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  1. #1
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    sled-skiing lessons learned

    i did not write this.. i sourced it on biglines.com and it was written by frozen samsquanch. i searched tgr to see if there was a previous link but couldn't find one and thought it was a worthwhile reference to have on the board. feel free to add/discuss. here is the link to the original article: http://www.biglines.com/forum/sled-s...ned-discussion

    i am also using this as a shameless plug for my hunt for sled skiing partners in Whistler...here is my thread in Hook Up [ame="https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=176928"]Looking for sled-ski accomplices Whistler/Pemby 2009-2010 - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]

    ________________________________

    SLED/SKIING LESSONS LEARNED 2005-2006

    *for discussion. Intended for those who go big - or want to in the future

    1. Better to sled with more than one sled due to equipment malfunction requiring a tow out to parking lot.

    2. Consistent communication is required between both sledding parties and the separated skiers (1 - FRS radio / person) Ensuring a line of sight between sledders and skiers from a safe terrain island is critical due to a skier’s injury potential and avalanche possibilities.

    3. Re-evaluation of slopes is vital between 1130 hrs and 1400 hrs when snow conditions change the most. All slides I've seen at sledding areas have occurred so far this year in this time frame. (use extra caution when sledding and skiing on sun exposed rock bands in the afternoon. Beware of others above you - especially when the leg-humpers come out on the weekends).

    4. Steeper slopes should be “ski cut” on the convex prior to dropping in. The sled spotters should have binos to observe the skier in the event of a entire face fracture.

    5. Observe the line from the bottom and the top and plan for response routes up the slope with the sled in the event of an accident. Avoid closed out approaches with tree lines and cliffs.

    6. Carry spinal immob, and toboggan for more remote access and riskier terrain and lines. E.G. Sale mountain where cell coverage is non existent and transit time to the parking lot is extended due to poor non-groomed trail conditions.

    7. If your ski boots sink below the snow in spring conditions, do not ski or sled the slope it is too unstable. Beware of cross loaded slopes with windslabs. Move to treeline if this occurs. Limit travel time where evidence of previous runouts occur.

    8. If you plan on hitting advanced terrain, each person should carry a personal rescue pack with rope, 3 10’ lengths tubular webbing, 3 prussiks, 3 carabiners and emerg rations, plus avi gear and a candle. Carry a rope retrieval system for over cliffs. (learn rescue skills including snow anchors and haul backs – at least 3 people should be trained) Know how to build a snow cave.

    9. Always topo the area, grid with GPS and keep map with you. Try to research area prior to and after trip with google earth (downloaded from the web)- when the clouds drop in everything looks the same.

    10. Double check your H2O supply prior to leaving the truck. 1 L H20 + 1 Gatorade per person for each day. Carry emergency rations.

    11. Check avi transceivers prior to departing onto the trail. Not at the cabin or site, most trails in are in exposed avalanche terrain. Bring extra batteries, and an extra peeps in case someone forgets theirs.

    12. Buy a locking gas cap to prevent fuel theft from vehicle at base.

    13. Always carry spare fuel for sled and in vehicle while traveling. Bring wd40 for soaked wiring. Bring extra blue juice for windows, and for lock de-icer (Louise to Revy will drink a bottle for sure)

    14. Duct tape, twist ties, bungee cords and zap straps rule

    15 .Ski small slopes to start, then work up to bigger lines to establish safe zones. Start early if you want big lines

    16. Keep and open mind and encourage everyone to voice their concerns. Be realistic. Try to avoid peer pressure. If there is any doubt – investigate further until it is removed. If doubt remains, it’s there for a good reason - move on to something else. (the mountain will still be there next time) Do not make route decisions solely based on previous tracks – snowmobile or ski lines.

    17. Check for “rock wells” on staircases and around cliffs. Scout out landings for buried frozen sled tracks, as well as displaced rockfall and frozen babies heads from above.

    18. Expect hidden logs and roots between untracked trails in tight trees. (Almost ripped off an A-arm and nun in 10’ at Sale this year). Reduce sled speed to slowest possible in these areas.

    19. Wear the DESS on steep side hills, sketch traverses and approaches over cornices. Do not use it on steep uphills as it can become disconnected and you’ll have to restart your sled while traveling downhill. (practice this on small gradual slopes)

    20. Don’t turn off or take off peeps in huts during breaks. This prevents people forgetting to wear them or turn them back on. You may depend on it when buried. (dig a hole and put a bit of snow over your head, you won’t laugh at this paragraph anymore.)

    21. Bring extra gloves, toque, goggles and socks while on the mountain. 1 spare set between 3 people should do-except for the socks =1/per. Even though it may be spring like weather 100 KPH on the return trip home brings huge wind chills.

    22. Everyone wears a full face helmet. I’ve avoided ~ 5 serious jaw injuries this year alone. Chewing on the drivers skull ain’t no fun. Not to mention all of the other sick crashes we have. Teeth are expensive.

    23. Crank the DIN on your skis. Snowboards may be the better option in deep heavy snow if you’re impartial to what you ride. (losing a $600 ski sucks) don’t wear leashes, they love to razor femoral arteries and break femurs.

    24. Make sure new guests have proper boots (they sometimes don’t know just how much snow there needs to be for good sledding)

    25. Always leave home(hotel/camp) with a full tank in your vehicle. Your buddy will appreciate it in case you need to bug out to the nearest H in an emergency. Check local emerg #’s. 911 may not work in some areas.

