Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Threads related to Colorado mountaineering accidents but please keep it civil and respectful. Friends and relatives of fallen climbers will be reading these posts.
Forum rules
Please be respectful when posting - family and friends of fallen climbers might be reading this forum.
Post Reply
User avatar
Jorts
Posts: 323
Joined: 4/12/2013
14ers:summits21 ski3 winter1 
13ers:summits59 ski12 winter5 
Trip Reports (6)

Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by Jorts » Mon May 04, 2020 8:08 am

This is prime wet slide season and there remains a lingering pandemic. Stay safe.

https://avalanche.state.co.us/caic/acc/ ... iew=public
Traveling light is the only way to fly.
IG: @summityinzer
Strava: Brent Herring
User avatar
Squirrellysquirrel
Posts: 107
Joined: 10/17/2018
14ers: List not added

Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by Squirrellysquirrel » Mon May 04, 2020 8:46 am

Yes... saw this yesterday, too. Even seemingly innocent snow pack right now can be sketchy. Thought that this commentary from CAIC is worth reading... especially considering potential of hikers rock-hopping up slopes:

As we move into some cooler weather the avalanche danger is slowly decreasing. Don't let your guard down though as you can still trigger a large and dangerous avalanche. Stay away from steep slopes with unsupportable snow, especially those that face a northerly or east direction. Be sure to start your day and end your day early before melt-freeze crusts deteriorate.

A slight reprieve for the snowpack is in sight. Cooler temperatures will help slow the meltwater that is moving through our snowpack. Overnight low temperatures in the twenties will contribute thicker surface crust formations that will last longer into the day. Still, the snowpack will need more than 24 hours to recover from the last week of above-normal temperatures. This means that on some slopes, 1 to 3 feet of wet snow exists under crusts that form overnight. When these crust break down you can trigger avalanches that are just as big as over this past weekend. The main difference will be that the window to recreate in the mountains will last a little longer into the morning, natural avalanche activity will be less, and more slopes can be traveled on safely.

Wet Slab avalanches will still remain a concern especially in shallow snowpack areas. The places in your zone during the winter that were most worrisome for dry Persistent Slab avalanches are now the places you have to be wary of for slabs of wet snow. Weak layers still exist near the bottom of the snowpack, and once these weak layers become wet and lose strength, the chance of triggering a wet slab goes up.

Besides the geographically shallow areas to be aware of, you should also use caution and consider avoiding rocky, locally shallow, and steep terrain. Dark rocks have a lower albedo than snow and absorb more solar radiation. The warm rocks melt snow faster sending more meltwater flowing through the snowpack resulting in cohesionless snow and potential for meltwater to affect deeper weak layers.

The bottom line is that although the avalanche danger is decreasing, you should continue to take certain precautions when traveling in and around avalanche terrain. These steps to stay safe are- Start your day and end your day early. Avoid slopes with unsupportable snow. Consider sticking to open slopes with a deep snowpack rather than rocky, constricted terrain.

An avalanche accident occurred on Saturday in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. A hiker was attempting to glissade down a snow-filled gully when they triggered an avalanche. They were carried 1000 feet down the gully suffering injuries. In the area around the accident, there was very little snow except for these snow-filled gullies. This accident is an unfortunate reminder that our snowpack is far from summer snow conditions and wet avalanches are possible especially later in the day and in shallow areas of snow. Custer County Search and Rescue, Flight for Life, and the Colorado Army National Guard assisted in the rescue. You can view the preliminary report here.
Last edited by Squirrellysquirrel on Mon May 04, 2020 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus." ~ Bruce Lee
User avatar
Trotter
Posts: 1002
Joined: 6/5/2013
14ers:summits53 winter2 
13ers:summits179 ski2 winter12 
Trip Reports (13)

Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by Trotter » Mon May 04, 2020 9:15 am

Wow, I wouldn't have thought that gully could slide like that.
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. -Nelson Mandela
Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called Ego. -Nietzsche
User avatar
rijaca
Posts: 3165
Joined: 7/9/2006
14ers:summits58 winter4 
13ers:summits244 ski1 winter3 
Trip Reports (1)

Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by rijaca » Mon May 04, 2020 9:18 am

Trotter wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:15 am
Wow, I wouldn't have thought that gully could slide like that.
Slope angle was 36*.

Custer County Search and Rescue, Fremont County Search and Rescue, El Paso County Search and Rescue, Flight for Life, and the Colorado Army National Guard assisted in the rescue.

