Independence Pass Avalanche

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Independence Pass Avalanche

Postby JBella » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:46 am

Yesterday at about 5pm there was a large avalanche about a mile beyond the La Plata parking area. 2 assumed fatalities and three others sustained serious injuries. A friend of this group said the 2 missing were confirmed to have been killed.

From Lake County Office of Emergency Management;

#avalanche82.At approx 5:00pm an avalanche was reported on highway 82 involving seven people about one mile beyond the LaPlata parking area.

Seven skiers were near the top of the ridge that activated the avalanche. Three people were taken to the hospital in Leadville with injuries including a broken leg, broken ankle and possible broken rib and collapsed lung. Two people walked to safety unharmed. Two people are not yet accounted for. The avalanche did not reach the road. A team from CDOT will be on scene tomorrow morning to assess the situation, and to determine the safest way to clear the area.
Per directive from the Lake County Sheriff, names of those involved in the avalanche are not being released at this time.
Updates will be posted on Facebook as more information is made available. Twitter Hashtag #avalanche82.

Media area will be establishjed at the La Plata Parking area between MM 71 & 72. The road is closed beyond that.
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Re: Independence Pass Avalanche

Postby JBella » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:06 am

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Re: Independence Pass Avalanche

Postby JBella » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:28 pm

No new information is available yet, and I don't know any more details than what I heard from a friend of a friend in Leadville. I think this incident is another unfortunate example of experienced skiers possibly omitting standard protocol from their decisions, like the incident on Loveland Pass last year; a large group travelling together and all or most were exposed to avalanche danger at the same time. Group Dynamics has been a steady topic on here recently and this reaffirms the importance of discussion and understanding this topic.
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Re: Independence Pass Avalanche

Postby Bob » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:41 pm

I agree Jared. The first thing I wondered when reading that was how so many could have been caught.
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Re: Independence Pass Avalanche

Postby JBella » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:23 pm

A friend in Leadville just told me all 7 were standing on a ridge when the avalanche released. Possibly a natural event.

Recent article; http://www.leadvilleherald.com/free_con ... f6878.html

Updated with pics;
http://avalanche.state.co.us/caic/acc/a ... &accfm=rep
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