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  1. #1
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    Oct 2004
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    What I learned in Avalanche School

    I've not read any of the author's other works, but found her Newbie take on avalanche safety training refreshingly interesting
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/31/m...-julavits.html

    An excerpt
    A man at the end of the table asked the class if anyone had seen the 2014 movie “Force Majeure.” I was the only person who had. Another man asked what the movie was about. I didn’t say it was about the ongoing shame and denial experienced by a husband who abandoned his wife and children during an avalanche scare. I didn’t say, “Much like this course so far, it’s a referendum on masculinity.”
    Check Out Ullr's Mobile Avalanche Safety Tools for iOS and Android
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Seattle
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    Was just reading this.

    Excellent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Methow Valley
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    Very well written and certainly illustrates the bizarre world of backcountry travel. The concept of wanting to go where the danger potentially is must look very strange to people/newbies. I ski with my wife and her friends a fair amount and yet again it makes me resolve to make sure I'm doing a good job of shutting the fuck up and listening to other people before I throw my opinion out there.

    For anyone trying to get around the NYTimes paywall if you stop loading the page prior to getting the paywall alert you're able to read the entire article.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Dystopia
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_B View Post

    For anyone trying to get around the NYTimes paywall if you stop loading the page prior to getting the paywall alert you're able to read the entire article.
    Thx.

    Link in the nyt article is also a good read From powder mag

    https://storied.storied.co/human-factor-2.0/chapter-1
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
    Hunter S. Thompson

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    13,679
    The NY Times was OK, thanks for that Powder Link.
    Ooof!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    tetons
    Posts
    6,961
    good articles. had read the powder one prior which somewhat negates the "women are safer" angle but generally I agree with that.
    I also can relate to the author in the NYT article who talks about going skiing with some guys that claim "she can ski it" - but can you ski it without wallowing/ endangering the situation more and can you ski it confidently enough to mitigate a potential sluffing/ slide situation?
    (guys get sucked into this too for sure but seems to be more ladies)

    also on the subject of force majeure - saw this movie coming out and was psyched at first for a funny ski movie with Will Farrell and Julia Louis Dreyfus but after watching the trailers it appears to be a remake of force majuere and is certain to be heavier than what I would have expected from these 2. although it looks like some funny moments "How could I run away in ski boots? Have you ever tried running in ski boots?"
    skid luxury

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Bottom feeding
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    7,920
    So...why couldn’t she tell if the car was four-wheel-drive in that New York Times article?
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    625
    Why does she call Cherry Bowl a “Yukon avalanche”? The people were from Yukon but cherry bowl is near Shames in BC.


    Sent from my iPad using TGR Forums

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    So...why couldn’t she tell if the car was four-wheel-drive in that New York Times article?
    I think it was analogous.
    Last edited by I Skied Bandini Mountain; 01-03-2020 at 07:02 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Skied Bandini Mountain View Post
    I think it was an analogous.
    Well, duh. It was poorly written.
    “Hey I know, why don’t you fly out West and take an avalanche course and write about what goes on, male egos, etc.”
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    WA
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    5,870
    Your expert halo is showing.

    Interesting piece, could have been better. I found it refreshing to read something that was so blunt about the realities of backcountry travel in the winter, which I truly believe are almost universally downplayed.

  12. #12
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    Oct 2003
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    9,300ft
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    I tried and quit reading it for the second time. I keep picking up this raging undertone of arrogant cynicism in the author's prose that makes me want to change browser tabs.

    This is no masterpiece like Snow Fall, which is an expose of the human factor.

    Edit, tried again, made it one more paragraph and nope.

    Also, I was too kind. It's not an undertone. The piece reeks of the author's superiority complex:

    "Here’s where my skill set came in handy. Here’s why all avalanche courses should include at least one novelist. In my head, I imagined the real “avalanche problems” on Microdot."

    Yea.. only a novelist can do that. Also, who actually says things like that? Much less prints it in a national publication?

