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 Post subject: concerns with new burton "backcountry" vid
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:43 am 
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So while trying to get my stoke on as apparently not even a subtle dusting is possible currently in the canadian rockies I came across a new burton video. It is 20 minutes long and is simply named 'backcountry' needless to say I was excited as I know they have been attempting to step up there game in this corner of the market I thought there could be promise for this video. I watched the video to find it was essentially a 'park riders' video but instead of landing on hard pack it was pow landings. There was some amazing video work and insane skills shown but what I couldnt help but notice was the absence of backcountry gear in the backcountry. I wrote this on their facebook page and was wondering what peoples thoughts were on the topic. Am I too careful or too conservative? or am I reaching in thinking a video could influence the up and comers into taking the backcountry risk for nothing.

Hey there, not trying to rain on the parade of a very impressive video. In the new backcountry video I was blown away by the talent of the burton team. From terje's classic style which is still mindblowing even though he has been in the industry for 25 years to mullers new age indescribable style i am honestly blown away. In the last 3 years I have spent a fair amount of my season in the backcountry whether it be in the canadian rockies or in the coastal snow of the epic west. The one thing that doesn't change is the gear required for the backcountry. In a video that will reach millions of youth I was wondering why you chose to have your riders riding without backcountry gear. There were a large number of deaths in the backcountry by the phenomena known as avalanches and a considerable number of these deaths were of people with considerable experience and all of the gear. While watching this video there was very few scenes where any gear was being worn and my concern was that this continues to build on the backcountry's popularity and does nothing to enforce what is actually required to go there other than being able to 'duck a rope' at a resort. As I was once told by a guide slackcountry is not slackcountry due to ease of access it is slackcountry because this is where people slack off and do not go with proper gear, knowledge, or assessment of risk. This is why a fair amount of the industry is trying to ditch the word slackcountry as there is truly no such thing. Lastly in one portion of the video there is a piece with muller in front of the backcountry gate in the stevens pass. 3 avid backcountry skiiers were killed here two seasons ago and in the video you see muller in front of signs that in short state do you have your gear, knowledge, and a partner? Which he appears to and then he walks through the gate and in the next scene you see him shredding a slope without a pack which would show he may have the knowledge and a partner although not having gear won't dig you or a buddy out from under a slide.

Sorry if this sounds like i am trying to be a critic but I have prided myself on practicing safe principles in the backcountry and have tried to promote this to others at the same time and it seems as if the industry is doing a fairly good job of not reinforcing these same views and I would hate to see this trend of rising avalanche deaths to continue.

Thanks for the lengthy read


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 Post subject: Re: concerns with new burton "backcountry" vid
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:30 am 
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Location: Altadena SoCal
Critic schmitic. You're right.
All we can do is keep spreading the word of stoke with safety.
FWIW one Burton vid is not going to have nearly as much an effect on the rising avy fatalities compared to the falling price of gear which can take the everyday man into avalanche terrain.

A snail-mail letter to Burton is totally appropriate. You lay out a good case here. (They pay closer attention to snail-mail than emails)


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 Post subject: Re: concerns with new burton "backcountry" vid
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:34 am 
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Location: Fairhaven
I haven't seen the video yet but I can make a few comments on this style of riding. I'd be willing to bet that most of the riders has most of the gear most of the time despite not showing it in the video. They hike/sled/heli out to a zone, build a kicker, and leave the packs at the top or bottom and hit the jump without packs on. There is no way I would expect someone to throw cab 9's and double corks with packs on.

While I agree that this isn't the type of riding that most of us want to do when we venture in the backcountry it would sound silly to call it "powder park riding" and so it gets called "backcountry".

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 Post subject: Re: concerns with new burton "backcountry" vid
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:11 am 
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Pretty sick stoke right there.




Your concerns are not off base.
Keep on with your own safety protocols.


I saw snowshoes in that viddy. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: concerns with new burton "backcountry" vid
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:36 pm 
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Didn't bother watching the video yet, but Jason is probably correct on this. Having worked with several film crews in AK, that's pretty much what goes down. Beacons are worn sans packs, and a guide is perched up top. Though it is possible that for a booter session, there may be no gear. Just because a jump is in the backcountry, doesn't mean there is slide danger. And even if it is not shown often, all of the major film crews invest in the necessary safety precautions for their riders. Personally, I think people harp way too much on gear. Yeah, people should have it, but it's really just half-assed insurance for situations where you've screwed up everything else, so I wouldn't sweat it if a pro film crew with a pro guide ditches rescue gear for the camera.

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 Post subject: Re: concerns with new burton "backcountry" vid
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:18 am 
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Location: Whistler, BC
I was more concerned with the lack of snowboarding in the video.

"Ah, now eventually you do plan to have backcountry snowboarding in your, in your backcountry edit, right? Hello?"

15 minutes of cheese wedges? Really?

