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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcski View Post
    The news stated he was a photog attached to a client group. That's the issue
    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated
    Do you know specifically how his general role as a photographer for the company affected the chain of events and outcome of this accident?
    Quote Originally Posted by mcski View Post
    Irrelevant.
    Make up your mind.

    Here is my point. There are a bunch of people talking out of their ass and victim blaming. I expect that from Facebook but usually Slide Zone is better than that.

    Unless you were there, or spoke directly to someone that was, you don't know exactly what went down. There are very few details that are available publicly at this point. What we do know is that a very large avalanche ran to historic extents and a guide was killed. According to the operating company, this slide was triggered by a different party.

    I do know someone that was there and I don't know exactly what went down, because it ain't the time to ask. Because he is busy mourning one of his best friends.

    IF YOU KNOW FACTS about this or any other accident... they are useful to help everyone learn from. Stating unsubstantiated bullshit serves only to stoke ones own ego and discount the decision making of others to the point where you have closed yourself off from learning anything useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by mcski
    The issue is the guiding clients part if that wasn't clear
    OK, now we are getting somewhere. But once again I will ask, please, in detail, the difference in your mind between working terrain in order to make it "safe" for clients to ski, and "guiding" clients to "safe" skiing. I have skied many times in ski areas where ski patrollers directed me exactly where to ski.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffmedic84 View Post
    I think it's a difference in the terrain they're operating in. In bounds has been patrolled and blasted heavily. It doesn't have the chance to build up to create the level of slides happening right now. Some backcountry operations might do mitigation but I doubt it's on the same level as a resort. Either way I'm not passing judgement against the operators but I don't think its fare to compare the two.
    I think this is a fair point, although I would ask if you know what level of avalanche mitigation PA does relative to nearby ski areas? I do not and so don't feel comfortable making judgments on what they do and don't do.

    Quote Originally Posted by old goat
    On a level 5 day, when cars are being buried on the interstate and mature trees are being knocked down there is no such thing as a safe zone
    To clarify, the accident location on Jones Pass is in the Front Range zone, which was rated at High (level 4 of 5) yesterday. The adjacent Vail/Summit zone was rated Extreme (level 5 of 5).

    With that, I'll be signing off TGR and other social media for a bit. Stay safe, make good decisions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

  2. #52
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    The news stated he was a photog attached to a client group. That's the issue
    Irrelevant.
    The issue is the guiding clients part if that wasn't clear
    It wasn't clear but not it is. Thanks still waiting for that news link.

    To give my answer on Adrenelated's question, I think ski areas feel comfortable that they can open large amounts of terrain without exposing themselves to the avalanche hazard. In addition to that, they may or may not have opened terrain yesterday in avalanche terrain based on their analysis of the risk.

    I think that use computer jockeys with no life on a Friday night would respond a bit differently. The terrain that the incident occurred in is, most likely, true backcountry absent any type of control work or meaningful skier compaction. Most people would agree that avalanche terrain in the backcountry was unsafe yesterday. You would be unlikely to be able to make this blanket statement about avalanche terrain in proximate ski areas as that terrain would have be subject to, most likely, control work and previous skier compaction.

  3. #53
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    Ok it has been a long day of processing this tragedy. I hope everyone can heal from this. Save the QB analysis for Monday. A good man died doing his job. R.I.P Hans - wildisreal

  4. #54
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    Jones Pass Fatality

    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    They are both avalanche professionals whose livelihood involves working in avalanche terrain on publicly owned land for the purpose of facilitating operations of a for-profit business. Maybe a better question is, how are they different?
    Sorry, I don’t see the parallel either. If that was a ski resort the entire methodology of operations would have been completely different (continuous active control of a major slide path vs skiing well below an uncontrolled major slide path).

    Not saying I would have made a different decision (though I can’t remember ever skiing below major slide paths on extreme danger days), but I don’t see the parallel.
    Last edited by Lindahl; 03-08-2019 at 09:20 PM.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    To those questioning, "why were they operating yesterday?"

    Would you be asking that if the victim had been a ski patroller instead of a backcountry guide?
    Having been both a helicopter skiing guide and a professional ski patroller, I would say they are not at all similar.



