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  1. #1
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    TR. When everything goest to shit.

    I was asked to post this in the main forum as well. If you want to see the comments that have already been made visit the slide forum.

    TR: When everything turns to shit...
    It's been about 12 hours since I wrote all this stuff down. It helped me calm my nerves. I wrote this via an email and sent it to myself. After reading through it again, I sent it off to Richard and Lee who were involved in this incident with me. I had a look in the morning again, and have made a few tweaks since then. All in all, I still feel what I wrote isn't exaggerated and is a good account of what happened. If this story touches you in any way be it good or bad and you want to share it, by all means go ahead. Send it to your friends and family via Facebook, email, or any way you see fit. Below is an account of what happened on Fissile about 10k away from Whistler Blackcomb on Saturday, April 10th.

    It must be either 4 or 5 years ago that Athan, Toby and I first attempted Fissile. To be exact, we attempted Summit Chute. It was a rather warm day, and my biggest tour to date. Anyways long story short, I caught an edge halfway down Summit Chute, and tumbled a few thousand feet. It was pretty amazing that all my limbs were attached and besides a slight concussion and third degree burns that I was alright. I remember hiking out on one ski through Singing Pass. It took about 4 hours to get out of there. That 15k was probably the toughest thing physically, that I have ever experienced.

    I told myself that I had no interest in ever skiing that line again. Fast forward a few years and I was still for the most part saying that. After skiing some pretty steep lines this year and being in some of the best shape of my life, I figured it would be worth it to at least go up to the summit of Fissile and have a look. Lee and Richard were keen on the idea as well.

    As the weekend approached, I had a quick read through the thread I posted on April 26, 2006 (so yeah that crash must of happened 4 years ago). My write up didn't really shake me up, as that is what I had been personally been through. What shook me up, was what my two partners Toby and Athan had written up.

    Toby says "What I saw next was horrifying. Phil sliding head 1st out the bottom at mach one in what I soon realized was an ice chute for sluff. Im not particularly religious, but I looked down at the good reverend doctor on my rented G3's and we said a prayer for Phil."

    Athan says "I watched as phil came down to the steepest, gripping section right where the huge troughs started. It looked like he crossed a tip or something. I couldn't quite tell as I was so far away. He rolled once. I held my breath and said, "oh no." I knew if he didn't stop after that first roll he was going to the bottom. He started tumbling/tomahaking. "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit" I said. It's hard watching one of your buddies in immense danger and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. He immediately was funneled into the biggest avy/slide/runnel trough of death. I knew the thing was pure ice. I can't imagine the pain. He kept picking up more and more speed. He slid on his ass for a while, then head first on his back, all while rolling, spining, tumbling, limbs flailing, with a raging river of slough all around him. He roared past me so fast I had to snap my neck to keep up with his speed. He was going about as fast as if I were making super G turns down the face. He came to a stop maybe 400 feet below me." He continues to say
    "He was motionless, but sitting up. I yelled at him, nothing. A few more times. Finally his hand went up. I collected my things and yelled up to powder11 to collect his gear. I went down to phil and said, "phil are you alright, I need to know if you are ok or not?" It was obvious his bell was a little rung as he replied, "Do you know where my skis are?" "I don't care about your skis bro, let me know your ok." He checked everything and said he was pretty numb and exhausted from the adreniline. He was still thinking though as he said, "I'm getting to a safe zone." He walked down to the next safe zone. The slog out must've been brutal. I was exhausted and he was doing it on one ski."

    If you want to read more on this please read
    Fissile, Summit Chute TR, worst crash of my life - Teton Gravity Research Forums
    Fissile, Summit Chute TR, worst crash of my life - Teton Gravity Research Forums

    These comments were a bit intense as I hadn't really thought about the stress that I had caused on my buddies. These thoughts were circling through my head all week, but we still made a decision to go for it on Saturday. Lee had been up there for a few days and had said the avalanche conditions were moderate, which made me feel much better about going.

