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Thread: Death sucks: Don't be that guy
01-31-2012, 07:31 PM #276
^^^ That whole post is such a rich pageant of stupidity I'm surprised you could narrow it down.
AIDS is an occupational hazard in the porn industry. Black lung is an occupational hazard of coal mining. Getting killed trying to win a case of Monster Energy Drink and the adulation of beta males is just fucking pathetic. And so was that "interview" and the "notes" section."Buy the Fucking Plane Tickets!"
-- Jack Tackle
01-31-2012, 07:35 PM #277
01-31-2012, 08:28 PM #278Life is a lot like climbing: there isn't anything much more comforting than a good #2.
01-31-2012, 08:37 PM #279
I've been biting my tongue about the orgy of stupidity that went down with the 4o pack of snowboarder tools.
I'm seriously at the point where if you go out and ride things in these conditions, you deserve to die. Especially if you call yourself a "pro". Go fuck yourself with all of that bullshit. Just cuz you have sponsors, that does not make you a "pro".
I take it as a direct disrespect of mother nature. She dictates when you ride, not you.
If any of you dumb gapes were around digging pits and accessing conditions all Winter, you wouldn't touch the BC around here. I live ten minutes from where this slide occurred. I've spent tons of time this Winter looking around these parts almost daily, without seeing another soul in site. (summit/eagle) Then it snows, and gapes are gangbanging everything in sight, from EV to Zuma BC.
Douche em out Mother Nature, true Darwinism in play. Don't ask for my compassion. You are at fault, no different than you walking in front of a bus. You're just fucking stupid. If anyone is to blame, it is ABS for stalling out the cleansing of the gene pool.
01-31-2012, 10:10 PM #280
also. on the topic of intuition and instinct. Shouldn't experience, and knowledge and growth evolve your instincts and intuition. To me, YMMV, from being in classes, from digging pits, from learning about heuristic traps from learning that the snowpack needs just the right amount of pressure to set it loose, 17 tracks tells me to have the INSTINCT and INTUITION that the 18th just may very well be the straw the breaks the camels back. My instinct and intution have developed to function well before I get to the top of a slope.... very simply in my bed that morning, in the parking lot "does this seem like a good idea.... e.g. 30-50 (sometimes less or more) degree angle, with a ton of new snow with a lot of water in it, on top of a very thin snowpack, with terrain traps etc everywhere"... probably not. If your instinct and intuition haven't kicked in until your up on the top of your line thinking about digging pits, then you should get more edumacation, and most importantly more fear. You should respect and fear the snow, not in an obsessive way, but in the same way you respect and fear lots of things that can kill you, with a healthy level that keeps your decisions in check.... now i'm rambling.
On a separate or at least different note, I think avalanche education should get back to basics, terrain selection, new snow loads, terrain traps, basic ideas that should come into play well before you think about grain size, facets, hoars, etc, i think when you get into the very nerdy snow science people's minds can wonder. Give them big facts, and be quick and to the point, we're a nation who can't sit still for 30 seconds........ get a little more scare tactics in there as well, get people thinking big picture before there running into terrain worrying about pits, facets, compression tests, (ALL VERY IMPORTANT), but let's cut down the people in hazardous areas on high hazard days through education first.... am i totally wrong?
"Listen, not a year goes by, not a year, that I don't hear about some escalator accident involving some bastard kid which could have easily been avoided had some parent - I don't care which one - but some parent conditioned him to fear and respect that escalator. "
Last edited by volklpowdermaniac; 01-31-2012 at 10:22 PM.Do I detect a lot of anger flowing around this place? Kind of like a pubescent volatility, some angst, a lot of I'm-sixteen-and-angry-at-my-father syndrome?
fuck that noise.
01-31-2012, 10:31 PM #281Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
01-31-2012, 11:04 PM #282
I can be honest and say that tracks in a line, nor a snowpit, has never made my go/no decision. In fact, they always play against it.
They both are not really part of the final say for me. I think folks rely on stuff that really doesn't tell you a whole lot about life and death. Think about that.
What those other things are, I don't know. I'm no avalanche genie. Although, I do agree with Andrew that intuition and experience play a large part in mystical ways.
Maybe it's my climbing background. But I don't want to die that way, and knocking on my head sounds really appealing to me as a viable alternative.
02-01-2012, 06:59 AM #283
been waiting for Blurred to chime in.....great post.
EVERYONE involved with that "event" is an idiot....no, I don't know their story, no I don't know them personally, yes I'm armchairing....but come on.
02-01-2012, 08:37 AM #284You are the mission Bob.
02-01-2012, 09:31 AM #285
Knowing a little bit about the people involved, I should probably point out that she's just a kid, at 21 years old. While it's definitely up to her to make the final decision, I'm sure some of the blame should be placed on any coaches/mentors and the event coordinators themselves. I'm sure there was a severe 'expert halo' situation going on out there, and I doubt the majority of the participants have even taken an L1, but instead, relying on the 'experts' that were present to make a good judgement call (MAJOR failure).
