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  1. #2326
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    May 2011
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    Pits are overrated anyway. At least from an Avy 1 level perspective, if that makes sense. All of the other stuff (route finding, recognizing warning signs, how to really use your beacon efficiently, etc.) is a lot more important IMO. Having said that, when I took my course we were "lucky" enough to have a buried PWL and that made pit results a lot more interesting / educational.

  2. #2327
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    Apr 2006
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    Great points, Schralph

  3. #2328
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    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregón
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    J, I think being able to do field work in shitty snow is more about being able to see NCF and other facet forms firsthand, rather than on a slideshow. I’m being semantic, but I think the opportunity to engage shit snow in a classroom setting isn’t necessarily entirely 100% about making a “pit” for the sake of doing “tests” - I’d say there is a lot of value in being able to see how layers interact and having an ITC trained instructor show you first hand how to ID/confirm various grain forms and talk about how they interact in real life. Being able to stomp, whack or shear a sudden collapse failure after seeing facet grains in your hand is a good learning experience IMO. Especially if they are bridged by a stout rounded slab, as often we see in PS problems in Tahoe when everyone goes or skiing with “no signs of instability” while there is shit structure underneath.

    I went skiing with a friend a few years back who had done Level 1, been touring Tahoe in midwinter conditions for years, and finally was over the embarrassment of asking me, “so what are facets really and how do I know where they are?” This person heard about them in all the scary avy bulletins, had been through the training class, but never got the chance to engage them firsthand and see for themselves why they can be problematic on ski terrain.

    Continuous education FTW. We can always be improving our decision making skills.
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  4. #2329
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    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregón
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    Here is an (extreme) analogy - learning how to use Windows operating system in Africa!



    https://qz.com/africa/1217879/a-ghan...sensation/amp/
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  5. #2330
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Mountains, Trees, and a Big Blue Lake
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    254
    "We can always be improving our decision making skills. "

    - Such as "Why am I sitting at my desk and not skiing today?"

    Nice to see Schralph even if he is just gracing our pages. Miss him and his stoke.
    I'm cool with this, as long as you Kirkwood Bro Brah's stay away from Heavenly when 88 closes- TahoeBc

  6. #2331
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Galena
    Posts
    442
    Quote Originally Posted by TurxSki View Post
    Yeah, the Chutes opened around 2 pm.
    Not *that many* peeps around in there. Only a bit of a line at Chuter one time.
    I have jacked my armpit/ribs a bit, so we only hit the mellower low gates on Main side.
    Outside of the Chutes, stuff was *very* cut up.
    Skiing down to gate each time was a real drag.

    Obligatary VapeBreak photo from mainside

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
    Yep, I was there. No need to rush up early as Rose was on it's usual "casual" pace opening the Chutes. I got there at noon, and sure enough at the crack of 2:00 pm the chutes opened. Seems like alot of people wore themselves out in the morning as it wasn't that crowded and I lapped it til the end of the day. Depending on where you came in there was definitely some wind effect on the snow up high, but lower down and into the trees was primo.

  7. #2332
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    707
    It should also be noted that because in Tahoe we have far fewer PWL, we are less accustomed to dealing with them. It’s always amazing to me how in inner BC Canada what we would consider light snowfall in Tahoe can trigger natural avalanches on weak layers. Also triggering avalanches sympathetically is not a huge problem in Tahoe although it can happen with windslabs, it’s not quite as common.

    For a sake of comparison, last season touring in Norway the buried weak layers were so big you could feel the air coming out of the snowpack when they collapsed. Terrain choice was key including worrying about sympathetically triggering avalanches. If we were not with a IFMGA certified guide, I wouldn’t be out there.

  8. #2333
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    May 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchralphMacchio View Post
    J, I think being able to do field work in shitty snow is more about being able to see NCF and other facet forms firsthand, rather than on a slideshow. I’m being semantic, but I think the opportunity to engage shit snow in a classroom setting isn’t necessarily entirely 100% about making a “pit” for the sake of doing “tests” - I’d say there is a lot of value in being able to see how layers interact and having an ITC trained instructor show you first hand how to ID/confirm various grain forms and talk about how they interact in real life. Being able to stomp, whack or shear a sudden collapse failure after seeing facet grains in your hand is a good learning experience IMO. Especially if they are bridged by a stout rounded slab, as often we see in PS problems in Tahoe when everyone goes or skiing with “no signs of instability” while there is shit structure underneath.
    Oh for sure, that's why I said we were lucky to have an interesting pack, as seeing the various layers and conducting the tests in person and seeing the layer fail was educational. I just meant - and was reiterating your first point - that taking avy 1 is still plenty useful even if there's a boring snowpack.

