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Thread: Faak...AK

  1. #1
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    Faak...AK

    Woke up to an email this morning stating my friend had lost his son. The only reports I see are this one, so assuming he is the person they're speaking about.

    My friend is an OG mtn bike trail builder who has built countless miles and a long-time MRG skier. His son Joe was probably 25-26 yrs old. He had been working towards becoming a patroller and was an electrician also. Incredibly sad.

    https://www.alaskasnewssource.com/20...officials-say/

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackstraw View Post
    Woke up to an email this morning stating my friend had lost his son. The only reports I see are this one, so assuming he is the person they're speaking about.

    My friend is an OG mtn bike trail builder who has built countless miles and a long-time MRG skier. His son Joe was probably 25-26 yrs old. He had been working towards becoming a patroller and was an electrician also. Incredibly sad.

    https://www.alaskasnewssource.com/20...officials-say/
    https://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventu...eward-highway/
    Condolences to all who knew him and loved him. Losing a child is unimaginable to me.
    off your knees Louie

  3. #3
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    Thanks. Yes, that is him, "Joey" as his dad still called him.

  4. #4
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    I know the family as well. Great people. Very tragic

    Pretty sketchy out there - be careful friends

  5. #5
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    https://www.cnfaic.org/accidents/john-mtn/
    That is the prelim report with more expected soon. Condolences to family and friends. Den

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dewam View Post
    https://www.cnfaic.org/accidents/john-mtn/
    That is the prelim report with more expected soon. Condolences to family and friends. Den
    Reading the report hurts. A couple of red flags were missed. Joey was new to the West so I'm not sure how much avi training he has acquired in such a short time. Also, not sure if he was relying on his partners. I don't know shit about a typical AK snowpack having never been there, but we all know maritime snowpacks are typically more stable from a broad perspective. Looking at that slope with a few clusters of trees, I'm not sure what would be a safe route up. One might assume the tree area would be safer.

  7. #7
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    Looks like one of those normally innocuous slopes that was wind loaded at the top and they probably triggered it before they realized they were in what turned out to be avalanche terrain. Getting dragged through trees is my worst nightmare.

    RIP
    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"

  8. #8
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    The final report has been issued and I found it informative.
    https://www.cnfaic.org/accidents/loc...nai-mountains/
    Condolences to all involved. Den

  9. #9
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    Ty.
    No time to deploy air bags. Malfunctioning beacon.
    Trauma.

    Just horrible

  10. #10
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    I found the non-locking carabiner, (very common), and shattering probe to be interesting also. I appreciated the comments section. There is no going back, but there is the chance for others to learn. Thanks to skiers 1&3 for their thoughts and observations, and CNFAC for their efforts to educate us. Den

  11. #11
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    Sorry to be blunt since several here knew the deceased or his family and friends. Condolences to jackstraw, billhill and obviously Joey's family. But the slide zone is where we have these discussions so I hope it's ok
    questions i had after reading the report
    *inclinometer reading. it sounds like they were about to, or already had made the final switchback to the treed section when skier 3 checked the slope angle to be in the low 30's. According to the caltopo they had been in 35-45 degree terrain for quite some time at that point (with as they mentioned higher angle terrain directly over them).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    *pole straps? - report says they "used their ski poles to probe the snowpack" in addition to hand pits. Using your basket to probe the snow pack is worthless and using the proper end with straps doesn't help. They also mentioned not being able to pull their airbags because of the flow. That usually means pole straps but maybe not.

    *yes they split up, but to what effect? The idea is to go one at a time until each person is in a safe zone, not to just split up by 30'. None of them were in a safe zone (based on the photos and the outcome).

    *the obvious. they were in a slide path on a day they knew the forecast was high and they continued to push it beyond the "low angle sheltered terrain" they originally set out for. Splitting up was the first acknowledgement that they were in steeper terrain than what they set out for, but they continued.
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  12. #12
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    Using your basket to probe the snow pack is worthless
    Tens of thousands of ski patrollers and BC skiers say you are wrong.

    As like the CB accident, Human Behavior is a bitch and we can reason ourselves into damn near anything.
    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"

  13. #13
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    Wothless? no. Limiting? Every test is.

    Bunion gets it. Safe backcountry travel is an applied, no theoretical skill. Honestly, the knowledge part is pretty easy. Doing it consistently for your whole career is anything but.

    With all the media, awareness sessions and so on available, i feel that "guy who knew nothing got in a avalanche" is fairly rare when compared to "looking back, egregious mistakes were made guy".

    And we've all been that guy whether we admit it or not.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dewam View Post
    I found the non-locking carabiner, (very common), and shattering probe to be interesting also.
    I recently had a carbon probe break on me - a piece splintered off at one of the junctions which didn't allow me to assemble it until I used a pair of pliers to straighten the splintered bit. It was functional but would have added critical time to a rescue - fortunately I found this during practice.

    Like many I also use a non-locking carabiner on my airbag thong strap, guess it's time to switch to a locker. Anyone know of someone making a nice compact twistlock/auto-locker, smaller than a full size belay 'biner? I have an old one from either Wild Country or DMM but it looks like it's discontinued.

  15. #15
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    Check out the Edelrid HMS bulletproof triple FG. I’ve used the Mammut Bionic Crosslock for a few years but it has its issues.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  16. #16
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    Yeah, mistakes were obviously made. Joey is dead and the two others went for a ride. There are countless pro skiers and mountaineers that have died in the mountains by making a mistake or by just taking the inherent risk we all take by stepping into those binders. I'm guilty of being dumb or ignorant, but have been lucky enough to have lived and learned along the way. Could I screw up in the future? Absolutely. Hope not too, but nobody sets out to make a critical mistake.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    Tens of thousands of ski patrollers and BC skiers say you are wrong.
    Ok, maybe it's not useless but it might as well be since you can just turn your pole over and have a vastly superior tool. There is no getting around the fact that as you entrain more snow with whatever you're using you lose sensitivity. The number of layers you can break through (and feel) is much greater with the top end of the pole. Additionally there is no flex when hitting layers like there is with the basket so you know you're hitting them.
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  18. #18
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    I guess that would depend on your basket choice.
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...k&opi=89978449
    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"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Like many I also use a non-locking carabiner on my airbag thong strap, guess it's time to switch to a locker. Anyone know of someone making a nice compact twistlock/auto-locker, smaller than a full size belay 'biner? I have an old one from either Wild Country or DMM but it looks like it's discontinued.
    Edelrid sliders are super easy to use, maybe almost too easy. 'Locking' but I would be a little sketched by getting belayed on one. Normal quickdraw carabiner sized, 47g. Grivel twin gates are pretty nice to use, smallest one I think is the sigma k8g, 57g. I only have personal experience with the Clepsydra but I really like it. Grivel's wire locks look interesting too but I haven't used them personally.

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