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Thread: The FIFTY

  1. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alkasquawlik View Post
    As far as the victim, yeah, he fell down Central. He popped into my view falling which was about halfway up the couloir. It was an insanely long, violent and fast fall. It looked closer to a potato sack dropped down and elevator shaft than a fall. According to Bjarne, who was with him while I went for initiating a rescue, he rapped in from the top after climbing Aussie and then just started skiing. Not sure how or exactly where he fell, but I'm guessing it was at one of the many steps and into the variable snow (blue ice in spots, white ice in spots, neve, punch crust pow, slabby pow and windboard was what we found in Joffre Couloir). It's a miracle he survived and another miracle we weren't five minutes earlier or later. We never would have seen it and he most definitely would've died from exposure and shock had we not seen him...he was also blinded from his face been swollen up so much and began trying to stumble down the glacier blind before Bjarne got to him.
    Thanks for the recap. Just been hoping it's no one I know... but I don't know anyone that insane. I couldn't imagine anyone would be that crazy to drop in blind + solo.

    Words can't describe how lucky that guy is.

    Props to you and Bjarne for skiing off Joffre in those conditions and getting two big lines in our neck of the woods pretty close together. Fun project to be following.

  2. #177
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    Alka

    Thanks for the clarification. MOT, foon, I and others figured the success rate on Central was maybe 10 - 15% I climbed it once in a good year (09-10) without topping out of course and there's blue-ice at the choke in the middle right above where it doglegs EDIT - which is where I turned back. The top is incredibly firm because of the constant sluff and cornice fall. At the same time in that year both Joffre and Twisting were ankle to thigh deep pow with perfect turns. Central is a beast and I can't see myself ever going there again.

    Zartagen in Canada in that area a McMurdo PLB will dispatch SAR from Comox air force base via the quickest response. Inreach tends to take 1+ hour or greater due to the multiple levels of communication to various other levels of response. But doing what Cody did and driving to cell range is also very fast as one can get from base of Central to parking lot in 30 minutes in a sprint then another 20mins to cell range for SAR. This is all very region-specific of course

  3. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alkasquawlik View Post
    Yeah, as you noted, we skied Joffre Couloir. It's super thin up in the alpine on north facing slopes because of the low snowfall this season and that week's worth of 100km+ north winds. Twisting does not really go right now because of all the ice and rock steps exposed and Central to me looked about the same. We stared at Central for a long time, but deemed a minimum of 4 raps to even make it feasible, which isn't even taking in to count how horrible, variable and unpredictable the snow is up there right now. Joffre seemed like the only skiable line on the NW face of Joffre (what the book says is a Classic) so we decided to go for it. I gotta say, it was barely skiable, not fun, involved one sketchy ass unprotected down climb and wouldn't recommend anyone go for anything up there until multiple meters of wet plaster snows up there.

    As far as the victim, yeah, he fell down Central. He popped into my view falling which was about halfway up the couloir. It was an insanely long, violent and fast fall. It looked closer to a potato sack dropped down and elevator shaft than a fall. According to Bjarne, who was with him while I went for initiating a rescue, he rapped in from the top after climbing Aussie and then just started skiing. Not sure how or exactly where he fell, but I'm guessing it was at one of the many steps and into the variable snow (blue ice in spots, white ice in spots, neve, punch crust pow, slabby pow and windboard was what we found in Joffre Couloir). It's a miracle he survived and another miracle we weren't five minutes earlier or later. We never would have seen it and he most definitely would've died from exposure and shock had we not seen him...he was also blinded from his face been swollen up so much and began trying to stumble down the glacier blind before Bjarne got to him.
    Wow. Crazy story. Thanks for sharing

  4. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalisto View Post
    Thanks for the recap. Just been hoping it's no one I know... but I don't know anyone that insane. I couldn't imagine anyone would be that crazy to drop in blind + solo.

    Words can't describe how lucky that guy is.