  9. #2334
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    Oct 2011
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    707
    I don’t know if they teach it now in Avy 1, but it might useful to learn how to dig quick pits such as handpits or even with your pole. These are fairly quick to do and can help you identify if the weak layer is present although they don’t tell you how reactive it is. Having the knowledge that a weak exists on a slope where you didn’t expect it should have a big impact on your decision making. It should be made clear though that these pits should NOT be used to prove that the slope is safe to ski but rather be an extra check that the slope is safe since PWL sometimes can form in unexpected places.

  10. #2335
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    Apr 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchralphMacchio View Post
    Here is an (extreme) analogy - learning how to use Windows operating system in Africa!



    https://qz.com/africa/1217879/a-ghan...sensation/amp/
    That's a pretty solid analogy, except all my expert level windows skills came as a result of inadvertent key strokes . Might be a bit more of an issue in the BC than the cubicle

  11. #2336
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    Apr 2006
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    OFFICIAL TAHOE 18/19 STOKE, CONDITIONS, WEATHER THREAD

    Quote Originally Posted by mcski View Post
    That's a pretty solid analogy, except all my expert level windows skills came as a result of inadvertent key strokes . Might be a bit more of an issue in the BC than the cubicle
    I recall a class I was in a few years back with an instructor that said he basically most of his uphill travel w probe out constantly feeling snow as a learning experience. Requires a lot of patience but I thought that was a good idea
    Last edited by mcski; 02-12-2019 at 03:15 PM.

  12. #2337
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    Mar 2008
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    Da Norf Lake
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    1,415
    Quote Originally Posted by hercule33 View Post
    I don’t know if they teach it now in Avy 1, but it might useful to learn how to dig quick pits such as handpits or even with your pole. These are fairly quick to do and can help you identify if the weak layer is present although they don’t tell you how reactive it is. Having the knowledge that a weak exists on a slope where you didn’t expect it should have a big impact on your decision making. It should be made clear though that these pits should NOT be used to prove that the slope is safe to ski but rather be an extra check that the slope is safe since PWL sometimes can form in unexpected places.
    Exactly this. That's the main use I have for digging in the snow around here and I am usually jumping on shit and stomping off cornices, trying to make something move. What I originally posted was not about whether Avy 1 was worthwhile, but about how frustrating it is sometimes when I'm basically begging the snowpack to show me some instability when everything I've learned says there has to be some (like after a big dump w/ wind and reports of surface hoar beforehand). This expectation of instability comes from taking Level 1 twice in CO and Level 2 in WY. All the reports submitted to SAC are really helpful so thanks to all of you who post there too.
    And yes, I know the flurry of comments were not personal. I'm happy to see the discussion.

    This incoming storm looks like a good chance to have a big cycle: building windslabs ahead of it, including new snow at all elevations, then warming rain/cement on top of all of it, then back to colder snow to lure people onto the slopes. Pay attention!

    Wind is dropping tree bombs all over right now.
    Even sometimes when I'm snowboarding I'm like "Hey I'm snowboarding! Because I suck dick, I'm snowboarding!" --Dan Savage

  13. #2338
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    525
    All good info; just remember that level 1 will just teach you how to identify avalanche terrain, how to interpret the avy report, heuristic traps to be aware of, and the basics of companion rescue. They purposefully don’t teach you about snow science since they found people who took level 1 were more likely to be in avalanches than those who had not.

    Which is to say, just take level 1 wherever.

    I took level 2 in interior BC and it was really valuable seeing a snowpack with all kinds of problematic layers that generally don’t exist in California. But level 1 you can take pretty much anywhere and get the same thing out of it.

  14. #2339
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    May 2011
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    ^^ Can you clarify what you mean by snow science? Because my course did to a certain degree. I mean, we weren’t looking under the microscope or anything but we still certainly went in that direction.

  15. #2340
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    Feb 2008
    Location
    Donner Summit
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    688
    You can also take level 1, learn the basics of how to dig a pit and conduct stability and propagation tests (which is honestly only about 10% of Avy 1 in any case), and then go do it on your own at other times when the snow is more "interesting". It's useful to have an instructor to talk to but you can learn a lot on your own by looking at the snow profile and seeing how the different layers react. Particularly if you look at how they change over time with warming, additional snowfall, etc..

  16. #2341
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    Oct 2011
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    707
    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    ^^ Can you clarify what you mean by snow science? Because my course did to a certain degree. I mean, we weren’t looking under the microscope or anything but we still certainly went in that direction.
    Avy 1 does cover some snow science but it’s not that in depth. For example, look at the pit profiles on SAC and can you identify what everything means? Would you be able to dig a pit and generate an accurate pit profile like the one on SAC? Can you identify the different types of failures of a pit? Most importantly can you translate pit results into decision making when the results are not extreme?

