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Old 03-06-2014, 07:32 AM
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Default Avalanche in Mancos Area

http://durangoherald.com/article/201...-in-avalanche-
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:58 AM
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This is sad news, as most of the group are close friends I have rode with in the past. I do not know the guy missing, however I feel for his family and friends. My friends are up there right now looking for him, I hope they find him. I know most of these guys wear packs and beacons, not sure about the missing.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:44 AM
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Default Be Careful

Tough to read without thinking of you own friend and family.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:57 AM
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Does anyone have an update with this? Did they ever find the missing victim? Thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends... Couldn't imagine the feeling.
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:56 PM
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I was in the search party yesterday.we didn't recover him yet.bad weather shut it down for the next few days.its a very dangerous area to access.
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:58 PM
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And don't believe everything in the durango herald! If they don't know the facts they just make chit up.i hate the media!!!
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:59 PM
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The real facts about this tragedy can be found on montezuma county sherriff Dennis Spruels facebook page.it is an accurate description of what has happened thus far
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:00 AM
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I looked at the pictures on the CAIC site. What exactly made those guys think this was a good chute to run right after it snowed? Looks like extremely poor judgement to me. It is sad that someone had to die but that looks just plain stupid to me.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:20 AM
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Maybe you should keep your comments to yourself since you don't know how it played out.its just like you to be an ahole know it all!!!
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:55 AM
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http://www.durangoherald.com/apps/pb...late=mobileart

thank you to those out there working on the recovery. This is so sad to loose another. Thoughts are with the family.

best info:
https://m.facebook.com/MontezumaSher...372737/?type=1

Last edited by jrizman; 03-09-2014 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:04 PM
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On March 5, 2014 at approximately 1308 hours, a search and rescue mission was requested by Mancos Fire. A snowmobiler was able to ride to a high spot and contact the fire department advising of an avalanche and a missing rider. After the initial report the Sheriffs Office was able to get the names of five snowmobilers that were in the remote area. Sheriff Spruell activated Montezuma County Search and Rescue. The location was on the back side of Shark Tooth Mountain also known as the head of Bear Creek. Due to the remote area, access could be made only by helicopter or expert snowmobile riders. There is neither cell phone nor radio service in the slide area making communications impossible. Sheriff Spruell contacted San Miguel County and arranged for two private helicopter companies experienced in Avalanche dangers to respond. The helicopters brought in an avalanche team and trained avalanche detector dogs. The team worked past dark locating the snowmobile and the rider’s helmet. The snowmobile was buried under 25 foot of snow. The snowmobiler swept away by the avalanche was not found.

The four remaining snowmobilers were able to ride out of the area after helping search for their lost companion until almost dark and exhaustion set in. The missing person was identified as Robert Yates, a Montezuma County resident.

Sheriff Spruell called the Colorado Avalanche Control Center and arranged to meet with two Avalanche specialists on the morning of March 6th. A helicopter from Care Flight responded to take the avalanche control experts on a fly over to access the scene. A black hawk helicopter from Buckley Air Force National Guard high altitude unit responded to lift searchers over the mountain to the scene. A group of expert snowmobilers gathered in Mancos to assist with the search. The group was made up of the Sheriff, avalanche experts and friends and family of Robert Yates. The snowmobilers unloaded their sleds near Transfer Park and rode to the top of Windy Gap near Sharks Tooth. Due to unstable conditions the riders were not allowed over the mountain to the top of the slide area. A landing zone was constructed for the Blackhawk. The Blackhawk arrived and transported eight searchers at a time over the mountain (within) 350 yards of the bottom of the slide. Twenty searchers then crawled and walked in very deep snow to the slide and began a systematic probe search. The Elevation is around 11,500 feet. Searchers dug in several locations. The snowmobile, that had been located the day before, was dug out from under approximately 25 feet of snow. The Blackhawk came back just before dark and returned the snowmobilers to their sleds. As the Blackhawk was transporting the searchers it began to snow. The snowmobilers then rode approximately 20 miles to their vehicles. Unfortunately Robert Yates was not found.

The Sheriff was advised that bad weather was coming and searching the following day would be extremely hazardous. After discussing the operation with the Avalanche control experts it was determined to watch the weather before making another search attempt. It is possible that an explosion will have to be set to relieve a possible avalanche overhang. The new avalanche may deposit another thirty feet of snow on the already thirty feet of existing snow.

