Comments, and Backcountry Avalanche Death

Post by blogger | December 23, 2005      

Thanks for all the kind words in your avalanche of comments on the previous “blogiversary” post. It’s humbling to know you’re all out there reading this stuff — I’ll try to make it worth your time.

As for comment mechanics, to prevent spam and other unpleasantness all comments have to be reviewed and approved by a human. Thus, your comments will have some kind of delay before they go public, and more, I’ll turn the comments feature on and off according to our time resources here at world headquarters.

Backcountry Avalanche Death
My condolences to friends and family of Patrick Niedringhaus, the 18-year-old boy who died yesterday near Torrys peak in central Colorado. While the vast majority of avalanche victims have some avalanche education, it appears that Patrick and his companion were pretty much clueless. They had no rescue gear, and were obviously in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It amazes me that Patrick and his friend had the wherewithall to winter camp (they were out overnight) and attempt a semi-technical climb on a Colorado fourteener — but had no avalanche rescue gear and little or no training. Sounds like a case of testosterone poisoning if there ever was one. Avalanche educators in Colorado are trying hard to bring basic snow safety training to youth such as Patrick, but coverage is spotty. Should some basic snow safety awareness training be included in public education? One wonders…

Newspaper article about the accident.

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One Response to “Comments, and Backcountry Avalanche Death”

  1. JP @ December 23rd, 2005 10:09 pm

    It’s a shame. Didn’t hear the information about them camping out over night, as you said that requires a good amount of skill and gear to survive in the BC — funny they didn’t have any rescue gear. Strange even.

    I would love to see some awareness training offered in the public school system, I already know of some schools with have outdoor programs that avy education would go perfect with. I think it would be great if states like Colorado, Utah and Wyoming offered something along these lines.

    Honestly, I’m surprised we’ve only seen 2 avy death this year so far. Lots of people out in the backcountry this year. Must be all the snow, seems like more then the past.

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