Video: Skiing the Sliver on Nez Perce…and Stuff

I’ve been out all night on a TCSAR call-out in Unskiabowl on the Pass…our second call-out on New Year’s Day. Saved his life…and now I’m going to bed. Might take a couple days to recover. I’m sure most people have heard about all the big slides yesterday and I just hope not to have to respond to another avalanche incident for a few days. I know it’s got me thinking twice about my skiing plans this week.

For all you rando racers out there…I got word that the Kirkwood race this weekend might get canceled…because of weather. I know Zahan Billamoria and Cary Smith from my neck of the woods were headed that way to race this weekend. Bummer for them.

Here’s a little video I put together from skiing the Sliver last week. Hope you like it…and yes more Pearl Jam, “Fatal”. Hope you like it!


20 Responses to “Video: Skiing the Sliver on Nez Perce…and Stuff”

  1. 1 Matus Jan 2nd, 2008 at 11:27 am

    nice video. why dont you upload them on better quality is what people need:)

  2. 2 Ted Jan 2nd, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Nice viddy Steve.

    You guys rock for going up there last night. Well done. Glad you all got out in one piece. I look forward to hearing the full report.

  3. 3 randosteve Jan 2nd, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks Ted!

    I almost opted out of going after seeing and hearing about all the big slides yesterday. About an 8′ crown in Unskiabowl…impressive!

    BTW…if people have trouble viewing the YouTube vids…I find hitting the Home button seems to load them up better once you are on  Thanks!!!

  4. 4 Itchy1 Jan 2nd, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    all I can say is thank God you were not alone; and one hell-a-va run.

  5. 5 Willy Jan 3rd, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Dude, enough with the Pearl Jam. Seriously. I have to mute it everytime. Don’t feel like you “have to” set your videos to music, because you don’t. Please, just stop using Peral Jam. I won’t watch another video with a Pearl Jam track. I just won’t do it.

  6. 6 Derek Jan 3rd, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Nice work Steve. I’m digging the helmet cam footy.

  7. 7 Terry Jan 3rd, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Can’t imagine the Kirkwood race happening this weekend!

    From the Reno Gazette:

    …Snow is expected to fall tonight and significantly increase Friday and into Saturday, when snowfall rates could reach 6 inches an hour in some parts of the Sierra, forecasters said.

    Snow should taper off to showers later Saturday, before another significant storm hits Saturday night into Sunday, the weather service said.

    By late Sunday, 5 to 8 feet of snow is expected to fall across much of the Sierra, with 10 feet possible in spots, the weather service said.

    ….Wind gusts up to 70 mph are expected to be common, with gusts up to 140 mph gusts possible along the Sierra crest. The heavy snow and high winds should produce blizzard conditions in the mountains, with “dangerous and possibly life threatening” driving conditions expected.

    “It’s pretty unusual for us to issue a blizzard warning,” McGuire said. “We haven’t had one in a number of years.”….

  8. 8 Steve Jan 3rd, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Is there any information out there on the web about these avalanches? Other than the one cryptic sentence from that leaves more questions – “A snowboarder was seriously injured after his presence caused a cornice to fall into Unskiabowl and cause a large avalanche.” Was he on the cornice? under it? trying to drop it? We were out at Windy Ridge that day and didn’t see any evidence of avalanches from our viewpoints. Just curious about what areas are more problematic.

  9. 9 randosteve Jan 3rd, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Ummm WIlly…get a grip.

    I doubt there is any more info out there. I’m working with the Sheriff’s Office now to continue to post information about TCSAR rescues…or else there would be a full report with photos here.

    Here a couple pictures of the slide.

     Unskiabowl avy

     Close up of Unskiabowl avy

  10. 10 Jay J Jan 3rd, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    South Dakota man dies in avalanche
    This is a continuation of the reckless/ignorant behavior of snowmobilers who are riding rough-shod over the WHOLE Snowy Range and don’t care what they do/ when they do it or where! Every sesson so mnay of us have to risk our safety to help these people and they won’t follow some simple closure rules in this Range!
    This shaping up to be one hell of a avi season and I’m sure MORE people will suffer!

    By Boomerang Staff / Laramie,WY

    A South Dakota man was killed when he was buried by an avalanche while snowmobiling in the French Creek Drainage area in the Snowy Range on Wednesday afternoon.

    Dale Wagner was about half way up the drainage when the avalanche hit at approximately 2:11 p.m., according to Albany County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Garcia. Wagner was with Dustin Arthur, 28, Riley Pugh, 22, and Ryan Wagner, 20. The four men were above the area where four other men, Brian Bertsch, 40, Eric Bertsch, 43, Gary Wagner, 46 and Todd Beckett were snowmobiling. All of the men are from Miller, S.D.

