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  1. #26
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    Nov 2003
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    Slight highjack: Have you guys set off slides inbounds? I've only done it once: a soft slab about 20' feet wide on a 3 foot powder day on the Great Western Bowl at Brighton three seasons ago. Scared the poop outta me as it ran down to the bottom of the bowl into some trees.
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  2. #27
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    Oct 2003
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    Snoqualmie
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmsummit
    Very untrue. The formula is not quite that simple. Think you need to enroll in an avy class.
    <pedantic>
    Well, at a first glance you might think so, but at a second glance, there is merit in what cj is saying. Most snow that falls on a slope that could slide eventually will. That's to say: big wet snow avys in June, July and August, for example. So, in that regard, the more snow exists in the the pack, the more avys it will take before it's all been brought down.

    Now, if you said that the corelation between snow depth and avalanche danger is much more complicated, well, I have no argument there.
    </pedantic>

    Hey FoS:

    What are you trying to accomplish here? In many ways, "danger" is like the tree faliing in the forest, there has to be someone there to be in danger. Also, many of the areas that would be the most dangerous in a natual setting are so rigorously controlled that they are in fact safe.

    Or those areas are simply out of bounds entirely.

    For example, Crystal has simply closed the most active avy paths that slide in bounds. (Big yellow block outs on the Crystal trailmap.) Now they aren't part of the resort, so does it make Crystal "safer?"

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmsummit
    Very untrue. The formula is not quite that simple. Think you need to enroll in an avy class.
    You're saying a majority of avalanches don't occur after new precipitation? I'd suggest you take a class.

  4. #29
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    Oct 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshbu
    <pedantic>
    Well, at a first glance you might think so, but at a second glance, there is merit in what cj is saying. Most snow that falls on a slope that could slide eventually will. That's to say: big wet snow avys in June, July and August, for example. So, in that regard, the more snow exists in the the pack, the more avys it will take before it's all been brought down.
    I was going with the broader sense that a majority of avalanches occur during and immediately following a precipitation event. Particularly in a maritime climate - where the developlment of persistent weak layers is not as common as in continental climes. Ski areas are concerned with both possible human triggered slides and natural slides - why control work is done on areas not open to the public, but which could slide onto open runs.

  5. #30
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    Mar 2003
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    MiZZZZoula
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshbu
    <pedantic>
    Well, at a first glance you might think so, but at a second glance, there is merit in what cj is saying. Most snow that falls on a slope that could slide eventually will. That's to say: big wet snow avys in June, July and August, for example. So, in that regard, the more snow exists in the the pack, the more avys it will take before it's all been brought down.

    Now, if you said that the corelation between snow depth and avalanche danger is much more complicated, well, I have no argument there.
    </pedantic>

    Hey FoS:

    What are you trying to accomplish here? In many ways, "danger" is like the tree faliing in the forest, there has to be someone there to be in danger. Also, many of the areas that would be the most dangerous in a natual setting are so rigorously controlled that they are in fact safe.

    Or those areas are simply out of bounds entirely.

    For example, Crystal has simply closed the most active avy paths that slide in bounds. (Big yellow block outs on the Crystal trailmap.) Now they aren't part of the resort, so does it make Crystal "safer?"
    What I am after is purely a list, say top 10 most avalanche prone resorts in the US.

    I would expect that prone would be equated to numbers of slide paths that have the potential to hurt-kill-do-damage IN combination with the expected/average annual snowfall.

    For instance, Bridger has numerous slide paths AND gets 350" annually (sometimes) AND these slide paths all dump on to Intermediate-Beginner terrain.

    And to your Crystal question, I would say that yes, those closed runs that have the potential to slide DOES in fact make it more safe. Which is basically my question, In Bounds avalanche potential...
    Last edited by FreakofSnow; 12-15-2004 at 06:06 PM.

  6. #31
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    Sep 2001
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    The Cone of Uncertainty
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    edit: replied to something on page 1 without realizing there was a page 2.

  7. #32
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    Oct 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by cj001f
    I was going with the broader sense that a majority of avalanches occur during and immediately following a precipitation event. Particularly in a maritime climate - where the developlment of persistent weak layers is not as common as in continental climes. Ski areas are concerned with both possible human triggered slides and natural slides - why control work is done on areas not open to the public, but which could slide onto open runs.
    Awesome, even when we agree, we still disagree.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshbu
    Awesome, even when we agree, we still disagree.
    It's a skill with me. Freakin' Finn heritage

