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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    SoCal
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    Ed LaChapelle: The Ascending Spiral

    "Attached to the email was the seminal essay The Ascending Spiral, which we printed initially in TAR 24.1, then again in TAR 25.4 after Ed passed away, then reproduced here. I re-read this essay every year and its messages change and linger."

    https://theavalanchereview.org/ed-lachapelle/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    599
    Hadn't seen this before. Incredible.

    Thanks! And thanks to TAR / HMS and of, course, lachapelle for writing it.

  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    west tetons
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    So pleased that you like that essay.

    Sent from my SM-A600A using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Nov 2003
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    Check out Ed's book, "Secrets of the Snow."Name:  Avy text books.jpg
Views: 4620
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    "True love is much easier to find with a helicopter"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    324
    Quote Originally Posted by 1000-oaks View Post
    "Attached to the email was the seminal essay The Ascending Spiral, which we printed initially in TAR 24.1, then again in TAR 25.4 after Ed passed away, then reproduced here. I re-read this essay every year and its messages change and linger."
    https://theavalanchereview.org/ed-lachapelle/
    Good read - lotta wisdom and humility in there - thank you for sharing that. He led a pretty amazing life.

    Name:  Ed LaChapelle - Greatest Snow on Earth.jpg
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    https://www.lachapellelegacy.org/Ed.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Dystopia
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    Quote Originally Posted by fomofo View Post
    Good read - lotta wisdom and humility in there - thank you for sharing that. He led a pretty amazing life.

    Name:  Ed LaChapelle - Greatest Snow on Earth.jpg
Views: 3999
Size:  41.8 KB

    https://www.lachapellelegacy.org/Ed.html
    That is fucking epic.
    “But before LaChapelle, there was Monty Atwater. A tough whisky drinking 10th mountain outdoorsman. “

    I need to learn more about that guy.

    And how does that YouTube have less than 1,000 views?

    RIP LaChapelle. Thanks for your contributions
    “I’m a subhuman jizz monkey”

    Thx mods. It’s an awesome signature.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    JAC
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    Great read

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Core Shot View Post
    “But before LaChapelle, there was Monty Atwater. A tough whisky drinking 10th mountain outdoorsman. “

    I need to learn more about that guy.
    Name:  The Avalanche Hunters.jpg
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    Finding a copy could be tough.

  9. #9
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    Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by fomofo View Post
    Name:  The Avalanche Hunters.jpg
Views: 2251
Size:  23.8 KB

    Finding a copy could be tough.
    Yeah, Chestler doesn't show having a copy.
    "True love is much easier to find with a helicopter"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    324
    I was thumbing through an old avalanche book I have and came across this...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    There's a brief bit of info on the cover shot...

    Ice Avalanche in the Canadian Rockies. The skiers are traveling a popular route to the Bow Hut on the Wapta Icefields. Photo by Kevin Cronin.

    Hope that slide stayed to the right!

  11. #11
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    Mar 2006
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    truckee
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    fomofo
    Great story by Atwater- talk about the founding fathers...
    At least as late as the winter of 77-78, in the office of the Squaw Valley fire chief (Chief Bob Butler at the time) there was an olive drab footlocker on top of some cabinets that had "Atwater" stenciled on the end. I pointed and asked what was in it, Butler replied "A bunch of his old avalanche stuff" (slight paraphrasing). It would be real interesting to find out where that went- if anyone knows. Probably lost to the ages.
    Butler taught a 3 day avy class in the old Squaw fire station at the head of the valley for quite a few years in the 70's. Norm Wilson and several other of the "pioneers" were known to stop by. We have all stood on their shoulders. Stay safe.
    "if you plant ice, you're gonna harvest wind..."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    324
    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    fomofo
    At least as late as the winter of 77-78, in the office of the Squaw Valley fire chief (Chief Bob Butler at the time) there was an olive drab footlocker on top of some cabinets that had "Atwater" stenciled on the end. I pointed and asked what was in it, Butler replied "A bunch of his old avalanche stuff" (slight paraphrasing). It would be real interesting to find out where that went- if anyone knows. Probably lost to the ages.
    What a cool find that would be - hopefully sitting in someone's garage, waiting to be rediscovered.

    In the interim found a few more bits...

    In 1960, Atwater served as the Avalanche Control Chief during the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California. Atwater successfully preventing any major avalanches during the Games despite a history of huge chairlift-destroying avalanches there.

    Atwater ran a small research lab in Squaw Valley.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montgomery_Atwater

    There are numerous additional links to other interesting stuff at the bottom of that Wikipedia page.

    Atwater on Amazon

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Colorado
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    1,889
    https://www.heliskihistory.com/heliski-beginnings

    Atwater was heliskiing in the late 50's, long before as CMH claims Hans was the father of heliskiing.

    In 1950 Atwater was working as a “snow problem consultant” on a ski area site survey for an area that Walt Disney wanted to build. This new ski area was to be called Mineral King. It would have been in Northern California, near Sequoia National Park. Atwater wrote in his book, Avalanche Hunters, about using helicopters during this job:

    “In Northern California I once did a job surveying a complex of ski areas of the future. My companion and I used a chopper first of all to jump over the snowbound (i.e., closed for the winter) highways. Then we used it as a ski lift with an infinite number of lines. It flew us to the top, picked us up at the bottom, flew us to a different top. In three day of about three hours’ of flying time apiece we did more work than we could have in a month on foot and with Sno-Cats, and we did it better. It was an aerial platform for making maps and photographs. If one of us got hurt, our angle of mercy was slurruping overhead. I have ridden helicopters from Chile to British Columbia, and I have great affection for them.” Clearly, Atwater was doing heliskiing. Sadly, he doesn’t mention what was the type of helicopter or who was his pilot or skiing partner.

    Atwater’s wife Joan did realize how much fun heliskiing could be. Atwater also wrote this: “As soon as she knew that there was a chopper on the program, Joan began propagandizing for a ride in it. ‘Not a chance,’ I told her. Do you have any idea how much it costs per hour to fly this doodlebug? Besides, it’s a government job and the government doesn’t approve of using its equipment for joy riding.” Obviously, Joan wanted to heliski just for the fun and adventure of it. I would almost say she was the first wannabe “backcountry recreational heliskier.”

    The Mineral King development project seems to have been the
    main site for early helicopter skiing in the USA. Not only did Atwater use helicopters for snow study work in 1950, but Disney also hired the famous avalanche researcher André Roch, to make a study of Mineral King in 1965. Roch spent much of the winter in the area doing a study of the areas avalanche potential. On several occasions he used a helicopter to access the higher bowls, and he brought along other skiers on these trips.

    "True love is much easier to find with a helicopter"

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    6,793
    There used to be a small store and gas station on or next to the Disney property in Mineral King that was taken out by an avalanche. I have been told that it occurred in 1969.

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