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Thread: Brush with a smallish slide.
03-05-2012, 03:06 PM #126Registered User
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03-05-2012, 04:05 PM #127COWHAMPSHIRE PARADISE
SKI THE EAST
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love it for what it is, love it more for what it isn't.
03-05-2012, 07:17 PM #128
Honestly, that's what I call a 5-star, grade-AA forum post, bro. Such a riveting comment, full of valuable information. I honestly copy and pasted it to word, saved on my hard drive, backed it up on a jump drive, drove to the bank, put the jump drive in the safe deposit box, and will leave it there until my kids turn about 12 (when they can actually state their age, and ask what it is I'm showing them), when I will pick it up, put it in an old USB drive reader and relay this awesome post to them and tell them, "kids, this is what a cool post should look and sound like...not like posts of your generation.The furthur we go, the stranger it gets...
03-05-2012, 07:39 PM #129who turned up da gravity?
Ski more blog less - Foggy Goggles
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03-05-2012, 08:17 PM #130_______________________________________________
"Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.
I'll be there." ... Andy Campbell
03-05-2012, 09:02 PM #131
Honest comment here. No bullshit. I don't know you, and I'm not flaming.
You are obviously a very talented skier, the video shows that.
That was not a smallish slide. That was enough to fuck you up big time. That plus the potential for a deep release in your mountain ranges right now cannot be ignored.
If you want to keep skiing until you are old, listen to some of the excellent advice offered here.
We all feel invincible when we are young and strong.
I guarantee you will look back on some of this in a couple of years and think you were lucky to get away with some of it. I know because anyone with years in the mountains does.
I'm not saying dial it back on the cliff hucking and getting after it with your friends, I'm saying dial it back on the avalanche risk and your confidence in your ability to assess it.
I've done a lot of mountain rescue up here in Canada and from your statements you clearly have no idea what's involved in dragging someone out of the woods, with even a minor injury. And that's fine, because you've never had to do it. Everyone thinks the way you do until shit goes down.
Take your stoke and your strength and volunteer for your local search and rescue team.
They will be glad to have someone young and strong who's not afraid to go into the woods when the shit goes down, and you will get the opportunity to drag a broken body through the woods in the dark.
Good luck dude. I hope in the coming years to read lots of your TR's and not your vibes thread.
All those lines will still be there when the stability is good. If that's next week or next year.
03-05-2012, 11:07 PM #132
Great post clownshoe, the voice of reason in a thread of huffing puffing and dickswinging.
Volunteering is an excellent idea. Now that I think on it anyone who goes side/slack/near/back whatever owes SAR a few days here and there.
Doing a body recovery from a debris field the day after or helping to do a night search is a sure way to learn extra respect for the mountains and be in the company of pro's to learn from.
You don't get to be an "old guys rule" ripper by being stupid.
03-21-2012, 12:38 PM #133
Been going through quite a bit of personal stuff lately, so I haven't really been able to devote any time to going back and revisiting the scenario until now. I've also taken the time to revisit the location of the avalanche. Unfortunately, by the time I was able to get out there again, all of the evidence was buried under new snow and I wasn't able to study the debris pile.
One of the first things I want to say, and I've said it multiple times, but it still seems to be ignored - the pit had LITTLE role in any decision making to make it a 'go'. Especially since we didn't feel it was very representative of the line we were looking at. It was mostly for the sake of curiousity. In almost all cases, I don't rely on pits much, and mostly dig them just to observe and play with the snowpack. The assessment of the slope was based partly on the general state of the snowpack and mostly on recent activity both in that immediate area, and similar aspects/elevations.
I'll repeat something I said earlier:
"We were looking for hard slabs or weak deep instabilities, or other things we didn't expect to see. If we had found some, or the depth hoar was similar to what it is, for example, in Mushroom, we would have bailed. So, in a way, we were looking for reasons not to ski the slope."
