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Avalanche Warning!!!

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by pyritechips, Feb 2, 2003.

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  1. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    All you people that enjoy winter sports: this is for you. There have been enough tragedies lately. Lets not have any more please! This hits close to home- those 7 kids are from my town.
    <hr>
    Seven dead in B.C. avalanche

    Last Updated Sat, 01 Feb 2003 23:46:44

    REVELSTOKE, B.C. - Seven people are dead Saturday following an avalanche near Revelstoke, British Columbia.

    The group of back-country skiers included 14 students and three adults from Strathcona - Tweedsmuir School, a private school south of Calgary.

    Six boys and one girl died - they were all in Grade 10. The 10 survivors were airlifted to Glacier Park Lodge.

    Tony Macoun, headmaster of Strathcona - Tweedsmuir, said everyone at the school was "stricken with grief."

    The outdoor education class was on its annual cross-country ski trip. They were accompanied by two male teachers and a male volunteer, all with certification and back country experience.

    Macoun said all members of the group had avalanche training and were wearing beacons as they traversed the Balu Pass.
    The half-kilometre wide avalanche occurred in the Rogers Pass area known as Knock Creek in Glacier National Park. Park wardens, guides, soldiers and rescue dogs took part in the search for survivors.

    Officials first learned of the avalanche at 11:45 a.m. local time, Pat Dunn, information officer for Glacier National Park, told CBC Newsworld.

    It was "capable of destroying a building," she said of the avalanche, which was rated three to 3.5 on a scale of four.

    The avalanche risk in the area had been rated as "considerable," said Dunn. Its cause is not yet known.

    It's the second avalanche near Revelstoke in less than a month.

    Seven people were killed Jan. 20 in an avalanche on the Durrand Glacier. The group of 24 experienced skiers had been travelling through the back country.

    - - -

    Written by CBC News Online staff
     
  2. Jonesiegirl

    Jonesiegirl Guest

    Whoa! Now that was one big avalanche! :eek:
    Those poor kids prolly didn't even know what hit 'em. :(
    Ya know... when my number is called, I sure hope I get to go fast like that.

    We all need to hug our loved ones!
     
  3. angelize56

    angelize56 Always remembered in our hearts

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    Jim: So sorry to hear of this tragedy. I was watching it on CNN. My sympathy to your hometown. Poor kids...out to just enjoy themselves...you just never know. :(

    I do wonder why this group was skiing in a place where the avalanche risk was considered "considerable"??? Do you think the group knew that?

    Take care. amgel
     
  4. Tuppence2

    Tuppence2 Guest

    Hello,

    Another tragedy. So sad. Is there a system of avalanche warnings as there is in Austria, etc?

    The forces of nature are not to be taken lightly or forgranted, and people often ignore warnings. I do hope this wasn't the case.

    Penny
     
  5. Shadow Bea

    Shadow Bea Cherished forever in our hearts

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    It is just horrible .. my heart goes out to their family’s .. It seems to me, that there have been a lot more avalanches lately. Global warming perhaps? I am beginning to feel like I want to ignore the news papers, TV/Radio and everything else.. there is just so much destruction, death, random acts of senseless violence, lack of morality, respect, social responsibility. manners, codes of ethics, horrible acts against children, ( I can't even begin to express my horror at that!), belief in anything other than the almighty dollar and self serving belief systems, lack of any connectedness to the rest of humanity, or of any feelings of (for lack of a better word) owing anything to anyone other than self. and I feel that we (humanity) are being manipulated .. but that is a whole other thread. I have had to deal with a great deal of personal tragedy in the past three years, and I feel as Jonesiegirl has stated in another thread.. Like
    "My plate is too full " I feel more than sad sometimes with these things .. I feel powerless to fight back or change things, and I don't like it !.. sometimes all I want to do is relax a little and play fun game or somesuch thing .. sometimes it feels like anger is the only real emmotion left in the world.. Sorry guys I got a little carried away with venting. :mad: :(
     
  6. Tuppence2

    Tuppence2 Guest

    Hello Bea,

    Vent away!! I don't read newspapers, listen to radio news or watch it on tv. Images remain too clearly in my mind. I still get to hear about the "big" things that happen, through friends or surfing. When there is an issue I am interested in I will visit the BBC web site for information, but I don't do this on an every day basis.

