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  1. #301
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    somewhere in wyoming
    Posts
    303
    Trying to find some kind of pattern with the avalanche obs over the last few days but nothing is really sticking out...

    I saw the SH cycle that HMS was a part of that plaqued mid elevations last week but does anyone have a clue what's going on up there now? I've seen no instabilities since the snow/wind event but I know it's been straight luck with the nature of the Avalanche problem.

    Are we just playing in a mine field out there? I'd like to enjoy a tram assisted tour tomorrow and ski some fun lines but have no idea what aspects to stay away from up high...

    Sorry to rant but I thought the snowpack's story would have unraveled by now.

  2. #302
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    JH/AK/Los Andes
    Posts
    2,679
    Lots of action on the SH....
    "The idea wasnt for me, that I would be the only one that would ever do this. My idea was that everybody should be doing this. At the time nobody was, but this was something thats too much fun to pass up." -Briggs
    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    Wear your climbing harness. Attach a big anodized locker to your belay loop so its in prime position to hit your nuts. Double russian Ti icescrews on your side loops positioned for maximal anal rape when you sit down. Then everyone will know your radness
    More stoke, less shit.

  3. #303
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Jackson
    Posts
    768

    Jackson Hole Roll Call Winter 14/15

    I'll share my recent scare and some lessons learned. I made mistakes and got lucky. Not proud of it, but hopefully it will help others, learn, be safer, or share their own experience.

    On Sunday January 18th, I got caught in a slide. I am uninjured and got out of the slide early, but was foolishly close to a much worst situation. It was in the B chute in the ABC's going into Granite.

    I had a false sense of security, in hind sight I should have been more cautious. The avalanche forecast for the day was considerable with wet and wind deposited snow over surface hoar. We wanted to ski untracked snow, so we were headed to high elevation low angle trees. We skied several runs in Targhee Woods off the back of tram successfully. Then made our way to Seven Dwarfs where we cleared the chute, we skied, with a ski length cornice drop (approximately 80lbs). Then we made our way to ABC chutes.
    This whole time I was with friends whom I regard highly with back county experience beyond my own. I was letting them take me on a tour linking up areas I had only previously made single lap runs on.

    At the ABC Chutes we tried to cut two pockets with no result higher in the chute above the divide between A&B. The lack of results after getting an easy slide out of one of the dwarfs gave me the false sense of security that the rest of the chute would be safe.

    With no result, I was first into B chute. The first two turns were cautious around rocks, then just past them I clipped a buried rock, (where the slide likely started but I did not see it) The next few turns I sped up to stay ahead of sluff, then a hard right into my safe zone to spot my ski partners. That is when I felt the slab moving under me and I lost my balance. Skis down hill and on my right hip I went for the airbag pull with my left hand. My left ski pole was caught in the snow and was being pulled down resisting the movement to the airbag, so I let the pole go. I was about to pull the air bag when I felt my skis touch the bed layer. I dug my edges in and leaned into the snow as it slid around me. The snow passed, and I got into my safe zone and let my friends know I was ok.

    We convened in the safe zone, checked in with each other and skied the slide path and debris pile. While looking for the missing pole, and looking for tracks leading into the slide path or debris pile.

    So things I would do differently next time. Heed the Avi Forcast; B chute (or anything of similar complexity and slope) probably should not have been an option given the forecast of considerable for the day. Don't follow the leader; I should have been more involved in the route planning, aware of options, and familiar with the terrain. And most importantly I should have been thinking more about the risk than the reward of the tempting looking run below. Afterward I thought a lot about all the people that rely upon me, and the impact my mistake, had I been injured or worst, would have made upon them.

    I am at least glad I had the wherewith all to react the way I did in the slide. I do not suggest it, but being in and this close to an avalanche (my biggest) is hugely educational.

    A likely explanation of what happened there, was the upper two pockets had significant wind effect removing the surface hoar. The pocket I triggered was more sheltered in the recent wind leaving the surface hoar in tact.

    And nothing against my friends, I could not have had better touring partners if I needed a rescue. And most importantly I do not feel they are at fault for getting me into that situation. Even if we had discussed our options more I probably would have skied it anyway after the lack of result on the upper two pockets. I look forward to touring with them again.
    Last edited by galenparke; 01-21-2015 at 09:25 AM.

