowpack this year in much of the west. 2 dead in an inbounds avalanche at Silver Mtn. Be careful out there everyone.

Edit: Just looked and Silver Mtn is closed today (another 6" of snowfall - 23" in 48 hrs, plus yesterdays incident I would have to guess is the reason)

https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2020/jan/07/avalanches-reported-at-silver-mountain-shoshone-co/
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Re: Inbounds Avi at Silver Mtn, ID - Jan 7, 2020

Postby EMSC » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:11 pm

Super sad news. 3rd person found buried in the avalanche today, 2 days later.

Based on a survivor story it was 2 separate slides only moments apart and buried people 10 feet deep in the debris.

Silver has been closed for 2 days now.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/2020/01/his-air-dwindling-idaho-avalanche-survivor-faced-the-inevitable.html%3foutputType=amp
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Re: Inbounds Avi at Silver Mtn, ID - Jan 7, 2020

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:02 am

This article from 2012 comes to mind, especially the boilerplate release language:

"I agree to release, discharge, waive, save and hold harmless, indemnify and defend [ski area]... from and against any and all claims ... brought under any theory of legal liability, including negligence, arising directly or indirectly out of my use of the ... ski area ... The above release includes, but is not limited to, any and all damages occasioned in the event of ... death ... however caused." Among the inherent risks acknowledged: "Avalanche."

As mentioned in the article, one suspects that most ski areas settle out of court to avoid appearing insensitive/unfeeling about its customers.
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Re: Inbounds Avi at Silver Mtn, ID - Jan 7, 2020

Postby EMSC » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:45 am

A pretty good, up to date (Jan 2019) article on the topic below. Interestingly while Colorado pretty much started the "inherent risks" of skiing as Law, each state is slightly different in wording and detail used. Also interesting to note is that Colorado's law on the topic Doesn't actually list Avalanches explicitly as one of the risks. Though the Colo Supreme court has ruled that avalanches are indeed a risk covered by the language in the law.

I agree with the sentiment that most ski areas probably would be pretty incentivized to settle, but the last two avi victims in Colorado at least (deaths) had cases that went to court. I think mostly because the victims families were determined to try to break through and essentially get the law ruled as somehow not actually binding (eg set new precedent to make it a field day for future lawyers).

https://coloradosun.com/2019/01/18/ski-area-avalanches-inbounds-lawsuits-fail/
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Re: Inbounds Avi at Silver Mtn, ID - Jan 7, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:40 pm

I just found the same update to James' references as EMSC.

Norris lost his case vs. Winter Park in the Colorado Supreme Court.

The Nodine case vs. Jackson Hole was settled out of court.

The Conlin family lost a jury verdict vs. Vail but are appealing that.
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Re: Inbounds Avi at Silver Mtn, ID - Jan 7, 2020

Postby flyover » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:54 pm

Very sad.

I'll mind my manners and refrain from directly posting a link to a forum on another website. However, I will say that a maggot has (re-posted) a first-hand account from a survivor in "The Slide Zone" that is worth reading. Its terrifying. The author was initially buried with an hand above the surface and direct access to air from the surface. He was then completely buried by a second avalanche. He eventually ran out of air and lost consciousness. His next memory is rescue. He was buried for approximately 50 minutes.

It is interesting to me how much of North America has had very sketchy avi conditions this season. I've got two trips planned to BC this winter and have been keeping an eye on avalanche.ca. It been very touchy up there too, particularly in Sea to Sky.
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Re: Inbounds Avi at Silver Mtn, ID - Jan 7, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:10 pm

As the de-facto moderator here, you have permission to post TGR links of relevant info. I don't recall that admin when he was active ever suggested otherwise. I'm sure I've linked TGR myself as it's often a good source for South America. And James links to the German alpinforum often.

FYI the only admins who do object to such links are the autocratic and insecure admins at Pugski. And I'll even link to posts there if I think they provide useful info on a topic here.
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Re: Inbounds Avi at Silver Mtn, ID - Jan 7, 2020

Postby flyover » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:26 pm

Thanks Tony. I'll keep that in mind for next time. For now, I've provided enough information to make it easy to find.

Tony Crocker wrote:I just found the same update to James' references as EMSC.

Norris lost his case vs. Winter Park in the Colorado Supreme Court.

The Nodine case vs. Jackson Hole was settled out of court.

The Conlin family lost a jury verdict vs. Vail but are appealing that.


I haven't done any additional research, but what's interesting to me about this list is and the article cited by Mr. Deluxe is that the Conlin case made it to a jury trial, while the Norris case was dismissed by the trial court on the pleadings as a matter of law and that the dismissal was then affirmed by CO's appellate courts.

Shooting entirely from the hip (again, I haven't done any research into the procedural history of either case or any subsequent cases), this suggests its possible that the state of CO law may be that death by in-bounds avalanche alone is, as a matter of law, manifestation of an inherent risk of resort skiing, while death by in-bounds avalanche after entering terrain through a (allegedly) negligently-open gate is not, as a matter of law, manifestation of an inherent risk of resort skiing.
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Re: Inbounds Avi at Silver Mtn, ID - Jan 7, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:59 pm

http://bestsnow.net
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
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Re: Inbounds Avi at Silver Mtn, ID - Jan 7, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:12 pm

EMSC wrote:It's a very dangerous snowpack this year in much of the west.

Yes the Northwest is getting a taste of Colorado this season. Whistler has had 69 inches of snow so far in January after the driest November in its history, 8 inches. The mountain is only 67% open despite a 76 inch base. The Peak chair at Whistler has yet to open, surely due to snow instability.
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
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Re: Inbounds Avi at Silver Mtn, ID - Jan 7, 2020

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:41 am

Tony Crocker wrote:I don't recall that admin when he was active ever suggested otherwise. I'm sure I've linked TGR myself as it's often a good source for South America. And James links to the German alpinforum often.

I've never seen Admin or Tony delete a link from a different website.
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Re: Inbounds Avi at Silver Mtn, ID - Jan 7, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:30 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:I've never seen Admin or Tony delete a link from a different website.

These forums are supposed be providing useful information to skiers. IMHO it's petty and selfish for an admin to restrict linking to other websites.
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