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  1. #1
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    Patroller caught (uninjured) in big slide at Alta


  2. #2
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    I've made lots of mistakes in life and the mountains and....trying not to be a Monday morning quarterback or engage in retrospective criticism but.... really? Seriously?

    So many questions.

  3. #3
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    I'll MMQB. She shouldn't be filming in portrait?

  4. #4
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    Whoever traversed that slope to set those stick bombs. Holy shit. That would be a full pant shitting moment watching that big slab pull out.

    Glad that patroller is ok. Iíve met a bunch of Alta patrollers and they are a super experienced and solid crew.

    Avalanche control after a huge storm cycle can be the best and scariest moments of the season.

  5. #5
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    Placing Boo shots is one of the most butt clenching things patrollers occasionally do. Never was a fan, I preferred to use bigger shots with less exposure although that comes with its own set of problems.

    Buddy of mine was working for the UAC in the 90s and the LCC resorts would get really pissy if the forecast center mentioned that one of the ski areas had a large release, controlled or not. To the point of threatening the loss of access to terrain and weather station data.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    Placing Boo shots is one of the most butt clenching things patrollers occasionally do. Never was a fan, I preferred to use bigger shots with less exposure although that comes with its own set of problems.
    This zone was heli-bombed prior to getting on it with skis.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKIP IN7RO View Post
    I'll MMQB. She shouldn't be filming in portrait?
    Ugggh. Donít get me started

    Boo shots are fucking awesome. Nothing like seeing the blast and feeling the shockwave.

    That face is hudge
    There ainít no safe zone there.
    Crazy that it was already heli bombed. And three or four boo shots took it out.

  8. #8
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    That is good to know but still no guarantee that it won't fail while someone is placing one of those shots.

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    When you say Heli-bombed do you mean with explosives or a Daisy-bell? Cause if it was with explosives and those bomb holes remained when the slope failed?

    Oops.

    You would think if they were going to go to all the trouble to do a Heli-mission they would have used more powder.

    Main thing is no one was hurt.

    Thx.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  9. #9
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    Here's a better view of the whole thing

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    That is good to know but still no guarantee that it won't fail while someone is placing one of those shots.

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    When you say Heli-bombed do you mean with explosives or a Daisy-bell? Cause if it was with explosives and those bomb holes remained when the slope failed?

    Oops.

    You would think if they were going to go to all the trouble to do a Heli-mission they would have used more powder.

    Main thing is no one was hurt.

    Thx.
    Explosives. Heli was brought in for Devil's Castle, my understanding is backside was a secondary mission because they already had it and had good results on E Baldy and the Baldy Shoulder. Unsure if they were 2lb or 5lb. Seems like with the timing of the 4 doubles on airblast didn't really result in one single impact, you can kinda see it come down at 3 different slabs. I guess it goes to show the difference between throwing the bomb in snow and airblast. They also spent quite some time probing and digging to find the weakest points in the slab.

    I don't think anyone on that route has been in the game for less that 15 years. Guy who took the ride as been doing avalanche mitigation for Alta for 30 years.

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  11. #11
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    Yeah, knowing the people who work for Alta patrol I have a hard time trying to second guess them from my house, after the fact. Alta patrol has been on the front end of avy mitigation for a long time, and all the patrollers doing this work are super experienced. At the end of the day it's dangerous work and shit happens.

    I'm just glad everyone is ok.

  12. #12
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    standing below your explosive, on the slope you are bombing, seems like a protocol was missed or poorly written

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeardedClam View Post
    standing below your explosive, on the slope you are bombing, seems like a protocol was missed or poorly written
    That's the first (of many) thing I was wondering.

    And for the record, I fully accept that whoever those dudes are, they have without a doubt forgotten more about avalanche mitigation work then I will ever know.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angle Parking View Post
    That's the first (of many) thing I was wondering.

    And for the record, I fully accept that whoever those dudes are, they have without a doubt forgotten more about avalanche mitigation work then I will ever know.
    I will give them the benefit of the doubt.

    All it takes is 1 minor error and the most experienced human body will still have the life taken away.

    At the end of the day it's dangerous work and shit happens.
    Yeah? No.

    I'm just glad everyone is ok.
    something we can all agree on. Hopefully that had a safety debrief afterwards to examine why they had a close call. And to be crystal clear I have nothing but respect for the Alta SP.
    Last edited by Bunion 2020; 01-06-2022 at 04:21 PM.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  15. #15
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    Patroller caught (uninjured) in big slide at Alta

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    I will give them the benefit of the doubt.

    All it takes is 1 minor error and the most experienced human body will still have the life taken away.

    Yeah? No.

    something we can all agree on. Hopefully that had a safety debrief afterwards to examine why they had a close call. And to be crystal clear I have nothing but respect for the Alta SP.
    Yeah, I agree here. Iím not saying no mistakes were made, or anything like that, just that I donít think anyone who wasnít there can point fingers from the safety of their home. And also, itís the mountains and sometimes you can do everything right and still have things go to hell.