    Props to you and Bjarne for skiing off Joffre in those conditions and getting two big lines in our neck of the woods pretty close together. Fun project to be following.
    I remember the year you did it. It was a good year. The outflow winds have not been kind to N slopes this past month which is a shame. This guy falling off Central. The other guy falling off Owls. Perhaps they wanted the challenge of impenetrable 55 - 60 degree windslab? Not mine to question personal preferences.

    strangely it seems to be just pure N. NW and NE have been skiing fine. Firm but at least edgeable

  5. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    I remember the year you did it. It was a good year. The outflow winds have not been kind to N slopes this past month which is a shame. This guy falling off Central. The other guy falling off Owls. Perhaps they wanted the challenge of impenetrable 55 - 60 degree windslab? Not mine to question personal preferences.

    strangely it seems to be just pure N. NW and NE have been skiing fine. Firm but at least edgeable
    I had absolutely stellar conditions down both Joffre and Twisting. Went back to twisting a second time and it was fucking terrible. Good coverage but garbage snow.

    Props to you for even venturing up central. Even in the best of years that line still has some serious cruxes.

  6. #181
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    Central gets skiied about once every 5 years no? I vaguely remember seeing footage of Matty Richard from just after i first got into touring, and of maybe McSkimming and Francisty skiing it 5 years ago or so, but not much else. I'm sure there are others, but they are rare.

    We haven't had any warm storms this year to make stuff stick, and as Lee mentioned the North winds have been brutal...

  7. #182
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    https://bivouac.com/TripPg.asp?TripId=5791 I don't have full access to bivouac but there is a TR from yesterday.
    Edit, nevermind that is old, but the timestamp at the top fooled me.

  8. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by zartagen View Post
    Cody, you mentioned a PLB wouldn't have been good enough for a quick rescue. What kind of PLB do you carry? In the paragliding community, the DeLorme/Garmin inReach with 2 way texting is the standard. They've been proven to be invaluable with real time communication to the rescue team. Not to take away from your heroic race to cell service, but do you think that having one would've helped in this situation?
    Because when you understand the protocol and systems that are used with PLB's then you realize the time it takes to mobilize...time I knew we didn't have because it was about 4:00 in the afternoon when the fall happened and we had till about 5:30 to get a heli in there and get him out of there. From what I could tell, if we didn't get him out via a heli, he wasn't going to survive.

    So here's why I did what I did and exactly what I did. So for PLB's, the send out to a central service center, who then calls 911 in the area. 911 then calls SAR. SAR then mobilizes their volunteer staff who may be spread about town, creates a plan and then calls a heli if necessary or begins their extraction plan. That whole chain can take an hour at best from what I've been told and understand and from other experiences, usually in the 3 hour range. Knowing that system, knowing that we had an hour and a half of light at best, I figured I could get a heli, SAR and 911 mobilized before a PLB...plus with inReaches, communicating everything including exact location, injury, and details of scene, in text messages to everyone necessary can be slow and tough. I timed the whole thing and from minutes after the fall, to when I started moving at 4:00pm, I made the first call to Blackcomb Heli at 4:28, then 911, then SAR. The heli plucked Bjarne, who went up to warm, comfort and move the guy to a safe heli landing zone, and the victim at about 5:30.

    Honestly, I'm amazed at the efficiency, the willingness and the skill of Blackcomb Heli and their crew and Pemberton SAR, they crushed the rescue and for sure saved that guy's life.

  9. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by nortonwhis View Post
    Central gets skiied about once every 5 years no? I vaguely remember seeing footage of Matty Richard from just after i first got into touring, and of maybe McSkimming and Francisty skiing it 5 years ago or so, but not much else. I'm sure there are others, but they are rare.

    We haven't had any warm storms this year to make stuff stick, and as Lee mentioned the North winds have been brutal...
    I think it gets attempted at least once a year with most like me just saying eff it we don't want to die and bailing. I glanced at bivouac and it's the right line that goes.

    From memory the successful skis- matty, Matt B, Paul C and Alex W, Ian H. Lots of really well known very good skiers and mountaineers have tried on it. It's a rather uniquely difficult line. Sounds bizarre but Joffre and Twisting didn't give me that same feeling of vast dark emptiness that Siberian or Central did.

