Yesterday 6 of us went up to check out the avalanche in Trap Park that claimed the lives of 2 snowmobilers on New Year's day. The avalanche was on a NNW facing slope ranging from 34-38 degrees in steepness at 10,800'. The crown was 140cm at it's deepest point and was roughly 200 wide and ran about 600 feet.
Here are some photos of the slide, debris pile, and our snowpits. You'll see one of the two snowmobiles that are still burried, the other one has not yet been located. The sticks planted in the debris were used as probes by the party to locate the victims.
For more photos, go to:
A preliminary accident & rescue summary has been posted on CAIC web site. This will be updated over the next few days with a full report, photos, and snowpit profiles:
January 1, 2006
7 snowmobilers caught, 5 partly buried, 2 buried and killed
Late Sunday morning 2 snowmobilers were buried and killed in an avalanche in the Trap Park area (near Trap Lake) of the Front Range -- about 3.5 miles ENE of Cameron Pass and 4.5 miles NNW of Poudre Pass (north boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park). The area is accessed from the Cache la Poudre Canyon via the Long Draw Road. There were 12 snowmobilers in the party. Seven machiners were caught, five partly buried and two fully buried; both buried riders were killed.
The group had ridden the slope the week before and had made multiple high marks before the avalanche. There were two riders at the top of the slope, one on the slope, and nine waiting at the bottom. Three riders at the bottom had their machines pointed downhill and were able to out run the avalanche. One man -- on the slope -- triggered the slide and he and the next rider in line to high mark were buried. Five of the nine at the bottom were overrun and partly buried.
Some members of the group were equipped with transceviers, but at this time we are unsure of how the two buried snowmobilers were found. The first rider was found under his machine about 45 minutes after the avalanche. He had been buried about 5 feet deep. Companions also found the second machiner some time later. It sounds that both victims had been found by the time organized rescuers arrived.
We will be visiting the site on Monday and will post more information as it becomes available.
Greene and Atkins, 1/1 at 2110.