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Thursday, December 20, 2012

New York Times Special on Tunnel Creek Avalanche

 

 

NY Times Tunnel Creek

 

The New York Times just launched a very impressive article covering last year's tragic avalanche incident in Tunnel Creek near Stevens Pass, Washington. The piece offers incredible depth and detail of the day, plus super impressive interactive graphics including an incredible realtime reenactment of the slide complete with skier locations that is best viewed on a full-size screen, not that of your mobile phone.

 

There's a new saying gaining traction this season amongst avalanche educators and snow professionals: sidecountry, slackcountry, call it what you will, it's all backcountry. And the Tunnel Creek incident sends this point home. Just because it's easily accessible, does not mean it's any less dangerous.

 

I recommend reading the New Your Times article. It puts you in the scene that lead up to the day and the event itself. It exposes the heads and hearts of those fortunate to have survived and those not so fortunate.

 

New York Times Tunnel Creek Avalanche Special


Comments

1. art said...

That's about the coolest web graphics I've seen. It's remarkable that the NYT dedicated such attention to a BC ski related event - human interest I suppose.

2. powderday said...

gripping tale. sad and educational. thanks for sharing!

3. Snohnd said...

Art: FYI, Steven's Pass is in Washington, not BC.

4. art said...

sorry, i was referring to backcountry, not british columbia.

5. Pablo said...

There has to be a reason why this incident was covered so in-depth by the NYT. There is a connection. What is it, Off-Piste?

6. Aaron Miller said...

The NYTimes should be awarded for their recognition of the importance of this story and their detailed discussion. Never the less, I think it is important to look at the initial NWAC accident summary found here: http://www.nwac.us/accidents/
There is more snowpack information and a few additional photos. The description of the soft slab hardness, (fist-4F), the sliding surface hardness (pencil) and the slope angle where the fracture occurred (42 degrees) is relevant.

7. teleNV said...

I fully agree with the comment regarding sidecountry and slackcountry being equally dangerous. In a big snow year such as this, even inbounds can be hazardous as has been proven twice here in the Sierra already this season.

8. dave said...

I'd like to know the connection that lead the NYT to such an extensive article. Whatever it is, it's another example of how backcountry skiing is more mainstream than ever.

9. dave said...

Here is a Q & A with the author of the story. He credits the Sports Editor with seeing a bigger story to be told.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/22/sports/q-a-the-avalanche-at-tunnel-creek.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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