View Poll Results: Do you own a beacon

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  • Yes and I wear it all the time while skiing

    8 32.00%
  • Yes I own one but only wear it sometimes

    11 44.00%
  • No, I don't own one and still ski BC

    6 24.00%
Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Too Far South
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    5,272

    How many EC backcountry skiers use a beacon

    Do you find yourself not wearing one since most of the stuff you're skiing is low angle or heavily tree'd? Slides in the Dack's and Mt Washington obviously constitute danger but what about other places in the northeast
    For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can't be found, elseways everyone would know where it was

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Wet and Mild
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    4,650
    Skiing trees or creek beds, don't bother. I've seen this same question over at Ttips a lot and that seems to be the consensus. I plan on getting out in the bc a fair amount this winter without a beacon, but I'll stay away from slide or wide open areas. Tree shots are incredibly unlikely to slide around here because the snowpack rarely gets deep enough to have noticeable weak layers. If you have a beacon, wear it, if ya don't you'll be fine if you stay out of obvious avy/rock slide terrain.
    Set my compass North, I got Winter in my blood.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    the Quagmire
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    4,224
    Quote Originally Posted by glademaster
    Tree shots are incredibly unlikely to slide around here because the snowpack rarely gets deep enough to have noticeable weak layers.
    Not really the case, slides really don't have that much to do with low snow depth.... That said the east's snow is more stable than say Colorado's because it's got a higher moisture content. Places like Mt. Washington or some slides, you should be wearing a beacon though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Taking names later
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    3,637
    EC slides are relatively rare, except for places like Tuck's, and a few places in the Adirondaks as well as one or two places on Mansfield.
    fighting gravity on a daily basis

    WhiteRoom Skis
    Handcrafted in Northern Vermont
    www.whiteroomcustomskis.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    upstate NY
    Posts
    1,552
    If you're the only one with a beacon, does it make any difference? Do the SAR teams in the 'daks or vt of nh use them? I've seen folks at Mt. Washington w/beacons.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    ME
    Posts
    2,022
    half-fast makes a great point - if you're the only one wearing it, what good does it do if no one else in your group has one? That said, i'm trying to wear mine much more this year for any bc skiing i end up doing - so that we can practice for when you are in situations where it is a must.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    29,886
    Quote Originally Posted by glademaster
    the snowpack rarely gets deep enough to have noticeable weak layers
    Wrong: FIREdevil

    Paging Hacksaw - he'll explain why this is absolutely not the case, again.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Too Far South
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    5,272
    Quote Originally Posted by glademaster
    unlikely to slide around here because the snowpack rarely gets deep enough to have noticeable weak layers.

    But you can very easily get slab formation due to raincrust and major changes in temperature due to the mercurial nature of our winters, and don't forget the wind loading that happens when we get one of those 6 inch snowstorms acompanied by 3 feet of wind and our tree shots don't slide because they're well anchored not because the snowpack is small
    Last edited by laseranimal; 12-07-2004 at 09:12 AM.
    For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can't be found, elseways everyone would know where it was

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    2,428
    To date, my East Coast BC is limited to tucks. (The plan is to have that change this season.) Other than back when I was in high school and didn't know any better, I always wear my beacon at Tucks. I don't know for sure, but I have always asumed that the patrol has beacons with them. For me it is as simple as I can't come up with a good reason not to wear it.

    I'll try to get an answer to the patrol beacon question this weekend.

    .02
    Fresh Tracks are the ultimate graffitti.
    Schmear

    Set forth the pattern to succeed.
    Sam Kavanagh

    Friends of Tuckerman Ravine

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Jackson Hole
    Posts
    893
    A handful of my buddies were burried waist to chest deep in Smuggler's notch...and not in one of the more common slide paths. Just a case of a small open area with a weak layer about 1.5 feet down. Everyone was ok, but it woke them up. If anyone has a copy of "Schooled", there's footie of it in the extra footage. (www.meatheadfilms.com). yea, spam.

