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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    62

    Dropping in on top of Groups/Booting up behind another group

    Reading CAIC reports today and what I saw in person this weekend was pretty wild out there even for summit county standards.

    I thought this was basic backcountry etiquette if someone is already booting in the line you wanted to ski you pivot to a new objective or go home??

    I know these are all super popular zones but still something needs to change or there will be a large scale accident on one of the classics.


    Example: https://avalanche.state.co.us/observ...c-0b0dce6a1e21 (How many people are in that one picture)

    Example: Quandary North Couloir 4/21 A group got dropped in on by another party knowingly cut a wind slab an flushed a different groups member down 1,000 ft.


    I watched three separate groups all attempting shit for brains at the same time on Friday? one nearing the top another group in the choke and another group just starting to boot!

    Reckless behavior? Is terrain avoidance the only thing being taught in AVY 1?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    14,949
    Resource scarcity, ignorance and selfishness




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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Before
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    28,129
    I count between 20 and 17.


    Not schmart.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    8,940
    I don't disagree with you but if that is your expectation don't ski trade routes in Colorado on the first fresh snow forecast low hazard nice ish weather spring day.

    Reality is many to most backcountry skiers around here pretty much suck at backcountry skiing (and skiing generally for that matter.)

    I DPd BP Saturday AM as I saw it coming. By the time I left at 9 the shit show was on!

    The Green Means Go mentality was on full display this weekend and in both my opinion and supported by the obs, people got caught with their pants don't.

    I'll let others speak to the AAIRE curriculum but avalanche education is to comprehensive backcountry safety or ettiquite.

    Sent from my Turbo 850 Flatbrimed Highhorse

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    62
    https://avalanche.state.co.us/observ...d-d12ac979fbf4

    Quandary Report. Seems pretty selfish to me if you didn't like how they were skiing it or taking too long you should have gotten up earlier.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    on the banks of Fish Creek
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    7,632
    triggering an avalanche that takes someone for a ride, and just skiing away? no attempt to assist in the rescue?




    this is a different level. them snowboarders what set off that slide a few years back were prosecuted for much less…

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    33,581
    That's pretty fucked up to ski away.

    You have to also wonder about this by the first group though
    "Assesed conditions"
    Sounds like they were fairly lucky to have not set it off themselves even if skiing it one at a time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    slc
    Posts
    18,091
    Quote Originally Posted by gmorgg View Post
    https://avalanche.state.co.us/observ...d-d12ac979fbf4

    Quandary Report. Seems pretty selfish to me if you didn't like how they were skiing it or taking too long you should have gotten up earlier.
    As described that's messed up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
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    14,949

    Dropping in on top of Groups/Booting up behind another group

    Seems pretty normal from my observations of people in the backcountry


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    Last edited by MagnificentUnicorn; 04-23-2024 at 07:18 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Not Brooklyn
    Posts
    8,380
    Wow. That's cold.

    Sent from my Pixel 6a using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    inpdx
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    20,332
    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    As described that's messed up.
    I can only guess we’ll hear more about it from other parties

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    2,524
    Gatekeeping, localism, and trailhead beat-downs all need to come back into fashion.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dystopia
    Posts
    21,365
    I almost died twenty years ago
    Sketch wind loading. We were survival descending (should have hiked back up)
    Dude dropped in to the bowl (we descended the ridge one at a time)
    Ripped half the bowl. Two thirds of the group got blasted by the staunch wall air blast and lightly buried. As we were collecting lost poles a three party dropped into the undslid bowl and we booked as fast as we could to get out of the zone.

    Long story short. Don’t trust anyone above you
    I’ve just decided to be a middle aged somewhat depressed somewhat anxious fucktard until the end.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    8,940
    Quote Originally Posted by ::: ::: View Post
    I can only guess we’ll hear more about it from other parties
    Why do you think that? I'd think they'd hightail their flatbrims, wildcats and mustaches back to the Tacoma and keep it too themselves.