Take any other competition where there is a venue safety crew (usually patrollers) whose sole purpose is to assess the conditions of the snowpack and terrain and make a go/no-go decision for the venue itself, allowing the participants to focus solely on their line and the competition aspect. Despite the lack of designation of a real venue safety crew at this less-organized event, I'm sure many of the competitors had at least some expectation that there were others that had done the safety assessment of the venue, and thus, they didn't need to focus on that aspect.
Last edited by Lindahl; 02-01-2012 at 12:35 PM.
02-01-2012, 09:50 AM #286
As Lindhal, I, and others have mentioned, she is an inexperienced 22 year old. However, she claims to have taken an Avalanche Safety 1 class.
I think the more experienced people organizing this junk show bear responsibility as she does.
A key point from that interview was this statement:
What the fuck was Ryan Cruze thinking? He is a Keystone / Smith / Never Summer team rider who is, "a judge for snowboard competitions across Colorado." Another unprofessional bro-"pro"?Originally Posted by blurred
02-01-2012, 09:55 AM #287Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2011
and with all the reports of crappy snow pack in ColoRADo, we still have people that choose to ignore it.
02-01-2012, 10:03 AM #288
C'mon it's not like someone could ever expect that slope to go - I mean, there was no evidence of previous slides or widespread info about the snowpack or anything.
02-01-2012, 10:10 AM #289Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2010
^^^ Wow, I am an east coast avytard, but just looking at that skin track I was thinking 'no, these guys cant be serious.'
02-01-2012, 10:13 AM #290
"You almost lost your ride dude!"
02-01-2012, 10:38 AM #291
I'm usually pretty relaxed about this stuff. If you want to spend a week in the climbing gym and then go free the Nose, that's your business. If you want to bag a couple of 14ers and then go for the Kangshung Face, that's your business. Nothing amazing would get done if people's reach didn't exceed their grasp and once in awhile Nature takes her forfeit.
But to ignore a dozen waving red flags is too much for me to comprehend and willful or unwitting ignorance isn't a valid defense, either for her or (especially) for the organizers. Sorry, I guess this has lit the fuse on my inner johnc, which usually stays deeply submerged."Buy the Fucking Plane Tickets!"
-- Jack Tackle
02-01-2012, 12:53 PM #292
I was one of the guys who toured with Alecs on Argenta just two days before his death. I will share parts of my conversation with him and my insight to his fatal decision.
When I met up with Alecs and his friends they had already decided to ski Argenta. He had hit it the previous day and said it felt stable. I didn't like the idea and suggested we do some tree lines elsewhere. But their minds were made up so I said I'd just go to the base of the headwall with them and dig a pit. I really was curious about how the weak layer was adjusting to the big slab. Alecs was very surprised that I was opposed to skiing the headwall. He kept saying that it felt really stable up there and that somehow it was an exception to the generally weak snowpack. I said I didnt care how it felt to him, the bottom line is there is a persistent weak layer in the snowpack. I began to feel a little disturbed by how he seemed to replace his snow science knowledge with his "intuition". He had taken a very in depth, full semester avy course at the U (essentially a level 2) and knew damn well the unpredictable nature of persistent weak layers. As we got higher up he pointed at the west couloir of Argenta and acknowledged that would be too dangerous to ski. We also discussed the west face of Kessler and how a friend was caught in a hard slab there in similar conditions just two years ago (it turned out Alecs got caught very near where this friend was caught. Luckily this friend grabbed a tree in time or he would have likely been carried full track like Alecs). As we approached the headwall I noticed he began to skin right up the middle of one of the slide paths. This wasn't necessary because there were some safer trees to the side. I told him this but he didn't seem to really care. In his mind, the headwall was a green light. As we were digging a pit at the base of the headwall he asked me if I wanted to ski Tanners on Saturday (the day he got caught) I replied "Not a chance in hell!!! I can't believe I'm even here right now!" I then told him about some of the slides that had been happening on southerly terrain due to facets.
We did an ECT and typical for deep slabs there was no significant result. This was just more confirmation for Alecs so he and his 3 friends began skinning the headwall. He asked "You coming Mark?". In that moment some bullshit excuses began running through my mind: "well the slab is pretty stiff and there's a lot of trees here for anchors and the skinner is already in and........" So I gave in and against all my best judgement began following them up the Argenta headwall with deep slab instability. Ridiculous. One of the guys who was new to touring said "well thankfully they already skied this yesterday so that means it's safe right?" I replied "No it doesn't mean anything".
As the group was transitioning on the ridge I skied down a few feet next to a tree and triggered a 20 ft crack. I mentioned this to Alecs but he didn't seem very interested. Then I dug down and found it to be much more hollow than at the base. I also mentioned this to the group but again it didn't generate much interest.
It was great skiing on the headwall but honestly I didn't really enjoy it cause all I could feel was fear and shame for being there. I knew I had failed myself and did not set a good example for Alecs. It didn't matter that we got away with it, we were still wrong. This helped set the stage for Saturday.
