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 Post subject: Re: Tahoe/Eastside - 09/10
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:16 pm 
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Can't speak for BC but I can say roughly 2 feet of fresh at KW since Friday and more on the way tonight.

Huge slide on a closed area at Kirkwood, most likely caused by patrol bombing. Jim's Chute slid full width ran quite a ways, leaving a debris field 300 feet wide and several hundred yards long in Sentinel bowl and in the lower portion of the chute.

The best thing about this storm system is that it came in wet enough to cover up rocks and logs but just dry enough to really rip. Much better than last year's 4-5% snow starting off the season. The terrain is getting covered up quite nicely ... Wednesdays storm is looking to be quite warm though, possibly raining at the passes, so keep an eye out on conditions this week if yer looking to venture out of bounds. Pretty complex conditions right now it seems.


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 Post subject: Re: Tahoe/Eastside - 09/10
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:58 am 
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SchralphMacchio wrote:
Pretty complex conditions right now it seems.


Not really...you just gotta know when and where to go...or not to go. :)

Steep chutes and bowls right after the new snow at the kirkwood/carson elevation = not go.
Protected tree runs near lake level = go.


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 Post subject: Re: Tahoe/Eastside - 09/10
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:19 pm 
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FYI Tamarack Peak yesterday near Mt. Rose, below treeline (8900 feet)



Not sure below which elevation the facet layer disappears, but the reports are that it is highly spatially variable.

Good news is that tonight's storm is a bit colder than originally forecasted and doesn't look like enough water in the form of rain to really sketch things out.


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 Post subject: Re: Tahoe/Eastside - 09/10
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:25 pm 
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Yep we read the report before heading out that warned about below treeline. It was interesting to hear them talk about that since its normally not a concern. Still, there's a big difference between patrol setting off bombs to release stuff and the natural causes. I like getting out there and seeing for myself. You can always ride down the skintrack.


Cool video, almost looks like dishwasher dave in the video. The video shows a pit test, I wonder what their obs were from natural or skier/rider activity on the same slope? When you isolate the pack like that its gonna go but that was pretty impressive how easy it went from the cut.


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 Post subject: Re: Tahoe/Eastside - 09/10
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:19 pm 
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That's a great video. I think it's Andy, one of the SAC forecasters, performing the Propagation Saw Test. His line after it falls on him is pretty classic.

The SAC folks also posted a Reuschblock (sp?) earlier in the week that failed when the skier stepped onto the block.

Definitely some variable conditions out there.

Slide from a day or so ago on the Sisters with rime covered tree in foreground. I was trying to be more creative than my photography skills allow (but the prevailing winds clues between the rime and crown agree).
Image

Kwood slackcountry and backside.
Image

We skied a fairly steep line near that crown and nothing moved.


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 Post subject: Re: Tahoe/Eastside - 09/10
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:16 pm 
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SchralphMacchio wrote:
Not sure below which elevation the facet layer disappears, but the reports are that it is highly spatially variable.
Scralph - the prescence of those facets presupposes the presence of leftover snow from the oct. 19 storm cycle. I think you had to look for remnants of that old snow and you wouldn't have found appreciable amounts of it on Maggies. The approach is long and low angle and we had to follow the summer trail up or we would never have gotten over all the deadfall. Aside from some select and very primo pockets, we were in close contact with the earth aka rock layer all day. It felt very safe. :thumpsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Tahoe/Eastside - 09/10
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:52 pm 
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I wasn't second guessing you guys at all ... if that was the case I woulda told Buffy so on the phone on Sunday morning!

Just wanted to get that vid posted up there. Things are a little inverted and variable right now, and if you know all the layers in particular areas that certainly makes a big diff. Not more than a couple thousand feet from where that vid was taken we didn't find any evidence of that 10/18 facet layer the weekend before Thanksgiving and the slope was good to go. So, just getting the word out, things are variable and use your spidey senses and training etc.

However Storn I would use different semantics ... you wouldn't need "appreciable amounts" of the 10/18 snow to be concerned ... quite the opposite, the rather thin amounts of it are what led to severe faceting in the first place!


