Never lose respect… {Loveland Pass Avalanche}

On Monday night when we were running #BostonStrong it wasn’t just about Boston for me. Yes, Boston was the reason I layered up and headed into the blowing snow. The horrible events of last week were the motivation behind the group run.

But as I made my way around the lake and as the snow picked up I realized I was running for more than that. I was running off all the frustrations for the long, emotionally draining week. Not just Boston, but West, Texas and Loveland Pass and every other part of the world dealing with tragic, deadly, traumatizing events.

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The official snowboarding season is coming to a close but the snow keeps coming. Unfortunately this late season snow makes for some very dangerous backcountry. To make it even scarier most resorts are closed so backcountry is the only option for people not quite ready to pack away their winter gear.

I’ve read that with the snow we’re currently getting avalanches are harder to trigger but if you are unlucky enough to trigger one it won’t be just a small slough, it will be a worst case scenario slide. That is what happened on Loveland Pass.

Loveland Pass Avalanche Kills 5 Boarders
…photo of the slide from CAIC

Five boarders/skiers lost their lives to a massive avalanche on Sunday afternoon. I don’t know any of them but it hurts to even think about. They were all experienced, educated backcountry riders…but even all of the years they have spent on the mountain didn’t keep them safe this time.

It sucks. Plain and simple. I can’t put into words the sadness I am feeling for them, their families and their friends. Or the anger I am feeling about whatever aligned just right, making the snow crumble into a deadly river of cement. I sincerely hope that people take one extremely important thing away from this – never lose your respect for the mountains and Mother Nature! Ever.

And for crying out loud, do not jump to conclusions about the victims of a disaster like this before their names are even released to the public! Yes, I’m looking at the jerks blaming inexperience, stupidity and weed for this avalanche and these deaths! {hey…I think that helped a bit with the anger I’m feeling…}

As cliché as it sounds, always live every day like it is your last. Tell people you love them, hug your cat, do what you enjoy and wear clean undies, just in case!

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Both Chris and I have snowboarded down Loveland Pass but never down the area these boarders were on – it is quite a hike in the opposite direction of our “go to” location. Regardless, this is a somber reminder to be smart, gear up and don’t hesitate to turn back if it feels off. We are investing in the gear we need for serious backcountry next season – this avalanche scares me but I won’t let it keep me off the mountain. At the same time, I know I’m not invincible and I will do whatever I can to stay safe and I’ll always respect the mountain.

October Snowboarding at Loveland Pass
…our first run of the season – Loveland Pass in October, we hiked out along the Continental Divide…

For more information on this avalanche and its victims please check out this Transworld Business article – its one of the best I’ve found so far. Also, the Loveland Pass avalanche happened just days after another boarder lost his live to an avalanche on Vail Pass. It has been a deadly spring season on the Front Range!

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I promise my next post will be positive, up lifting and full of mountain photos to balance out the incredible amount of negativity, sadness and tragedy I’ve been focusing on for the past week. I apologize for being a Debbie Downer but it has been quite therapeutic to write what I can about my feelings, so I thank you for putting up with it. If you ever have issues putting your feelings into words…write! It will help!


Comments

Never lose respect… {Loveland Pass Avalanche} — 11 Comments

  1. Pingback: Adventure: Is There Ever Enough? - Just a Colorado Gal

  2. we had a speaker from the CAIC last night in class and he said, vaguely, that there were a series of small mistakes that the group took that caused/triggered the slide. but you are absolutely right – they did their homework and knew the risks they were taking, they had the gear and knowledge. it’s really, really sad – especially when the 2 were found so close to the sole survivor. like you said – you gotta know when to turn back and when to risk it. to me, when it’s ‘considerable’ avalanche danger, i’m turning around. :(
    lynne @ lgsmash recently posted..Marriage: Home Alone!My Profile

  3. It has been a tragic stretch, and I’m certain this avalanche tragedy cuts especially deep for you. So sorry. :( I’m glad you could get out on the run to remember all those precious lives. Take care Heidi.
    Lisa recently posted..Winter to SummerMy Profile

    • Thank you – a long week, but we are back home now – family time! We actually talked about you and your farm today as we drove across WI with my mom, looks like the snow is finally leaving!

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