  2. #2
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    We got to the Roundhouse at around 9am and to our delight the Peak Chair had already opened. We made rapid progress and were skiing down to Cowboy by 10am. We got faceshots down Cowboy which I can never ever remember happening. Pretty awesome. We broke trail and decided to skin up through Whirlwind Peak. The wind had been hollowing the entire day. As we got to Whirlwind the wind died, and we felt the heat of the sun. It felt like summer. At around 12ish we had made it to the summit.


    Richard stoked after just getting faceshots. Cowboy Ridge in the background


    Lee breaking trail on Whirlwind Peak


    More trail breaking


    Richard in the front and Lee in the background. Sir Davidson looking awfully pretty

    Our first intention was to ski Fissile like a Missile, then skin back up to Overlord Glacier, and then go hit Summit Chute. We were all keen on having a warm up run before Summit Chute. Fissile like a Missile is one of the more aesthetic lines I have ever seen. I can't remember seeing it when I was there 4 years ago. Lee had said it was beautiful and he was right. However, the only problem was that there was a 20 foot cornice on top. After about an hour of seeing if we could get in, and clawing at the cornice we decided that it wouldn't be safe to drop in. It's a no fall chute and dropping a 20 footer and having to stick it, wasn't in any of our risk thresholds.


    On the ridge towards Fissile Like A Missile


    Standing on top of our intended first run


    Attempting to dig at the cornice


    She'll have to wait for another time, photo courtesy of Lee Lau

    We continued to the peak of Fissile. We discussed skiing the North East face which is probably the crown jewel of Fissile. It's probably a 600 meter shot over major exposure. We dug a pit. The snow was pretty sugary, however we didn't really see any results. However, due to the amount of snow Whistler had seen in the last week and the windloading that we had witnessed while skinning, none of us wanted to ski a huge face with lots of exposure. We continued to the Summit. From the Summit there are plenty of options. The most obvious is Summit Chute. The chute below Summit Chute is called Saddle Chute. Then you go to the NorthWest face and then on to Banana Chute. Again, due to wind loading we decided that we would not be able to manage our sluff in Summit Chute as all the sluff only has one place to go. Oh well, I thought, I'll get it some other time, maybe in another 4 years.

  3. #3
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    Summit Shot of Fissile with Lee and Richard

    We decided on skiing Saddle Chute. I have to say it was probably the most epic run of my life so far. Saddle Chute is comprised of probably around 6-10 spines. On most years it is a chute. On a big snow year, like we have seen in 2010, the chute has turned into a ravine where you cannot ski because you will get hit by your sluff. There is a huge gully in the middle where all the sluff funnels. In order to ski the chute, however, you have to cross the funnel on several occasions which means managing your sluff. I dropped in first. It was incredible. Face shot after face shot, and super steep skiing. I got to about the 6th Spine. I had crossed the funnel several times and my confidence was probably a bit too high. I figured it could made it across the sluff pile without waiting for it to clear. Wrong!!. I got hit hard by the sluff and felt like I was in a washing machine. One of my skis ejected. Great, 4 years almost to the day of falling down Summit Chute and once again I only have one ski. I made a quick attempt to find it, but the sluff pile was long and big, and really there was no point. I was still ecstatic about the run and figured if I had hiked out of singing pass when I was injured on 1 ski, well then I could do it again.


    The ski down to Saddle Chute, photo courtesy of Lee Lau


    Spines all around. She's a beaut

    Vimeo of me tentatively skiing towards Saddle Chute, in an obvious no fall zone
    Phil on the no-fall zone above Summit and Saddle Chute - Fissile on Vimeo

    Vimeo of me entering Saddle Chute
    Phil entering Saddle Chute - Fissile on Vimeo


    Richard on the run of his life in Saddle Chute, photo courtesy of Lee Lau

    I skied on one ski to safe zone and waited for Richard and Lee. Both made it down safely. We were all really stoked on the run. From here you have two options. 1 is you go to another ridge that drops you into the Russet Side of things. I've skied it several times and would have skied it for sure, had I had two skis. Lee was thinking the same thing and Richard and him made it over to the ridge. I kept skiing down the main bowl to Overlord Glacier.

