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Thread: The FIFTY

  1. #1426
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    Cody - just curious for the Moran episode, what was the advisory rating that day? You guys were concerned about the roller balls in the dark and mentioned possible wind loading at one point, but got further up your ascent and then felt better about things, clearly. Wondering about that thought process...
    I was curious to the when you guys filmed this, looks like the week after this was report by BTAC

    "Climbing up the skillet glacier, an above sunlight aspect broke loose and picked up steam. Took two of us for a ride, lost three poles and an ice axe and both were able to self arrest before rock island."

    Did you see any evidence of this on your push Cody? We'd been musing with making it happen with the very stable conditions we were blessed with and that definatley gave us pause. Awesome episode, can't wait to giver her a go one of these years.

  2. #1427
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    Awesome video of the Moran adventure!
    -----------------------------------
    @Snapt and @TahoeJ, I thought that I saw some "date timestamps" on the video when I saw it the first time, so I went back in and checked it out...
    Looking at the date/times posted on the video, it looks like they headed across the lake on March 4th and did the ascent/descent on the 5th.

    The Avy rating for that day was "Low", raising to "Moderate" in the PM. Here is the summary.
    GENERAL AVALANCHE ADVISORY
    The snowpack is mostly stable to 10,500 feet. Dry snow avalanches are unlikely except for isolated pockets of shallow wind slab in very steep terrain at the highest elevations. Clear skies and warm temperatures could destabilize the snow surfaces and increase the wet snow hazard. During the warmest periods of the day, wet loose avalanches may be possible at all elevations, especially on steep, solar aspects. These wet slides are expected to be small but evaluate surrounding terrain as they could increase in volume on steep slopes with extensive vertical relief. At the lower elevations, as the snowpack becomes warm and isothermal steep slopes should be avoided and roof slides are possible.

  3. #1428
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    Well done Cody. We were skiing Beards a few miles west of Moran that day and it was as blue as bluebird gets, way to go what a day! I put the Summer wax on my last pair of skis today but now you’ve got me inspired to scrape the bastards for a few more corn laps, my wife doesn’t thank you but what the hell we only live once. Have a great Summer and thanks for the stoke!


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  4. #1429
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    Years ago, we were touring on Thompson Pass (the same trip that my heli crashed for those who saw my post in the heli trip refunds thread). Anyway, we were making our way up when a few rollerballs came down. Less than a minute later, a natural slide let loose above us. Most of us were on a small elevated terrain feature so the slide missed us, but one of us (who does post here and may want to chime in) was caught, lost gear, and was buried chest deep. Rollerballs scare the hell out of me ever since then.

    Anyway, great episode with amazing conditions, I've only skied it in corn (although that meant I did the love/hate canoe access, which seems like kind of a "thing" for this line).

  5. #1430
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post

    Anyway, great episode with amazing conditions, I've only skied it in corn (although that meant I did the love/hate canoe access, which seems like kind of a "thing" for this line).
    If memory serves, you guys skied it the day after I did. If so, the corn was pretty much perfect from top to damn near lakeside.

    Great episode.

  6. #1431
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    Great line great snow. That's how I like my touring.
    It's a war of the mind and we're armed to the teeth.

  7. #1432
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I did too, but I wondered how they took those? Did someone hang way back and then try and catch up in the dark? Did they leave a camera?

    Cody, can you fill us in?
    Bjarne put in the work on this one. Woke up a half hour before we did, so at 12:15 am, walked across the lake, set up a tri-pod with a specific time-lapse camera and let it roll till it died. He sort of hid it in the trees on the other side of inlet. Grabbed it when we left. The movement in the shots was just editing.

  8. #1433
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapt View Post
    I was curious to the when you guys filmed this, looks like the week after this was report by BTAC

    "Climbing up the skillet glacier, an above sunlight aspect broke loose and picked up steam. Took two of us for a ride, lost three poles and an ice axe and both were able to self arrest before rock island."

    Did you see any evidence of this on your push Cody? We'd been musing with making it happen with the very stable conditions we were blessed with and that definatley gave us pause. Awesome episode, can't wait to giver her a go one of these years.
    Since there is a few comments on this I'll address all here. So first off, I believe that report was from the week before we did our climb and ski, as I very specifically remember reading that exact incident. It was on a day where I would've predicted something like that to happen since it was immediately after a more significant snowfall, was a forecasted warm day and they were in the gut of the thing at 10:30am. It was a catastrophic slide either, just a slough. Which was good to hear that the heat of that day with a lot of new snow didn't cause a crown avalanche but just slough. So we noted it all and took that report into account for our tactics. As the week progressed we saw unstable weather but no significant snowfall giving the entire face a chance to settle...which the day of the incident was a crucial day for settling. Over the course of a couple days after the Moran incident, reports from forecasts and friends in the field were that stabilization was happening in a significantly positive way. So with not much new snowfall and only potential wind loading...put not heinous wind loading, just some wind loading...it seemed like we had a good window. But as I said in the episode, we were on a hair trigger. Anything seemed off, we were out of there. Hence why we got so spooked by the roller balls. I say a lot in the mountains you need ten yeses to continue and only one no to turn around. So we almost had a no but didn't have enough information to justify a full blown no. As we make our way up, we're continuing to plunge, probe and hasty pit our way up the thing making sure that it doesn't feel slabby. A huge indicator can be your kick turns and while we saw blocks break off between kick turns, we couldn't get them to move or be connected to each other with any sort of energy. So at that point, human triggered crown avalanches with non-warming conditions seemed unlikely. Heat would be our only factor for increasing the weight of the wind loading connecting the slope and getting the whole thing to release catastrophically. But we eliminated heat being a factor with our tactics. So all in all, we felt good the whole way up yet ready to turn around at a moment's notice.