  10. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    I think it gets attempted at least once a year with most like me just saying eff it we don't want to die and bailing. I glanced at bivouac and it's the right line that goes.

    From memory the successful skis- matty, Matt B, Paul C and Alex W, Ian H. Lots of really well known very good skiers and mountaineers have tried on it. It's a rather uniquely difficult line. Sounds bizarre but Joffre and Twisting didn't give me that same feeling of vast dark emptiness that Siberian or Central did.
    Agreed, Joffre in good conditions looks straight up rippable. Twisting looks like an all time exposure line but completely manageable. Central looks like a mental battle with the devil in everything but the best of conditions...which seem to be incredibly rare. I'll definitely come back one day to ride one of those lines because although I ticked Joffre of the book list, I feel like there is more left on that table.

  11. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alkasquawlik View Post
    Twisting looks like an all time exposure line but completely manageable.
    It's actually not that bad from an exposure point of view. I think it looks worse than it is... but to be honest, the s2s region in the winter is really just an awesome place to be

  12. #187
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    Thanks for the insight, Cody. Having/getting the direct number to blackcomb heli was clutch. Great job.

  13. #188
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    Just to bring back memories for kalisto this is joffre n from 09-10; a bumper year. Sky and Andy even left a rope on Joffre Couloir which was much appreciated

    EDIT - also useful for alka and the unnamed bivouac skier who asked about skiers right vs skiers left on Central. You'd have to click on the pic to get the full size

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	joffre couloirs large.jpg 
Views:	315 
Size:	1.47 MB 
ID:	270938

  14. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alkasquawlik View Post
    Because when you understand the protocol and systems that are used with PLB's then you realize the time it takes to mobilize...time I knew we didn't have because it was about 4:00 in the afternoon when the fall happened and we had till about 5:30 to get a heli in there and get him out of there. From what I could tell, if we didn't get him out via a heli, he wasn't going to survive.

    So here's why I did what I did and exactly what I did. So for PLB's, the send out to a central service center, who then calls 911 in the area. 911 then calls SAR. SAR then mobilizes their volunteer staff who may be spread about town, creates a plan and then calls a heli if necessary or begins their extraction plan. That whole chain can take an hour at best from what I've been told and understand and from other experiences, usually in the 3 hour range. Knowing that system, knowing that we had an hour and a half of light at best, I figured I could get a heli, SAR and 911 mobilized before a PLB...plus with inReaches, communicating everything including exact location, injury, and details of scene, in text messages to everyone necessary can be slow and tough. I timed the whole thing and from minutes after the fall, to when I started moving at 4:00pm, I made the first call to Blackcomb Heli at 4:28, then 911, then SAR. The heli plucked Bjarne, who went up to warm, comfort and move the guy to a safe heli landing zone, and the victim at about 5:30.

    Honestly, I'm amazed at the efficiency, the willingness and the skill of Blackcomb Heli and their crew and Pemberton SAR, they crushed the rescue and for sure saved that guy's life.
    1.5 hrs from incident to pickup is extraordinary.

  15. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalisto View Post
    It's actually not that bad from an exposure point of view. I think it looks worse than it is... but to be honest, the s2s region in the winter is really just an awesome place to be
    i skied the direct line from the summit with matt b into twisting in the pic below. Did you do the trad route? Ie coming in direct from the top ridgeline? I think Twisting doesn't get skied that often also which is puzzling

  16. #191
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    Didn't ski off the summit either time, which decreases exposure significantly. Both times dropped in just lookers left of that little bump down the ridge, left of the spine.

    Fun pic looking down sort of mid-line: https://www.instagram.com/p/BPRnVW6gsvi/

  17. #192
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    Cody, crazy story and amazing effort to get help to that guy before nightfall. He quite likely owes you his life. I was not very familiar with you or your ski career before this project, but based on what I've seen so far I am completely impressed with your solid decision making and professionalism, obviously coupled with great ski mountaineering skills and a genuinely funny sense of humor. This project is all- time and I will be tuned in till it's complete. Good luck and stay safe man.

