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 Post subject: "The Day The Mountain Fell" article
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:23 pm 
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11 years after a massive avalanche in British Columbia, Ken Wylie, Assistant Guide for Selkirk Mountain Experience speaks out about the events and mistakes that ultimately took the lives of 7 people, including 4 time World Champion snowboarder Craig Kelly.

Much like the Tunnel Creek Avalanche, contributing factors included, objective changes, terrain traps, confidence, exposure, group size, lack of communication, and various human factors that prevented an experienced group with a combined 300+ years experience from speaking up.

For you and your partners' sake, take the time to read and reflect on this incident.

http://news.nationalpost.com/how-a-mass ... ides-life/


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 Post subject: Re: "The Day The Mountain Fell" article
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:02 pm 
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Location: St. Croix Falls, WI
Knowing and spending time at Ruedi's place in his Guide Leadership course, and as a client some years later with HikeForTurns I've trusted my life with Ruedi a few times. He's a good fellow with a good heart, and a strong knowledge and opinion of his life in the mountains and how one should be in the mountains.

I think it's ridiculous to write a book on a subject that should have been put to bed already. If Mr. Wylie needs to pull others into the fold for his mistakes that he made that day...that's bullshit.

Sure arrogance and self inflated egos are not a bonus to traveling in the mountains...In fact I hate it. I wasn't there that day on the Durrand glacier... To those that were there that day, and felt mistakes were made....Those people have to deal with their own actions and face the repercussions. To blame others to validate how you felt that day, and didn't react. Well then...That person is to blame as well.

Own your mistakes, deal with them on your own and let your karma do it's turn. Don't be a sneaky asshole and dig up bones to somehow redeem yourself after it's too late.

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 Post subject: Re: "The Day The Mountain Fell" article
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:38 pm
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Location: powder central, bc, canuckistan
Really, 'trippin???!! :scratch:
have you read Ken's book?
me neither, just that article....
i didn't realize there is a 'best before' date for dealing with a near death experience, full burial in a set of avalanches which caused multiple fatalities.
or that there is an expiry date for sharing information on an avalanche accident, and the human factors which contributed to it.
i don't get any impression from that article that Ken is avoiding any blame or ownership for his part in the situation.
Mistakes were made that day, clearly. Sharing info, various perspectives, can help others avoid similar mistakes.
i think what would be bullshit is to try to just put a cover on that bed and let it lie.

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 Post subject: Re: "The Day The Mountain Fell" article
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:03 am 
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Location: St. Croix Falls, WI
Mr. Stud Karkis Mountain Guy.

I truly see your point, but my point is simply this.

We're all responsible for our own actions/destiny. This subject in itself could take hours.

It's fine that Ken wants to write a book to get some self redemption for what he felt was his inability to make the right decisions, or express his thoughts. I'm all for that...It's not up to Ken to pull others into the fold for what he, or even others feel were mistakes.

That's up to the individual...We all pay Karmas toll in the end. There is no escaping that.

There are many many many resources for helping people make proper decisions in avy terrain and understanding group dynamics vs. this single instance. Resources that site many many tragic events in many diverse areas and snowpacks.

I won't pretend that Reudi and Craig are not heroes to me. We tend to be obfuscated by heroes shiny light vs. seeing that they're humans like you and I. Humans that make mistakes, and who also have to deal with this out of control entity known as "egos".

Egos clearly were in charge that day...Of course mistakes were made...people died...clearly mistakes were made.

We'll just leave it as you and I share different opinions of Ken's approach. Simply that.

P.S. I'm writing this email on the plane on my way to BC to challenge Karkis to loin cloth oily grappling!

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"Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a supreme power, honesty, generosity, and brotherhood"

-Luther Standing Bear,

http://splitrippin.tumblr.com/


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 Post subject: Re: "The Day The Mountain Fell" article
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:36 am 
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I read the article, seems fairly typical for media reporting of these types of tragedies. But I thought this was a good quote, seems to sum it up for me pretty well:

“Ski touring is an inherently dangerous sport,” Charles H. Purse, the Coroner for Revelstoke, wrote in his final report. “People who ski at this level are aware of the risk.”

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 Post subject: Re: "The Day The Mountain Fell" article
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:31 pm 
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Sounds like a book that I would read. I'll say that the article did make it sound like a guide looking for redemption and to displace blame. I think that survivor's guilt is a real thing and that might be part of where his motivation is coming from. Apparently, someone found his book worth publishing and I would hope that it does him well. If it helps him get through it then so be it.

I think that anytime someone who has been through "the shit" says something, you should listen. Learn from their experiences and mistakes and move on. Placing blame on others, especially the deceased, is not a noble pursuit.


