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  1. #51
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    Agreed on all of the above. Airbags work on the theory that basically requires that you are entrained in the debris. Their usefulness is reduced when you are stationary, moving uphill, in a deposition zone.



    agreed "Brazil Nut Theory" is a stupid term. I love nuts and it doesn't even make sense to me.
    Last edited by Foggy_Goggles; 02-17-2021 at 08:12 AM. Reason: see summit's post below

  2. #52
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    Alpha Angles, who uses them? 23degs it a very far running avalanche.

  3. #53
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    Maybe a partner says "we shouldn't be right here."

    ETA:

    @Foggy, I stopped using "Brazil Nut Theory" to describe vertical sorting in turbulent flow/granular convection. I learned the term was coined in 87 and introduced to the avalanche world (I think) in the 90s or early 2000s. Lately when I used the brazil nut/mixed nuts analogy, the younger students have been giving the "WTF" look, and upon clarifying "you know... the mixed nuts from the store with brazil nuts, almonds, peanuts... for parties..." I get the "how fucking old are you dude?" response. Mixed nuts ain't cool no more. I use Raisin Bran Theory (flakes vs raisins) as the example now and people seem to get me. The kids still eat cereal.

    I digress, if you are low in the runout or in the deposition, inflating the airbag will mean that you are buried with an inflated airbag. Perhaps it increases chances of surface visibility, but that requires a partner to increase survivability.

    This year there have been an unusual amount of solo traveler avalanches and group avalanches with multiple people caught. Most years ~20% of US fatalities are in multifatality avalanches. This year it is 50% so far.

    As far as some of the solo accidents, I'm not sure if we are seeing some solo oriented folks who have established habits during the previous couple seasons that they've gotten away so far, but won't work this year? Or if we are seeing new folks who don't know their stuff or are piecing together what parts of a kit they can in the scarce gear market this season (I've seen two snowboarders in L1 courses with carbon approach skis because they couldn't find a split). Maybe some of both? Maybe that is why this guy had a balloon but no beep? Or maybe it was deliberate choice.
    Last edited by Summit; 02-17-2021 at 08:33 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  4. #54
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    Ugh, uphill travel in avalanche terrain. Such an avoidable thing yet so much more dangerous.

  5. #55
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    Yeah
    And maybe if he had gathered a party of 10 they would have all thought he was the messiah and died. Conjecture and knee jerk lectures about solo travel dont have a place in the reports IMO.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Keystone is fucking lame. But, deadly.

  6. #56
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    Maybe it was posted and I missed it, but full report is up here.

    There's something particularly horrifying to me about a burial where the rider's head is only a foot down.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinnikinnick View Post
    Yeah
    And maybe if he had gathered a party of 10 they would have all thought he was the messiah and died. Conjecture and knee jerk lectures about solo travel dont have a place in the reports IMO.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Avalanche Fatalities provide pointed learning moments for all of us. It is challenging to respect the event while understanding that some of the lessons that we should be learning can be a bit hypothetical as may stray aware from the events at hand.

    Traveling alone in avalanche terrain increases the consequences if you are caught in an avalanche. Although this was a very large avalanche, Rider 2’s head was buried only a foot beneath the snow surface. A partner that was not in the avalanche may have quickly rescued Rider 2. Rider 2 did have traumatic injuries, so we don’t know if a speedy recovery would have produced a different outcome.
    I don't feel that the above was untrue. Another travel protocol to things about is to say something like:

    Choosing to travel uphill or within the avalanche terrain may exposure multiple people to the hazard. Best practice is to set your up tracks and transition areas outside of the avalanche terrain. If you do expose yourself to the hazard, move one at a time from island of safety to island of safety. Avalanches are running far and wide and are frequently being triggered from below and remotely. Use your inclinometer often, familiarize yourself with the terrain in which you travel, be observant for signs of previous avalanche activity, and ensure that your safe zones are substantially distance from even the largest avalanche track you can imagine.

  8. #58
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    The video indicated that he started on an established skin track but deviated and just broke trail straight into the danger zone.

    I have been thinking about this.
    Some people are just risk takers. Adrenaline junkies. ECT ect.
    These things are always going to happen. And when condition's are really bad. It's gonna happen more.
    Let's just hope all the attention it's getting doesn't cause a government action to protect us from ourselves?

    If Texas were not the story of the week. This would be
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinnikinnick View Post
    Yeah
    And maybe if he had gathered a party of 10 they would have all thought he was the messiah and died. Conjecture and knee jerk lectures about solo travel dont have a place in the reports IMO
    Solo travel is a factor, just like travel with a large group is a factor. Deal with it.