Sheriff Spruell has been in touch with several organizations including the Summit County Avalanche team. They have several dogs and have an instrument that detects specialized clothing on victims buried in snow. It is unknown if the clothing worn by Robert Yates had that feature. Another attempt will be made to bring Robert home.

The family asked the Sheriff to thank all volunteers and professionals.

At this time the Sheriff does not need search volunteers but has a phone chain to begin the process of getting assistance. If you would like your name on the list contact Sheriff’s Assistant Wanda Martin at 970-564-4760.

You will be updated via Facebook posts when search operations continue.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m8braaaap View Post
Maybe you should keep your comments to yourself since you don't know how it played out.its just like you to be an ahole know it all!!!

Maybe people shouldn't try to defend bad desicions. Maybe we (you) should learn something from the tradgedy. The first step is being HONEST about what happened. All you have to do is look at the pictures of the drainage.

What was the avy danger for the area as listed on CAIC? If the same storm that came through here hit there I suspect danger was listed pretty high for a slope with a steep treeless face.

Are you seriously trying to defend riding that slope in those conditions? You think they didn't know that was dangerous... really really dangerous? If not they should have, and so should you.

Tell me what really happened? Were you there? Seriously, they couldn't pick a better place to ride in the height of avy season?
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:42 PM
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Sad situation. Prayers to all the families/friends/searchers involved!


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Old 03-09-2014, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmow View Post
On March 5, 2014 at approximately 1308 hours, a search and rescue mission was requested by Mancos Fire. A snowmobiler was able to ride to a high spot and contact the fire department advising of an avalanche and a missing rider. After the initial report the Sheriffs Office was able to get the names of five snowmobilers that were in the remote area. Sheriff Spruell activated Montezuma County Search and Rescue. The location was on the back side of Shark Tooth Mountain also known as the head of Bear Creek. Due to the remote area, access could be made only by helicopter or expert snowmobile riders. There is neither cell phone nor radio service in the slide area making communications impossible. Sheriff Spruell contacted San Miguel County and arranged for two private helicopter companies experienced in Avalanche dangers to respond. The helicopters brought in an avalanche team and trained avalanche detector dogs. The team worked past dark locating the snowmobile and the rider’s helmet. The snowmobile was buried under 25 foot of snow. The snowmobiler swept away by the avalanche was not found.

The four remaining snowmobilers were able to ride out of the area after helping search for their lost companion until almost dark and exhaustion set in. The missing person was identified as Robert Yates, a Montezuma County resident.

Sheriff Spruell called the Colorado Avalanche Control Center and arranged to meet with two Avalanche specialists on the morning of March 6th. A helicopter from Care Flight responded to take the avalanche control experts on a fly over to access the scene. A black hawk helicopter from Buckley Air Force National Guard high altitude unit responded to lift searchers over the mountain to the scene. A group of expert snowmobilers gathered in Mancos to assist with the search. The group was made up of the Sheriff, avalanche experts and friends and family of Robert Yates. The snowmobilers unloaded their sleds near Transfer Park and rode to the top of Windy Gap near Sharks Tooth. Due to unstable conditions the riders were not allowed over the mountain to the top of the slide area. A landing zone was constructed for the Blackhawk. The Blackhawk arrived and transported eight searchers at a time over the mountain (within) 350 yards of the bottom of the slide. Twenty searchers then crawled and walked in very deep snow to the slide and began a systematic probe search. The Elevation is around 11,500 feet. Searchers dug in several locations. The snowmobile, that had been located the day before, was dug out from under approximately 25 feet of snow. The Blackhawk came back just before dark and returned the snowmobilers to their sleds. As the Blackhawk was transporting the searchers it began to snow. The snowmobilers then rode approximately 20 miles to their vehicles. Unfortunately Robert Yates was not found.

The Sheriff was advised that bad weather was coming and searching the following day would be extremely hazardous. After discussing the operation with the Avalanche control experts it was determined to watch the weather before making another search attempt. It is possible that an explosion will have to be set to relieve a possible avalanche overhang. The new avalanche may deposit another thirty feet of snow on the already thirty feet of existing snow.

Sheriff Spruell has been in touch with several organizations including the Summit County Avalanche team. They have several dogs and have an instrument that detects specialized clothing on victims buried in snow. It is unknown if the clothing worn by Robert Yates had that feature. Another attempt will be made to bring Robert home.

