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 Post subject: Re: Tricks of the Trade
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:10 pm
Posts: 266
Location: SLC Bunk
Stagger Lee wrote:
SanFrantastico wrote:
Jimw has a cool little gizmo that uses his probe and a cable to cut cornices. Post a link, Jim!


Yes, link/info please!

:D

Thanks.


Hey SanFran - Would Jim's tool happen to be the Backcounrty Bomb? http://w w w .backcountrybomb. com/
Image

Has anyone used one? I'm growing tired of the knotted cord and don't like stomping cornices when solo.

UTAH wrote:
Those bombs were placed by the local heli-skiing operation that likes to ski that bowl along with others.
Image


I could be wrong, and you know I despise the whirly turds, but I think that blast came from the UDOT gun near the Wildcat lift at Alta. Then again, it would be hard for that gun to get a shot into that area :scratch:


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 Post subject: Re: Tricks of the Trade
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:43 pm
Posts: 873
Your right, I was referring to the other pic of ESF, I just used that pic to reinforce the point. Too bad we didn't have the "backcountry bomber" for Lake Peak Cooly last winter, you might still have your knife, looks cool.


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 Post subject: Re: Tricks of the Trade
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:18 am
Posts: 40
Location: Cranbrook, BC
Fantastic thread.......good to hear anecdotes and see photos.....helps a lot.

Many thanks

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Tricks of the Trade
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:00 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Portland, OR
Fantastic post and excellent pictures to illustrate points!

Not sure I agree with the reasoning of your original point #3 about the type of snow and slab formation. Light density snow may be less cohesive when trying to make snowballs, but Mother Nature is capable of things we are not. If light density snow was less cohesive and thus couldn't form slabs that propagate, then Utah, Colorado, the Canadian Rockies, and all other places know for their fantastically dry snow would also be known for their remarkably stable snowpacks. Unfortunately, the opposite is true as wind speed and direction have a great effect on slab formation when combined with snow density. Light density snow travels better on the wind and is more capable of being packed into hard slabs than heavy, wet snow. That's been my experience anyway. Folks agree/disagree?

Let's keep the discussion going!

Aloha

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 Post subject: Re: Tricks of the Trade
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:43 pm
Posts: 873
Yeah thanks guys. I was hoping when I posted it up it would spur some discussion. Shit, in this business who cares if you can ride, do you know snow? and do you respect mountains! You would think there would be more discussion in this section of the site. But anyways, good point zenaloha, I love avy talk. Snow density is only one of many factors I consider along with winds, aspects and temp changes to name a few. But I personally have found that snow that falls in that 3-5% density range tends to be less cohesive and less likely to form slabs and especially propogate. But that said winds and temp changes can change things fast, I might hit something in the morning and feel really good about it, but be weary to be off and out from under it 2hrs later. A couple examples this we had just got 12-14 of new relatively light snow, winds were really moving things but in one obvious direction. Ski cut the top of this line a little sluff but thats it so I shredded it no worries a little sluff management and a duck into the bottom trees just to be safe.
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Up and over to the next drainage obvious wind loading so I was kicking some cornices and was able to get a little soft slab. Snow was still light and it pretty much just sluffed out no propogation. Based on that I headed up to the top and onto a slightly different aspect not wind affected same shot and shredded it. Easily avoidable and harmless for the most part.
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I was confident but still played it safe by considering the runnouts like staying out of the gullies down low and paying attention convex features. I also was taking note that the sun was out and things were heating up, winds had been pretty consistent the whole time I was riding so 5 hrs from then and definetly the next day I would have been thinking differently and making different decisions especially considering it was sitting on top of a nice little crust on most aspects.

Now to contrast that, we had a pretty shitty start to our year this year. Snow came early, then the high pressure and the three c's; calm, clear, cold which rotted the snowpack. Much of the same weather then a big storm came in warm and dumped lot's of snow. 4+ feet of one cohesive slab. Unfortunately it was sitting on a foot + of facets. The avy cycle that followed was incredible. I was able to remotely trigger this monster hard slab from 10ft off the ridge. The snow was such a cohesive slab, sitting on such a weak layer it easily propogated across the bowl pretty much going wall to wall.
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But anyways that was kind of my line of thinking. So many factors to consider though. It sure is fun to talk about thanks for the post.

Edit: I was going to add I think the reason for our semi continental snowpack is more due to the susceptibility of our NW-NE aspects to forming persistent weak layers. A typical snowpack here in the Wasatch is much different then a Colorado or Montana snowpack. Ours is typically a lot more consistent especially on E-S facing aspects. We get the 5% but we also get some wet pacific storms as well all year long.


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 Post subject: Re: Tricks of the Trade
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Stagger Lee wrote:
Stagger Lee wrote:
SanFrantastico wrote:
Jimw has a cool little gizmo that uses his probe and a cable to cut cornices. Post a link, Jim!


Yes, link/info please!

:D

Thanks.


Hey SanFran - Would Jim's tool happen to be the Backcounrty Bomb? http://w w w .backcountrybomb. com/
Image

Has anyone used one? I'm growing tired of the knotted cord and don't like stomping cornices when solo.

Somehow I missed this post. Yeah, that's it, the Backcountry Bomb. Works great. Though I did have one break last year cutting a cornice that must have had a rock or solid ice embedded in it. But the guy apparently saw my post about it, and a new one showed up in the mail a week or two later. How's that for customer service!

The cool thing about the Backcountry Bomb is that it's designed so that one person can cut the cornice, though it still helps to have another person to help guide the "lassoing" and observe what happens when it drops.

Good avy discussion here, keep it going.


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 Post subject: Re: Tricks of the Trade
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:43 pm
Posts: 873
Yeah I know, I spend way too much time dorking out on snow when I should be spending more time in the Splitboards and Bindings thread telling everyone what to think. But, I like this sorta shit and I don't care much for southpark humor and sarcasm. I posted this up in conditions thread but I thought I would post it up here too. Thanks much HikeForTurns, hopefully this works.

I kept the boring digging part in because whehter your digging out a friend or digging a quick pit there really is an art to it that my dumbass took way too long to figure out. That is 1.) start digging downhill from where you want to have your pit or where you probed your partner and 2.) chunk out blocks much like your building a kicker.

I don't dig pits too often (except hasty hand pits), I dug this one to see how a known weak layer was reacting to some recent new snow. I think pits are often very tough to read unless you really know what your looking for but in this pit it was pretty easy to use a finger hardness test to identify the weak layer. After isolating the column and getting some reaction I would have probably moved to an ECT, to see what I got on that test.

All relative, I guess but a nice trick to have in your bag.
youtube/zLn67Lv6ldQ/youtube

Edit:I don't know what I'm doing wrong, frustrating as hell and the music's all I had. Anyways here's the link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLn67Lv6ldQ


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 Post subject: Re: Tricks of the Trade
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:10 am
Posts: 1187
Location: Denver
youtube/zLn67Lv6ldQ/youtube


just add brackets around youtube, and get rid of the first backslash. You can also hit the "youtube" button up above the text box and paste the code inbetween...


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 Post subject: Re: Tricks of the Trade
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:55 am
Posts: 1008
Location: Wasatch
read this when you first posted in '09, read it all again today, even more informative now it seems. Thanks again Nic.

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