  4. #304
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boulder/Tetons
    Posts
    537
    Thanks, Galen, and to everyone else posting obs.
    This past week I couldn't get anything to move beyond surface sluff and some slabbing of the top 2 inches of wind affect--nothing would propagate. I think this was at least partially due to my skiing only in heavily skied areas--fri in the do-it's, sat on wimpys, sun in why not area and mon in glory bowl. Stay safe out there. Next storm could get even more complicated with all the troublesome layers buried deeper.

  5. #305
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    below the king
    Posts
    1,284
    Thanks for the obs and story Galen. Getting caught in a slide like that is scary stuff.

    Buried surface hoar always freaks me out as a weak layer. It's so localized and stubborn to trigger. The only slide I was ever buried in failed on a buried surface hoar layer. The particular path had even been bombed three times prior to it being triggered. Not an experience I'd like to ever repeat.

  6. #306
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Slighty to the right of Attila the Hun
    Posts
    316
    Mean breakable crust down low.

    Some serious black diamond sidewalk & parking lot shit going on in the pedestrian world.
    "The two best times to fish is when it's rainin' and when it ain't." - Rancid Crabtree

    "never buy anything you can't fuel with a salami sandwich" - XXX-er

  7. #307
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    361
    My yard sales have all occurred on the flatland. I couldn't imagine being old in this town.

  8. #308
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    425
    i have a freshly broken ankle and trying to walk around in parking lots right now is damn near impossible

  9. #309
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    west tetons
    Posts
    1,606
    Quote Originally Posted by meatspicy View Post
    i have a freshly broken ankle and trying to walk around in parking lots right now is damn near impossible
    Bummer, sorry to hear. Broken skiing?

    You could have a chalk bag full of kitty litter and spread it in front of you as you get to a particularly icy spot.

    Just joking.

    Anyway, appreciate your analysis/ perspective on events and decision-making. Heal up fast.

  10. #310
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    804
    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanman View Post
    Are we just playing in a mine field out there?
    this should be the way you think every time you go in the field. Guilty until proven innocent. Otherwise people will continue to get hurt or worse. Sure ain't fucking Disneyland

  11. #311
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    tetons
    Posts
    7,528
    Disneyland actually does scare me

    Not a bad idea about the chalk bag full of cat litter! (or sand or rock salt)

  12. #312
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    somewhere in wyoming
    Posts
    303
    Great share Galen. Funny how we can create fall senses of security (no results on ski cut in your case) when we are looking down an untouched couloir. Thanks for sharing and I am so glad you were able to punch out.

    Your story, like most, was plaqued by Human Factors that I will go over for anyone who isn't terribly familiar.

    - Familiarity with granite and the terrain. My guess is this was the first slide you've been in up there? Great track records 95% of the time are misleading sometimes.

    - Acceptance within your group. It's difficult to speak up within a group when the day has gone so well and you've practiced solid decision making so far. This devil's advocate position must be established always. I typically like the leader to express these what if's, asking deeper questions with each and every partner through out the tour.

    - Commitment. Although I've never toured from seven dwarfs to ABC chutes I bet the group had put some time, energy and thinking into the ascent. And what was option b or c if you backed out? Nobody wants to head back to the resort after a long slog.

    - Expert halo. I know you all were avy experienced and knowledgable but sometimes we take back seat to others.

    - Tracks and scarcity were tough with this warm storm and the crowds that pounced on it.

    - Social proof in Granite is everywhere with the ease of access and the abundance of lines out there.

    Really dig the third to last paragraph where you praise the accident as a positive and very serious lesson learned. For most of us it takes a close call or worse to fully understand the risks we take.

    Although I skied conservative lines Sunday as a joint leader, this could have easily been me if I had been touring with a partner/leader like Dan Starr, Mikey Franco or Nat Patridge.

    Happy Friday everybody!

  13. #313
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Powder Mountain
    Posts
    766

    Sunshine on Taylor's east face 2 days ago

  14. #314
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    The Wilds of Maine
    Posts
    2,763
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Just to add to the Avi discussions, saw evidence of a prior slab Avi on the south subridge of Xmas tree bowl. Northeast facing. Maybe 6-8 inch crown. 40 feet by 100? Saw evidence of a similar slide on similar aspect a ridge or two back from edelweiss. And photos from a friend skiing the north shore showed the same. Seems like that top layer is fairly reactive...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Although north stuff was still dense fun!
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey, RIP

    Former Managing Editor @ TGR, forever mag.

  15. #315
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    below the king
    Posts
    1,284
    ^ryan, that Xmas tree bowl slide was from the 16th I believe. It's been on the event map for a few days now.