    Richard skiing the main bowl of Fissile
    Rich on the bottom half of the NW face of Fissile on Vimeo

    After making it almost the entire way down, I saw a ski popping out of the snow. I thought I was dreaming. Sure enough I get down, and it's the ski I had lost up high. The bottom of the NW bowl is probably 400 m from where I had ejected. Waist deep powder and I have ski brakes, and the ski managed to go down 400 meters!! I couldn't believe it. I was going to be skiing out on two skis, and all I was thinking was holy shit we are going to get to do another run. I quickly put on my skis and traversed over the moraine into the Russet Lake Drainage. I figured my luck had changed and Karma was finally on my side. I was hooting and hollering the whole way with the biggest shit grin on my face.

    Right as I crested the moraine, everything went to shit. And I mean everything. I don't think I have ever gone from such a high to such a low in an instant. Immediately, after getting over the moraine and having a view of the run Richard and Lee were to ski all I heard was thunder and all I saw was a 30 foot high cloud of smoke. "Holy Shit" I said, (it was probably more like holy f**ck), avalanche. It kept coming too. I swear the damn thing must have lasted for 30-40 seconds. It was deafening. If anyone has ever seen the avalanche footage that Ski Movie 1 or 2 has of the valley in Chamonix, picture that but on a smaller scale. To me, it looked just as big. After the longest 30 seconds of my life, the snow settled. I, immediately begin screaming at the top of my lungs for Richard and Lee. Nothing. Dead silence everywhere. F**ck was all I could think. Two of buddies had probably just died. As the cloud of dust cleared I saw one ski sticking up below a 50 foot cliff. I, immediately turned my beacon to receive mode, and put my skis in walk mode. Unfortunately I was going to have to put on my skins too as the ski was probably a few hundred feet above me and a few hundred metres away in distance. I had the worst feeling that both Richard and Lee were buried and I was going to pull out one alive and one dead. The problem from my viewpoint was that I was at the top of the moraine. It dipped down probably 100 feet and then crested again. So where the slide had gone, I could only see the left hand side of the debris. I couldn't see the right hand side. The debris pile was pretty big too. From the 50 foot cliff, it was probably a 50m wide and probably 200m long. Richard and Lee had been caught in probably a 200-300 m slide from the very top. All this thinking probably lasted around 40 seconds. It's amazing how some of the longest moments in your life can occur in such a relatively short amount of time.


    Overview of Fissile, my route, and Richard and Lee's Route

  4. #4
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    The reason why I had a bad feeling was for the following reason. My friend Brad and I had saved someone from a burial a few years back while skiing Baker. We were able to speak to his buddy who knew within about 30 feet where he was. It wasn't hard to locate him, and besides the fact that he was buried 2m under the snow, it wasn't too hectic. My problem was that I had no visual of where my friends where, except for seeing one ski. The avalanche was massive. My strategy at the time was again to go hike to that ski and then do zig zags and hopefully uncover someone with my beacon. All this I knew would take longer than 15 minutes (most people die within 15 minutes of being buried). Again, all these thoughts were taking place in a span of around 30 or 40 seconds.


    My reference point


    The slide

    As I was about to go hike towards the only reference point I had, I thankfully saw Lee's jacket. I believe he had stood up or had gotten to his stomach. I was a bit relieved, as I knew one person was alive. I decided to go to him, see how he was doing, and see if he knew were Richard was. Lee had said that I probably got to him about 1 minute after the slide had stopped. When I got to Lee, he was alright. He looked like he had gotten punched in the face and was spitting up a lot of blood. He thought he might have punctured a lung, but I figured he was moving around way too much for that to have happened. Besides that his knee was pretty bloody, but he was alive, and had no serious trauma, and wasn't paralysed. To, my even greater relief, as I looked up from Lee, I saw Richard. He was also lying above the snow. He was on his back and not moving a lot, but he said he wasn't paralysed.


