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 Post subject: Extended Column Test ECT
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:30 pm 
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http://www.adventure-journal.com/2010/03/the-new-snow-test-that-could-save-your-life/

Worth the read. :guinness:

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 Post subject: Re: Extended Column Test ECT
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:01 pm 
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Thanks for sharing, definitely a good read. New, I'm not sure, I was learned that to make an avalanche you must have 1.) snow 2.) a weak layer and 3.) propogation.

I attended the local UAC Conference in November. I really liked the talk on a study where they performed ECT's on multiple angles 28 degrees and up, or something like that. It was done where a known persistent weak layer existed. They found that results where the same whether it was 28 degrees or 38 degrees, etc. The lesson being that you don't have to expose yourself to steeper slopes to get effective data. Thought that kind of piggy backed your article. Fun stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Extended Column Test ECT
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:31 pm 
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Location: Meyers, CA
The ECT is relatively new bigger column test. It's cool, but still just one piece of the puzzle. Many Avi Centers have youtube channels so you can watch their vids. Watching a ton of tests is a super way to convince your housemates you're a dork and a great way to vicariously experience different snow climates.

This is an impressive recent ECT from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. I like the dramatic pan at the end...clearly the ECT wasn't necessary to know there was instability on that slope.



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 Post subject: Re: Extended Column Test ECT
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:45 pm 
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Location: Bozeman, MT
dishwasher-dave wrote:
...Watching a ton of tests is a super way to convince your housemates you're a dork and a great way to vicariously experience different snow climates...


Agreed. And the AvalancheGuys aka the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center are a superb group of people to learn from. We are lucky here in the Gallatin valley to get a daily snow report in our email inbox, updates via Twitter, and lots of Youtube videos.

Karl Birkeland who is associated with the GNFAC was a proponent in designing the ECT. Montana State University snow science program here in Bozeman is one of the world leaders in that science.

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 Post subject: Re: Extended Column Test ECT
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:42 pm 
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Location: Cottonwood, UT
UTAH wrote:
Thanks for sharing, definitely a good read. New, I'm not sure, I was learned that to make an avalanche you must have 1.) snow 2.) a weak layer and 3.) propogation.

I attended the local UAC Conference in November. I really liked the talk on a study where they performed ECT's on multiple angles 28 degrees and up, or something like that. It was done where a known persistent weak layer existed. They found that results where the same whether it was 28 degrees or 38 degrees, etc. The lesson being that you don't have to expose yourself to steeper slopes to get effective data. Thought that kind of piggy backed your article. Fun stuff.

4) A Trigger

I just went to a Science of Avalanches seminar at REI where Bruce Tremper was hosting. Somebody asked a question about digging snow pits and where are good locations to do it. He said all of these tests will work even in flat meadows. Referring to the CT, ECT, shovel tilt. Pretty interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Extended Column Test ECT
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Location: Durango, CO
This test is pretty interesting to conduct. I did it this weekend on 2 N facing slopes, each with the same results on the ECT, but much different looking when comparing the ECT and CT tests. now that I have the flicklock saw, ECTs are a lot easier to conduct and part of my normal pits now.

I went about my pit digging as I normally do, with a shovel shear (doesn't show you much), then an Compression Test, and then the ECT. The interesting thing is I found quite different results for CT opposed to the ECT. My CT I was getting C21Q2.5* and C24Q2.5 oppposed to my ECT which yielded no results. I basically had to smash down as hard as I could, and still couldn't get it to propogate, and any failure. Although some of the new snow flaked off the side, I had no failures on the layer in question. But using my CT only, it def gave me a result, for a Q2- Q3 sheer.

I had trouble really quantifying what my test really showed me though. A CT23Q2 raised some concern for me on the slope, but the ECT not yeilding any results gave me a better better sense of security on what I was going to ride. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but I got the same results on two different pits on N facing below treeline areas. My opinion on the day was that there was probably isolated pockets of instability, but the chances of triggering something large (as in wide) was small.

We ended up being ok with riding with what we had originally planned, and I even took a mac10 digger into the slope with no affect. Yes, I was puckered when i fell, but it gave it a damn good test of stability. Overall if I didn't do the ECT, I would of been much more hesitant of the slope. Although we still played it normal with a slope cut and slowly poking out farther, with only the CT, I might have been more app to back off.

I don't believe I did the ECT wrong at all, but I figured I would at least get some sort of similar results on the CT, at least a failure. But I didn't. Maybe it was the type of sheer that was holding it in, a Q2 - Q3 it certinally didn't jump out, and was sitting on a small surface hoar layer.

Any thoughts on how to interpret my results or any possible problems in conducting my pit would be appreciated. I did isolote the correct column size and went the same way as a CT test for hits, so I'm not sure anything that would give me inconsistancies.

It is just interesting when a CT is giving you a "yellow", but an ECT giving you more towards a "Green" for what we were going to ride. I think one thing about pits is it really just comes down to digging as much as you can, evaluating what you get with what your going to ride, and learning over time. But combining thoughts I think is a good thing, as my avy classes never really said, well this is a good result or this is bad. its just, "you learn over time".


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 Post subject: Re: Extended Column Test ECT
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:23 pm 
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quote]He might have been referring to a recent study that did multiple ECT's on angles something like 28 degrees and up maybe less maybe more, can't remember. They were done on an aspect that holdiing a reactive persistent weak layer and they found the results to be the same whether it was 28 degrees or 38 degrees. Suggesting that you can get the same data without putting yourself in danger on steep exposed slopes.[/quote]

"Utah" your assertion is correct;
Quote:
"Suggesting that you can get the same data without putting yourself in danger on steep exposed slopes"
"Suggesting that you can get the same data without putting yourself in danger on steep exposed slopes". I asked Brian McCall at last week's Avalache Awareness Seminar.

Brian confirmed, BUT Aspect, Elevation and Proximateness to the "choosen" slope are also considerations. Brain noted (paraphrasing) that "number of taps might be different on different degree of slope angle, but the numbers are not as important as the result of failure, collapse and propagation. Watch the layers for fractures,failure, collapse and propagation as you tap.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crwvFn67e5Q&feature=related where Cam Campbell, Public Avalanche Forecaster for the Canadian Avalanche Centre notes the important's "characters of the fracture/failure in the snowpit tests

Please contact your local Avy Forecaster /AIARE Instructor, and confirm "Snowpit location". There are two many details here to get this second-handed from a blog. I am going to take a refresher "AVY 2" course, just to get confirmation and hands-on experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Extended Column Test ECT
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:31 pm 
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Location: Meyers, CA
The current Avalanche Review has a good article about the ECT. If folks are at all interested in snow geekery, I think for $20 a year you get a subscription to The Avalanche Review. If you are interested in this stuff, it is well worth it.

It's mostly just the ECT article that is currently available as a pdf, but there is also a great write up of the Turbo Hill accident from last season in the paper copy.

The article is available as a pdf here:

http://www.americanavalancheassociation ... _Cover.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Extended Column Test ECT
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:48 am 
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Location: Durango, CO
I've read a few of the avalanche reviews. They are quite interesting and people should take a look. I know i'm more of a snow geek then most (I'm an analyst and need to know everything), but having more tools to use is great out there for making smarter decisions.


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