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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    not far from snowbird
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    Human Factors--check your egos at the door

    this is overlooked way too often. there are many things that go into your decision of where to travel and where to ski. unfortunatly, how you think and feel at the time can change your decision.

    Egos can be a huge problem for newcomers and hard cores alike. they tend to get into large groups and use descents as a measuring stick. if part of your reason for being out in the bc is to show someone else up or beat them to the line then you are in for a short bc shelf life. bro brahing is great at home and before the trip to get you pumped up but when it comes down to it you'd better get your mind straight or the mountain will set it straight for you.

    Mental and Physical aspects are just as important as your knowledge and ability. all the knowledge in the world can't help you if you won't or can't apply it correctly. things that may affect this application are how you are thinking and feeling at the time. if you are injured, tired, hungry, traveling on a tight time scale, or day dreaming you can miss obvious clues that normally alarm you. you should become aware of your own symptoms (or those in your partners) and be able to focus yourself or call it a day at that point. getting back can be a problem in itself. remember that it takes less time to go the longer, safer way than it does to deal with an accident.

    perception can be entirely different depending on yout current state of mind. if you are very goal driven and are trying to summit, you may perceive a danger sign as something entirely different than they next person in the group. don't let your normal travel protocol and procedure get changed because of your mood. if it does, stop and think. talk to others in the group. just make sure that they aren't in the same mindset that you are.


    group dynamics
    play a part. groups larger than 4 can pose problems for clear thinking. often it is harder to agree on where to go and how to get there. people get the safety in numbers mindset and ignore or write off signs of instability because they think someone else didn't seem concerned about it so i won't mention it either. have you ever been in a group and decided to ski a suspect slope just because you thought you had rescuers? i have. it is not a very wise choice of precaution. if you do get buried you have a 1 in 3 chance of survival right off the bat. take out the 25% that die of trauma and you window just shrank. that is just something to think about before putting all your trust in a rescue operation.

    as always, communication between the party is paramount. talk things over and be in agreeance. don't be afraid to be the spoiler if you are uncomfortable with the situation. you just might save your own or someone elses life.


    again, other people should add to this from their own experience or the second hand experience from friends. that is what this new forum is for.

    biglines human factors

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Down the valley a bit further on the good side of the 49th
    Posts
    4,346
    Well said and can't be said loudly enough or often enough. Every tragedy should have something to take from it. In this case it's great that you've taken the time to look back and analyse what went wrong and share that knowledge. At this point that's all that's left to take from this but hopefully it helps someone else.
    It's not so much the model year, it's the high mileage or meterage to keep the youth of Canada happy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SE Alaska
    Posts
    11,693
    All good points.

    Check the ego at the base of the couloir, or sooner. Like we ALL did on the Grunge that day. Remember the silence? Then the reluctant, but necessary turn around just shy of the summit.

    Like we used to say while paragliding. "Better to be on the ground, wishing you were in the air. Than in the air, wishing you were on the ground."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    not far from snowbird
    Posts
    2,245
    Quote Originally Posted by L7
    it's great that you've taken the time to look back and analyse what went wrong and share that knowledge. At this point that's all that's left to take from this but hopefully it helps someone else.
    that is all that i can do right now. i made several errors but i am still taking something from the accident daily. i have posted some info on the rescue portion here at the bottom of the page.

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