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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    16

    Does social media overhype avy danger?

    Just wondering to hear from anyone else who has been at the backcountry game for more than a few years what your thoughts are about the relatively recent phenomena of using FB, IG, certain forums (actually not TGR), etc. to post about a whump, shooting crack, point release, and/or huge slide that took place during an obviously climax avy cycle, etc. to call out the current snowpack risks.

    What can be very informative first-hand and real-time observations, often WAY more real-time than any avy center with limited resources can hope to achieve often morphs (to my ears/eyes) into holier-than-thou chest beating about observing someone skiing something with some level of avy danger which may be above YOUR risk tolerance (e.g., "for the good of the order, I will begin by noting some telemetry and snowpack observations and then quickly move to call out some anonymous DUMBASS NEWBIE GAPER WHO IGNORED THE RED FLAGS THAT WERE OBVIOUS TO ME AND SHOULD BY ALL ACCOUNTS BE DEAD NOW BUT WAS SUPER LUCKY TO NOT BE KILT, and now I am gonna tell you why by bludgeoning you with my avy acumen you in 22 short pages...).

    What the hell is wrong with sharing a learning teaching moment? Definitively not much, especially offered in a magnanimous or altruist spirit. We all know someone that was injured or killed in an avalanche so caution is always the better part of valor, right? I am probably becoming tone deaf or jaded, because when all the social media comments typically applaud the OP's altruism and charity, I am often cringing at what seems like self-righteous armchair quarterbacking.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by djhutch View Post
    I am often cringing at what seems like self-righteous armchair quarterbacking.
    Me too, but it's what we do here.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Issaquah
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    I usually read the account, glean what I can and quit reading once or if the post becomes judgemental or overhyped about the dangers. It certainly can't hurt to have more people aware of avalanche danger IMO.

    Sent from my VS996 using TGR Forums mobile app
    License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
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    11,299
    Its part.of the need to virtue signal. Social media makes it easy

  5. #5
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    Sep 2010
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    828

    Does social media overhype avy danger?

    Ah, so you’ve seen some Amar posts, I take it. Welcome.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Summit North
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    4,353

    Does social media overhype avy danger?

    Meh, beyond the initial post, if I do read the comments it's often taken with a grain of salt.
    Alpental Indigenous
    Member PNWFSC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    A LSD Steakhouse somewhere in the Wasatch
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    10,731
    bout 3 or 4 years ago were sittin at an lz in kaslo waiting to fly into a hut and the caa forecasters are there too
    we start talking and they ask
    whats up with your avvy center? They sure like to blog ,talk and video themselves and make the reports as much about them as the snowpack eh
    We call em the uec as in utah ego center
    I tell them its an american social media stardom thing and i much perfer thier style of forecasts
    We have 1 forecaster who manages a no nonsense just the facts mam forecasts
    and the rest really really love too overhype danger and embrace the social media stardom #monstersinthebasement and gobbly gook #deathbuzzwords
    the worst are the jv juinor fart sniffers observers who cant summit an ob without telling about their risk tolerances, years of experiance and expertise
    #avvyhunter cant hang here the meanyheads hurt his special snowflake feelings and no one gives a fuck that your a b leauge pro expert
    "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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    closer
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    2,676
    I'm glad the SLF does not care about instagram fame. And actually I see people pushing into really steep terrain at avie levels which are still spooky. It's definitely a recent development here in Europe. And not only Chamonix where the wild TOFs are.
    My approach has not changed much, which means I like to go as fun as possible after a fresh snowfall (or even got sketichier because of my perceived "experience", which is dangerous in itself, and I tend to push the "munter limit" more these days) and still I have the feeling that many people bypass me safety wise these days. And I don't mean "inbounds" (which technically does not exist here) .

    And all that although I thought to be on the limit sometimes. (I've definitely been, according to munter. To the US Boys:munter is the guy who invented the system you plan your tours with, if you're not into digging useless pits all the time )

    So to get back to you question: I find my self quarterbacking a lot these days because people really push it beyond the boundaries a lot more. I'm not on social media, so I may be irrelevant to everyone.