    The dreadful things that happen will continue to do so without us filling our minds with them in the form of news and photographs.
    It may be a form of escapism, but it it how I function.

    Hope you are able to dwell on more calm and friendly matters soon.

    Penny
     
  7. Rockn

    Rockn

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    I think these guys were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but should have known the dangers in the area they were skiing in. You take your chances and should accept the risks when back country skiing. Personally I wouldn't risk my life or those of my friends for a chance to ski some virgin powder. If you have ever been skiing I am sure you have read the warning signs....."Skiing beyond this point can result in serious injury or DEATH"!! Avalanches are an every day part of living in the mountains and the ski patrols at the resorts do go on patrol way before skiiers ever hit the slopes so skiing there is realatively safe. They do not go outside of the area to patrol.....ski at your own risk.
     
  8. Mulderator

    Mulderator

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    Shadow, the problem is you've let yourself be manipulated by the liberal press. The world is a better place today than it has ever been, despite what the liberals would have you believe with their constant whining, negativity, and incessant focus on problems.

    Think of all the good things there are in your life that you would not have had even 20 years ago (like the Internet, as an example). We have always had the threat of war and violence. The real irony is that the people whining the most about all the problems in the world are the same ones that are whining that we shouldn't do anything about (i.e., get rid of the madmen like Hussein). It's why I just read the sports page or travel sections or entertainment sections of the newspaper and get my news from positive sources on the Internet. I don't let these people drag me down.
     
  9. Jonesiegirl

    Jonesiegirl Guest

    Bea, Bea, Bea, my kindred spirit and friend... you read my mind! :)
    What you and I have gone through, sets us apart from a lot of the people here, in that our emotions are a bit more fine tuned towards "reality"... and reality bites. Anyone who disagrees isn't being totally honest, imho.
    *Hugs to you Bea*
    Kath

    (Sorry Jim ... didn't mean to hijack yer thread good buddy :))
     
  10. Tuppence2

    Tuppence2 Guest

    Hello Bea and JG,

    For a child to die is a terrible thing, leaving behind it shock and despair. But you are not "apart" from people in your grief. Many terrible things happen to people and most families have thier tragedies, and many of us can have empathy with you.

    My baby brother died at a very young age, my mother died at 44, my father died in his early 60's, shortly after retiring. My sister nearly died due to complications resulting from rhuematic fever. She has had two heart operations to replace valves. My other sister's husband has just died of cancer of the liver. A friend's brother killed a child and then killed himself. Another neighbour's friend's husband killed his mother and then shot himself. Yet another neighbour's brother was killed in his teens when he crashed his car into a tree.

    It seems that tragedy is a reality of life, and we have to go on or give in.

    Please don't feel that you are alone in your sadness.

    I hope you are able to come to terms with the loss you encounter in your lives, and that you can find support here among us.

    Penny
     
  11. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    Not to worry Kath! Besides, I see somebody beat you to it anyway, to twist the topic around so that he could seize the opportunity to do some "liberal" bashing! ;)

    But concerning the avalanches and warning systems. Yes, Canada has an extensive warning system in place. Snow conditions are monitored, but the the right wing tax-cut fanatics have bullied the government into cutting back on such services. People die jsut to save a few dollars, even though the government runs a surplus. (There, back at ya:p !)

    And Rockn is correct. Populations grow and recreation areas become more crowded. The skier/patroller ratio increases constantly. More people are willing to go beyond the bounds of common sense to find that "virgin snow". During the newscast here on this story. The point was made that the high risk thrill seekers actually defy warnings in their adrenaline driven need for on-the-edge challenges. Despite the tragedy and the warnings and the publicity, people are still skiing in thse very areas were the deaths occured.
     
  12. angelize56

    angelize56 Always remembered in our hearts

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    Jim: I noticed in the article the children were from a private school...do you think if it were a group of public school children from your area they would not have been allowed to ski there? I know in my town safeguards are in place involving where our school children are allowed to go. Such as the cancelling of all school trips out of state following the WTC tragedy. I also know it has always irked me that I have to sign a waiver releasing the school district from liability if my child is harmed on a school trip. You know they don't check out the criminal or driving records of volunteer chaperones. But I can't let fear keep my child off of school trips. If only the world were a safer place and haven for all of us. Take care. angel
     
  13. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    I honestly can't answer that Marlene. In Canada education is controlled by the provinces. Private and public schools alike must abide by strict guidlines to recieve accreditation.

