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 Post subject: Has this article been discussed here?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:04 am
Posts: 145
There's a lot of words to read but it makes so much sense.http://www.adventureplus.org/avalanche.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Has this article been discussed here?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:56 pm
Posts: 476
Location: Meyers, CA
Yo Huck,

I just read that article and figured I would send you an message with my thoughts. I do teach a lot of avi courses, so I was a little frustrated with some of the authors points, but overall I thought it was fine. I think it might be fairly old and without knowing when it was written it's hard to analyze in context. While I appreciate the author's passion, I don't think most Level 1 type courses today actually commit the mistakes he seems to think they do.

The concerns about over emphasizing rescue/transceivers are the same arguments that people make about seat belts, helmets, and condoms. If a L1 course is 24 hours long (standard length), you wouldn't want to spend 20 on transceivers/rescue, but the 4-6 hour they devote to it seems reasonable to me. Trauma kills, but companion rescue can work so it should be taught, and students should leave knowing enough to practice on their own to gain mastery.

Snow metamorphism/"snowpack physics" has been largely removed from most L1 courses. I think this has been pretty standard for the last ten years. Basic slab anatomy and truly understanding terrain features are more the focus these days.

I think most courses today spend a good amount of time covering group dynamics/ human factor/teamwork. It's been well established that "the enemy is us" so we need to try and understand why we keep getting ourselves killed. This continues to be a major area of exploration in the avalanche field.

As an aside, this line from the website hosting the article jumped out at me:
"Avalanche danger in the Sierras in the springtime is practically non-existent."
I was reminded of the Split Mt avalanche that killed two skilled skiers, Kip and Allison, died in the last days of April last year.

I've been impressed with your DIY boards. Hopefully it snows sometime soon and you can get out and enjoy them.

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

Take care,

David


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 Post subject: Re: Has this article been discussed here?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:04 am
Posts: 145
Thanks for reading through that monster and noticing it's a bit outdated. I haven't taken a course yet and I know I should but your comments definitely helped clarify some points.
I may have to burn a board to make it snow. :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Has this article been discussed here?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:18 pm
Posts: 473
Location: New Castle, Colorado
Please see this post from Telemark Tips: 2005 http://www.telemarktalk.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=5040&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=30&sid=b35f910cff989621e7d2a0da4400fcbf ....

Quote:
My name is David Spring. I wrote the article, What’s Wrong with Avalanche Courses in 1999 after a series of incidents in the NW and BC in which several folks were killed in avalanches. All had taken avalanche courses and all were wearing beacons. To my knowledge there were no live recoveries. Two of the fatalities were a couple of young kids caught in an avalanche at Snoqualmie Pass Washington which is only 30 minutes from my house. I updated this article in 2004, including a series of recent examples of highly trained folks using transceivers and being killed in avalanches. My basic conclusions remain unchanged.


I think a lot has changed in both Avalanche Education and Avalanche Beacons since 2004!

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 Post subject: Re: Has this article been discussed here?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:29 pm
Posts: 78
Jeez, I wish he didn't misspell transceiver (only once, though).

Arch


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 Post subject: Re: Has this article been discussed here?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:04 am
Posts: 145
Hey powder rider. Thanks for posting that. There's pages of info there. One interesting point was how knowing how to use a shovel well can save a life. My partners & I should have a shovel race to find the weak link. After helping prep for the Downieville classic bike race last year I learned how people have varying degrees of skill with snow removal.Image
P7020053 by Huck Pitueee, on Flickr


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