    Sent from my BLA-L29 using TGR Forums mobile app
    It's a war of the mind and we're armed to the teeth.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Alpental
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    5,374
    I try to avoid the heuristic dangers of social media.

    Turn on
    Tune out
    Drop in
    Move upside and let the man go through...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rossland BC
    Posts
    1,089
    It's by definition mediated, so filtered through the peculiarities and agendas of whoever's doing the mediating. Take what you need, but focus on developing your own awareness and judgement.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    5,995
    There was a point in time not so long at where higherups at the CAIC did not solicit user observations as they were concerned about managing the quality and the quantity of the data.

    Now we have transitioned into a time of unlimited data of dubious quantity. Unless I personally know the person making the observations (professionals excluded but maybe SFBs comments change that?), I place low confidence.

    Our job as BC skiers is to synthesize all information and make our own decisions in the best interest of our group's safety. There is certainly information on the internet that would lead me to a red lighting an aspect, elevation, location but never green lighting the same.

    I've always found value in looking for "signs of stability" not the other way around. Default to the idea that a slope is not safe to ski and start your analysis from there.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Stumptown
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    5,757
    I would say something in defense of these posts:

    The audience that gets the most value out of things like that are not the people who are out in the BC every week with experience and understand the responsibility of making their own go/no-go decisions.

    Those posts most certainly are a good way to shame/scare people out of the BC who have no place being there. New riders, kids, people with no education, etc. With the proliferation of tech and of internet content, lots of people are going places where they have no business going. If a social media star can keep a few kooks from dropping into a line above me that they shouldn't be in, well, I'll say thank you.

    If you, as an educated, safe, BC user doesn't want to see them, then just unfollow the accounts.

  13. #13
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    Feb 2010
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    34,033
    this to shall pass
    .

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Mt. Baker
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    Does social media overhype avy danger?

    It all depends on who’s doing the posts. If it’s a respected individual with a ton of experience I often take heed and find there information very reliable. If it’s some dude that just took there ast1 class and is now a self proclaimed guide not so much.

    People need to evaluate the data sources. I. E. What’s the strength and weight of the info being presented?

    I do feel that those that are in a position of influence should post more about what they are seeing and why they may find the conditions sketchy. I also find it helpful when near misses are discussed as well.

    There is no guide, avy course, case study or backcountry partner that I have not learned something from. Sure in some scenarios you learn more then in others but soon as you think there is nothing more to learn you are going to make a major mistake.

    Just this last week while we where doing setup at the ski area and experiencing some of the most hair trigger deep slab instabilities I’ve seen in 20 years we ran into a so called “guide” when discussing the conditions he proceeded to tell us oh it’s only a matter of aspect. Even after both of our long time patrol / avalanche directors and I are telling him repeatedly no, we are seeing it at all elevations and aspects. That day I just so happened to learn that that “guide” was an idiot. He just wanted to alter the facts to fit his goal for the day. Never a safe mindset to have in the mountains.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    8,227
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    There was a point in time not so long at where higherups at the CAIC did not solicit user observations as they were concerned about managing the quality and the quantity of the data.

    Now we have transitioned into a time of unlimited data of dubious quantity. Unless I personally know the person making the observations (professionals excluded but maybe SFBs comments change that?), I place low confidence.

    Our job as BC skiers is to synthesize all information and make our own decisions in the best interest of our group's safety. There is certainly information on the internet that would lead me to a red lighting an aspect, elevation, location but never green lighting the same.

    I've always found value in looking for "signs of stability" not the other way around. Default to the idea that a slope is not safe to ski and start your analysis from there.
    I find Obs extremely valuable, but also take them with a grain of salt depending on evaluation of the source. I'm glad CAIC is getting more user generated Observations though, because previously, they weren't getting that much from their staff, mainly because they didn't have much staff. With Avo Obs the main thing I am looking for is date, aspect, and elevation/location anyway, and if there are pics, I can determine that for myself and don't need to read dude's opinion on the snowpack.

    I have seen a few local self-proclaimed experts posting clips of pit results and pontificating on what they think they mean. This is where the line is for me.