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 Post subject: Re: Tahoe/Eastside - 09/10
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:17 am 
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Appreciable means measurable. There's a big difference between thin snow and no snow. I would be shocked if there was *any* 10/19 snow on maggies. If there were little pockets of ice and old snow tucked under logs or giant rocks, I don't think they would have been at all significant compared to the terrain. Take a look at those pictures, the rocks, the weeds, the willows sticking sideways everywhere.

Image

I think its great that you are helping get the word out on the dangers out there and sharing that vid. From the same point of view, I'm trying to make it clear that we didn't just charge out there to slay pow on a day with considerable danger, lest anyone should think that is appropriate behavior.

We chose a tour that we felt had a very low chance of avalanche danger. In exchange, we chose a tour where we had very high chance of getting skunked out of good turns. But we thought we might find something ridable back there, we worked hard for it, and it payed off.

Also, in thinking it over, my feeling is that the SAC probably erred by emphasizing the 'at or near treeline' aspect of things. The crown I saw on Roundtop, Dishwasher Dave's crown in the Sisters, KW's avy were all above treeline. Really I think the danger was in any of the cold, high, shaded places (treed or not) where that old snow could have still been hanging out.

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 Post subject: Re: Tahoe/Eastside - 09/10
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:37 am 
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Yeah, I almost think SAC was overestimating the coverage of the Oct. dump. There was hardly any remnants in the Tahoe area from that storm as it was so warm. Tamarack peak on rose was by far one of the most concentrated leftover areas of that storm. If I had to guess I'd say < 10% of all terrain around Tahoe had any of that Oct. snow still around.


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 Post subject: Re: Tahoe/Eastside - 09/10
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:42 pm 
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Quote:
if that was the case I woulda told Buffy so on the phone on Sunday morning


and had Buffy told us your thoughts we would have probably said "who cares"? Not to be a dick up come on, to play arm chair quarterback from a resort on a tour that had dozens of years of experience and lots of training is lame. We all know your smart.


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 Post subject: Re: Tahoe/Eastside - 09/10
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:32 pm 
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Ecobrad wrote:
and had Buffy told us your thoughts we would have probably said "who cares"? Not to be a dick up come on, to play arm chair quarterback from a resort on a tour that had dozens of years of experience and lots of training is lame.


Dude, relax eco! Anything I said wouldn't have been about arm-chairing or comparing my limited experience and training to your group's ... it would have been out of concern for my homies! Any questions or second-guesses I even would have posed (and I posed none) would have been in basis of looking out for my friends and seeing what logic they used to assess the tour etc. Buffy told me what was up and the last thing I said to her was, "Right on, say hi to everyone for me and stay safe!" Come on buddy, I'm not trying to quarterback anyone here.

Much of this discussion is really out of context anyway ... I posted information about general Tahoe-area conditions that would be of concern for people on this site to look out for, and BCR and Storn replied back regarding issues specific to your guys' tour, your findings, and your thought process. No need for Internet drama.


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 Post subject: Re: Tahoe/Eastside - 09/10
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:51 pm 
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SchralphMacchio wrote:
I wasn't second guessing you guys at all ...
Honestly I think where avalanches are concerned you should feel free to second guess everyone as much as you like. As you know, I once followed a more experienced person despite internal misgivings and almost paid a very steep price for it. At the end of the day it's your ass out there so really I view it as your responsibility to yourself and your partners to stop and speak up if you have misgivings. So nice job and I'm glad you are paying attention to things.

Also I don't mind explaining the reasoning behind this or any other decision. It helps everyone learn more to think about the situation. Just keep in mind that there is no substitute for being out there. We did read the forecasts and plan accordingly. With a different forecast we would have gone bigger and higher elevation. That particular tour never felt unsafe to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Tahoe/Eastside - 09/10
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:52 pm 
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Well first off, I think it's time for :grouphug: , maybe followed by :doobie: and/or :guinness: . So let's not :banghead: or :duel: or :deadhorse:. Now, gettin down to business, the snowpack has basically gone from :bananas: to :nononno: in one day. :soapbox: Gonna check higher elavations manana. :drinks:

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