While at work on Saturday I got two worried messages from friends asking if I was ok cause there had been a death on Kessler. I remembered from the avy forecast that morning Drew stated it would be the exact type of day that was prime for an accident: a sunny Saturday with plenty of pow and concealed danger to catch somebody. I was then told Alecs wasn't answering his phone and that it was a young snowboarder who was caught and carried into Mineral. I burst into tears. I thought about what could lead Alecs to get caught in an area that just two days prior he acknowledged as being too dangerous. Late last season the snowpack was relatively stable and he was able to ride lines off Kessler numerous times, right after or even during big storms, without incident. When he stood on that peak, perhaps all the good memories came back and clouded his judgement. No doubt, he fell into a familiarity trap. I am told by one of the investigators that the group acknowledged the danger that day and decided they would head to safer terrain in Mineral. So in Alecs's mind, if they could just get down the west couloir safely they would be ok. The other guys didn't know what they were getting into because from the top it just looks like a moderate tree run. Perhaps he figured if he did get caught he could possibly grab onto a tree like our friend did there two years ago. Whatever the excuses, the risk seemed acceptable and he set off down the west couloir like he had done so many times before. Where there is great passion there is often great error.
If I had held my ground and refused to ski the headwall that day would it have influenced Alecs to choose a different route on Saturday? In a sense, it doesn't matter anymore because it's in the past. But in another sense, it does matter because I hope that question will forever remind me to stick with what I know is right, regardless of the consequences.
Last edited by Mark H; 02-01-2012 at 06:59 PM.
02-01-2012, 01:29 PM #293
wow, what a post. RIP young ripper-man.
02-01-2012, 01:43 PM #294
Mark H - that pretty much puts the pieces from this thread and that day together into remarkable transparency. Thanks for taking the time to post that up in all its detail.No, the real point is, I don't give a damn
02-01-2012, 02:02 PM #295
Mark H thank you for that post. Sorry for your loss.Originally Posted by blurred
02-01-2012, 02:02 PM #296
you know your intuition has failed you before, so don't give me that "intuition is an important part of backcountry safety." in fact, i know a very recent time when your intuition was wrong. I have a lot of respect for you and your accomplishments, but unless your intuition is saying turn around or stop, then don't listen to it. get the facts and gather the evidence that points to stability. And if you don't know how to properly access the stability through the correct tests, if you don't understand the avy warning rating system, if you haven't received the proper training and schooling and if you don't give the mountains the proper respect they deserve, STAY THE FUCK IN BOUNNDS! a gut feeling that something is good to go is good for absolutely nothing!
02-01-2012, 02:16 PM #297
02-01-2012, 02:24 PM #298
Last edited by Lindahl; 02-01-2012 at 02:46 PM.
02-01-2012, 02:30 PM #299
Mark H, sorry about your friend.
You have done a very good deed to share that and I am sure it was hard for you to do so. One can not choose the correct path for others, one must know and choose the correct path for ones self.You are the mission Bob.
02-01-2012, 02:39 PM #300
My girlfriend asked me to post this here, after she finished talking with Meesh today.
I've been biting my tongue since this incident as I don't find it appropriate to say anything behind someone's back that I would not say directly to their face. Having known Meesh for a few years and having spoken to her in length today, I wanted to clarify a few things, as she's taken quite a beating within the ski and snowboard community.
The criticism is much deserved - the vicious comments are not. This person knows they made a horrible life-altering mistake, and that the outcome could have been much worse. Contrary to what may have been interpreted from the posted article, she does not want in any way, shape, or form to be involved in another avalanche, nor does she want to put in danger the lives of the forecasters and search and rescue members that could be called to duty in such a situation.
Keep in mind that the person we are talking about is only 21 years old (the article reported 22 - one of the few errors that were published), and although she made the ultimate decision to drop that line, there were, in fact, other people involved in the decision-making process. Meesh has to bear the weight of an entire group of people who chose to be out in the backcountry that day in known dangerous conditions, and I assure you it weighs heavily upon her. I'm not going to divulge her true intent behind each of the comments that were made in the article, however, every reader must remember that some of the items were not only taken out of context, but some were actually entirely misreported. This person is not a publicity expert. She is a young girl trying to defend herself in the face of some pretty harsh commentary.
Addressing the people whose criticism has been nasty, hateful, and hurtful: does anyone really want to see someone die in the backcountry? Regardless of the quality of their decision (EVERY one of us has experienced a lapse in judgement at some point in life), death via avalanche is not a warranted punishment.
I asked Meesh what they were doing in the backcountry, three days after the inbounds deaths at Winter Park and Vail, as well as the snowmobile burials, on that degree of slope, in such unstable snow conditions, and her acknowledgement was as such: it was just plain dumb. She certainly agrees with the consensus. She is in no way proud of the events that happened that day, but wants to learn from this mistake and take the necessary measures to ensure that it is not repeated. Meesh did not escape my criticism - I was not quiet about my disappointment in the choices that were made that day, nor my anger that it could have put at risk the lives of my friends on search and rescue, as well as the wonderful members of CAIC that would have to be out in the field, reporting.
But when all is said and done, the fact remains that Meesh is one of the most talented, intelligent, kind-hearted, generous individuals that I know. She just made one extremely poor choice, and she was lucky to come out of it in one piece.