    Maybe I am jaded because I run across 1 student like this every 2 or 3 classes who just effuse the attitude "I have it dialed and this class is a formality." They "know people." They did their "research" or have all the "experience" and really they wish they were teaching... so they don't learn. They consciously or subconsciously believe they are doing the class a favor by being in it and they let everyone know it. Even on the occasion one of these types of "students" is truly knowledgeable and experienced, because of their shit attitude, they interfere with the learning of others and kill the vibe. Maybe in this case they just brood and write articles later. Often these people ARE the human factor.

    Maybe I'm just overly sensitive to what bothers me as an educator, but after 10 years of doing it, this personality type is a rather easy spot. /rant
    Last edited by Summit; 01-02-2020 at 08:55 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  13. #13
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    Sep 2006
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    Rossland BC
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    It’s unrealistic to expect to learn anything significant from an article written by a novice for a general audience, but it was interesting to have my daily practice considered from a neurotic outsider’s perspective.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kootenayskier View Post
    It’s unrealistic to expect to learn anything significant from an article written by a novice for a general audience, but it was interesting to have my daily practice considered from a neurotic outsider’s perspective
    Well put

    "from a neurotic outsider's perspective"

    ... but one who thinks she is neither neurotic nor an outsider, but feels the need to repeatedly goes on at length (unconvincingly) as to why she is neither. This while also expounding on why she is so great at understanding the issue in a way "other" insiders can't because they just don't have her skills.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  15. #15
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    Feb 2015
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    Boston
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    What I learned in Avalanche School

    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    "Here’s where my skill set came in handy. Here’s why all avalanche courses should include at least one novelist. In my head, I imagined the real “avalanche problems” on Microdot."
    Can’t believe this made the final edit
    Last edited by Self Jupiter; 01-02-2020 at 08:40 PM.

  16. #16
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    Apr 2004
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    cordova,AK
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    I was surprised to start reading and find the hatcher pass accident. Somehow that is now a case study used in avalanche education. Did not really read the rest of it.

  17. #17
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    Dec 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    Often these people ARE the human factor.
    Precisely.
    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    the situation strikes me as WAY too much drama at this point

  18. #18
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    What I learned in Avalanche School

    And this graph:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Why not add: “Pecked to death by ducks.”?
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    13,679
    Not sure what that graph actually means.

    Is that the likelihood of being caught in an avalanche? Cause it certainly does not represent the possible outcome when you are actually caught in an avalanche.
    Ooof!

  20. #20
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    Dec 2003
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    Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    “Pecked to death by ducks.”?
    Floaty little bastards.

    Damn tasty though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    SLC
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    5,219
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    Not sure what that graph actually means.

    Is that the likelihood of being caught in an avalanche? Cause it certainly does not represent the possible outcome when you are actually caught in an avalanche.
    probably just avalanche as a % of total mortality in US adults or something I would guess, which is obviously not super useful

  22. #22
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    Feb 2008
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    What I learned in Avalanche School

    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    Floaty little bastards.

    Damn tasty though.
    [quote = Buster] Bacon of the bird world [/quote]

  23. #23
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    Sorry. That graph was from the David Page Powder article. I’m gonna blame Pinot noir.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    686
    Thanks for the Powder link; great piece.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Amherst, Mass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    [...] Maybe I am jaded because I run across 1 student like this every 2 or 3 classes who just effuse the attitude "I have it dialed and this class is a formality." They "know people." They did their "research" or have all the "experience" and really they wish they were teaching... so they don't learn. They consciously or subconsciously believe they are doing the class a favor by being in it and they let everyone know it. Even on the occasion one of these types of "students" is truly knowledgeable and experienced, because of their shit attitude, they interfere with the learning of others and kill the vibe. Maybe in this case they just brood and write articles later. Often these people ARE the human factor.

    Maybe I'm just overly sensitive to what bothers me as an educator, but after 10 years of doing it, this personality type is a rather easy spot. /rant [...]
    Thanks for posting this -- I too found this article interesting, but only for the insight into the perspective of a nightmare of a student for any fellow course instructor.
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

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