  17. #2342
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CA
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    1,747
    Avy courses, particularly, Avy 1 (Rec users) has changed curriculum a ton over the last 20 years. It used to be almost all science, and now it's very minimal science with the foci Schralph noted above.

    I think they found the science distracted people like a shiny bauble, and that they should focus not on NCFs and rounding and granular forms, but on decision-making, planning your skiing according to the hazards, and other ways to avoid the pertinent avalanche problems.

    This article sums it up better than I can: https://sawtoothguides.com/2016/10/2...che-education/

    Lots to learn! Just keep learning in as many snowpacks, venues, and learning modes as possible.... I'm looking to seeing photos of some big natties in this cycles. Stay safe peeples.

    ETA: schralph what better resources are out there? I'm sure there tons of threads on this forum.

    Anyway, gimpy, sick pics. Been rad for the past 10 days!
    sproing!

    FS: 187 Praxis GPO with STH14 binders https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...TH-14-bindings

    FS: crampons, lightweight winter down sleeping bag, and stuff https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...ost?highlight=

  18. #2343
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    486
    Heard Porcupine and Sweet Tits had moguls on them, so went a bit further out.

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  19. #2344
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    41
    Quote Originally Posted by nomad_games View Post
    Got Thursday Friday Saturday off this week and can get a cheap ticket to Reno. Never been to Tahoe but have days on my pass at Squaw Alpine and Mammoth. Will the storm on Wednesday close everything down? Buddy in Mammoth says ll the runs will be closed. Or is it worth it to come out? Leaning towards Squaw. Blackout dates on Saturday so thought about doing Alpine One day, Squaw the other, and trying for a backcountry day Saturday. Otherwise I was thinking about heading back up to Alta or JH.
    The storm - Wed - Thurs is wet, heavy and windy. I would be shocked if Upper mountain ifts open. There are two other storms - Fri and Sun - not as big but colder. Saturday looks to be the clearest day.

    Also this is the Prez's day weekend. Expect lift line and slow roads.

    If I were you - I would go to Alta, JH. Colder and less crowded.

  20. #2345
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Tahoe-ish
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    722
    Man, was it windy today. The snow was actually better than expected on the NE trees we skied, but the 60+mph winds at the ridge were motivation-sapping. On the second lap the winds were reaching farther down the slope and even to the base. The next few days look interesting, but after that looks promising.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  21. #2346
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    Sep 2006
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    Truckee, CA
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    5,647
    Most excellent farming techniques!
    Quote Originally Posted by gimpy View Post
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

  22. #2347
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    Nov 2003
    Location
    P-tex, CA
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    8,196
    Squaw Valley USA was pretty fun yesterday. Basically headed to Silverado and played there until 1:30pm...for my first day in there this season...so fun.

    Day tripped and was worth it. It would have been historic if I was there early enough for KT untracked but hit 89 traffic and didn't park until 8:20am. Also, it was wierd day where eveything bascially opened at the same time. No laps on KT to wait for headwall then to wait for Silvy etc. Saw that Silvy was open before I loaded KT...#painful. haha.

  23. #2348
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    Apr 2006
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    SF & the Ho
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    OFFICIAL TAHOE 18/19 STOKE, CONDITIONS, WEATHER THREAD

    I was pretty surprised by the app indicating pretty much all lifts running at the opening bell. Some people probably made some extremely lucky choices
    Last edited by mcski; 02-12-2019 at 05:41 PM.

  24. #2349
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    Mar 2006
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    Norcal
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    1,542

    OFFICIAL TAHOE 18/19 STOKE, CONDITIONS, WEATHER THREAD

    On Sunday I was skiing down a short little chute that ended up having a series of rocks just under the surface hit 4 or 5 before eating shit, was not till I skied off that I realized my GoPro was missing.

    Fast forward to today I decided to ski back there and gps the location for a possible retrieval this summer. Found someones ski there, guess I’m not the only one to fall victim in there



    There was a major skier triggered avy either Sunday or Monday on a south facing line I don’t like to talk about publicly, there were tracks out the bottom, so I guess they lived, maybe it went with a ski cut.

    And holy wind transport today a head of this storm!!!!!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  25. #2350
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    May 2011
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    Sonoma & Truckee
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    ^^ Hang on, did you actually find the ski like that or is that just where you set it for the photo? lol... must have been one hell of an ejection if it was the former.

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