    The only thing I wish I could know more of is if those observations were completely correct or we were still just "getting away with it". It's the hardest part of mountain travel, getting empirical confirmation of your decision making is incredibly difficult. Rarely do you back away from something and then 30 minutes later watch the whole slope go. Same goes for being successful, rarely do you get Ullr speaking to you in hushed tones saying, "nice work but that was actually a close call...you just don't know it because it all worked out well." I try to base a lot of my decision making and learning process on this sociological theory called the "Normalization of Deviance". Look it up, it applies well to decision making in the mountains.

    Anyways, long talk. Probably too long but hopefully run you through some of our thoughts that day.

    PS. We asked around about the roller balls and got some word back after the fact that just like peak warming can cause snow movement, peak cold can sometimes have the same effect, though to a much less catastrophic and dangerous degree. So what we probably saw was a precarious little mini-cornice or snow gargoyle release at 4:00am...when it's as cold and dark as it gets. Nice to have that lesson learned.

  9. #1434
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    Sometimes, we just can't overanalyze stuff.

    But there is a reasoning going on, despite how hard it is to articulate it.

    It's funny how, if you're connected with people, we end up on the same page.

    Anyway, muchly enjoying the stream o fifty madnesses.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  10. #1435
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    Thanks for sharing. Roller balls in the middle of the night would definitely freak me out - interesting to hear about the peak cold possibly causing that.

  11. #1436
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    Just curious, but couldn't middle of the night roller balls be from some critter you stirred up but never saw? Say griz looking for fresh meat after a long winter...

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  12. #1437
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    I thought it was the screaming kids in the woods? Moran is haunted, guys.

  13. #1438
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    Cody,
    What I really appreciate in your presentations is your honest and humble attitude regarding evaluation of conditions and risk before heading up and what your thoughts are as you get into the committing stuff and deliberate pulling the plug or continuing. I think the perspective of realizing your limits in evaluating stability and being objective enough to notice when the balance shifts unfavorably is what keeps you alive for the long term. This quote nails it:

    .The only thing I wish I could know more of is if those observations were completely correct or we were still just "getting away with it". It's the hardest part of mountain travel, getting empirical confirmation of your decision making is incredibly difficult. Rarely do you back away from something and then 30 minutes later watch the whole slope go. Same goes for being successful, rarely do you get Ullr speaking to you in hushed tones saying, "nice work but that was actually a close call...you just don't know it because it all worked out well." I try to base a lot of my decision making and learning process on this sociological theory called the "Normalization of Deviance". Look it up, it applies well to decision making in the mountains.

  14. #1439
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    Nice work on the last video guys! That run looks like a dream! Look forward to next season!

  15. #1440
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutash View Post
    Just curious, but couldn't middle of the night roller balls be from some critter you stirred up but never saw? Say griz looking for fresh meat after a long winter...
    beginning of March is pretty early for bears --
    I believe CT posted something about snow movement at Lowest Temp.


    Absolutely Cool project ! !!
    Love the videos !

    tj

  16. #1441
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alkasquawlik View Post
    Anyways, long talk. Probably too long...
    Not at all too long, dude. Not. At. All.
    The older I get, the faster I was.






    Punch it, Chewie.

  17. #1442
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    the last episode was so cool!
    big up cody and bjarne for this amazing project.
    it was great to see hadley hammer. i could have never imagined that an innsbruck local appears in the fifty projects : )

    may ullr protect you out there
    LIVE IS NOT A CHAIRLIFT

  18. #1443
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    Cody teasing something on the old Facefuck

    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://www.firsttracksonline.com

    I wish i could be like SkiFishBum

  19. #1444
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    This is exciting. Although I fear we won’t see anything until fall for pre-ski stoke? I hope it’s a mid-summer release


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  20. #1445
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    He was on Rainier last week trying to ski the Thumb line I believe?


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  21. #1446
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    It would be rad if he had snuck off to do Mt. St. Elias.

  22. #1447
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    Quote Originally Posted by zartagen View Post
    It would be rad if he had snuck off to do Mt. St. Elias.
    I was legitimately trying to do this and missed one of the best weather windows Mt. St. Elias has ever seen during my potential window. But since I'm a film production, I have to get film permits for National Parks, therefore I have to be in touch with Parks Service and it was very ill advised I make a trip up that way during this time from the words of the Parks Service. I checked the weather nearly everyday and was just continually crushed as the main crux of St. Elias, the weather, was about as friendly as it could be this season.

  23. #1448
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    And that's why you always take the advice from the government with a grain of salt. Bummed you missed that window but stoked to see how the local volcanoes treated you
    "Pay your nickel and take your chances"
    "they don't groom Alpental, they just move shit around."

  24. #1449
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alkasquawlik View Post
    I was legitimately trying to do this and missed one of the best weather windows Mt. St. Elias has ever seen during my potential window. But since I'm a film production, I have to get film permits for National Parks, therefore I have to be in touch with Parks Service and it was very ill advised I make a trip up that way during this time from the words of the Parks Service. I checked the weather nearly everyday and was just continually crushed as the main crux of St. Elias, the weather, was about as friendly as it could be this season.
    I certainly had mixed feelings hanging out at home through April. I got to ski local lines every day, so on one hand I was feeling pretty fortunate, but knowing that conditions on the lines I had been planning were “best in a decade” filled in and stable, was a burden. Stoked to see what you’ve been able to get done.

  25. #1450
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    Damm man. This sounds crazy https://snowbrains.com/cody-townsend...es-windscreen/

    Glad you are alive and didn't end up like that guy in Lethal Weapon 2.
    "Great barbecue makes you want to slap your granny up the side of her head." - Southern Saying

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