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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    599
    Quote Originally Posted by MakersTeleMark View Post
    It's beyond that. Of course they knew. They just didn't really know, because they have always cheated the system. I see it and speak to people on a daily basis about this and they don't care. It's throwing a brick against a brick wall. Time is the only leveler. Nothing I can do to change it other than a very sly, man of few many words, maybe tone it down a bit suggestion. There will be many more, and more friends of mine. It's not group think at all, it's pure ego. I can prove it to you, although you might not be able to handle it.
    One thing that I also wonder about is people knowing the risks, accepting them, and determining it to be "worth it". After watching so many people with tons of experience drop in to Saddle Peak (as an example) on higher hazard days knowing full well the risks, I do wonder how much this plays in to a good percentage of experienced user decisions in the backcountry. And this is something -- personal acceptance of high risk -- that more data, better forecasts, etc is not going to "fix".

  2. #102
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    Dec 2009
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    Paradise
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunder View Post
    I am willing to bet that just about everyone killed so far this year was fully aware of the potential hazard and current danger ratings. Yet they all still ended up in the wrong spot at the wrong time. All if not almost all of these fatalities involved people that where quite experienced. The problem is not a lack of education, or a lack of awareness. The bigger issue is people need to learn how to walk away from an objective and learn how to say NO in a group. This is where the problem lies. People get caught up in "powder panic" or an objective mindset and reason goes right out the window. We need to promote that walking away from something is just as cool as riding a an awesome line
    Over the last ten years or so I've really found the decision to call it and walk away to be one of the most rewarding and satisfying moves there is. Weighing risk vs. reward and being completely honest with yourself is probably a lot easier to do when you have lots of years under your belt I imagine. I'm at the point where I don't ever feel like I have to ski something, it's just not that big of a deal anymore. As far as skiing right now in the Rockies it's not like you are going to shred the line of a lifetime anyways, farming mellow pow turns is fine and all but it sure AF ain't worth dying for.
    dirtbag, not a dentist

  3. #103
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    Jan 2009
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    Squaw valley
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    3,517
    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona13 View Post
    Over the last ten years or so I've really found the decision to call it and walk away to be one of the most rewarding and satisfying moves there is. Weighing risk vs. reward and being completely honest with yourself is probably a lot easier to do when you have lots of years under your belt I imagine. I'm at the point where I don't ever feel like I have to ski something, it's just not that big of a deal anymore. As far as skiing right now in the Rockies it's not like you are going to shred the line of a lifetime anyways, farming mellow pow turns is fine and all but it sure AF ain't worth dying for.
    Yeah, and nothing wrong with resting, and doing something else.

    Sent from my Redmi Note 8 Pro using Tapatalk

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    cb, co
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    4,226
    25 degree powder doesn't excite me at all, and knowing that, I've chosen not to ski much bc at all this season, maybe 5 days at most. If I go out, there's a decent chance I'll be lured on to something I shouldn't ski, so I just don't go. For me, the steeps at the ski area are way more fun, even if they're hardpack.

    With a PWL like the one this year, it's a good year to find other things to do- whether that's riding the lifts, nordorking, fatbiking, powsurfing, ice climbing, or whatever. I hiked into the Black Canyon and ice skated on perfect glass on Morrow Point reservoir this season- and that was every bit as exciting and fun as skiing pow.

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    6,878
    Yeah, but you go steep terrain at your ski area! Joking aside, it took me quite a while to get away from the "I'm a backcountry skier, I go backcountry skiing damn it!" mindset. So when I look at it from the perspective of someone that only has weekends off, maybe doesn't have a ski pass, lives in the city and has no other outlet for getting outside in nature and having fun with their friends, I understand the challenge.

  6. #106
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    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
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    10,116
    Quote Originally Posted by NWFlow View Post
    One thing that I also wonder about is people knowing the risks, accepting them, and determining it to be "worth it". After watching so many people with tons of experience drop in to Saddle Peak (as an example) on higher hazard days knowing full well the risks, I do wonder how much this plays in to a good percentage of experienced user decisions in the backcountry. And this is something -- personal acceptance of high risk -- that more data, better forecasts, etc is not going to "fix".
    I don’t think they really “accept” the risk. They think they can manage it because they’ve gotten away with it many times. I’m not sure they really appreciate the consequences which would be a big part of accepting the risk.


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  7. #107
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    Dec 2005
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    13,679
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    ^^^
    Put me down for "my traditionally safe routes are overrun. I am at risk of making bad decisions, because I am trying to get away from people". It's not linear, but has been happening around here for at least 25 years. Hell, we used to go into the Berthoud Pass sidecountry as soon as the ski area was tracked.