    My friends and I plan on wearing them when conditions/terrain we're on warrants it- plus it then we'll be more likely to do some practicing on shitty snow days.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Eagle, CO
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    2,247
    If anything, low snow depths increase the avalanche danger, because usually the temperature gradient is more extreme. Some of Colorado's most dangerous cycles are caused by this. Imagine only a few feet of snow, and about 1 foot of depth hoar or severly faceted snow= big problems. Just a thought.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    on the pointy end, calling the line, swearing my fucking ass off
    Posts
    4,717
    Someone talking about avalanches and tucks?





    avalanche beacon good!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    29,886
    Quote Originally Posted by SkiJunky05
    My friends and I plan on wearing them when conditions/terrain we're on warrants it.
    I 'm sure you'll er on the side of caution but his tactic has killed lot's of people. Sounds like you already own them so since your only going to be saving pennies on some AA batteries why not always wear them?
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    2,428

    Mount Washington Ski Patrol

    Spoke with Roger Dawson from the Mount Washington Ski Patrol at the Friends of Tuckerman board meeting today. He provides the avalanche training for the patrol. All of the patrollers in the bowl wear beacons at all times in the ravine. They also train with them every year. Definately wear your beacon when skiing Tucks. Even if you are alone. There are people there that have beacons and could save your life.

    Interesting aside... Roger just gave a talk on a study of man made snow avalanches on the east coast. I am trying to get more info on this. In our brief conversation he cited 6 examples in NY, NH and VT. He said that they predominanetly happen when whale backs of man made snow are built up, stressing the snow pack until they are distributed by cats. It sounded like they stress a depth hoar layer from early in the season which then fails. I had never heard of this before and it sounded very interesting.
    Fresh Tracks are the ultimate graffitti.
    Schmear

    Set forth the pattern to succeed.
    Sam Kavanagh

    Friends of Tuckerman Ravine

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    upstate NY
    Posts
    1,552
    I've seen photos of a couple of man made slides. I think one was at Holiday Valley last year. It looked to me like they blew a ton of snow on ground that wasn't frozen-the snow melted from below and let go.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Kootenays
    Posts
    466
    You guys scare me.

    ALWAYS wear your beacon.
    Last edited by JR; 12-12-2004 at 11:47 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    3
    There's no point counting pennies when it comes to your life. I always wear one in the BC.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Too Far South
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    5,272
    I know Rumor at Gore has slid before, blew a ton of snow on the Headwall and it just let go during a freeze thaw rain cycle
    For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can't be found, elseways everyone would know where it was

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    hole
    Posts
    1,272
    Quote Originally Posted by half-fast
    I've seen photos of a couple of man made slides. I think one was at Holiday Valley last year. It looked to me like they blew a ton of snow on ground that wasn't frozen-the snow melted from below and let go.

    I was actually there on that day, and it was something like that. I heard that they blew a ton of snow on Wall or some run like that, and the whole shebang just slid on the mud. But then is that an avalanche, or a mud-slide? Point aside, it's scary when a small resort in NY with very little to no real terrain can slide.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Too Far South
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    riding up the snowdon triple at K mart yesterday we saw what looked like evidance of a small slide probably no more then 10 feet long and 4 feet wide and the debris couldn't have been more then a foot deep, but it does make you pause
    For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can't be found, elseways everyone would know where it was

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on the pointy end, calling the line, swearing my fucking ass off
    Posts
    4,717
    Quote Originally Posted by H-man
    Interesting aside... Roger just gave a talk on a study of man made snow avalanches on the east coast. I am trying to get more info on this. In our brief conversation he cited 6 examples in NY, NH and VT. He said that they predominanetly happen when whale backs of man made snow are built up, stressing the snow pack until they are distributed by cats. It sounded like they stress a depth hoar layer from early in the season which then fails. I had never heard of this before and it sounded very interesting.
    When we got alot more natural snow, Sunday River used to do avy control on Aurora and Oz, sometimes even White Cap.

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