    Garcia said the four men at the bottom of the drainage did not see the avalanche, but they heard it.

    Dale Wagner, Ryan Wagner, Pugh and Arthur were swept away by the slide and buried in the deep snow. Beckett, Brian Bertsch, Eric Bertsch and Gary Wagner returned to the area and began digging the others out of the snow. They were able to get all four of the men out and called for help.

    “The first one (Dale Wagner) passed on — he died,” Garcia said. “A second one was injured.”

    The initial report said that one man had died and another man was critically injured. Garcia said that two AirLife helicopters from Northern Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, Colo., were called to the scene to evacuate the men. However, all seven survivors refused treatment, Garcia said.

    Deputies from the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, EMT/firefighters with the Laramie Fire Department, members of the Nordic Ski Patrol and the patrol from the Snowy Range Ski Area responded to the area and headquartered in the Snowy Mountain Lodge, eight miles west of Centennial. One of the helicopters landed in the parking lot of the lodge, while the other flew into the mountains. The road that runs past the lodge was blocked as snow machine enthusiasts watched from the parking lot.

    Garcia said one of the members of the Nordic Ski Patrol reported two avalanches earlier this week. He said avalanches are one of the many dangers associated with winter sports activities and the recent snow and weather conditions have increased the probability of avalanche activity.

  11. 11 AK Jan 3rd, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Things are pretty gnarly down here in the southeast part of the state as well. On my way to work for ski patrol at our little hill near Laramie I saw a relatively large slide. The hill where it occured is right next to an out of bounds run we call Day Off (exit the side of the ski area, skin up, ski down, hitch hike back). Not a place I would’ve expected to see one… lots of wind loading going on down here. A snowmobiler was caught in a slide the same day higher up in the Snowies. Not sure how that turned out.

  12. 12 randosteve Jan 3rd, 2008 at 5:27 pm


    Thanks for sharing!

  13. 13 AK Jan 3rd, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Seems like we posted at nearly the same time…

    I would have liked to help with that rescue (I am also a member of the Nordic patrol down here), but I had to work. Sad to hear it turned out like that.

  14. 14 gringo Jan 4th, 2008 at 2:25 am

    First thanks for the pics of Unskiabowl…that cat used up a couple of lives looks like.

    Was the party equipped? The is no mention in the paper about whether or not they had what they needed or not…which in past cases seems to point to the fsct that they did not.

    Anyway looking forward to some details when you get a chance.

    Second, I see the donation button on the lower right of the screen….is that so you can buy some new Willy Nelson tapes so we don’t have to hear Pearl Jam anymore? If so my check is in the mail…;-)

  15. 15 randosteve Jan 4th, 2008 at 6:09 am

    Depends on the size of the donation. :wink:

  16. 16 yim Jan 8th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Free Rando Steve! We need more avy/SAR insider reports. Those pics and a description of the incident are invaluable. People need to see the consequences.

  17. 17 tobias Jan 9th, 2008 at 2:02 pm


    i assume you are the romeo i heard in the background while i was strapped to the backboard. you guys saved my life that night up in unskiabowl and i could never thank you and the rest of your crew enough. i am so glad you made the decision to go look that night for us even tho you didn’t have to because of the risks. you and the rest of tcsar truly are heroes, not tryin to be corny or anything but wow. it takes a really good person to do what you guys do. thank you thank you thank you.

  18. 18 randosteve Jan 9th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks Toby,

    Glad everything worked out the way it did. Close call.


  19. 19 Marcy Jan 11th, 2008 at 5:00 am

    Just watched your video and saw the pictures WOW!!
    We THANK YOU AND YOUR CREW for helping to get my
    nephew and his friends out safe and sound!! I can’t
    believe the snow slides you showed in the clip and
    SURE can’t image the WHOLE side of the MT. moving
    UFF-DA !! We are from MN with groomed snowcat trails and flatland!I can see where you find beauty
    in your Mountains but thank you for not letting those same Mts. loose our kids…A BIG THANKS AGAIN
    You ALL show what a friend /strangers can help
    another *** VERY GRATEFUL THANKS!!

  20. 20 Bobi Wagner Feb 8th, 2008 at 8:01 am

    I would like to mention something to Post #10 To Jay J. I am the widow of the deceased in that story and not a single snowmobile is to blame for what happened to my husband. Where the avalanche started a snowmobile was not even near. The snowmobiles had not been running for about 30 minutes when it happened. I dont understand why people like you need to post stuff that you dont even know the whole story to. Just because a Newspaper like the Laramie Boomerang printed what they thought to be the truth doesnt mean it is. Dale was a great snowmobiler for nearly 30 years and he knew all about safety and had all the right gear and equipment. SOmetimes people just need to remember that God is in control and when it is gonna happen it is gonna happen.

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