    I like to think that I've moved past making emotion driven mistakes due to the fact that I just won't ski tracks in the BC, but that is probably not true. Get up earlier and walk further is part of the answer. As is a snowmobile and a powsurf. And learning to have fun at the ski area again. Along with trying to get into other activities that stop me jonesing.

    I'm generally against creating all these sub-demographics of backcountry skiers. But if the question is, "why do people keep fucking up" I can speak to this user group because it is me.

    We are 45+ now, we progressed F1s>Trackers...Treckers/Freerides and have just skied a stupid amount of powder in our lifetimes. We are (hopefully) the definition of experienced and yet we are very at risk.

    This is why I took issue with the A3 piece about new users. In Colorado at least, this is not the profile of the accidents this year.

    We all need to kick the tires on our own brains to this about what might put us at risk of fucking up!
    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona13 View Post
    Over the last ten years or so I've really found the decision to call it and walk away to be one of the most rewarding and satisfying moves there is. Weighing risk vs. reward and being completely honest with yourself is probably a lot easier to do when you have lots of years under your belt I imagine. I'm at the point where I don't ever feel like I have to ski something, it's just not that big of a deal anymore. As far as skiing right now in the Rockies it's not like you are going to shred the line of a lifetime anyways, farming mellow pow turns is fine and all but it sure AF ain't worth dying for.
    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    25 degree powder doesn't excite me at all, and knowing that, I've chosen not to ski much bc at all this season, maybe 5 days at most. If I go out, there's a decent chance I'll be lured on to something I shouldn't ski, so I just don't go. For me, the steeps at the ski area are way more fun, even if they're hardpack.

    With a PWL like the one this year, it's a good year to find other things to do- whether that's riding the lifts, nordorking, fatbiking, powsurfing, ice climbing, or whatever. I hiked into the Black Canyon and ice skated on perfect glass on Morrow Point reservoir this season- and that was every bit as exciting and fun as skiing pow.
    I approve of these posts. They fall in line with my current thinking.

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    6,878
    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    I don’t think they really “accept” the risk. They think they can manage it because they’ve gotten away with it many times. I’m not sure they really appreciate the consequences which would be a big part of accepting the risk.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    There is the "died doing what they loved" fatalist crowd. There is the "thought they are being conservative but weren't" crowd. Also, the "no fucking idea what they are doing crowd. There is the "got L2 and an airbag, awesome with companion rescue" crowd.

    The constant is the PWL, unsurvivable avalanches and shit decision making.

  9. #109
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    Dec 2009
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    Make mogul skiing rad again........2021.

    Seriously, pow skiing is easy. Moguls determine who can actually ski and you can't hide behind a curtain of blower.
    dirtbag, not a dentist

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    6,878
    Combining about 6 different threads.....I'd kill for a midweek walk on tram Snowbird windbuff day. The last time I was on vacation was about a year ago riding the tram making bad jokes about getting back from China and just not quite feeling right...ooops.

  11. #111
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    May 2011
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    Truckee & Sonoma
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    13,136
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I’ll just leave this here, a day late.
    I ski 135 degree chutes switch to the road.

  12. #112
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    611
    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    25 degree powder doesn't excite me at all, and knowing that, I've chosen not to ski much bc at all this season, maybe 5 days at most. If I go out, there's a decent chance I'll be lured on to something I shouldn't ski, so I just don't go. For me, the steeps at the ski area are way more fun, even if they're hardpack.

    With a PWL like the one this year, it's a good year to find other things to do- whether that's riding the lifts, nordorking, fatbiking, powsurfing, ice climbing, or whatever. I hiked into the Black Canyon and ice skated on perfect glass on Morrow Point reservoir this season- and that was every bit as exciting and fun as skiing pow.
    I bought a motorcycle....trading PWL for zero risk moto sports (palm>>face). My real fear is that I simply stop skiing at some point.

  13. #113
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    439
    For winter BC, I embrace the up and exploration, and then view mellow downhill as a bit of gravy. Take a hiking-like approach. At least till things safen up in spring
    I like digging pits just to learn more but don’t trust myself to let the results talk me into something. Too many stories of avies just around the corner from some stable pit. Especially with PWLs that are so sensitive to variable snow depths
    Of course the trick is staying true to that approach. The more you go out, the more opportunities to F up

  14. #114
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    22
    My take has always been to remove the danger ratings, and focus on a detailed forecast write up. I know the ratings are good to provide a relative sense of the danger, but I just feel having say a "Moderate" with a PWL is a recipe for disaster. Personally that's the one I struggle with the most.