The family asked the Sheriff to thank all volunteers and professionals.

At this time the Sheriff does not need search volunteers but has a phone chain to begin the process of getting assistance. If you would like your name on the list contact Sheriff’s Assistant Wanda Martin at 970-564-4760.

You will be updated via Facebook posts when search operations continue.
very sad a strange for me to read, My name is Robert yeatts...
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:57 PM
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Does anybody know if this incident and the other one at Wolf Creek involved the use of avalanche airbags? Would be nice to know if folks involved in slides were wearing bags and if so, where they deployed?

My thoughts go out to the family and I wish them peace.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:50 AM
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He had a avy pack on but we don't know if it was deployed or not until he is recovered.
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:17 PM
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Sounds like it slid again yesterday... Unbelievable!

From the Montezuma County Sheriff's page:
Avalanche Update
On 3/09/2014 a team of snowmobilers went to the head of the avalanche site in hopes of conducting another limited search. While at the scene another avalanche occurred covering the entire slide area with another 30 feet of snow. The slide area now contains approximately 60 feet of snow. The Sheriff talked to experts with avalanche recovery dogs and specialized equipment. The dog handlers believed the success with the dogs would be limited, or impossible, considering the new snow deposit. It was a unanimous decision the conditions were too dangerous to attempt another search.
As conditions change a search will be reevaluated. The Deputy Emergency Manager will prepare an incident action plan to insure safety of all searchers as well as the best possible methods for recovery of Mr. Yates.
The Sheriff would like to thank all searchers and the community for the tremendous support they have shown during this tragedy. Please use caution during the extreme avalanche danger in the back country.


Again, thoughts and prayers go out to the family/friends/rescuers involved
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuraySledder View Post
Maybe people shouldn't try to defend bad desicions. Maybe we (you) should learn something from the tradgedy. The first step is being HONEST about what happened. All you have to do is look at the pictures of the drainage.

What was the avy danger for the area as listed on CAIC? If the same storm that came through here hit there I suspect danger was listed pretty high for a slope with a steep treeless face.

Are you seriously trying to defend riding that slope in those conditions? You think they didn't know that was dangerous... really really dangerous? If not they should have, and so should you.

Tell me what really happened? Were you there? Seriously, they couldn't pick a better place to ride in the height of avy season?
Point taken ouray.but it dosnt change the fact that you're a prick in nearly every post you make.this is not a thread about being right or wrong.a man is dead.
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:53 PM
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So if I am reading this right the sled was buried in 25 feet of snow - then another 30 feet came down yesterday?

Total depth at the bottom of the hill now is ~60 feet assuming a 5 foot base before the slides?
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:17 PM
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Correct
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:27 PM
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tmk50 tmk50 is online now
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Originally Posted by m8braaaap View Post
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Wow - that is a lot of snow to search. I hope they find him soon so the family can get some closure.

Have you seen avalanche debris piles like this in the past in that area? How long will it take for 60 feet of snow to melt out this spring/summer?
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  #22  
Old 03-10-2014, 07:39 PM
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There are times in different areas of our Colorado mountains that will not melt out during the summer, every year is different. A good example is Schofield Pass south of Marble, some years you can jeep over it and some years it doesn't melt, depending on how deep the slides are there.
Ron
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  #23  
Old 03-11-2014, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by OuraySledder View Post
I looked at the pictures on the CAIC site. What exactly made those guys think this was a good chute to run right after it snowed? Looks like extremely poor judgement to me. It is sad that someone had to die but that looks just plain stupid to me.
The rider was not running in the chute. He was on a bench to the south of the chute. A group of riders was above and to the south of him waiting for him when when they heard the sled shut off, out of sight. Approximately a minute or two went by, so the group figured that the rider had become stuck. While allegedly trying to free his stuck sled in a patch of trees, it broke above and to the north of him. Due to the topography, the slide started, then propagated, catching the rider, and sweeping him off of the bench, and down into the chute roughly 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile.
It was a very somber and sobering experience being in there searching and I do not wish that feeling on anyone. Things can go very wrong in a hurry. Please be careful out there. Thoughts and prayers to the Yates family.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:18 AM
OuraySledder OuraySledder is offline
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So they rode up the chute so they could himark a wind loaded treeless face during high Avy danger?

Things go bad a lot faster when you place yourself in bad situations.
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  #25  
Old 03-11-2014, 11:29 AM
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