    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  6. #56
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    This indicates the victim was dropped off further down to set up for photos before the cat continued up where skiers would drop in.

    https://www.denverpost.com/2019/03/0...GLDdPQ2zBaK_yI
    I french kissed Kelly Kapowski.

  7. #57
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    His point isn't that hard to decipher.

    Guides and Trollers both:

    Are paid to be there
    Are looking out for their guests
    Are under pressure to get guests on snow asap
    Make mistakes

    With that, how about drop that tangent since this is a rip thread? Debate nuances of the two elsewhere?
    __

    Vibes to friends and fam of the fallen.

  8. #58
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    Jones Pass Fatality

    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    To clarify, the accident location on Jones Pass is in the Front Range zone, which was rated at High (level 4 of 5) yesterday. The adjacent Vail/Summit zone was rated Extreme (level 5 of 5).
    Sorry, I have a hard time accepting this point of view. Certainly people with experience at Jones Pass (or anywhere with similar loading and orographic characteristics) would consider that region to be Extreme in such circumstances.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    Sorry, I don’t see the parallel either. If that was a ski resort the entire methodology of operations would have been completely different (continuous active control of a major slide path vs skiing well below an uncontrolled major slide path).
    Are you familiar with PA's methodology of operations? I am not, at least not to the extent that I can compare or contrast it with that of anywhere else. Again, my point here is we (as a community) need to stop talking out of our asses and stick to what we know as true, which brings me to your second post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    Sorry, I have a hard time accepting this point of view. Certainly people with experience at Jones Pass (or anywhere with similar loading and orographic characteristics) would consider that region to be Extreme in such circumstances.
    This is not a point of view. It is a fact that the published avalanche danger rating by the CAIC was High for the Front Range zone, not Extreme. If you would like to debate whether or not that was the correct rating, or whether or not it is even relevant to this avalanche accident, I think that is fair. I have my own opinions on that, which I have not expressed in this thread or anywhere else so I'm not sure how you would know what they are. However, let's get our facts correct. The rated avalanche danger where this accident occurred was High, not Extreme.

    Quote Originally Posted by El Kanone View Post
    Having been both a helicopter skiing guide and a professional ski patroller, I would say they are not at all similar.
    I would be interested to hear you elaborate on this. A separate thread or a PM would be fine and probably more appropriate,

    Quote Originally Posted by FiveLarge View Post
    This indicates the victim was dropped off further down to set up for photos before the cat continued up where skiers would drop in.

    https://www.denverpost.com/2019/03/0...GLDdPQ2zBaK_yI
    Thanks, I had not seen this article and these details.
    Last edited by adrenalated; 03-08-2019 at 10:30 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

  10. #60
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    This is such a bad situation. I thought the rating was extreme throughout the region. It was on the 7th which I thought was the date.
    you know there ain't no devil,
    there's just God when he's drunk---- Tom Waits

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by daviski View Post
    This is such a bad situation. But on a day when CAIC had their first ever extreme warning in five zones and this accident was in the midst of it; this was so clearly a bad decision.
    Once again, let's be sure that we are stating facts that are accurate and true. CAIC went to a ten zone forecast system in 2006. Thursday was the first time that four zones (not five) were rated at Extreme since the ten zone format began.

    I'm not debating that conditions were exceptionally dangerous on Thursday. However I am going to hold this community to a standard of not posting things that are verifiably false.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    EDIT: I see your post has been edited thusly:

    Quote Originally Posted by daviski View Post
    This is such a bad situation. I thought the rating was extreme throughout the region. It was on the 7th which I thought was the date.
    Here is the forecast for the Front Range zone on Thursday, March 7, 2019:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

  12. #62
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    What happens with the unguided skiers who triggered this?

  13. #63
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    that is uncertain too

    adrenalated I see you are correct on that point and it does matter. I don't know the people but love the area, sympathy to everyone involved or close to them. Very sorry
    you know there ain't no devil,
    there's just God when he's drunk---- Tom Waits

  14. #64
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    Why is there hang up in this discussion of whether the forecast was high or extreme for the zone that this occurred? It was only a forecast. Reading the forecast discussion, the comment about the steamboat area indicates less “extreme” conditions and forecast. This makes me wonder if the High rating was because caic needed to consider that area in its overall single word rating for the zone:
    https://avalanche.state.co.us/foreca...e/front-range/

    RIP to family and friends.