    Odd year in the Canadian Rockies. Usually the pack is touchy and you're tip toeing around, but this year has been "relatively" stable. In some areas there is no PWL even listed in the forecasts, which is almost unheard of.

  15. #115
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    837
    Quote Originally Posted by wra View Post
    The issue is about route finding and safe travel, in other words, how to get around the mountains in winter.
    Looking at the slide path in Wilson glade will reveal flagged trees all the way across the base with alleys from previous large slides cut out between the trees.
    Haven't seen the monsters since early nineties? but avalanches run in 10-20-50-100 year cycles. Rather than focusing on danger ratings and filming video after video of digging snow pits for you tube, the focus should be on how in the hell you get around.
    Don't need to spend half an hour digging when the hollow layer can be felt with a pole plant. Terrain features can and do suggest safe paths on the up, which is where majority of the time is spent.
    ^^^ amen. fwiw-your guidance in this area of expertise over the years has been invaluable. hope the shoulder surgery went well and see ya in april.

  16. #116
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Access to Granlibakken
    Posts
    9,260
    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona13 View Post
    Over the last ten years or so I've really found the decision to call it and walk away to be one of the most rewarding and satisfying moves there is. Weighing risk vs. reward and being completely honest with yourself is probably a lot easier to do when you have lots of years under your belt I imagine. I'm at the point where I don't ever feel like I have to ski something, it's just not that big of a deal anymore. As far as skiing right now in the Rockies it's not like you are going to shred the line of a lifetime anyways, farming mellow pow turns is fine and all but it sure AF ain't worth dying for.
    I’ve tried over the years to choose BC partners based on this principle...if at the end of a tour someone says ‘glad we had that discussion on the ridge and decided not to ski Line A as we’d hoped’ that’s a sign of someone who is less likely to fall into heuristic traps.

  17. #117
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    Jan 2005
    Location
    Access to Granlibakken
    Posts
    9,260
    On a different note...how comfortable are we as a society with the idea that if someone ignores a highly prescriptive avy center statement that essentially says ‘only a dumbass with a death wish would ski zones A, B, and C today’ the resulting discussions are essentially arguments fir/against a Libertarian view?

    Regarding terminology — PWL and other common synonyms don’t sound particularly alarming to non Avy geeks, from what I’ve seen over the years anyway. Almost a euphemism. If instead a ‘Lurking Killer Layer That Will Fuck You Up if you trigger it remains on all W, N, E aspects and even some S aspects’, some more might pay attention.

  18. #118
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    188
    Not sure if it was posted earlier but here's an interesting read:
    https://utahavalanchecenter.org/blog/15914

    Hardesty advocates for putting an "X" after Moderate (Moderate X) to portray the heightened consequences of unmanageable PWL/deep slab instabilities separately from manageable instabilities such as storm slab/wind slab/etc. similar to the climbing rating system (5.9 vs. 5.9x).

  19. #119
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rossland BC
    Posts
    1,435
    Quote Originally Posted by NT View Post
    Not sure if it was posted earlier but here's an interesting read:
    https://utahavalanchecenter.org/blog/15914

    Hardesty advocates for putting an "X" after Moderate (Moderate X) to portray the heightened consequences of unmanageable PWL/deep slab instabilities separately from manageable instabilities such as storm slab/wind slab/etc. similar to the climbing rating system (5.9 vs. 5.9x).
    He makes a strong argument. I think the requisite information is already being provided, but perhaps not being heard enough or as well as it could.

  20. #120
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Your Mom's House
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    7,213
    The CAIC put on a great webinar yesterday, and the whole thing is well worth a listen, but the last presentation (by Brian Lazar) did a great job of breaking down how they, as forecasters, arrive at their danger rating. He also did a really good job explaining how difficult it is to fit every possible avalanche scenario into one of five neatly defined little levels, and how that doesn't always work super well.

    The recording is here:
    https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/ll..._-eDaiINatT86r

    I tend to think that the forecasters get it right more often than not, especially within the confines of how they need to define things. I also agree that the 5 level danger scale alone doesn't sufficiently capture the difference between manageable and unmanageable problems. That info is there, but it requires digging a little deeper than the danger rating. The X idea is kind of interesting, but not really intuitive to anyone that's not a rock climber, and even then it's a little awkward - you're applying a danger rating to a danger rating?

    No answers here, but I do wonder if it would be worthwhile to more clearly convey things like:
    -the danger scale is not linear
    -situations such as "considerable bordering on high"
    -perhaps weighting the potential destructive size of avalanches more heavily in the overall danger rating

    I'm pretty confident that there are a lot of people a lot smarter than me working on this problem!

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