    Closer view


    Another vantage point

    Lee, thankfully had a VHF radio and was calling ski patrol to get us the hell out. I told Lee to get to a safe spot and that I would go help Richard. Richard, told me that he had almost stopped 3 times but every time he thought it was over something else propagated. Both Richard and Lee had been swept off a 50 foot cliff at the end. While Lee's injuries were relatively minor, Richard could barely walk. He had smoked his ass on a rock while he was tumbling off the 50 footer. He said that he might have had a broken hip. I worked on retrieving gear. I found one of Richard's and one of Lee's skis. Richard ended up sliding down on his stomach on that one ski to get to the spot where he heli eventually picked us up.

    After meeting them at the bottom of the debris field I ended up making an X/Circle for the heli to land. The heli came about 20 minutes later and within 15 minutes we were sitting at the Whistler hospital.


    My circle and the heli landing


    Richard and Lee banged up but still in good spirtis

    So everyone is probably wondering how the slide happened. I think the best people to ask are Richard and Lee. From speaking with them, Lee had cut the top slope. Nothing had moved. He got his camera out and told Richard to drop him to take some photos. As soon as Richard dropped in the whole slope slid. From what I gather it also propagated upward which is how Lee ended up getting involved as well. Everytime, they tried to stop, another part of the slop propagated. This resulted in a around a 200 to 300 m fall that ended in a 40-50 ft cliff.

    For more on this please see the avalanche report that Lee posted on the CAA
    http://avalanche.ca/Forums/forums/t/4719.aspx

    At we got to the hospital, everything kind of kicked in. I still don't really know how I lost my stupid ski, but f**ck if I hadn't I would have been in that slide too. 3 people all in the same slide. That probably would have been bad. I kept thinking as well, if I hadn't found my other ski it would have taken me another 20 minutes to get to the moraine. While I wouldn't have witnessed the avalanche, I would have for sure thought that both Richard and Lee were dead. I'm not a particularly religious man (I mainly believe in the fact if you do good things for people, good things will happen to you, and if you do bad things that bad things will happen to you. What happened from me finding my ski, to just getting their in time to witness the slide, almost feels like too much of a coincidence. While I'm selfishly happy I wasn't in the slide, I almost wish I was. Watching that shit first hand was probably the hardest thing I've ever witnessed/experienced. It must have been the same way Toby and Athan felt as I fell down Summit Chute. Completely helpless. Just hoping that by some miracle everything would turn out alright.

    Lee ended up with a bit of a banged up face and a tweaked knee. Richard's face looks like the Joker. His ass cheek is quite swollen, but I'm happy to report that his hip isn't broken. He tweaked his MCL and will likely be out of commission for a few weeks. I saw him yesterday. He was high as a kite on percasetts but in really good spirits. I'm completely amazed that no one was seriously injured and that everyone is still alive.

    In skiing, especially ski movies, you here a lot of people say the risk of skiing powder is worth dying for. I think I was in that boat before this instance. I think if you are the only person skiing and no one is with you, then that may still hold true. But I don't think watching your buddies die is worth the risk of skiing powder. Kind of f**cked up logic, I know, but mentally I'm a f*cking mess right now.

    I'm 99% sure I'm done with anything that has to do with backcountry skiing this year. I'll probably do it again next winter. Who knows maybe I won't. Maybe I'll pick up the normal city life, get a girlfriend, watch movies on Friday night. drink latte's on a Saturday morning, buy an expensive Arc Teryx jacket and walk around the Seawall, and be content. I think I would have to quit skiing before I quit backcountry as it has become such a big part of my life. Without it, I don't think skiing would be fun.

    I briefly chatted with Toby and he kind of reiterated my thoughts. While skiing is inherently dangerous, for people like us, it's a way to release stress of our daily lives. What are we going to turn too, if we can't ski and ski the way we want too? Heroin, cocaine.