    As far as social media goes though, I decided my policy a few years ago would be to post nothing more than the typical "hey look at this nice view" pic, and even that comes maybe once or twice a season if that.

    The beauty of it all is that it is a constant learning process, and you are only going to learn so much from your computer without getting out there to see it for yourself.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    8,227
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunder View Post
    Just this last week while we where doing setup at the ski area and experiencing some of the most hair trigger deep slab instabilities I’ve seen in 20 years we ran into a so called “guide” when discussing the conditions he proceeded to tell us oh it’s only a matter of aspect. Even after both of our long time patrol / avalanche directors and I are telling him repeatedly no, we are seeing it at all elevations and aspects. That day I just so happened to learn that that “guide” was an idiot. He just wanted to alter the facts to fit his goal for the day. Never a safe mindset to have in the mountains.
    I'm wary of anyone who considers themselves and announces themselves as a "Guide".

  17. #17
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    Nov 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by djhutch View Post
    We all know someone that was injured or killed in an avalanche.
    Can't say I do. I prefer it that way.
    Overhype is a strong world. I'd rather have too much information to comb through than not enough.
    CO conditions often linger in "spooky moderate" or "scary moderate" territory, so I support any information that helps me out!
    Last edited by hatchgreenchile; 12-17-2018 at 02:39 PM.

  18. #18
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    Apr 2005
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    A LSD Steakhouse somewhere in the Wasatch
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    my social media circle begins here extends to my fucko flyflingin friends at the drake and ends there
    #friendsnotfollowers
    i used to be critical of others mistakes
    time and experiance has taught me
    me and my crew just have gotten away with ours
    cept for the ones who didnt and i continue to do it for them
    IM SEEING HYPODERMIC NEEDLES ON THE GROUND ALL OVER THE SHOP PARKING LOT
    WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE
    YOU SHOULD BE DOING POTS
    the outrage from a few people dying in avalanches a year
    whom most of i consider addicts
    and the number of overdose deaths and lack of monday morning armchair expert outrage is odd to me
    "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

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    34,033
    cocaine, ecstasy & synthetic pot use at all time lows
    newbs in the bc tramping up the slope at all time hi
    the Darwin still needs to keep balancing his equation
    .

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    5,995
    What Shreddy said,

    a. Data and analysis are not the same thing. Aspect, elevation and location of avalanche activity and super useful around here. Amateur (or even pro) snow science is not (to me).

    b. I've been in more sketch situation with "experts" than anyone else. I'll take my decades long touring partners who respect my life any day.

    c. I learned by "backcountry TR" lesson a long time ago. Lets just say that when someone you know beats you to your pow because you posted on TGR the evening before, you change quickly.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Vernon BC
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    1,651

    Does social media overhype avy danger?

    Helping human minds understand high consequence, low probability scenarios is difficult.

    Not everyone is able process the facts objectively, so fear-mongering and hype are tools that are often employed in these situations.

    Think about workplace health and safety programs as an example... another case where we over hype is alcohol consumption in expecting mothers ... when they tell people some alcohol is safe, a large enough portion of the population over indulge, and increase the risk. So alternatively they recommend none.

    Personally, I try not contaminate my self with social media biases.
    "Its not the arrow, its the Indian" - M.Pinto

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    8,227
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    c. I learned by "backcountry TR" lesson a long time ago. Lets just say that when someone you know beats you to your pow because you posted on TGR the evening before, you change quickly.
    Now that's messed up.

    I keep plan under wraps as I've seen a planned group of 3 grow to 5 or more pretty quickly, causing me to bail immediately. And that was just from a discussion at the bar, I'd never type anything up and put it on the interwebs.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    Someone with a lot of experience is either a) careful, or b) lucky

  24. #24
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Mt. Baker
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    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    Someone with a lot of experience is either a) careful, or b) lucky
    Or c) both.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    117
    Its too easy to say "what an idiot, I would never do that." Much harder to acknowledge you've probably done a lot of stupid shit and gotten away with it. I'm glad for whatever information regarding snow conditions is available and just try and apply the appropriate filter.

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