  18. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alkasquawlik View Post
    Because when you understand the protocol and systems that are used with PLB's then you realize the time it takes to mobilize...time I knew we didn't have because it was about 4:00 in the afternoon when the fall happened and we had till about 5:30 to get a heli in there and get him out of there. From what I could tell, if we didn't get him out via a heli, he wasn't going to survive.

    So here's why I did what I did and exactly what I did. So for PLB's, the send out to a central service center, who then calls 911 in the area. 911 then calls SAR. SAR then mobilizes their volunteer staff who may be spread about town, creates a plan and then calls a heli if necessary or begins their extraction plan. That whole chain can take an hour at best from what I've been told and understand and from other experiences, usually in the 3 hour range. Knowing that system, knowing that we had an hour and a half of light at best, I figured I could get a heli, SAR and 911 mobilized before a PLB...plus with inReaches, communicating everything including exact location, injury, and details of scene, in text messages to everyone necessary can be slow and tough. I timed the whole thing and from minutes after the fall, to when I started moving at 4:00pm, I made the first call to Blackcomb Heli at 4:28, then 911, then SAR. The heli plucked Bjarne, who went up to warm, comfort and move the guy to a safe heli landing zone, and the victim at about 5:30.

    Honestly, I'm amazed at the efficiency, the willingness and the skill of Blackcomb Heli and their crew and Pemberton SAR, they crushed the rescue and for sure saved that guy's life.
    Pretty amazing series of events. Props to Cody and his partner for some quick thinking. Getting to cell coverage definitely hastened this guys rescue. As usual the crew from Pemby SAR were on point, and Craig from Blackcomb Heli is absolutely the guy you want in the pilot seat for these events.

    Thanks to all involved. Sounded gnarly

  19. #194
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    That is harrowing. Extremely fortunate timing. Hope the guy will be ok and you somehow get an update. Maybe a bottle of vino and you share a good laugh

  20. #195
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    HEY CODY, I CAN'T BELIEVE YOUR'E A PRO SAR DISPATCHER, I'M SO MUCH SICKER THAN YOU

    😉
    Props mang

  21. #196
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    Good job saving a life!!!

  22. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alkasquawlik View Post
    Yeah, as you noted, we skied Joffre Couloir. It's super thin up in the alpine on north facing slopes because of the low snowfall this season and that week's worth of 100km+ north winds. Twisting does not really go right now because of all the ice and rock steps exposed and Central to me looked about the same. We stared at Central for a long time, but deemed a minimum of 4 raps to even make it feasible, which isn't even taking in to count how horrible, variable and unpredictable the snow is up there right now. Joffre seemed like the only skiable line on the NW face of Joffre (what the book says is a Classic) so we decided to go for it. I gotta say, it was barely skiable, not fun, involved one sketchy ass unprotected down climb and wouldn't recommend anyone go for anything up there until multiple meters of wet plaster snows up there.

    As far as the victim, yeah, he fell down Central. He popped into my view falling which was about halfway up the couloir. It was an insanely long, violent and fast fall. It looked closer to a potato sack dropped down and elevator shaft than a fall. According to Bjarne, who was with him while I went for initiating a rescue, he rapped in from the top after climbing Aussie and then just started skiing. Not sure how or exactly where he fell, but I'm guessing it was at one of the many steps and into the variable snow (blue ice in spots, white ice in spots, neve, punch crust pow, slabby pow and windboard was what we found in Joffre Couloir). It's a miracle he survived and another miracle we weren't five minutes earlier or later. We never would have seen it and he most definitely would've died from exposure and shock had we not seen him...he was also blinded from his face been swollen up so much and began trying to stumble down the glacier blind before Bjarne got to him.
    Jesus.
    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    the situation strikes me as WAY too much drama at this point

  23. #198
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    Wow. Nice work. Hope the skier is ok.

  24. #199
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    This is all incredible. First and foremost -- your performance today. Secondly, you willingness to write it up and share with all of us. Thank you.

    I would buy pre-sale of a movie based on this adventure now.

  25. #200
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    Great story, Cody. Nice to see true professionalism beyond just the shred.
    PE, Mechanical Engineering
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