    But once outside of the classroom and playing in the winter wonderland, I believe sensibilities can and do take a back seat to common sense and caution, as I pointed out in my previous post. "The avalanche risk in the area had been rated as "considerable,"" is a quote from the news story. You decide who was responsible for the safety of the children. Who made that decision to allow people into a high risk area?
     
  14. angelize56

    angelize56 Always remembered in our hearts

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    Thanks Jim. From the above I as a parent would have placed my trust in the three men mentioned....I would not want to believe they would place my child in harm's way. As a parent of a child killed in the avalanche I would definitely demand an explanation why my child apparently was in a dangerous area and want it further investigated. The grief would just overwhelm me Jim. I feel so bad for the families of those children killed. Take care and have a nice Sunday. Marlene
     
  15. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    Avalanche that killed teens was on them in seconds

    Last Updated Sun, 02 Feb 2003 20:21:14

    REVELSTOKE, B.C. - The seven high school students killed in an avalanche in southeastern B.C. on Saturday all died of asphyxiation, according to the B.C. coroner.

    At a briefing details of the power of the 500-metre-wide slide emerged.

    It was an avalanche of incredible power. In just four seconds, it slid one kilometre and was strong enough to destroy homes or wreck a train.

    Eric Dafoe, the public safety co-ordinator at Glacier National Park, says two local experienced skiers saw the avalanche coming and shouted down to warn the young group.

    One "was able to yell out 'Avalance, avalanche, avalanche,' three times to warn them. But he felt there was just a matter of seconds before the dust cloud engulfed them," he said.

    All 17 in the group were partially or fully buried. Coroner Dave Purse says the six boys and one girl all died of asphyxiation.

    For Purse, it's the second time in two weeks he's had to face such a tragedy. "It's very tough. It's very difficult. It's 14 deaths in two weeks here."

    It raises the question why young students were even on the slope. The risk of avalanche was rated "considerable." That means natural avalanches are possible.

    Meanwhile, a small school community south of Calgary is grieving after the tragic deaths of the students. The students were taking part in an annual outdoor education trip in a well-skied area of the Rogers Pass.

    "Although we still do not have all the details we are absolutely stricken with grief. Our school is a small family and a loss this extreme is impacting on us tremendously. No doubt this will have ripples throughout Southern Alberta, and our hearts go out to all of those who have been impacted in this way," said school principal Glenn Odland.

    The seven students were all grade 10 students at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir, a private school in Okotoks.

    Avalanche Victims

    - Jeff Trickett
    - Daniel Arato
    - Michael Shaw
    - Scott Broshko
    - Marissa Staddon
    - Alex Pattillo
    - Ben Albert



    Prime Minister Jean Chrétien sent his condolences. He said he and his wife Aline send their sympathies to the families of the young victims.

    Chrétien said it's unthinkable that a school trip of enthusiastic teens with a great love of the outdoors should end in such tragedy.


    Odland said the group was highly skilled and knew what they were doing.

    "They assessed, they consulted experts, and they made a choice and went. "I'm okay with the process that leads to that. It's a sound one. I'm certainly no okay with the fact seven people ended up dead because of it."

    The avalanche area is closed, but it will reopen soon.

    In spite of the risks, backcountry skiing is an unregulated sport. No one can shut down a mountain.

    Participants say it's part of the joy, to find a mountain where you're the first to ski in the untouched snow.

    Even Clair Israelson of the Canadian Avalanche Centre, though clearly mourning the deaths of the students, defended the sport.

    "I'm a backcountry skier. There are tens of thousands of British Columbians that go into the mountains because it brings value to our lives. I'd hate to see that privilege taken away from us."

    Many say there is a way to make the sport safer. More than 10 years ago, avalanche research in Canada was severely cut by the federal government. They say put more resources back into studying the slides so the warnings are explicit and people believe the danger is real.



    Written by CBC News Online staff
     
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