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 Post subject: Re: "The Day The Mountain Fell" article
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:56 pm
Posts: 476
Location: Meyers, CA
I thought it was a good article and totally reasonable for the assistant guide to write a book. I flipped through the book in Canmore last week and will likely read it sometime.

As the article states those two avalanches in 2003 were "seismic events" in Canada and really changed the avalanche community in Canada (and even in the U.S.). Fourteen people were killed in a week in avalanches. Fourteen people. It was truly a turning point.

Ruedi was legitimately considered among the very best in the business, yet 7 of his guests were killed when his group triggered an avalanche while traveling above them.

I would hope we continue to study, ponder, and ultimately learn from these horrible events.

This graphic of the two groups is telling and, respectfully, I think begs questioning.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: "The Day The Mountain Fell" article
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:27 pm 
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Location: powder central, bc, canuckistan
Just to warn you 'trippin, i do know judo!

i'm not sure if some of you who commented above actually read thru the article to where, near the end, it talks about how Ken realized that just blaming Reudi was an easy out, and that he had to take responsibility for his own contribution to the situation?
But really its hard to say from this article, without actually reading the book, how much Ken himself would come across as displacing blame for his own ego's sake, or analyzing accountability to spread knowledge for others to learn from.

otherwise 'trippin i do agree generally that we are all responsible for our own actions but i think most people would agree that in a situation like this, Reudi and Ken, as guides, have a certain added responsibility over say Craig, who did with his own 2 feet step to the slope which failed, but had less input into the decision making process which put him in the position to go up that slope (or choose not to).

i think there is a fine line between laying blame and assessing accountability, and that if we don't try to account for the factors leading to these situations, and learn from them, then its kind of a disservice to those who suffered and died. Even if the assessment indicates that someone, even say someone who died, made a mistake. if we tiptoe around it we won't learn from it.

i do also agree that especially in the case of Reudi, he is certainly an individual and unlike most others. Ken's contribution and perspective is probably more generalizable, as many of us will be in situations where we might defer to a more experienced authority, even if that is not someone quite as... individual... as Reudi.


One other thing about the article, and the graphic that DDave copied, above.... did anyone notice how much the "annual number of avalanches in Canada" has increased since 2008? Bizarre! :scratch:

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 Post subject: Re: "The Day The Mountain Fell" article
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:07 pm
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Location: Green Mountains
^^^Scientifically, I'd suspect there was a change in observations/data collection sop's. But that's just a hunch.


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 Post subject: Re: "The Day The Mountain Fell" article
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:40 pm 
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Having read the article (though not the book) I fail to see where Ken Wylie is pulling others into the fold who were not already on that mountain that day. Nor do I read it as him trying to appropriate blame off of his shoulders and onto those of others. Perhaps as individuals, who are ultimately responsible for our own actions, we deal with the consequences of our actions as individuals. For Ken, as person of authority and responsibility that day, maybe part of the catharsis comes as collecting and organzing his thoughts as words. Powerful stuff, words.

But then I was 15 and riding a bus on weekends to a river valley in the prairies to go bonk rails.... Which makes me a product of the backcountry culture of now and not then. As are a lot of people. As are a lot of splitboarders. And as karkis points out, those two charts show some cool information. In the last decade the number of reported annual avalanches in Canada has gone from less than 20 up to about 110 at one point. Thats roughly 5x! That same timespan however hasn't seen a 5x increase in avalanche fatalities. Without a chart for the same time period showing the change in backcountry users we could be stretching a bit here, but perhaps with the fundamental changes in both education and attitude towards the backcountry process that occured as result of 2003 could be partly responsible (more bc users = more reported avalanches, more education =/= more fatalities). Kinda rambling now, just my thoughts anyways. Gotta go see Higher tonight!


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 Post subject: Re: "The Day The Mountain Fell" article
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:05 pm 
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Location: powder central, bc, canuckistan
oh. i thought maybe the avalanches short sold mortgage backed securities, made a killing and now they're living it up.

or i meant that its bizarre that table wasn't thrown out before it got published in a national newspaper.

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 Post subject: Re: "The Day The Mountain Fell" article
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:51 am 
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I don't think it needs to be thrown away. If nothing else it shows that the agency responsible for that graph is taking a proactive approach and keeping more detailed records. I agree, it could be misleading or look like shitty record keeping. But, the more information one has, the better they can educate.


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 Post subject: Re: "The Day The Mountain Fell" article
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:13 am 
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Location: St. Croix Falls, WI
Judo.....Chop!

All great points, and good discussion.

I guess it begs to question....how many times many of us being "confident" in our own line selection...could literally have narrowly missed a similar situation.

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-Luther Standing Bear,

http://splitrippin.tumblr.com/


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