  15. #65
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    Jones Pass Fatality

    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Are you familiar with PA's methodology of operations? I am not, at least not to the extent that I can compare or contrast it with that of anywhere else
    Talk about pendantic. I get that you’re close to this, and I’m sorry for your (and others’) loss, but come on now. The methodologies of ski patrolling and ski guiding at Jones Pass are nowhere near similar.

    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    This is not a point of view.
    True. ‘accepting this as a point of view’ -> ‘accepting this as part of any argument’.
    Last edited by Lindahl; 03-09-2019 at 07:19 AM.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    With that, I'll be signing off TGR and other social media for a bit. Stay safe, make good decisions.
    C'mon man, I know you, skied with you and Lindhal, and the OP, and most deeply feel for your loss. We have been there with more dead people then we should have, but ...
    This was a major fuck up. Unfortunately 2 commercial operations in Colorado this year so far.

    If you can't see this as a major fucking fuck up, then you definitely need to hit that guitar a bit harder.

    No one, don't doubt our forecast, or if your were remotely out there, would know, it's a clean your fucking bathroom day. Simple as that.

    This disgusts me.

    Edit:

    My 25 year old self wanted deeply to deposit myself on top of the most avalanche prone terrain yesterday and use my well overfunded brain to illustrate in rebellion the fact that I could navigate it selfishly. Fully knowing that I could.

    But, my 43 year old self said that was owed a douche slap for being so stupid. And I replied, I'm not being stupid, I proving smarts. To which my other self said...
    Exactly, stupid. I was so close so close, but those 20 years, and deaths, made me clean the kitchen to take out my itch.

    Food for thought.

  17. #67
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    While danger was 4/4/3 for the zone, it was under an avalanche warning noting "exceptional avalanche conditions" and the avalanche problem indicated "likely" slab avalanches of "very large to historic" size. There were many recent historic slides in that zone.

    What is more, that drainage is a particularly deep area of a very large forecast zone and sits on the continental divide; it is extremely close to the zone border over which the forecast was 5/5/5. We always tell our intro students to read the neighboring zone forecast when *close* to the zone border.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAIC Front Range Zone Forecast Discussion 3/7/19
    ... storm totals for March into historic levels ... most dangerous avalanche conditions in years ... further travel in or around avalanche terrain is not recommended. ... Under these exceptional conditions, expect all avalanche paths, both small and large to slide.

    Some of the recent avalanches were really big, some reaching historic levels. Tuesday, both natural and explosive triggered avalanches reached D3 to D4 in size. The Disney slide path above Highway 40, as just one example, hasn't run this big since 1957. The D4 avalanche out of Bethel on the east side of the Eisenhower Tunnel crossed all 4 lanes of I-70 with debris 6 to 15 feet deep for a 300 foot long stretch of road.

    ... avalanches are running as big as they have in decades. Some very big slides from Jones Pass, to Breckenridge, to Fremont Pass is just a small sample illustrating that the concern is widepread across the Front Range and Vail-Summit zones.
    Historic conditions like that prudently dictate either operational hold or taking your clients to 25deg terrain that has zero exposure from above.

    True safe zones during historic conditions are areas where you are not on, connected to, or underneath (within the max alpha angle) of any potential slide zone based on conservative start zone slope angles of 27/28deg.

    Bad luck is when you make good decisions but have a bad outcome. Bad luck is the rarest type of avalanche accident. This accident was not bad luck. Where the guide was hit, where was snowcat moments before according to the news, were objectively not safe places to be that day. The evidence is in the pile of pulverized timber and the tragic loss of life.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  18. #68
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    I've dug pits in the low fun zone (35 before the fun) where the entire slope has collapsed and was shivering getting out of the pit;

    I've set off complete hudge acres of terrain at 22 degrees remotely and had the same feeling. Litteraly entire fields of gone.

    A stomp and a hand pit is not going to get you your normal tomorrow.

    Just wait a week. And then tempt. It's not easy, this science, but that buffer, can save your life.