    Something is fucked, but don't be so quick to just make shit up and bring the pitchforks. And before you ask, no it wasn't me or anyone I know. So I'll just ask these questions generically. Here is the forecast for the day https://avalanche.state.co.us/?lat=3...ate=2024-04-21

    Under what conditions is it acceptable to expose more than one person to the hazard?

    How do you break a line into multiple pitches?

    When is it good form to allow faster moving groups to play through?

    Does a novice junkshow that gets up early have to right to cockblock the line all morning as the temp warms up and the hazard level increases?

    Maybe the offending party were total asshats, came down saw homie was breathing, sprayed him and peaced out.

    Maybe group one was taking an exorbitant amount of time, looked to be eddied out in an island of safety, group 2 dropped and then a slow moving sluff knocked somebody of their feet?

    We all have an obligation to not be an asshole? Part of that, when skiing in busy avalanche terrain, is to have your shit together and move swifty and predictably through terrain.

    Personally, I avoid these type of scenes because I don't have any faith in the skills and being on the same wavelength in the punters. Thankfully the backcounty is a big place and seeing nobody all day is pretty easy.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    inpdx
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    Why do you think that? I'd think they'd hightail their flatbrims, wildcats and mustaches back to the Tacoma and keep it too themselves.
    Multiple parties at the event - only one perspective given. Nothing more than that.

    Not pretending to attribute blame or judge from my faraway uninformed position. I wouldn’t know about whose mustache did what.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Wenatchee
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    14,949
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    Why do you think that? I'd think they'd hightail their flatbrims, wildcats and mustaches back to the Tacoma and keep it too themselves.

    Something is fucked, but don't be so quick to just make shit up and bring the pitchforks. And before you ask, no it wasn't me or anyone I know. So I'll just ask these questions generically. Here is the forecast for the day https://avalanche.state.co.us/?lat=3...ate=2024-04-21

    Under what conditions is it acceptable to expose more than one person to the hazard?

    How do you break a line into multiple pitches?

    When is it good form to allow faster moving groups to play through?

    Does a novice junkshow that gets up early have to right to cockblock the line all morning as the temp warms up and the hazard level increases?

    Maybe the offending party were total asshats, came down saw homie was breathing, sprayed him and peaced out.

    Maybe group one was taking an exorbitant amount of time, looked to be eddied out in an island of safety, group 2 dropped and then a slow moving sluff knocked somebody of their feet?

    We all have an obligation to not be an asshole? Part of that, when skiing in busy avalanche terrain, is to have your shit together and move swifty and predictably through terrain.

    Personally, I avoid these type of scenes because I don't have any faith in the skills and being on the same wavelength in the punters. Thankfully the backcounty is a big place and seeing nobody all day is pretty easy.
    If I see too many cars at a TH I’ll usually go elsewhere. If I see a well used skin track I’ll go the other direction. It’s the unknown ability and behavior of random people in the backcountry that I try and avoid.

    I certainly wouldn’t drop in on someone moving slowly down a line with potential for some sort of snow movement. I’m not sure about anyone else though. It should be a given if someone has any sort of avalanche awareness.


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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    8,940
    I certainly wouldn’t drop in on someone moving slowly down a line with potential for some sort of snow movement. I’m not sure about anyone else though. It should be a given if someone has any sort of avalanche awareness.
    My experience is that behavior expectation is far for universal in Cham, La Grave, Colorado 14rs, Wasatch Couloirs, JH sidecountry and so on.

    To me, its less about right and wrong on more about understanding that other people are part of the risk profile we need to manage.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    12,754
    Dramarado. Never a dull moment.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Wenatchee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    My experience is that behavior expectation is far for universal in Cham, La Grave, Colorado 14rs, Wasatch Couloirs, JH sidecountry and so on.

    To me, its less about right and wrong on more about understanding that other people are part of the risk profile we need to manage.
    For me it’s not about my desire to get down the line but about not killing another person.