A second thing I want to say, is that I can say confidently, and so can others that have been out in that area (with much more experience than me), that our safe zones were truly safe zones.
skifishbum, I made the distinction between backcountry and sidecountry experience because there's a significant difference between knowing the local terrain/snowpack and not knowing the local terrain/snowpack. Most of the backcountry I do tends to be in locations where myself and my partners don't frequent. Most of the sidecountry I do tends to be in locations where myself and my partners do frequent. Knowing about recent activity in the area and knowing the history of the area and snowpack gives you a much better picture and allows you to be a little less conservative (due to lesser unknown factors). If I regularly skied the same backcountry areas, then I suppose I wouldn't be making this distinction. I am aware of the human factor that familiarity breeds complacency. In addition, yes, sidecountry and backcountry differs in a rescue scenario (at least remote backcountry). I do take more risks in sidecountry and nearby backcountry than I do in more remote backcountry locations. For example, I don't huck cliffs (unless the landing is primo and probed) in backcountry locations that don't have a road directly below the line.
After speaking with a lot of people (mostly in person) about many of the talking points brought up in this thread, as well as others, I wouldn't choose to ski that line again for 3 reasons. The first 2 are based on erroneous assumptions I made:
1) As a soft slab, I assumed that the chances of it spiderwebbing were none. This gave me the false confidence that the probability of being caught boiled down to whether I fell or not. I no longer believe that I can accurately assess (at least at this time) the probability of something breaking in the middle of the slope in this type of scenario.
2) I've misjudged the types of injuries that would have been sustained by being caught. Death was a much bigger possibility than I had assumed.
3) I have discussed and pondered a great deal about the unpredictable nature of this sort of risk, when compared to the much more predictable risk associated with skiing a technically risky line, free-soloing low class 5, or other inherently risky activities. There are a lot more unknowns in the former, and a lot more knowns in the latter. Dino's made good points in this thread along this line of thought. Clownshoe touched on this as well. Based on the level of unknowns, I've decided that I'd much rather have the 'probability of being caught' act as a safety buffer. So that when I do make the wrong assessment that a slope won't slide, my chances are better - because it can and will happen at some point to all of us, if we spend enough time out there in avalanche terrain.
Pinner, I wasn't able to make it out there, as I had some family in town. If there's another time/place that would work, I'd still like to meet and discuss.
Clownshoe, thanks for the suggestion of volunteering for SAR. I'll look into that.
Last edited by Lindahl; 03-21-2012 at 01:28 PM.
03-21-2012, 12:58 PM #134
All you can do is the best you can do an be honest with yourself. Being honest with yourself is the hard part. But, WTF do I know?If everybody liked what I liked......I wouldn't like it.
"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."
03-21-2012, 04:40 PM #135
I think the biggest skill you can bring into the backcounrty or into the bush or onto the sea is not a skill at all....it is commonsense and the ability to listen to your instinct.
I work a vocation that is all about technical skill and knowledge...but that's in the lab...the outdoors doesn't play that game. It can kill and maim in circumstance that you'd never think possible. You can get frostbite or die 150 feet from your cabin during a storm or if you're unprepared for a 45 below cold snap. When you venture out in the woods or BC it's like a contract...and you accept those terms with your life. You sound like you maybe signed the contract without reading all the fine print...ALWAYS read the fine print.
Yes...that might not have been a HUGE, building moving avalanche...but the damn thing had momentum....and on an established avalanche chute so obvious that I first mistook it for a groomer.
I think your instinct that morning was telling you beware. Now, I'm not sure where, exactly, you dropped onto that obvious avalanche chute from the trees, and I'm not sure where you planned to drop back into the trees, but that instinct should have been telling you to take serious care while on that avi chute...even though there might not have been great big overhanging cornices directly above you. Shit happens....sometimes it's the little shit that builds into something big...or at least big enough to fuck with you.
I don't think you trusted your instinct enough that day....and maybe used your avi/pit knowledge to try to over-ride your instinct. Don't do that. Good thing you heard your friends call out "avalanche!!"...but what if you hadn't?
Use commonsense and trust your instinct...those and experience are the best tools you can ever have.
--"The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity - it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it; a jealous, possesive love that grabs at what it can." by Yann Martel from Life of Pi
Posted by DJSapp:
"Squirrels are rats with good PR."
04-02-2012, 11:18 AM #136
while not an avalanche...a sobering read about just how long it can take SAR to arrive and how things can go horribly wrong in a heartbeat.