  9. #34
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    Sep 2004
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    Ten Mile Vistas
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    Quote Originally Posted by cj001f
    You're saying a majority of avalanches don't occur after new precipitation? I'd suggest you take a class.
    I've taken many avy classes, thank you very much. I'm just saying that your blanket statement of "more precip = more avalanches" is not necessarily true. There are too many other factors involved. Here in CO, a lack of snowpack actually contributes to the occurance of avalanches. When your temperature gradient between the ground and the air above the snowpack differs by more than 1-2deg C per meter of snowpack, then depth hoar forms. The slightest windloading or snowfall can cause it to rip all the way to the ground. This is a case of where too little snow can be more dangerous than having "more" snow. This is usually the case around here early season.
    I used to hike 2 hours for 10 minutes of turns on 207 gs skis, without needing “skins” or “hike mode.” Tell me again how I’m a gaper.
    -mikdes26

  10. #35
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    Sep 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by cj001f
    I was going with the broader sense that a majority of avalanches occur during and immediately following a precipitation event.
    Shit, should have made that clear to begin with. Instead of trying to pass the "more precip = more avalanches".
    I used to hike 2 hours for 10 minutes of turns on 207 gs skis, without needing “skins” or “hike mode.” Tell me again how I’m a gaper.
    -mikdes26

  11. #36
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    Oct 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmsummit
    I've taken many ..... here early season.
    yes. It was a simplistic statement. I didn't qualify it, and you are correct.

  12. #37
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    Sep 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmsummit
    I've taken many..... here early season.
    diggers?
    bingers?
    core shots....oh yeah!
    I used to hike 2 hours for 10 minutes of turns on 207 gs skis, without needing “skins” or “hike mode.” Tell me again how I’m a gaper.
    -mikdes26

  13. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    181
    Quote Originally Posted by cmsummit
    I've taken many avy classes, thank you very much. I'm just saying that your blanket statement of "more precip = more avalanches" is not necessarily true. There are too many other factors involved. Here in CO, a lack of snowpack actually contributes to the occurance of avalanches. When your temperature gradient between the ground and the air above the snowpack differs by more than 1-2deg C per meter of snowpack, then depth hoar forms. The slightest windloading or snowfall can cause it to rip all the way to the ground. This is a case of where too little snow can be more dangerous than having "more" snow. This is usually the case around here early season.
    The difference between a thin and weak snowpack vs. a thick and strong one is readily contrasted in the central Wasatch. The tri-canyons typically build a snowpack quick enough that depth hoar is rarely a problem, however the PC side of the range has more of a CO style snowpack; as such it stays thin and week for much of the season. The magical depth (not scientifically proven yet nevertheless a consistent observation) is ~3 ft. Less than that and depth hoar formation is prevalent, more than 3' and depth hoar formation is minimalized. There was also in article in Couloir a few yrs. back where a WA forecastor noted that a 3' slab also tends to have sufficient strength to bridge weak spots, whereas thinner packs don't possess that strength.

    The only major ride I ever took in a slide was in-bounds at Big Sky. ~300' -400' ride on a wind slab, lookers left of the tram. Fortunately I was able to self arrest and stopped just a few ft/ above a rock rib. Ski patrol closed the run after watching me take the ride. Tom Kimbrough, recently retired UAFC forecaster; was an Alpine Meadows patroller when the slide happened there. He claimed he always wore a beacon, even in-bounds; following the incident.

  14. #39
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    Oct 2003
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    In the moment
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    Wow- who else is suprised that Punani hasn't posted a quote from Blizzard?
    "There is a hell of a huge difference between skiing as a sport- or even as a lifestyle- and skiing as an industry"
    Hunter S. Thompson, 1970 (RIP)

  15. #40
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    Nov 2004
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    1,043
    Quote Originally Posted by boarderline
    Have you guys set off slides inbounds?
    surprisingly ive set off a couple small sliders at Squaw.

    1.saw a chute in enchanted forest. theres was a small dead tree growing right at the top of the opening and i saw a place for fresh tracks so i dropped in. cut in just under the tree and thats all that was holding the snow, i made about half a turn and took a digger head first. rolled like once or twice on top of the slide and came up on my skis but i was buried thigh deep. i looked up and i had gone like a hundred+ feet, snow had broken off just under that damn tree.

    2. off red dog ridge i dropped into the gully just before the trees. dropped a little cornice at the top and i guess one of my buddies behind me broke it loose. slide came down small but fast. had no idea it was coming and took my legs out from under me. took me for a ride for a couple hundred feet but nothing serious.

  16. #41
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    Jan 2004
    Location
    PNW
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    57
    I remember seeing a little sidebar in Powder 10+ years ago with a top 3 or 5 resorts on this subject. I believe the stat they used was # of slides (controlled and uncontrolled?) set off on an average yearly basis. The places I remember on that list included Alta, Bird, Stevens Pass, and Alpine Meadows.

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