  5. #5
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    I still don't think we did anything wrong. You can't dig a pit everywhere. We had skied a 55% degree pitch with nothing but slough coming down, which we were expecting. We had skied a large bowl with no reactions. I spoke with Richard and Lee about this too and we share similar thoughts. What pisses us off and what scares us is that we can't think of anything that we would have or should have done differently.

    1. How many times do you dig multiple pits after skiing 90% of your run and having no reactions?

    I guess the only thing I may change is to not ski lines that don't have clean run-outs in the backcountry. The problem with the line that Richard and Lee skied was that there are a bunch of cliffs in the middle with one chute. If an avalanche were to rip from the top which it did, there would be no clean run out. Otherwise, I'm confident that both Lee and Richard would have tried to straightline out of it rather than try to dig into the snow and hold on. However, saying that, we ski so many lines with exposure even in the resort. Think Bad Attitude, think Bushrat, think Teetering Rock. Hell even think about the 25 foot cornice that we duck under on Whistler to get to The Cirque. Ski patrol don't ski cut all of them and don't bomb all of them. Something like this could have happened there as well. So who knows at this point.

    The one thing that I will change is to get a VHF radio or a Satellite phone. That thing saved our asses. While I would have been able to get out fine, I can't say the same for Richard. Lee probably would have made it.

    I guess in the mountains shit happens and occasionally something like this will occur. I think it's probably nature's way of evening the playing field or bringing things back to an equilibrium. We've had so many epic days, without incident, I guess every few years there is bound to be one. I think you can do all the drills but you will never be mentally prepared for when shit actually does go wrong the way it did. I'm still amazed at the highest highs I experienced from finding my ski to the lowest lows of my life that I experienced 10 seconds later. I'd like to end it by saying that I'm super glad that Richard and Lee are alright, and to thank Athan and Toby again 4 years before for calmly dealing with my fall that probably should have killed me.

    I'd also like to thank Steve LeClair, who was on the radio with Lee and got a chopper to us right away. Thanks also go to the rest of the Whistler Patrol and to Kevin for sending us those avalanche photos from the heli.

    If anything positive can come of this, I think an experience like this shows who your good friends are. I sent off a text to some people who I thought might be in the backcountry warning them that we had an incident and to be careful on choosing their routes home. I would say about 4 people who I hadn't even mentioned this too, joined me in the hospital. Almost every other person that I had sent the text to, showed up shortly after. I have also received numerous calls from friends who subsequently found out about this. It makes me realize that I have amazing friends who will be there through thick and thin. Finally, an experience like this also shows you what is important in life. It shows me that all the bullshit drama and the grudges I have held recently and in the past aren't worth it. Life is meant to be lived, and holding onto any of that shit just isn't worth it.

    Please share your thoughts with us. Lee, Richard and I are all looking into things that we could of done better, besides the obvious of 2 skiers in the same run. Again feel free to share this story with your friends and family.

    -Phil

    If you want to see any of Lee's and Richard's comments see the post on the slide forum

  6. #6
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    Glad everyone came out alive.

    You'd be bored to death if you didn't ski.

    Shit happens. It's not supernatural.
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    'Karma' is an Eastern religious concept which views all human dramas as the will of God as opposed to present - and past - life actions.

  7. #7
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    Phil - thanks for the detailed write up and I am glad you, Richard and Lee turned out OK.

  8. #8
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    whoA....THAT'S FRIGGIN INTENSE. thanks for sharing, a lot to think about.

  9. #9
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    intense for sure, glad you all walked away...

  10. #10
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    glad to hear everyone is alright. scary stuff. especially freaky since i was in that area a few weeks ago

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by postman22 View Post
    Please share your thoughts with us. Lee, Richard and I are all looking into things that we could of done better, besides the obvious of 2 skiers in the same run.
    keep in mind you asked for us to share our thoughts. as i read and saw this picture i thought, "you called a helicopter? really?"



    course i wasn't there and i don't have that option so it would never occur to me, but it seems to me if two people are capable of making it out ok, and the other isn't in real bad shape, it's time to suck it up and pay for your sins the old fashioned way. that way maybe you'll learn a bit more than to get a satellite phone.
    i know my armchair quarterbacking is harsh, but those were my thoughts.

    my other thought was that the 50' cliff was hardly a closeout at the bottom of the line. i guess what i am saying is, even if i did limit my bc lines to stuff with clean runouts, i would have still considered that line to be ok from that standpoint.

