Squash Head Avalanche (Santaquin) - lost gear

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Squash Head Avalanche (Santaquin) - lost gear

Postby pinkpointingpussy » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:46 pm

Yesterday (Sunday, Jan 16) we narrowly escaped being swallowed by a massive avalanche at the base of Squash Head in Santaquin Canyon. It was by far the biggest avalanche I’ve ever seen in my life, and we were lucky to escape with our lives. My partner was knocked down and partially buried, but managed to scramble out of the impact zone before being completely engulfed. I was directly in the impact zone when the slide was spotted coming from above, but had just enough time to run to the base of Martini and hide under the roof. The slide persisted for 1-2 minutes, and buried the base of the route to the road in at least 8 feet of dense snow (maybe more in places).
We lost quite a bit of gear, either from it being buried or from trying to flee the scene as quickly as possible (for fear of another slide). A blast of air preceding the slide blew most of our gear down slope and kept it from being buried, but we lost a few items:

•Pair of one of a kind, custom made ice tools. They’re I-beam in construction and silver colored aluminum with black handles.
•Stuff sack full of gloves and clothing
•Couple of ice screws
•10 quick draws on the mixed route, Martini. We didn’t want to hang around and retrieve the draws – please leave them fixed until we can get back and pull them down

This gear is going to melt out eventually – if you come across any of it please send me a PM.


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Crushing The Slips
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Re: Squash Head Avalanche (Santaquin) - lost gear

Postby bheller » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:59 pm


I've lost the precise count, but I'm sure that's life 7 or 8. Glad to hear you're okay...super sobering. Please don't make us show up at a funeral to kick your dead ass!
I don't know the difference from my asymtote and a hole in a graph

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mullet baitfish
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Re: Squash Head Avalanche (Santaquin) - lost gear

Postby Shaft » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:28 pm

Scary shit for sure, glad you guys are ok.

Might be worth submitting to the Avy center so other ice climbers can be aware......:

http://utahavalanchecenter.org/node/add ... n=bc_obs_2

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jonathan knight
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Re: Squash Head Avalanche (Santaquin) - lost gear

Postby jonathan knight » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:06 pm

A few years back we got the the truck good and stuck then un-stuck with the help of an 8mm static and some scrub oak anchors. Already good and tired, we post-holed into the ice as it started to dump. We were safe underneath the second pitch of ACT when the first of two soft slabs cascaded over the climb. It was a beautiful thing to behold, but over on Squashhead a young couple was getting pummeled by similar conditions. We past them on the hike out. They were dragging and nearly uncommunicative, but alright. The guy was in the vault underneath the doghouse from what I could tell. I guess we were just lucky.

Glad you made it out of there. Let's have another round of cold storms!

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