    26. Install a rubber washer under the kill switch on your bars. It sucks when you get bucked going up steep slopes only to have the sled die because your forearm hit the kill switch.

    27. Bring an extra chain, belt and plugs, most new sleds have spaces for these. Make sure to check that factory supplied tools work on vital components. My plug wrench was a poor fit and strips the plugs it was designed for. (I’ve pitched it and got real tools in the slot instead.) Include a towing strap for your sled. – remove the belt of the towed sled.

    28. Bring a tool kit for boards, skis and vehicle/trailer include spare trailer wiring plugs/sandpaper for corrosion and conductive dielectric grease. Consider bringing a hair dryer/extension cord to dry out cameras, GPS, Peeps, and the ECM(engine computer) on your sled. (use the lowest heat setting) – this is also good for frozen ski boots and cold toes. Make sure the lug wrench for the spare trailer tire fits.

    29. Keep a spare set of keys for your truck/sled/locks with the other sled and opposite ski team as yourself.

    30. Wear earplugs under your helmet. Most occupational compensation plans cover limited hearing loss if you are exposed to recreational noise (sleds). (I’ve lost 15% in my right ear in 6 years,…what?...what?)

    31. Wear knee pads under your gear for all those times you smash your knees, after 3 or 4 days it starts to add up and ruins your lines.

    32. Cover skis while in the box of your truck during highway commutes. The edges get the shit rusted out of them.

    33. Check the local sunset times. Trying to find your skier in the dark sucks. GPS is good for this on the Hunt/Fish mode.

    34. Make sure everyone is aware of the risks, your groups’ rules, and what their role is when an emergency arises. Bigger groups are more complex. Usually 4-8 people and 2-4 sleds are preferred.

    - “All ski movies are carefully controlled. It’s all staged. Skiers and safety experts spend all year researching big lines and building scenes. Most people think this is spontaneous and that’s what gets them into trouble. “

    - conversation with Chris Davenport Jan 06 Lake Louise, AB.
    when everything in the world is at its darkest, it takes a big man to kick back and party.

  2. #2
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    That's a pretty intense list, but I suppose some excursions benefit from obsessive detail. Thanks or the link.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bptempleton View Post
    That's a pretty intense list, but I suppose some excursions benefit from obsessive detail. Thanks or the link.
    Not obsessive at all, simply true, maybe a few things are a little anal but its kinda like a bush plane; you can get really the fuck out there and your dependent on 2 cylinders in a internal combustion engine to keep you safe and get you back unless your all boyscouted up. Just imagine how many junkshows happened before all that got figured out, that dude is one of the pioneers of snowmoskiing and has dialed that shit to a science. after a while most of that stuff becomes habitual.

  4. #4
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    You forgot drugs and alcohol. I don't think there is such a thing as a successful sledski trip that doesn't include some type of drugs or alcohol.

  5. #5
    Keith Wigdor Guest
    mmmmmmmm drugs!!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wigdor View Post
    mmmmmmmm drugs!!!
    That is one serious list, but it does include all the whatif's that can ruin a trip.

  7. #7
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    again, suiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Loon View Post
    You forgot drugs and alcohol. I don't think there is such a thing as a successful sledski trip that doesn't include some type of drugs or alcohol.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stomp View Post
    8. If you plan on hitting advanced terrain, each person should carry a personal rescue pack with rope, 3 10’ lengths tubular webbing, 3 prussiks, 3 carabiners and emerg rations, plus avi gear and a candle.
    Out of this whole list - and please I am dead serious here - why the candle?
    Are we there yet?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by puhisurfer View Post
    Out of this whole list - and please I am dead serious here - why the candle?
    in a snow cave.. candle = space-heater
    when everything in the world is at its darkest, it takes a big man to kick back and party.

  10. #10
    VC's Avatar
    VC is offline Calmer then you are Dude
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    Quote Originally Posted by stomp View Post
    in a snow cave.. candle = space-heater


    Never leave home w/o your candles.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stomp View Post
    in a snow cave.. candle = space-heater
    Ahhhh, I get it. Maybe. A candle might give off something like 70-80 watts, which is about what a human radiates. So 2-3 candles might be worth 2-3 buddies in the cave.

    Minus the farts.
    Are we there yet?

  12. #12
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    Good stuff.

    Definitely very involved.

    It would take a lot of clusterfucks to figure all that out on your own.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  13. #13
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    Lots of good info on there! As one who has pulled people out of the BC & been pulled out myself, it's easy to underestimate how much can go wrong when you're on a sled that can get you into bad places very quickly.

    One of the new ones I've added to my pack is a tampon. sounds silly, but if you're stuck out, you can dip it into a tank & start a fire with it very easily.

  14. #14
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    one candle gives enough heat to keep yourself alive in a worst case scenario.

    lots of that stuff can be kept in a safety kit that stays in the vehicle and come in real handy on winter roads if things go bad while travelling to and from...
    "Dad, I can huck that"

  15. #15
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    This is good stuff. I've already learned several of these lessons the hard way. And now may be able to avoid a few more. Sled skiing is much more involved than people assume.
    -You can't get hurt if you are in the air.

    Caleb Wray Photography

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