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 Post subject: Re: Bozeman Thread 2012/2013
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:41 am 
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nordicbordn wrote:
what about the fact that a shallow snowpack tends to fracture more often than a deep one.

That's an important point. That's what I meant when I said depth info helps others parties reading your obs be able to form a mental picture of what's going on in the area. That way going in, you can at least be on the lookout for specific problems (i.e. shallow snowpack on S facing slopes in a spot in the S Absaroka).

Just to be sure, this is absolutely not the only reason snow depth is an important part of a stability assessment. It's only the most obvious.

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 Post subject: Re: Bozeman Thread 2012/2013
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:24 am 
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ok, i see your point. but the way splittips posted made me think he didnt care about snow depth at all.. when it should be common knowledge that bc touring can expose you to countless changes in depth of snowpack. and its important to know the physical integrity of such an area when travelling.

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 Post subject: Re: Bozeman Thread 2012/2013
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:11 pm 
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nordicbordn wrote:
ok, i see your point. but the way splittips posted made me think he didnt care about snow depth at all..
I'm a "big picture" kinda guy and in some respects I don't care about depth at all. If it's deep enough to keep me from hitting rocks and logs I'll consider riding it after taking other, what I consider to be more important, factors into consideration. For example, 1 foot of early-day springtime melt-freeze concrete is probably a lot more stable than 3 or 4 feet of anything out there today.

nordicbordn wrote:
when it should be common knowledge that bc touring can expose you to countless changes in depth of snowpack.
And also countless changes in aspect, slope angle, snow structure, wind loading.... Not to mention changes in group dynamics and levels of risk aversion that occur as the day drags on. I consider all these things more important than snow depth, almost always.

nordicbordn wrote:
and its important to know the physical integrity of such an area when travelling.
Which is I'm careful to keep my eyes open as I travel and frequently reassess the things I mentioned above.

Depending on the season, I'll use reported snow depths (along with lots of other info) to help choose where to ride and possibly where to be more alert while I travel. I understand that you guys do this too and that's where I would have been more helpful had I posted that in my original thread. I get it.

I also get that snow depth is NOT the only important thing to consider when travelling and IMO, it's hardly ever the most important - and that's why the " :scratch: " snarkiness set me off a touch. And it's also why I don't normally bother estimating snow depth in my pits, just like I don't carry a crystal card, thermometer, or magnifying glass with me. The things you learn by using them are worthwhile for predicting future changes and for curiousity's sake but I'm going to dig a pit (and do countless pole probes, maybe some hand pits, and test cut a skintrack switchback or two) to assess stability in real-time when I'm on the hill with the idea that any influence that depth etc has on stability will be detected by those stability tests.

Keeping with that line of reasoning, why only a request to provide depth information in my first post? Why stop there when wind direction, shade vs sun, and weather conditions during the preceeding week at my location were probably the factors that most heavily influenced stability in the snowpack (and I don't know what they were because I wasn't in the area - yet I made what I consider a good, safe decision to ride a different slope).

To use another analogy, you could measure the pH of a lemon then do some research as to how an abundance of free hydrogen ions will effect your taste buds triggering certain neurochemical impulses to reach your brain. Then make a prediction of how that lemon tastes before offering it to an infant as a meal. Or you could use empirical evidence - just bite into it, taste that it's sour, and decide to give the kid a banana instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Bozeman Thread 2012/2013
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:16 pm 
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This thread provides wonderful examples of why we all need to get out and shred more (myself included of course!). No pics/obs in almost a week, but plenty of debating the importance of reporting snow depth in your observations!

Depth is a standard observation, as per GNFAC, AIARE, etc.... Useful in a number of ways we've talked about on this thread and others. Useful to you, out there doing your ECTs on a slope you're thinking about riding? Probably not. Useful to the others reading a thread about regional snow conditions? Yes-hence my orignal request.

It seems like you feel your decisionmaking process is being questioned. On the contrary- I don't care about that, not in this venue anyway. This thread, IMO, should be about giving others the data to use in their own planning processes! So to answer to your "line of reasoning" question: I would be delighted if folks provided that depth of info in their reports. But I don't expect it. Depth would be nice though :).

One last thought on snow depth- we could use a lot more of it around here!

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 Post subject: Re: Bozeman Thread 2012/2013
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:25 pm 
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did not mean to call anyones judgment into question. i dig a snowpit to the ground solely to get a full picture of where i am. that is all.

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 Post subject: Re: Bozeman Thread 2012/2013
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:34 pm 
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The eastern Beartooths are looking dry right now compared to last year at this time. We rode in the Chamonix Couloir over the weekend and found a decently solid snowpack inside. Firm and edgeable. Outside the couloir, the snowpack was completely faceted (1-2' deep) and survival splitskiing was necessary down this part. Prepare to lose some base and edge material (at a minimum!) if you head in there right now! I guess it's probably always that way though.... Stark contrast from last April though, when I rode halfway the apron on a filled-in drift that took me right to where the dry talus rambling began. IMO, preferable.
Image
Image

This one was looking nice. Slowly filling in:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Bozeman Thread 2012/2013
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:13 pm 
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Location: Bozo, Montucky
Has anybody been riding lately? I rode Maid of Mist Saturday and the conditions were pretty stable. Snow pack has settled nicely, I dug down around 5 feet in the basin and there was no notable layers. In some sun exposed areas, there was a crust from last week's warm weather, but few inches of new snow has covered it, so it was nice firm riding condition. But I was the 4th or 5th person down that chute, so the place got pretty tracked out. Hopefully we'll get more snow this week.

Spring break this week, so I'll be riding a lot. anybody wants a buddy to ride with shoot me a pm.


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 Post subject: Re: Bozeman Thread 2012/2013
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:37 am 
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I've been in Jackson for the last 10 days, but it's nice to hear a good report from Hyalite.

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 Post subject: Re: Bozeman Thread 2012/2013
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:45 am 
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nickstayner wrote:
I've been in Jackson for the last 10 days, but it's nice to hear a good report from Hyalite.


I'm enjoying Ned's Instagram feed. This week it's been all Nick Stayner hero shots!

http://instagram.com/nedskis

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 Post subject: Re: Bozeman Thread 2012/2013
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:17 am 
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Haha, sick. I wonder if he was posting those live from the Park.

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 Post subject: Re: Bozeman Thread 2012/2013
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:22 am 
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I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. Cell reception in the b.c. is always a weird feeling. I have distinct memories of tweeting winter camping photos from the shoulder of Blackmore on a June trip a couple years ago and sending a text to my buddy in Oregon from the top of Albright. He's a total cellphone-hater so I busted out the phone for a summit photo just to piss him off.

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 Post subject: Re: Bozeman Thread 2012/2013
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:22 pm 
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Location: Helena, MT
Quote:
But I was the 4th or 5th person down that chute, so the place got pretty tracked out. Hopefully we'll get more snow this week.

I was on that Maid of the Mist chute that morning... a lone skier passed by on his way down, while I was about halfway up.

I followed a boot pack up that chute that was set by a pair of Verts the previous day - they were frozen over and made extremely nice steps!

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 Post subject: Re: Bozeman Thread 2012/2013
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:29 am 
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Those Vert tracks were probably Jon. W. and his bud, Kramer.

http://splitordie.blogspot.com/2013/03/ ... -mist.html

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