  12. #12
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    glad you guys are all ok Phil. You'll be back
    ^ () ^

  13. #13
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    Lee, Richard, Phil, glad this had a decent ending.
    The balance of powder greed and fear is alive and well, with fear getting the latest boost. Hope you guys get back out there soon.

  14. #14
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    Glad you guys are OK.

  15. #15
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    Wow, that was an intense read. Glad everyone is OK. I wouldn't kick yourself too much as you can never reduce your risk to zero.
    Days on snow this season: 54 Last Season: 83

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  16. #16
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    great that you guys are ok!!! thanks for the report. incident analysis is crucial to learning and hopefully improving future results, but as you said, there is ultimately a limit to how much prep you can do until you have to make a decision to go for it or bail, and that decision will always be influenced (for good or for ill) by our love of skiing a challenging line. i'm glad that you 3 will get chances to make more decisions.
    what's so funny about peace, love, and understanding?

  17. #17
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    Glad to hear everyone got out relatively unscathed.. I got avy'd off a 30fter 2 weeks ago and survived injuries similar to Rich, large laceration on the left ass cheek and leg, lots of bruises and superficial cuts. It's terrifying to experience, I can only imagine how much worse it is to watch and be helpless.

    There are risks we are willing to take, but in taking these risks you've got to do everything you can to minimize the inherent danger, that means having the training, the proper equipment and gear (VHF/Sat phone is HUUUUUUGE in the backcountry, otherwise your recovery time is hours, not minutes.) and most importantly travel with people that have your back and common sense. Knowing your crew (Rich/Lee) you're with some of the safest and conservative in risk taking out there, which makes this all the more terrifying. Lee seems very calculated in his line/slope choices, and you did everything right, sometimes its the 50th person down the slope that propagates the slide, it's just chance sometimes. You can't remove all the variables, you can only reduce them.

    This year is bad for avalanche conditions, the snowpack is so variable depending on where you are, the amount on snow that falls on the hurley vs. resort vs. ice cap is VERY different, along with what type of snow, and the way it settles. We've just had a TON of snow fall, and then a windcrust develop on top, with temps looking to rise drastically I hope people stick to mellow slopes or else its going to be very bad out there. Ironically I haven't seen anything propagated so far by sled, just skiing, and 2 of which were in-bounds on resort which is probably the scariest as most resort skiers don't have avalanche gear on them.

    Thank you for sharing, and all the best to Lee and Rich in their recoveries... this could have turned out much worse and I'm glad everyone is still around to live and ski another day.. and that I don't have to attend another funeral this season.

  18. #18
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    ouch... i usually don't like lines with too much exposure below because of the little bit of risk that still remains. Look for one of paxtis TR from a few weeks/days ago he made it out of the slide, but the exposure below scared the shit out of me.....
    considering the lines: it may sound strange, but i think the really steep stuff is far less dangerous than slopes with a lot of accumulation.

    @ powdork: suffering for your sins in the manly US of A may include destroying your body further on the way out, but in pussy europe it seems perfectly plausible to call the heli when you have been swept over a 15m cliff, you are bleeding in several places, have no skis and most likely a few broken bones.
    It's a war of the mind and we're armed to the teeth.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by subtle plague View Post
    considering the lines: it may sound strange, but i think the really steep stuff is far less dangerous than slopes with a lot of accumulation.
    i'm almost less afraid of avys than i am of tomahawking down a 50 couliour or being carried over rocks at mach 5. they both suck but the body mangling does not sound like fun. it's still super stoking to see the amazingly risky lines being skied but there is always in the back of my head the inevitableness of incident that comes with such lines. you can't always escape the randomness of the universe.

    and as already said in the other thread - glad everyone is ok and thanks for posting.