    I would expect/hope they do a full debrief and try to figure out what happened there.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supermoon View Post
    Yeah, I agree here. I’m not saying no mistakes were made, or anything like that, just that I don’t think anyone who wasn’t there can point fingers from the safety of their home.
    Not every profession is provided this curtesy. In fact most are not.

    Sh*t happens yes, but work place safety regulations are put into place and modified to all but eliminate the possibility of sh*t happening. Take forestry in B.C. for example. There was a time when everything was hand logged (chainsaw). Now the regulations simply don’t allow any chainsaw falling outside of very special circumstances. ‘But the ground is too steep for machine logging, we need to use fallers.’ Too bad, you are not logging there is the government's view on the matter. The job of commercial logging faller has all disappeared, just too many accidents.

    And speaking of special circumstances, perhaps it’s an epic PWL situation they had to deal with or something but (and this leads me to question #2) the hill was open while they were doing this?, and the blast cloud reaches a boundary rope where people are skiing? Really?

    I have a government OH&S mine’s inspector buddy and I have had enough conversations with him about what he sees on inspections to be able to say that if such a video got out about a mine engaging in these types of practices, that mine would be totally f*cked. Shut down and massively penalized.

    And again, for the record, I acknowledge that there are likely pimples on the buttocks of these patrollers who know more about avalanche mitigation then I will ever know (horrible imagery sorry). And to boot, I work in a profession where we are demonized and persecuted and convicted by all levels of society without any attempt to understand the situation at hand so I am not doing that but just failing to get over that incredulous feeling I had the first time I saw the vid which is actually getting worse the more the situation gets unpacked for me.



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  17. #17
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    conversely if it didn't run and some knot head went out and triggered it the Monday morning quarterbacks would be criticizing them for that. Sometimes the snow safety kids just don't catch a break.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    That is good to know but still no guarantee that it won't fail while someone is placing one of those shots.



    When you say Heli-bombed do you mean with explosives or a Daisy-bell? Cause if it was with explosives and those bomb holes remained when the slope failed?

    Oops.

    You would think if they were going to go to all the trouble to do a Heli-mission they would have used more powder.

    Main thing is no one was hurt.

    Thx.
    Also a shot dropped in the snow is a lot less effective than the boo shots these guys use. They hang it over the slope which generates WAY more energy and is the most effective placement of any explosives. 2-4lb shots from the air are not going to have the same crack as the snow will insulate them..

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schemeboat View Post
    Also a shot dropped in the snow is a lot less effective than the boo shots these guys use. They hang it over the slope which generates WAY more energy and is the most effective placement of any explosives. 2-4lb shots from the air are not going to have the same crack as the snow will insulate them..
    really?

    Maybe someone should do a study on that.....

    https://www.google.com/search?client...on+snowpack%2C
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angle Parking View Post

    And speaking of special circumstances, perhaps it’s an epic PWL situation they had to deal with or something but (and this leads me to question #2) the hill was open while they were doing this?, and the blast cloud reaches a boundary rope where people are skiing? Really?
    TFW knows this zone better than anyone and can go into detail of the runout but if you've ever skied at Alta you'd know that the avie is far far away from anyone despite what it looks like in the video.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angle Parking View Post
    And speaking of special circumstances, perhaps it’s an epic PWL situation they had to deal with or something but (and this leads me to question #2) the hill was open while they were doing this?, and the blast cloud reaches a boundary rope where people are skiing? Really?
    Hill was open but traffic was being blocked. The dust cloud did reach the trail, which was closed at the time. The core of the slab stopped a few hundred feet short of the ropeline. It's very common that ski areas do control work while the resort is open. 100 years of data and science-y things like alpha angles dictate ropelines.

    It's also not wildly uncommon for patrollers to get rolled while doing mitigation work. I think 2 patrollers have gotten caught in separate slides at Snowbird this year already, but it didn't happen when the whole public was standing there with phones out and doesn't get posted by clickbait media outlets. Probably why PC patrollers are asking for more money.

  22. #22
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    I was at Alta that day and talked to patroler while we were taking in the view from e. Greeley area. He made a comment about how he was glad no one died that day. I think itís safe to say two patrol getting caught means the control work did not go to plan. His other comment was along the lines of ďsome days opening terrain is a tough judgment call. At least today the decision was easy.Ē

    If anything, this why every patroller needs a raise. Think of what kind of raise Alta could have given patrollers with all their new parking revenue and the cost of landscaping the lower mountain for no reason.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samski360 View Post
    If anything, this why every patroller needs a raise. Think of what kind of raise Alta could have given patrollers with all their new parking revenue and the cost of landscaping the lower mountain for no reason.
    Alta gave a 20% raise to nearly all employees this fall.

  24. #24
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    Changing schuss alley to a California freeway certainly makes for good skiing especially for intermediates. I do however wonder if the grading now puts the Buckhorn at risk if a controlled slide from stonecrusher comes down and has a easy path to infrastructure like the buckhorn or even the Kitty ( Wildcat )/ Collins.

    Before there were channels and berms. Now it is a little too smooth.



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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    I will give them the benefit of the doubt.

    All it takes is 1 minor error and the most experienced human body will still have the life taken away.
    Yup!
    "True love is much easier to find with a helicopter"

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