Wednesday, February 27, 2008
On the 'Net
Colorado Avalanche Information Center: avalanche.state.co.us
Steamboat Springs Four small avalanches were reported in Lower Fish Creek Canyon on Monday and Tuesday, and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center warned of continued considerable avalanche danger in the greater Steamboat Springs area.
Monday's slide was triggered by three out-of-bounds skiers and affected a small area about 50-by-150 feet, Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecaster Scott Toepfer said. Current snow conditions in Steamboat Springs and the Park Range are very susceptible to human-triggered avalanches, because the fresh powder is resting atop the underlying snow surface rather than bonding together, he said.
Two of the skiers jumped off a rock and were waiting downhill for the third, who triggered the slide, Toepfer said. The skiers were partially buried in the slide and lost some of their equipment, although they were able to free themselves, he said.
Three more small slides were observed in the same area Tuesday by experts who were in the area to study Monday's slide, Toepfer said. One of the researchers was caught in one of the slides, but he was not injured, he said.
"One of the people went for a little ride," Toepfer said. "He got buried a little bit, but there wasn't any danger to speak of."
In Routt County, there have been no reports of avalanche injuries this winter, Routt County Search and Rescue spokesman Darrel Levingston said.
Although the four avalanches were small, Toepfer warned people to be extremely cautious in the backcountry.
"It's pretty amazing when you're skiing or riding how soft and fluffy the snow is, and it's amazing how fast and how strong it can hit you when it slides," Toepfer said.
The condition of a 48-year-old Nebraska man who was seriously injured Monday afternoon in a snowmobile accident in northern Routt County remains unknown.
Routt County Search and Rescue crews responded to the Seedhouse Road area outside Clark after the accident occurred about 5 p.m. The injured man was thrown over the handlebars of his snowmobile and sustained unspecified injuries, Levingston said Tuesday.
The man had been snowmobiling with friends at the time of the accident, Levingston said. No one else was injured.
Search and Rescue personnel arrived on scene about 6:30 p.m. and treated the man on scene. An ambulance crew from the North Routt Fire Protection District transported the man to Yampa Valley Medical Center about 7:30 p.m. Monday night.
Because of provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the man's name cannot be released. The hospital cannot provide an update on the man's condition without his name.