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  1. #226
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    At the risk of dropping unicorns and rainbows on this awesome thread, here's some thoughts we put together for our audience. Hope some of it resonates with you.

    http://berthoudpass.org/2013/04/24/o...ning-together/

  2. #227
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    good reads FoggyG.
    Saw this last month: Austrian skier survives four hour burial thanks to air bag creating an air pocket.
    http://austrianindependent.com/news/...der_avalanche_
    On first

  3. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crampedon View Post
    http://www.vaildaily.com/article/201...ntProfile=1062

    Some fucking week. We lose Tommy Krebs on Maui to a a stupid fall, The boston bombing, fert plant blows, Ptarmigan slides and now this.

    Deep prayers and vibes to the fallen. I just came from a memorial for Tk at the beach where 200+ people cried, laughed drank and threw flowers in the waves at sunset.

    Life is short, hard and brutish. Be cool, be kind, take care of each other.

    Aloha.
    deserves it's own thread vibes on the loss of your bro.
    Spent last week on the big island should of gotten in touch as my one day island hop over to oahu for a good shot at da bones wasn't to fruitful in the catchin sense. Plan on comin back though.
    Bein a member of the pursuit of the fishes tribe I'm just gonna leave this

    and let the experts get back to the quotin of other experts and mmqbin another tragic loss of the bc ski tribe.
    "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

  4. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinner View Post
    At the risk of dropping unicorns and rainbows on this awesome thread, here's some thoughts we put together for our audience. Hope some of it resonates with you.

    http://berthoudpass.org/2013/04/24/o...ning-together/
    Respectful and thoughtful post Monsieur Pinnoir. Like DaleA is saying "Dial it back. Consider it February up there."
    On first

  5. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinner View Post
    At the risk of dropping unicorns and rainbows on this awesome thread, here's some thoughts we put together for our audience. Hope some of it resonates with you.

    http://berthoudpass.org/2013/04/24/o...ning-together/
    Good article.
    And I guess that I just don't know

  6. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinner View Post
    At the risk of dropping unicorns and rainbows on this awesome thread, here's some thoughts we put together for our audience. Hope some of it resonates with you.

    http://berthoudpass.org/2013/04/24/o...ning-together/
    Quote Originally Posted by quienes? View Post
    Respectful and thoughtful post Monsieur Pinnoir. Like DaleA is saying "Dial it back. Consider it February up there."
    Quote Originally Posted by Meadow Skipper View Post
    Good article.
    Agreed - great article. esp this

    As we reflect on accidents it’s important to recognize that there are no lessons learned in speculation or conjecture. We each have many questions about how such a tragedy could occur and about the events leading up to the incident. Until more information is released we can do little more than speculate.
    Check Out Ullr's Mobile Avalanche Safety Tools for iOS and Android
    www.ullrlabs.com

  7. #232
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    Thanks for posting that article, Pinner. Great read. I'm sure most of you might have already seen this from this morning's Post:

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_23...nspired-others

    "They would spend days and days in that drainage [Sheep Creek]".

    Some very poignant pictures of happier times. Super sad.

    I had read the CAIC preliminary report was possibly going to be released yesterday. I'm assuming they're waiting to talk to Jerome. That has to be a brutal task for both investigator and interviewee, but I know his statements are critical in piecing together some of what took place (discussion and subsequent decisions that were made). I'm not sure how PTSD works, but couldn't it be opposite ends of the spectrum? Perhaps he doesn't remember much at this point (still in shock), or perhaps he remembers every fateful detail.

    *** wow, the final report must have been released within minutes of my post, as I had checked the link. Thanks for the update, cmsummit.
    Last edited by Humperdinck; 04-24-2013 at 02:29 PM.

  8. #233
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    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

  9. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmsummit View Post
    Some final, hanging questions answered in that report...sobering.
    You should have been here yesterday!

  10. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmsummit View Post
    Good report. Bone chilling. So sad.

  11. #236
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    Difficult to read that the group did nearly everything right and may have just been caught in a terrible spot at the most unopportune time imaginable.

    ...