  10. #60
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    Trelease fatality 2.14.21

    Quote Originally Posted by Name Redacted View Post
    Solo travel is a factor, just like travel with a large group is a factor. Deal with it.
    I offered my opinion. “Deal with it” yourself.

    Point is someone could go solo ski touring staying off and out from under avy terrain or solo ski touring in avalanche terrain at low danger thousands of times and not have this type of incident happen to them. Short of inventing a scenario “his partner’s grandma might have called his phone lower in the skin and their ascent delayed and they might have reconsidered...” IMO the # in the party was likely to be the # of victims.

    The pertinent fact is that the party ended up directly below hugely windloaded avy terrain in the deposition zone.

    Dont do that, whether you are one or 100.

    Focusing on solo travel waters down the message.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Keystone is fucking lame. But, deadly.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    I’ve skinned too high in this zone. Three weeks back I realized I was no longer going to ski with someone (who teaches classes locally) because where they chose to transition despite my objections in this area.. Right in the debris now.

    This hits close. Patrolling yesterday I spent a lot of time looking at Pats Knob, watching it load with wind and snow.
    My good friend had a close call on Trelease 10 years ago when his (new to him) partner went too high way out in front of him and triggered it from below, my friend yelling with no response for him to stop his ascent...miscommunication nightmare and with the hangfire they shouldn't have been below it anyway. My friend survived by hanging on to a tree. IIRC his partner and his dog were able to dig themselves out. Always gives me a shiver when I see the same shit happen again and again.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinnikinnick View Post
    The pertinent fact is that the party ended up directly below hugely windloaded avy terrain in the deposition zone.

    Dont do that, whether you are one or 100.

    Focusing on solo travel waters down the message.
    Of course violating one of the safe travel rules is a problem that can defeat other best practices.

    What partners offer is
    1. A second set of eyes and thoughts to buddy check. "Hey I don't think we should skin here... let's take a lower route"
    2. A rescue "let's travel 1 by 1 through this zone so if one of us is caught the other can rescue."
    3. A trailhead check "you aren't beeping, did you leave it in your car?"

    Sure IF this hadn't been a solo traveler AND IF the group still traveled into the dangerous area AND IF they violated 1 by 1, likely more than one would have been caught and perhaps also critically buried... AND IF they also still didn't have beacons in this scenario, THEN the situation would still be messed up in that regard.

    But the point is that with a partner, there are more opportunities to catch/correct errors and more capacity to handle a situation.... up until the point that you have diminishing returns from too large of a group to manage and communicate with (or a MCI).

    Solo was not the sole cause, but it may have contributed. Thus it was discussed in the accident report as a consideration, but not as the sole focus.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  13. #63
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    What Summit said.

    Beyond that, solo travel is dangerous in other ways. Break your leg on a downed tree with no cell service or inReach while you're solo and now what? It's something I even consider while mountain biking solo on unpopular trails. I've done it, but there is no question it significantly reduces your margin of safety.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by cravenmorhead View Post
    Maybe it was posted and I missed it, but full report is up here.

    There's something particularly horrifying to me about a burial where the rider's head is only a foot down.
    Knocked unconscious?
    No idea just thinking out loud
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinnikinnick View Post
    I offered my opinion. “Deal with it” yourself.

    Point is someone could go solo ski touring staying off and out from under avy terrain or solo ski touring in avalanche terrain at low danger thousands of times and not have this type of incident happen to them. Short of inventing a scenario “his partner’s grandma might have called his phone lower in the skin and their ascent delayed and they might have reconsidered...” IMO the # in the party was likely to be the # of victims.

    The pertinent fact is that the party ended up directly below hugely windloaded avy terrain in the deposition zone.

    Dont do that, whether you are one or 100.

    Focusing on solo travel waters down the message.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Discussing all of the factors that lead to an avalanche accident is not watering down a message, it is called being thorough, and I’d prefer the CAIC be thorough than gloss over certain details. It is their job to educate and inform the public and discussing the danger of solo BC travel is exactly what they should be doing.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    What Summit said.

    Beyond that, solo travel is dangerous in other ways. Break your leg on a downed tree with no cell service or inReach while you're solo and now what? It's something I even consider while mountain biking solo on unpopular trails. I've done it, but there is no question it significantly reduces your margin of safety.
    I bought radios for that reason.
    But have not bothered to even find the frequencies to get someone in the area I might be in.
    Also have not even toured for the past 3 or 4 seasons
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  17. #67
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    Also noticed in the report the comments about the airbag sternum strap being pushed up around the victims neck due to him not wearing the leg loop. How many of you have skied with an airbag pack and not worn the leg loop. Especially on your way uphill? Definitely something to consider.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Name Redacted View Post
    Also noticed in the report the comments about the airbag sternum strap being pushed up around the victims neck due to him not wearing the leg loop. How many of you have skied with an airbag pack and not worn the leg loop. Especially on your way uphill? Definitely something to consider.
    I have forgotten the leg loop more than once. I'm trying to work on not doing that.