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 Post subject: Re: concerns with new burton "backcountry" vid
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:18 am 
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I liked the video, About what I expected.


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 Post subject: Re: concerns with new burton "backcountry" vid
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:10 am 
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Location: New Castle, Colorado
I think relying on a guide for avalanche assessment and safety alone in burton's latest ski-porn film... Backcountry is misleading, even for a well paid film crew (as noted by fustercluck comments). This episode of "Backcountry"shows mostly sledding (snowmobiling) and jumping Kickers.

Quote:
Stoke with safety
So put your Avalanche Eyes on...

Is sledding (snowmobiling) up a slope a valid test for slope stability??? :scratch:

Is jumping kickers a valid test for Slope stability??? Look at the landing zone of these jumps in. The kicker is on top of the start-zone is shown, on a covex roll-over and the landing zone is below this convex rollover (or terrain feature). What is the optimum angle to land on a kicker? Probably 30 degrees? At least greater than 25 degrees, right? Therefore the White Dragon lurks there in the landing zone. The Dragon is always there (aka slope angle greater than 25 degrees)! So every time one jumps a kicker, it like doing a rutschblock test for slope stability. :nononno: Either you wake up the White Dragon and you find yourself buried (along with the photographer who was filming below you.. aka a multiple burial situation), or you safe, in which case you go back up to try again and wake up the dragon again by sledding upslope and launching off the kicker again, and again.... Regardless of how small landing zone slope is. Even a small avalanche can kill.

If you do find yourself and the photographer buried in the avalanche. You really only got about 15 minutes of air... (not counting other trauma from the avalanche). Your going to want all of your crew to have beacon, probe and shoveling with them; and not stashed somewhere else (for photography and marketing sake); digging you out right now!

Which goes back to the original concern of this post. That stoke without showing safety in the Backcountry" is ski-porn and sends the wrong message to everywhere Yahoo with a snowboard to head for our Backcountry without the concern for avalanche risk.

Let's hope Burton does a better job showing safe backcountry travel in the following Backcountry episodes.

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 Post subject: Re: concerns with new burton "backcountry" vid
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Also this from Burton:
Image

Your beacon goes into your pack now? Did I miss something?

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 Post subject: Re: concerns with new burton "backcountry" vid
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:14 pm 
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Location: Meyers, CA
I thought the vid was pretty normal (and Nico Muller's part was awesome as expected), other than some limited mentions of the word "backcountry" it was fairly standard snow stoke. It didn't seem like it intended to be a "how to shred the backcountry" vid, perhaps the upcoming episodes will be different.

It would be great if pop snow culture represented something more like the real thing but these are movies and they are not a realistic depiction of anything.

There is a ton of chatter in the bc ski/sno industry about increasing education and trying to move the bar on backcountry travel behavior and reduce the number of deaths. Talk is cheap so it will be interesting to see if anything real results from this.


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 Post subject: Re: concerns with new burton "backcountry" vid
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:37 pm 
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ieism wrote:
Also this from Burton:
Image

Your beacon goes into your pack now? Did I miss something?


This pack should show you where to put your twinkies and your taxi money when you get lost at Killington :D

Some food for thought...Gear sales are up the last several years...Either all the dirtbags got jobs, or more people are buying gear. More avalanche deaths could link directly to more people in the mountains. That's by the statistics. I clearly understand that some people are victims of lack of education and others are merely in the wrong place at the wrong time. But I just wanted to say that numbers alone will mean more deaths, sadly...

Also, Burton sells a lot of legit backcountry gear to folks that will never use it to its fullest capabilities (they missed the mark bad with this bag though from the looks of it). But they carry a full line of three layer shells and there are plenty of guys on this site riding their splits. There are the drivers and sparks have been sporting burton ratchets..

I agree with others that this is just snow porn with a marketcentric title. How many guys are going to, because of this film, go drop a few grand?..maybe a few at best...But they might go buy that $400 shell so they can feel like they can ride like Terje.


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 Post subject: Re: concerns with new burton "backcountry" vid
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:22 am 
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I totally agree with a lot of the opinions spoken on here and I have to say that I never really doubted whether or not the riders were wearing beacons as I do think you would be crazy not to as the negative of wearing one is almost negligible. I just think there would have been even a small focus on the fact that they have gear or that gear should be used in the backcountry.


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 Post subject: Re: concerns with new burton "backcountry" vid
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:09 am 
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Location: Green Mountains
boardinthepark wrote:
I totally agree with a lot of the opinions spoken on here and I have to say that I never really doubted whether or not the riders were wearing beacons as I do think you would be crazy not to as the negative of wearing one is almost negligible. I just think there would have been even a small focus on the fact that they have gear or that gear should be used in the backcountry.


You know what they say about opinions :thumpsup:

and I totally agree with your point. As big as Burton is, and as obvious as it is that they want a cut of the market, then they really should get realistic about backcountry travel and get involved in safety and education.


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