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  1. #1
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    New Yorker avy article.

    Yesterday, as part of a celebration, I engaged in some cognition-impairment activities. When I woke this morning I found this article on my tablet screen but I don’t remember where I got it. If it’s already been linked here, let me know and I’ll vaporize this post. Anyway, it’s classic New Yorker, well-written and interesting, especially from a lay-person POV.
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...-the-avalanche

    This passage reminded me of an observation I had during my years in wildfire:
    ”Sometimes you need accidents,” Margreth said. Atwater, in his book, suggests that “people need a good scare not less than every three years. Otherwise they begin to think that avalanche hazard is a figment of someone’s imagination.”
    And I guess that I just don't know

  2. #2
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    One really weird thing in the article for me - they said about 20 paragraphs in:
    "Snow acts like both a solid and a liquid: it flows—even a blanket of snow on a hillside is slowly creeping—while maintaining its structure. Scientists consider it to be “warm,” because it is always close to its melting point."

    Well, I've dug a lot of pits and with cold arctic outflows happening (or just plain cold air temps in the rockies), I often see snow temps -10 to -25C. That's far from "warm" and far from snow's melting point. The base of the snowpack is generally always 0C (close to its melting point).

    Someone who knows what they're talking about like to weigh in?

    Other than that bit, I thought it was a good (as usual) article from the NYer.
    “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.”
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    good article
    i think it was linked before in the satch thread i think but not everybody reads every regions obs threads so i wouldnt nuke good stuff
    a lot rings true for me for me
    the turn of the century was a huge time in bc skiing , gear got better , popularity soared, forecasting and the building and passing of the snow science knowledge base improved.
    just after saiat was released im workin in the soli stone house and tremper and kimbrough come in and im reading the book
    so of course i ask him to autograph it
    and is autographed "best wishes on your path to become an avalanche expert"- bt
    I and my crew were blessed to have the resorts snow safety professionals offer mentorship, open sharing of conditions and concerns, pro form on avvy gear etc
    we dug a lot of pits, communicated a lot, made mistakes ,attempted to learn from them
    got caught in an avvy had others in our group do so too , one on a low danger day in the middle of a low danger week
    a couple took avvy 1
    i took avvy 2 idk 05 or 06 and a semester long snow science course a season a few years later
    lost friends and people i admired some who were way more knowledgeable than me
    i cant tell ya when or where but i gave up on being an avalanche expert and just focused on being a solid partner with good group/self reliance skills who understood group dynamics is just as important if not more than technical snow science ,communicate well and the ability to attempt to remove emotions from decisions.
    posses solid 1st aid skills and just be a seasoned journeyman with the goal of returning to the trailhead or hut lot or destination and let experts do expert things
    and well yeah not only is touring with chicks stastically safer
    chicks are fkna cool
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -ski on in eternal peace
    Yo poliassfuckers
    theres a special basement for your lame shit

  4. #4
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    Apr 2004
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    My biggest ride and only injury in 39 years of back country skiing was with a chick. I do not see it being safer.
    off your knees Louie

  5. #5
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    Dec 2008
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    Salida, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    My biggest ride and only injury in 39 years of back country skiing was with a chick. I do not see it being safer.
    waving dick instead of inclineometer?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyfromterrace View Post
    One really weird thing in the article for me - they said about 20 paragraphs in:
    Well, I've dug a lot of pits and with cold arctic outflows happening (or just plain cold air temps in the rockies), I often see snow temps -10 to -25C. That's far from "warm" and far from snow's melting point. The base of the snowpack is generally always 0C (close to its melting point).

    Someone who knows what they're talking about like to weigh in?
    I don't really know what I'm talking about, but maybe the difference is what "close" is. -25C to 0C makes snow a lot closer to its melting point in every day life than, say, the steel frame of my truck or the bricks of my house.

  7. #7
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    SW Jongistan
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    I think that's right. Everyday snow and ice are close enough to their melting point that the surface has some liquid properties, which is why we can slide on them.

    Aside: Apparently the common explanation that the pressure from an ice skate actually melts ice to slide on a layer of water is wrong, and that wouldn't explain how skis slide anyway, but ice does have a fluidic layer on the outside; source here: https://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/21/science/21ice.html

    Anyway, snow / ice are capable of behaving more like a fluid than most everyday solids are.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cravenmorhead View Post
    I don't really know what I'm talking about, but maybe the difference is what "close" is. -25C to 0C makes snow a lot closer to its melting point in every day life than, say, the steel frame of my truck or the bricks of my house.
    Yeah, I'd considered that as a possible explanation. Thanks (and buddy above) for chiming in.
    “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.”
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

    www.mymountaincoop.ca

    This is OUR mountain - come join us!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    F'n Midwest again
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    My biggest ride and only injury in 39 years of back country skiing was with a chick. I do not see it being safer.
    There are some qualifiers on mixed sex touring, right.
    If it's only one woman with a bunch of guys, that's not safer typically, because there will be an unconciousness struggle to impress the female (especially if she is not married or know as an so of one of the party).

    I remember the fatality in the tetons when the group was 2 or 3 women with one guy, and they were trying to find their way into the Amore Vida couloir just east of the South Teton. They were off route and the guy led down what he thought was the right way, and ended up falling to his death.

    I think the women/male mix should be 2 or each at least to get the safety benefit.

    I know I am not 100% right on this, but the presence of a single man or woman in a group of the opposing sex does not automatically make the group safer.
    Aggressive in my own mind

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