    The moment one is going to be in avalanche terrain is the moment you gotta turn on the pack, deploy the trigger, and apply the leg loop.

    Buddy check (divers term) is key here, just as you might buddy check boot walk mode, helmet strap, pack straps, no pole straps, and binding setup at the top of a line. Maybe you go up a no hazard up-route and you do the airbag check at the top. Maybe you are going up through hazard and do it before starting.

    Leg loop is annoying particularly if you are putting things in/out your pack on the ascent (like layers). And people forget (I forget leg loop). That is why we need the buddy check.

    The leg loop does stabilize the pack when you are bouncing through chunder...
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    Of course violating one of the safe travel rules is a problem that can defeat other best practices.

    What partners offer is
    1. A second set of eyes and thoughts to buddy check. "Hey I don't think we should skin here... let's take a lower route"
    2. A rescue "let's travel 1 by 1 through this zone so if one of us is caught the other can rescue."
    3. A trailhead check "you aren't beeping, did you leave it in your car?"

    Sure IF this hadn't been a solo traveler AND IF the group still traveled into the dangerous area AND IF they violated 1 by 1, likely more than one would have been caught and perhaps also critically buried... AND IF they also still didn't have beacons in this scenario, THEN the situation would still be messed up in that regard.

    But the point is that with a partner, there are more opportunities to catch/correct errors and more capacity to handle a situation.... up until the point that you have diminishing returns from too large of a group to manage and communicate with (or a MCI).

    Solo was not the sole cause, but it may have contributed. Thus it was discussed in the accident report as a consideration, but not as the sole focus.
    All of this. It's a factor and they're supposed to discuss the factors. I don't see how this: "Traveling alone in avalanche terrain increases the consequences if you are caught in an avalanche. Although this was a very large avalanche, Rider 2’s head was buried only a foot beneath the snow surface. A partner that was not in the avalanche may have quickly rescued Rider 2. Rider 2 did have traumatic injuries, so we don’t know if a speedy recovery would have produced a different outcome. " somehow is the focus of the report or waters down any of the messages not related to solo travel in the report.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    Alpha Angles, who uses them? 23degs it a very far running avalanche.
    I think Alpha (runout) Angles are a very useful and important tool. I have actually considered the potential runout angle of this very slope while traversing those flats. Bruce Tremper recommends a maximum of 19-22degrees if you are building a basecamp and states that most fatal avalanches fall in the 23-33 degree range. This one was obviously on the low end of that spectrum although it seems that the victim was well up the slope when it occurred.

  21. #71
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    Why does it matter?

    Because some jackasses will take the message that “wouldn’t happen to us because we dont ski solo”

    And that isnt the core issue and is a conclusion based on conjecture.

    “May”. There are infinite “May”s and only one:

    Being on or directly under avalanche terrain got this party fatally avalanched.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Keystone is fucking lame. But, deadly.

  22. #72
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    How do you consider multiple factors in determining avalanche risk when you appear to be capable of only comprehending a single factor in an accident analysis despite having multiple factors explained to you by several people?

    Or is being intentionally obtuse part of a defensive reaction because you somehow feel the solo commentary applies to you? Maybe ask yourself why?
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinnikinnick View Post
    Why does it matter?

    Because some jackasses will take the message that “wouldn’t happen to us because we dont ski solo”

    And that isnt the core issue and is a conclusion based on conjecture.

    “May”. There are infinite “May”s and only one:

    Being on or directly under avalanche terrain got this party fatally avalanched.




    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Boy, CAIC reports would be pretty simple if you were in charge. "This party was directly under/on avalanche terrain. They died because of that. The end."
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  24. #74
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    Trelease fatality 2.14.21

    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    How do you consider multiple factors in determining avalanche risk when you appear to be capable of only comprehending a single factor in an accident analysis despite having multiple factors explained to you by several people?

    Or is being intentionally obtuse part of a defensive reaction because you somehow feel the solo commentary applies to you? Maybe ask yourself why?
    No one says in the official reports about multiple fatalities: “it is worthy of note that if this had been a solo traveler, they may have been more cautious and avoided avalanche terrain”

    Why invent a May the other way?

    It may have been...

    Why my opinion so triggering to you that you find it imperative to psychoanalyze me? Cause only Summit and CAIC have a legitmate say?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Keystone is fucking lame. But, deadly.

  25. #75
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    My understanding is the victim also wasn't wearing a beacon.

    I get that he was riding solo, but still, that's just poor form. And maybe indicative of the victim's broader mindset.

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