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  1. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    closer
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    5,808
    Quote Originally Posted by skuff View Post
    My reading comprehension sucks but I didn't see anything in the article about a pit getting dug, just a mention of the group leader pushing a ski pole into the snow
    Yeah because you don't dig pits in Europe. That's what the slf does for us.

    The problem here is the typical lower risk high consequence deep pwl layer thing. And guides should act accordingly. That's why there is an investigation.

    So no cliffs below, ski one by one and so on.
    The 40 degree thing per se is not a problem in avie danger 2. You can get munter reduction down to below 1 in that scenario.

    It's really interesting that everybody focuses on the stomping and the Pole. We do that but it's not what people usually base decisions on. It's if that feels weird / or more dangerous we don't go. You wouldn't make a go decision on that. you normally do that with the Reduction method. Guides tend to push it a bit if the avie level feels onnthe safe side, which it should never be with a pwl. New snow, surface slabs...sure you can see and navigate that.

    So basically the guide made two mistakes. Terrain Management/ Tour planning and 4 people on slope.
    Edit: the Tour planning is actually ok in avie 2, just not with a pwl.


    Edit: the Standard wellhorn approach is flat but exposed. The peak is very serious alpinism. So the pic indicates they wanted to ski a rather boring but dangerous approach below the North face.

    Strange Tour planning. And you can't really ski it from the top so I don't know why they actually Toured there?
    Last edited by subtle plague; 04-23-2024 at 10:34 AM.
    It's a war of the mind and we're armed to the teeth.

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    23,409
    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    Big slides can snap whole stands of mature trees like toothpicks. It's amazing that meatbags like us survive as often as we do.
    Hiking in LeConte Canyon on the Muir Trail in the Sierra in June one year. The slope opposite us had slid during the winter--2000 vertical ft, hundreds of yards across, a forest of mature timber completely leveled, top to bottom, wall to wall. On our side we were scrambling over 3-4 ft diameter trees stacked 3-4 trees high.

    Quote Originally Posted by skuff View Post
    My reading comprehension sucks but I didn't see anything in the article about a pit getting dug, just a mention of the group leader pushing a ski pole into the snow
    In the Revelstoke avalanche that killed 6 some years ago sticking a pole in the snow was the guide's method of risk assessment. Which did not even include reading the local forecast.

    The thing that struck me--and I likely know less about slides than anyone else reading this--was skiing 30 seconds apart rather than one at a time to a safe zone. When more than one is caught isn't that pretty much always a mistake?

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Amherst, Mass.
    Posts
    4,689
    ^ re multiple burials, I recently listened to this while skinning (just closed ski areas) and driving about:
    https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Darke...ook/B0CGK2XLN1
    As a book, I found it somewhere between mediocre and dreadful, more towards the latter if you don't care at all about so-called "pro" snowboarders.
    Once the narrative switched to the SME multi, it became far more compelling.
    That information might have been based almost entirely on Ken Wylie's book, but since that book sounds even worse, a retelling of his account might be better than the original source material.
    So, a limited endorsement: if you're interested in how such a scenario could unfold, with two fully certified professional guides (i.e., not just bro guides), then definitely read (or listen) to this.
    Mo' skimo here: NE Rando Race Series

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    23,409
    A good friend of ours died in the La Traviata slide. So did 5 other people besides Kelly and our friend.
    If you live at Donner Lake you have the late Kathy Poluch Kessler to thank, along with others.
    I thought Wylie's book was good, considering the genre.

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2,667
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan S. View Post
    ^ re multiple burials, I recently listened to this while skinning (just closed ski areas) and driving about:
    https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Darke...ook/B0CGK2XLN1
    As a book, I found it somewhere between mediocre and dreadful, more towards the latter if you don't care at all about so-called "pro" snowboarders.
    Once the narrative switched to the SME multi, it became far more compelling.
    That information might have been based almost entirely on Ken Wylie's book, but since that book sounds even worse, a retelling of his account might be better than the original source material.
    So, a limited endorsement: if you're interested in how such a scenario could unfold, with two fully certified professional guides (i.e., not just bro guides), then definitely read (or listen) to this.
    Funny, I really enjoyed that book. Having not been a skier until later in my life I wasn't ever aware of Craig Kelly while he was still around. I thought the book did a good job in showing the evolution of his career and snowboarding in general.

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