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  1. #26
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    Sad to hear it was also a avy class.

  2. #27
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    Very sorry to hear of this tragic event, I hate reading these stories. Condolences to Peter's friends and family, the instructors, other students, and first responders. Many lives were changed that day forever. Maybe something can be learned from the circumstances of this avalanche and somebody else's life will be saved in the future as a result. We can only hope.

  3. #28
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  4. #29
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    Wow, there is a lifetime of learning in that report.

  5. #30
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    Apr 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    Wow, there is a lifetime of learning in that report.
    I agree. I found it interesting they were relying on GPS slope angles to make travel decisions and not measuring slope angle in the field during an AIARE 2 course (not criticizing but found it surprising).

  6. #31
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    Apr 2016
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    Yeah, very well-done report. I learned a number of new things, including how the slope overlays are calculated and their margin of error.

  7. #32
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    Apr 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cravenmorhead View Post
    Yeah, very well-done report. I learned a number of new things, including how the slope overlays are calculated and their margin of error.
    I'm a GIS professional and the current reliance on digital mapping in backcountry skiing makes me nervous because I am intimately aware of the errors in these datasets. Honestly, I only use maps to figure out approaches and would never rely on them for decisions made in avalanche terrain, there's just too many errors in the data and they fail to capture micro-topography.

  8. #33
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    Apr 2016
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    Yeah, I've noticed that anecdotally when comparing the overlays to real life. Certainly a good planning tool to begin with, but needs to be trumped by information on the ground.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cravenmorhead View Post
    Yeah, I've noticed that anecdotally when comparing the overlays to real life. Certainly a good planning tool to begin with, but needs to be trumped by information on the ground.
    X2

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by total_immortal View Post
    Honestly, I only use maps to figure out approaches and would never rely on them for decisions made in avalanche terrain, there's just too many errors in the data and they fail to capture micro-topography.
    This point should be emphasized when teaching trip planning during Rec Level 1. I do so. I thought this was well known?

    Even if not, one need only spend a little time traveling to discover the problem anecdotally.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    This point should be emphasized when teaching trip planning during Rec Level 1. I do so. I thought this was well known?

    Even if not, one need only spend a little time traveling to discover the problem anecdotally.
    I did a NOLS course in Canada in college and since the contours intervals were usually even bigger on Canadian maps (40m I think?) and we did a lot of bushwhacking off trail the guides always joked about all the 25 and 30 meter cliffs that would hide in 40m contours when we'd be trying to plan routes.
    "They don't think it be like it is, but it do."

  12. #37
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    That is some complex terrain they were traveling in (not a MMBQ thing, I get that is the point of the class, it's just an observation).

    Don't think I will ever get a Level 2. Maybe I should refresh my level 1, though.
    "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. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    That is some complex terrain they were traveling in (not a MMBQ thing, I get that is the point of the class, it's just an observation).
    Red Mountain Pass is extra beautiful and hazardous in that respect.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  14. #39
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    Dec 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    That is some complex terrain they were traveling in
    Agreed. The only time I've ever toured off Red Mt was in that same basin. VERY complex terrain, for sure...

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    Wow, there is a lifetime of learning in that report.
    wow yeah

  16. #41
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    I mean, fuck...

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    "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

  17. #42
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    Oct 2008
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    off on yet another Tangent
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    Sobering report.

    FWIW, here's another image of the Trico/Senator Beck/South Telluride Peak with more contrast showing the slope differences:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Best regards, Terry
    (Direct Contact is best vs PMs)

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  18. #43
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    Nov 2010
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    Red Mtn Pass avalanche fatality

    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo View Post
    I did a NOLS course in Canada in college and since the contours intervals were usually even bigger on Canadian maps (40m I think?) and we did a lot of bushwhacking off trail the guides always joked about all the 25 and 30 meter cliffs that would hide in 40m contours when we'd be trying to plan routes.
    We used to have similar experiences when I did SAR. You'd plan a search segment and then discover your route wasn't actually passable.

    That report was very well done. I certainly have gotten lazy about slope angle recently (in retrospect) and I'll always think twice now.

  19. #44
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    May 2016
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    I know this was a local company giving the classes, but was the instructor also local, or someone new to the area? If he was a long time local, surely he would be familiar with the area, and it wouldn’t matter what the GPS slope readings said. Ack, it is really hard to not second guess this one.

  20. #45
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    Feb 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo View Post
    I did a NOLS course in Canada in college and since the contours intervals were usually even bigger on Canadian maps (40m I think?) and we did a lot of bushwhacking off trail the guides always joked about all the 25 and 30 meter cliffs that would hide in 40m contours when we'd be trying to plan routes.
    20m contours in Canada on TRIM maps. I emphasize when helping people read maps that many crevasses, cliffs etc are less than 20m.

    Also snow, wind drifts etc all change the slope angle dramatically. Something else emphasized in map reading. Obvious point but there is no substitute for on-field measurements.

    Also now emphasized is importance of safe zones. An incident with which I was involved shows that the "bow-wave" of a slide can take a skier off his/her feet and into an avalanche even if the skier is standing on flat ground as the bow wave effect can reach into the flats.

    Not MMQB'ing the incident but just emphasizing some field lessons learned after reading this rather clinically chilling report. Well done to the report-writers

  21. #46
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    Nov 2002
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    How about, "field verify all conditions". Even if it was a paper map, you can't rely on it.

    Islands of safety

    one at a time

    conservative decision making

  22. #47
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    Apr 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by billyk View Post
    I know this was a local company giving the classes, but was the instructor also local, or someone new to the area? If he was a long time local, surely he would be familiar with the area, and it wouldn’t matter what the GPS slope readings said. Ack, it is really hard to not second guess this one.
    From the Report: There was an instructor in this group whose role was to teach the group how to understand, observe, and analyze the avalanche hazard and navigate through avalanche terrain. This accident is more complex than most because it involved a relatively large group of people, in a very structured environment, executing a detailed trip plan. In addition to the group’s plan, the instructor made a plan for the course based on his knowledge of the area and current conditions. This experience included multiple days in the field earlier that week, working in the area since mid-December, and work in the area each year for the last six. The instructor had additional local information at his disposal including information exchanges with other guides, avalanche safety operations, and recreationalists in the area.

  23. #48
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    Dec 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I mean, fuck...

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    um, yeah.

  24. #49
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    Aug 2018
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    23
    Lesson learned, get one of these stickers for my ski poles.
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  25. #50
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    Aug 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    How about, "field verify all conditions". Even if it was a paper map, you can't rely on it.

    Islands of safety

    one at a time

    conservative decision making
    don't go out in complex terrain on days where one small mistake can result in death

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