    I’m sure it’s common practice in some places. I try and avoid others because managing my risk is hard enough


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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    BLDR CO
    Posts
    986
    There will be different opinions on this, but I think we all agree that sluffing (or certainly flushing) a person or group and not stopping to help, check in, etc is just wrong. Period. Full stop.
    In terms of "dropping in" on people, its tough in CO and other popular/high population areas (yes wasatch, tetons, etc). I think if you follow another group up, you have to expect you'll get dropped on - and therefore you have to be very comfortable on the conditions (ideally, post-consolidation). These can be long vert lines (2-3k' on popular 13-14er lines like Quandry, Torreys emperor) where there could be multiple groups in front or behind the group you see... and probably some you can't see. Standing on the top of these lines, there's often a few groups coming up (some visible, some not) that could be an hour+ from topping out. I'll wait for a group near the top, and will ski a safe distance from climbers, but I'm not waiting 1, 2, 3 hours for the last person up. Wet slide risk is likely rising as you wait.
    Other etiquette issues come up too... like putting in a 2k' bootpack and then a group passing you in the last few hundred feet, transitioning fast and dropping in. Generally kinda bogus.
    I've found radios super helpful to make sure skiers are through a line, or to a safe zone. Getting down is usually pretty quick, so one-at-a-time is safe, smart and easy - as long as you can see the exit and/or have some comms.
    But mostly 1) wait for solid spring consolidation, 2) know you're taking some risk if you're following others up and 3) always help a brother/sister out in any situation.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    8,940
    Bottom up booters have different protocols for sure.

    Radios are awesome comms tools but bring another required skill set. People that struggle with their beacons, bindings and skins don't have the bandwidth to manage a radio generally. I'm not sure we've talked about this https://legaladdictions-photography....front-range-v1

    As mentioned, I think this last storm produced slide activity that neither the forecasters nor many skiers were expecting although by lunch time Saturday it was pretty evident.

    The hypothetical is an experienced courteous users group.

    Reality is more like driving a car. You job is to avoid an accident regardless of who has the right of way.

    Blame is a limiting concept. It may allow you to gain the moral high ground but that's about it. If group one had either moved swiftly through the exposure or regrouped at an island of safety once that noticed the first skier of group two was on the slope, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    14,055
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    To me, its less about right and wrong on more about understanding that other people are part of the risk profile we need to manage.
    These are wise words from someone who's spent a lot of time in the backcountry. Thanks for that

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    9,300ft
    Posts
    22,094
    In Avalanche 1, I certainly discuss courtesy, ettiquette, and protocol in managing multiple groups in my class including giving examples of accidents and lawsuits. I encourage people to be proactively communicative and courteous, that a radio is a must-have device, and avoiding crowds is key.

    Collaborative skiing is a tough thing on trade routes.

    This is the most obvious use case for Radio Community Channels:
    https://rockytalkie.com/pages/communitychannels

    That way you can raise a group on the radio that you didn't talk to face-to-face first. Unfortunately, I don't think this is widespread, nor that radio carraige is ubiquitous, nor that the most problematic groups are likely to have them and use the community channels.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmorgg View Post
    https://avalanche.state.co.us/observ...d-d12ac979fbf4

    Quandary Report. Seems pretty selfish to me if you didn't like how they were skiing it or taking too long you should have gotten up earlier.
    The rumor is this avalanche incident involving two groups lead to an altercation at the trailhead when Group 1 caught up to Group 2.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    BLDR CO
    Posts
    986
    ^^^ Yes, community channels are great. Would be great to add RMNP, Indian Peaks and Elks. But yes, also need 1) more people to carry them and 2) to know/use the comm channels. San Juans are well covered

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    31,320
    5 yrs ago I was on a guided trip at Sunrise hut/ GAH, the party at the next hut up the valley was poaching the Sunrise area and then sent shit down from above, the guide and the assistant get on the radio and asked wtf? The assistant said yeah I can tell from coms that group is unguided Americans, GAH head office got on the line and told then you fuck up one more time and yer out

    A month later somebody was whining about it here on TGR and I recognised the incident, called em on it and never hear another word
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

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