Friday, February 3, 2012

Tragedy in Jewel Basin

Despite the great skiing of late, it is with a heart that is heavy I make this post. enough said.

A message from Chris Miller:

For those of you who have not heard, or have not been able to follow the news, Mark Albee died on Wednesday, February 1, 2012, in a massive avalanche in the Jewel Basin. He was skiing with his long time partner, best friend and brother, Iain. In fact, they were not skiing, but had just taken some photos from a ridge, and were moving away to ski a safe line in the opposite direction from where the avalanche ended up going. The snow pack fractured to the ground, right on the ridge, and indeed somewhat back from the slope. There was not a cornice of any perceptible size, and they never once thought they were in any danger where they stood. Only by some shear force of luck was Iain not taken as well.

The avalanche went perhaps 1000’ vertical, exposing several rock bands and cliffs. Despite his best efforts, Iain was not able to reach the debris pile in any safe manner, and had to leave to call for help. He knew the worst was all that there was.

Mark was found yesterday, Thursday, February 2, by search and rescue. It took the team quite some time to locate the body, but his transceiver was still working, at least making a long and dangerous probe line unnecessary. It then took them over half an hour to dig the body out, as the snow was packed incredibly tight and solid.

Family members and friends have begun the grieving process. Mark was a fun and fantastic friend, hard worker and great family man. He will be missed very much, and I am thankful to have so many great and lasting memories, as I try to take the best out of this tragic situation.

It is always is worse when it is someone you love. So long Mark Albee, so long.

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