    Edit: I know we are being nanny's but we're in our age and this shit can save your life, as much as you want those over the head 'grams.

    Here's a try: find some underservered liftserved inbounds and post that faceshot as a stach that you nailed and get some $$$ from the hill.

    Quite honestestly: I've gone through the spectrum of being scared of not knowing and running it, through the final end of knowing too much and thinking I know too much. It's a very weird feeling that I don't know too many people to talk to about. But it is a very relevant discussion perhaps for another thread.

    There is a reason avi professionals die. I have overcome the starter one's but I'm solidly in the cohort of thinking too much and being the next one. I'm aware of this. It scares me in a way that I'm uncomfortable about it.

  19. #69
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    I've dug pits in the low fun zone (35 before the fun) where the entire slope has collapsed and was shivering getting out of the pit;

    I've set off complete hudge acres of terrain at 22 degrees remotely and had the same feeling. Litteraly entire fields of gone.

    A stomp and a hand pit is not going to get you your normal tomorrow.

    Just wait a week. And then tempt. It's not easy, this science, but that buffer, can save your life.

    The whole assessment game is totally crazy, and when you bring other people into the equation, it's down right mad.

    That is my conclusion.

  20. #70
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    There is lots of good discussion points in this thread. Often good talking points don't blend well with current tragedy.

    Even the best of us make bad decisions, despite knowing what we should know. For better or for worse....Most of the time we get away with it.

    I often lament about how something that can bring such happiness, joy, stoke and friendship can also be so devastating.

    Vibes to family and friends.
    "Its not the arrow, its the Indian" - M.Pinto

  21. #71
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    I often lament about how something that can bring such happiness, joy, stoke and friendship can also be so devastating.
    Well said. Emotions are running high. I'm guilty of hammering on the keyboard hoping that is therapeutic. It doesn't work.

    I know many of you and you tend to be smart, caring people. Let's collectively try and be a bit more compassionate. The arguing bullshit is tiring. That said, there is a lot I can personally learn from even those that I disagree with. It is a hard balance to find between discussing and E fighting.

    I'm going skiing.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmcrawfo View Post
    I often lament about how something that can bring such happiness, joy, stoke and friendship can also be so devastating.

    C'est la vie.


    Keep critical, keep aware, and keep skiing. ++Vibes to all.
    I think the potato gun proved the stability.

  23. #73
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    Wonder if this is still going on...

    https://www.facebook.com/events/224447898471167/

    Colorado Backcountry Workshop 2019
    Hosted by Powder Addiction and Colorado Backcountry Workshop

    Mar 7 at 6 PM – Mar 10 at 4 PM

    The Colorado Backcountry Workshop is an event designed to focus on the human factors associated with backcountry skiing and riding. Cost = $500

    The main organizers are:
    Eric Tollund, Ski Guide, Snow Safety Co-director, Powder Addiction Cat Skiing
    Bjørn Michaelsen, Norwegian Avalanche Educator, Forecaster
    Fred Buttard, IFMGA, French Mountain Guide, Owner Up Ski & Mountain Guides
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    That's an unfunny joke in an unfunny thread.
    Not intended as any kind of a joke. But the company posted on FB what I was replying to, that another group started the whole thing above their guided group. So my (very serious) question is, should the other group that started the slide be identified, would charges be filed of involuntary manslaughter. If the deceased was my friend or family, I would be pretty angry at what I perceive to be very irresponsible behavior.

    So, even if the company is being questioned for having clients out on a day like that, another party acted poorly above their "safe zone" and their actions led directly to a loss of life.
    Quote Originally Posted by RockBoy View Post
    The wife's not gonna be happy when she sees a few dollars missing from the savings and a note on the door that reads, "Gone to AK for the week. Remember to walk the dog."
    Quote Originally Posted by kannonbal View Post
    Damn it. You never get a powder day you didn't ski back. The one time you blow off a day, or a season, it will be the one time it is the miracle of all history. The indescribable flow, the irreplaceable nowness, the transcendental dance; blink and you miss it.
    Some people blink their whole lives.

  25. #75
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    Your not in a safe zone if you're under a steep slope.

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