Monday, January 14, 2013

Avalanche Fatality: Raspberry Creek, Marble Colorado

Little information is available at this time but it is confirmed that someone was killed in the Raspberry Creek drainage outside of Marble Colorado on Sunday January 13, 2013. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center  had warned of "Moderate" (2/5) hazard.

Colorado, along with much of the Western United States, is suffering from deep slab instability due to the early winter drought in October, November, and early December.

According to the CAIC website:

The recent storm snow and the wind slabs are sitting above older persistent slabs in the middle of our snowpack. These persistent slabs are your main concern today. They are most problematic  on slopes facing northwest through east at all elevations. Depth hoar and faceted snow near the ground are the weak layers of concern. The weak layers are more widespread near  treeline. Lower elevation southerly aspects generally lack these deeper instabilities, and many lower elevation northerly slopes have a deteriorating and nonreactive slab. On these low elevation northerly aspects in many areas of the Aspen zone, loose snow avalanches are possible on steep slopes.

The CAIC's incident report can be found here:
https://avalanche.state.co.us/acc/acc_report.php?accfm=rep&acc_id=480

Local news covered the accident here:
http://www.9news.com/news/local/article/310455/222/Avalanche-claims-first-life-of-2013

Our condolences to friends and family of the victim.

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