    Highlighting the below from CAIC's report:

    "It is rare that we have as clear of evidence of a deep-persistent avalanche problem as we did the week leading up to this accident. Some of the group likely drove by fresh evidence of the problem in Straight Creek on their way to Saturday's event.

    Before their tour, the group read about the conditions in the avalanche bulletin and identified deep-persistent slabs as the primary avalanche problem.

    They selected terrain that was less likely to produce a deep-slab avalanche, but to get there they traveled through a dangerous area.

    Unfortunately, the travel technique employed to mitigate the risk was not effective for the size of the avalanche that released. At least 3 members of the group reached the "island of safety" they had identified, only to be subsequently caught and buried in the avalanche.

    Deep-persistent slabs do not form every year, like storm and wind slab avalanches. The only effective travel technique for this avalanche problem is to avoid areas where deep slabs might release, or if the risk is deemed acceptable, expose a single group member to the danger. Spreading out often does not mitigate the risk to the group because these avalanches are always large and destructive."

  12. #237
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    Quote Originally Posted by PappaG View Post
    Highlighting the below from CAIC's report:

    Unfortunately, the travel technique employed to mitigate the risk was not effective for the size of the avalanche that released. At least 3 members of the group reached the "island of safety" they had identified, only to be subsequently caught and buried in the avalanche.
    yeah, it appears that Summit's post was spot on

    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    There are true safe zones and there are "safer zones." This mistake is frequently behind slides catching more than one person.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin

  13. #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by PappaG View Post
    Difficult to read that the group did nearly everything right and may have just been caught in a terrible spot at the most unopportune time imaginable.

    Highlighting the below from CAIC's report:

    "It is rare that we have as clear of evidence of a deep-persistent avalanche problem as we did the week leading up to this accident. Some of the group likely drove by fresh evidence of the problem in Straight Creek on their way to Saturday's event.
    [/B][/COLOR]
    Unfortunately, they made the worst mistake possible... they decided to go out at all that day. Powtron and I drove past that area on Friday afternoon (18-20 hours before the slide) and we were able to see half a dozen natural slides before AND after the tunnel on a similar aspect, just from I-70 alone. If we were closer to the faces, I'm sure there would have been more. I'm hardly an expert in the backcountry, but it was more than clear that people shouldn't have messed with anything remotely close to N-facing last weekend.

  14. #239
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    Indeed.

    (Just because I didn't like how this thread started does not mean I don't respect Summit's contribution overall.)

  15. #240
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    fuck

  16. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Unfortunately, they made the worst mistake possible... they decided to go out at all that day. Powtron and I drove past that area on Friday afternoon (18-20 hours before the slide) and we were able to see half a dozen natural slides before AND after the tunnel on a similar aspect, just from I-70 alone. If we were closer to the faces, I'm sure there would have been more. I'm hardly an expert in the backcountry, but it was more than clear that people shouldn't have messed with anything remotely close to N-facing last weekend.
    I'd hate to engage in a "they shouldn't have been out that day" discussion because most of us have done similarly in the past. Otherwise, it would be unfair to those lives lost to put the finger where we (or most of us) may have dodged 10s to 100s of bullets without knowing it.

    It's easy to look back and use the Vail Pass avalanche and recent slide activity as omens to back away. Sure, those are red flags and things that would have (and did) keep me inside. But the greater lesson for me personally deals with mitigating risk and travel underneath a death trap more effectively (or no travel at all).

    The group may have very well been mere feet away from being alive today. And then what? Just say how terrible a decision it was to be out there? Or take home a deeper meaning that we could all learn from? I'd rather learn from this accident and broaden my backcountry skills than to point blame at being out that day.

  17. #242
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    Judging from the photos it looks like their safe zone, was really close to be truly safe, but not quite there. Damn.
    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

  18. #243
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmsummit View Post
    Judging from the photos it looks like their safe zone, was really close to be truly safe, but not quite there. Damn.
    Noticed that too. Like feet away. Sobering.

  19. #244
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    Quote Originally Posted by PappaG View Post
    I'd hate to engage in a "they shouldn't have been out that day" discussion because most of us have done similarly in the past. Otherwise, it would be unfair to those lives lost to put the finger where we (or most of us) may have dodged 10s to 100s of bullets without knowing it.