  16. #316
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    da eskalaterz
    Posts
    1,196
    Hi! I'm from the CO discussion thread but I just departed Jackson after a 3 day trip. I had an awesome time, but have a few questions. Is there always death ice on all the roads and parking lots? The parking lot guys were playing hockey. Did the bottom of the mountain get rain recently? Anything low and ungroomed was death crust. Anyone know what happened to the paraglider who augured in to a cliff the other day? He got helo'd off. Is it common to see ladies in Bogner with a beacon/probe/shovel and a guide prepping at Corbet's Cabin? What's the frequency and decision making of Corbet's Couloir being open/closed and is it only later in the year when it's open? It was closed the 3 days I was there and looked fucking gnarly. I feel fortunate that I didn't have to gape at the rim and chicken out with it being open. Is it possible to be a tourist/visitor and not make a really dumb move in 3 days? I failed this test in Expert Chutes. Anyway, thanks for the time and what an awesome place.

  17. #317
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Behind the Potato Curtain
    Posts
    3,681
    Quote Originally Posted by Like a Boss View Post
    Anyone know what happened to the paraglider who augured in to a cliff the other day? He got helo'd off.
    Passed away in the SLC hospital.

  18. #318
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    The Wilds of Maine
    Posts
    2,763
    Quote Originally Posted by Franz View Post
    ^ryan, that Xmas tree bowl slide was from the 16th I believe. It's been on the event map for a few days now.
    Cool!
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey, RIP

    Former Managing Editor @ TGR, forever mag.

  19. #319
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Jackson
    Posts
    236
    Quote Originally Posted by Like a Boss View Post
    Is there always death ice on all the roads and parking lots? The parking lot guys were playing hockey. Did the bottom of the mountain get rain recently? Anything low and ungroomed was death crust.
    Yes, after it rains and everything turns to slop down low....and then refreezes. Last sundays storm came in really warm which seems to be pretty common lately.

  20. #320
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Jackson Hole
    Posts
    269
    It's pretty normal to see rich folk up in corbet's cabin with a mountain guide prepping to go ski Rock Springs for an $800 guide. Some do go to 4 Pines and Cody as well tho. As for the cooler, once it has enough snow to open, it's always subject to closure when conditions are less than ideal. If it's closed, you wouldn't want to ski it anyways. It's been open for a few days here and there this season when the conditions have been good. If you're a decent skier and start poking around Jackson, more often than not you'll end up on a cliff or two and be in an uncomfortable position. Just the other day I saw 2 snowboarders in a row ride down to the M&M/Zero-G/Spacewalk cliff band and hike back out. We call it the Jersey Shore up there for a reason.

  21. #321
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    JH/AK/Los Andes
    Posts
    2,679
    Still seeing low test scores and full propagation on the recently buried SH at mid elevations. Definitely not everywhere but still touchy in spots.
    "The idea wasnt for me, that I would be the only one that would ever do this. My idea was that everybody should be doing this. At the time nobody was, but this was something thats too much fun to pass up." -Briggs
    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    Wear your climbing harness. Attach a big anodized locker to your belay loop so its in prime position to hit your nuts. Double russian Ti icescrews on your side loops positioned for maximal anal rape when you sit down. Then everyone will know your radness
    More stoke, less shit.

  22. #322
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Jackson
    Posts
    768

    Jackson Hole Roll Call Winter 14/15

    Agree with Aaron, snow seemed touchiest at the mid mountain, "bath tub ring" elevations (approximately 7500-9000). This was on 10686, near Waterfalls Canyon. Heard a lot of localized whumps. Which was probably a factor of the terrain we descended on, ridge lines near trees, limiting the chance for propagation over a longer distance. We did not have the stomach for skiing more open bowls in that elevation range. Whumping collapses were also noticed by second and third persons, and on a second hand skin track.
    Last edited by galenparke; 01-26-2015 at 09:32 AM.

  23. #323
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    west tetons
    Posts
    1,606
    Thanks Galen and Aaron. Bathtub ring for sure. Mail Cabin= big offenders as well. Appreciate your honesty Galen. Keeps us humble. Glad you escaped unhurt.

    Just one note: those big whumps are called collapses, not settlements, ok? Settlement is a slow ongoing process that shrinks the snowpack.

  24. #324
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Jackson
    Posts
    768
    Ah yes, thank you for the correction. I'll fix it up

  25. #325
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Jackson
    Posts
    892
    Good post Galen...

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