  20. #20
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    but steep lines are manageable. the thing that happened to postman 4 years ago should not happen because it is within YOUR abilties. even if the descent takes 6 hours because you have to wait for the slope to soften up, it is stil manageable (like the nantes glacier in cham).

    just. DONT. fall.

    people do not fall in the mallory, but they die becuse of avies all the time.
    It's a war of the mind and we're armed to the teeth.

  21. #21
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    subtle, that's some bad reasoning. 'should not happen' =/= 'won't happen' (or in postman's case, 'didn't happen'). and i hate to say this but...Doug Coombs? shit happens unexpectedly to everyone. as much as you like to believe, you can't control whether you catch an edge or not.

    and besides....i said 'almost'.

  22. #22
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    glad everyone is alright! i remember my first year in whistler i was pretty much game for anything, then someone in my family took on some unnecessary risk and died accidentally "doing something they loved". yeah its better than them suffering some horrible prolonged diseased death but it's little consolation. it's devastating to everyone deeply involved in that persons life. i just think of my "wife", if i died tomorrow because my skis crossed on the NE face of fissile, it would completely destroy her world. and we don't even have kids, i can't imagine what that would be like. and for what? a little shot of adrenaline? some fading glory in the eyes of my buddies? the chance to show a bunch of strangers on an internet forum how rad i am?

    yeah you can die crossing the street or choking on a pretzel but now i personally try to stay out of situations where a single mistake will lead to serious injury or death (ie exposure), and i try to be very conservative in the bc which often means i don't ski the best snow or the best lines. look at how many people on this board from whistler have gotten seriously injured, or lucky this year? i personally still have a great time skiing without scaring myself or constantly pushing my personal limits.. i'm just happy to be outdoors sliding around. i'm not preaching to anyone, just giving my perspective to balance out the bro brah, rip it and stick it side of things.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    779
    Quote Originally Posted by powdork View Post
    keep in mind you asked for us to share our thoughts. as i read and saw this picture i thought, "you called a helicopter? really?"



    course i wasn't there and i don't have that option so it would never occur to me, but it seems to me if two people are capable of making it out ok, and the other isn't in real bad shape, it's time to suck it up and pay for your sins the old fashioned way. that way maybe you'll learn a bit more than to get a satellite phone.
    i know my armchair quarterbacking is harsh, but those were my thoughts.

    my other thought was that the 50' cliff was hardly a closeout at the bottom of the line. i guess what i am saying is, even if i did limit my bc lines to stuff with clean runouts, i would have still considered that line to be ok from that standpoint.
    that's some excellent arm chair quarterbacking. perhaps you didn't read the part on how richard had to slide down on his stomach on one ski because he could barely walk to get to the safe zone. perhaps you also didn't read the part on how both lee and richard only had one ski. perhaps you also didn't read the part that whistler village is 15k away from where we were. perhaps you thought there was an x-ray machine at the bottom with a doctor that could read the results to see if lee actually had a punctured lung and if richard hip was broken. perhaps, and i'm no doctor, but i'm pretty sure that the hip is a key component of your lateral movement and skinning ability. without it, how the hell are you going to get out
    Last edited by postman22; 04-14-2010 at 08:49 AM.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Big Cottonwood Country
    Posts
    1,002
    way to put this info up so that others can learn from the experience.
    More than happy to say that you are OK, and that Richard and Lee came out of the experience with their lives intact.

    Nothing is predictable and these experiences tend to help the next. May your travels be safe and secure - although the snow is never a sure thing. It is what makes us go back for more, again, and again, and again, and....again

    Get back on the horse quickly!!!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    A LSD Steakhouse somewhere in the Wasatch
    Posts
    9,437
    Thanks for posting enlightening read
    glad everyone is okay
    spend enough time in the bc and sooner or later shit's gonna hit the proverbial fan in some manner
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

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