    It's easy to look back and use the Vail Pass avalanche and recent slide activity as omens to back away. Sure, those are red flags and things that would have (and did) keep me inside. But the greater lesson for me personally deals with mitigating risk and travel underneath a death trap more effectively (or no travel at all).

    The group may have very well been mere feet away from being alive today. And then what? Just say how terrible a decision it was to be out there? Or take home a deeper meaning that we could all learn from? I'd rather learn from this accident and broaden my backcountry skills than to point blame at being out that day.

    I think you hit it pretty spot on with this post. My only second guessing at this point is terrain/route selection given the CAIC's report that they had to cross dangerous terrain to get to what they deemed safe terrain. Sounds like all the proper discussions took place and they at least tried to follow proper protocol. As I look at the topo map, I wonder if they would've kept following the alignment tangent to the summer road gaining the more west and even southwest facing terrain, they might've been ok traveling up the small ridge that is on the northeastern flank of the drainage. You could play the what if game the rest of your life I guess and it wont make it any easier. Really makes you think about the subtleties in terrain and how important that is when analyzing routes and safe zones. So sad and a very hard read. Thanks to the survivor and rescuers for telling their tales so we can all learn from this.

  20. #245
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmsummit View Post
    Judging from the photos it looks like their safe zone, was really close to be truly safe, but not quite there. Damn.
    This is my conclusion too - sounds like they were trying to travel safely, but maybe thought the slope could never possibly rip that big, so their safe zone was safe enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by rmnpsplitter View Post
    Really makes you think about the subtleties in terrain and how important that is when analyzing routes and safe zones. So sad and a very hard read.
    This reminds me of the maxim (somewhere in Tremper's book) "It takes a lifetime to learn how to read terrain. Maybe two lifetimes".

    And major thanks to Jerome Boulay and the first responders for helping us learn. Really sad situation and I hope the survivors find peace.
    Check Out Ullr's Mobile Avalanche Safety Tools for iOS and Android
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  21. #246
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    What I took from that report, was to put some thought into safe zone selection - which can be complex, especially in new-to-you terrain. I'll probably be overestimating slide path dimensions for a while into the future.

  22. #247
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmsummit View Post
    Judging from the photos it looks like their safe zone, was really close to be truly safe, but not quite there. Damn.
    It looks like less than 20ft and there would be at least 3 total survivors. That one is eating at me too. Very close to being out of harm's way.

    As far as not being out that day? The terrain choice was not a good place to be out in that day.

  23. #248
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    It's spooky to read that day-of CAIC forecast. Remote triggers and hardslab are terrifying.

    Quote Originally Posted by PappaG View Post
    I'd hate to engage in a "they shouldn't have been out that day" discussion because most of us have done similarly in the past. Otherwise, it would be unfair to those lives lost to put the finger where we (or most of us) may have dodged 10s to 100s of bullets without knowing it.
    Agreed. In this case some major red flags were very apparent, but it'd be pretty easy to put oneself in a similar position (crossing below a loaded slope) on a day when the clues are less obvious, but the snowpack is just as dangerous all the same. I'm sure I've been there.

    One major takeaway for me will be the run-out angle concept. It's something I paid little attention to up until this spring when I started reading Tremper's book in earnest. Previously my run-out estimates were guesstimates at best. For me this accident reinforces the importance of a true evaluation of that hazard during trip planning and in the field.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmsummit View Post
    Judging from the photos it looks like their safe zone, was really close to be truly safe, but not quite there. Damn.
    So close. Terrible.

  24. #249
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Another takeaway is if it looks like you are going to get caught - put in your avalung and make sure your airbag is able to be triggered and/or trigger it (don't own an airbag... I'd think I'd undue it at the trailhead when the beacons turned on).

  25. #250
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    to say that anyone should not have been out on a day like this or that is fucking rediculous. choose terrain wisely and it doesn't matter if whole mountain sides are coming down. just don't be underneath them. there is never a bad day to be out unless you have no viz or the snow sucks. touring on days when shit is hitting the fan is the best way to see avy terrain in all it's wildest glory and to learn by observing using all of your senses. you stay home on high days, good, but you'll have zero perspective on what it's like to be out on those days.

    rog

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