Lots of folks unnecessarily at risk.
"A couple more shots of whiskey,
the women 'round here start looking good"
User avatar
CaptCO
Posts: 1554
Joined: 7/14/2019
14ers:summits58 winter12 
13ers:summits43 
Trip Reports (5)
Contact:

Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by CaptCO » Mon May 04, 2020 10:14 pm

One word comes to mind.. lazy
"It's a thing if you want it to be a thing. What others think of something is irrelevant." -OldSchool
User avatar
XterraRob
Posts: 814
Joined: 7/20/2015
14ers:summits41 winter7 
13ers:summits12 winter1 
Trip Reports (4)

Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by XterraRob » Mon May 04, 2020 10:42 pm

Just bad luck, I hope the brave adventurer is safe.
User avatar
pfiore1
Posts: 249
Joined: 2/4/2016
14ers:summits57 ski38 winter18 
13ers:summits182 ski47 winter15 

Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by pfiore1 » Mon May 04, 2020 10:51 pm

CaptCO wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:14 pm
One word comes to mind.. lazy
Unless you have any idea what happened please keep this thread just for actual info and sympathies.
Last edited by pfiore1 on Tue May 05, 2020 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dissent Is Patriotic

Support your local Search and Rescue agency. Be safe and respect your wilderness.

Custer County Search and Rescue, Inc... https://www.custersar.org

Custer County SAR Facebook... https://www.facebook.com/CusterSAR/?fref=photo

Colorado Search and Rescue... https://coloradosar.org

CORSAR Fund... https://cdola.colorado.gov/funding-prog ... escue-fund
Ptglhs
Posts: 1159
Joined: 1/6/2016
14ers:summits58 winter8 
13ers:summits73 winter3 
Trip Reports (2)

Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by Ptglhs » Mon May 04, 2020 11:03 pm

CaptCO wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:14 pm
One word comes to mind.. lazy
Not sure who is lazy here, other than the person who had to be rescued off of belford and Oxford after spending a November night with their dog and friend above treeline and is now launching 6 word attacks against someone they'll never meet on an anonymous internet forum from the safety of their keyboard.

Horn peak isn't a lazy undertaking, neither is any of the volunteer work the SAR groups did to get them back safely, neither is being buried by an avalanche and trying to survive multiple injuries. You had one of the laziest rescue stories I've yet seen -you couldn't be bothered to get down in time on your own, uninjured power. This person was actually hurt in a weird, hard to predict accident.
User avatar
d_baker
Posts: 2649
Joined: 11/18/2007
14ers:summits58 winter15 
13ers:summits277 winter9 
Trip Reports (57)

Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by d_baker » Tue May 05, 2020 5:20 am

CaptCO wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:14 pm
One word comes to mind.. lazy
One word comes to mind...moron.
Capt Moron.

Seriously Alec, why would you think someone is lazy in this situation? You've lived here for how long and your experience in the CO mountains is what?
And you've already been involved with a rescue. #-o
You need to grow up.
User avatar
ker0uac
Posts: 425
Joined: 8/30/2016
14ers: List not added

Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by ker0uac » Tue May 05, 2020 6:58 am

So question - why were so many different SAR teams needed? Its a real question, not trying to be an a**hole. The person wasn't MIA, wasn't buried deep and it was wet snow. The person was injured and needed medevac, but I'd think that a chopper with 2-3 people could handle that.
Those who travel to mountain-tops are half in love with themselves and half in love with oblivion
User avatar
d_baker
Posts: 2649
Joined: 11/18/2007
14ers:summits58 winter15 
13ers:summits277 winter9 
Trip Reports (57)

Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by d_baker » Tue May 05, 2020 7:09 am

ker0uac wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 6:58 am
So question - why were so many different SAR teams needed? Its a real question, not trying to be an a**hole. The person wasn't MIA, wasn't buried deep and it was wet snow. The person was injured and needed medevac, but I'd think that a chopper with 2-3 people could handle that.
What does wet snow look like to you?
I think a broken slab of wet heavy snow is not going to be a simple extraction. Sounds like she was buried up to her head as well.

I also think it's often the case that more than one SAR team will be involved, in particular if resources of one team is not adequate. Plus, I think there was mention of the chopper not being able to land due to winds.
blakhawk
Posts: 118
Joined: 10/27/2014
14ers: List not added

Re: Glissading Accident Horn's Peak (Sangres)

Post by blakhawk » Tue May 05, 2020 7:19 am

pfiore1 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:51 pm
CaptCO wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:14 pm
One word comes to mind.. lazy
Unless you have any idea what happened please keep this thread just for actual info and sympathies.

I understand why you edited your first response,and get it...But I thought it was well warranted. Thanks for your sar duties.

I hope your friend makes a full recovery,and will be able to enjoy the mountains again with a new found respect for them.

I'm not as experienced as some are on here,but I do have a good base knowledge of snowpack,and have been doing this for almost 24 years now,and I can see how easy it would be falling into that trap judging by the pics. Looks like early summer conditions on that side of the mountain. Except it's not consolidated snow. Very deceiving. Be safe folks
Post Reply