Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:22 pm Posts: 669 Location: Durango, CO
I've been reading Andrew Macleans blog a lot lately, he has had some pretty good advice on managing avalanche hazards. This deep slab instability we have is terrifying, and I am assuming I won't get into anything like I did last year this year. I also just spent a week in BC, and it is going to be a difficult transition back into avalanche infested snowpack of Colorado. In BC, we couldn't get anything for pit results to step down, where as here, its really not hard. Only the top new snow was the problem in BC, and it was almost always manageable. Not the case here in Colorado.
I liked his most recent post of going far for lame terrain. I may focus this year into travelling farther for more recon style trips for years to come. Lots of trees (in low angle), and new places. Not the most fun thing in terms of terrain riding, and after riding big terrain in BC, its going to be difficult, but I've found I get a lot of enjoyment out of finding new places to ride, even if they aren't crazy. And if I can stay safe, so be it.
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:02 pm Posts: 730 Location: St. Croix Falls, WI
mellow terrain can be just as fun Bushy...You've got a good idea..stay safe to ride another day..Besides... there's alot of milfs, loose college girls, and ba daka donk ladies that you need to take a ride on the "Bush-Train"... giggidy
_________________ "Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a supreme power, honesty, generosity, and brotherhood"
Lately, especially when touring with someone for the first time, I'll remind the group that nobody should be uncomfortable with where they are. I have a hard time balancing encouragement for adventure with supporting a decision to turn around. I not only ask that anyone who has a bad feeling say something but I make sure that everyone knows that I'll be disappointed if they don't speak up.
I love that you do this. I do it too if there are new people in the group, a big group to manage, or challenging conditions. I'll tell people look if you're not comfortable speaking up, whisper it in my ear and I'll speak up. I think it makes a big difference when everyone is feeling encouraged to speak up.
I would just add that even 2 people is equal to a group and even in that case the dynamic can be f*cked. Be wary of anyone with a 'shut up and follow' attitude.
I'm surprised no one has posted this yet this morning. Another tragic loss.
I know that there is some predictability that cannot be factored, but the avy rose was considerable on N-NE-NW aspects and we received heavy new loading with 5 feet of new snow. Why would someone choose to be on the exact slopes forecasted to have likely human slides? This befuddles me to no end.
Regarding the 'considerable' danger rating, I stumbled across this on the avalanche.ca blog: http://www.avalanche.ca/cac/bulletins/forecaster-blog. It seems to make a lot of sense--yes, we deal with considerable conditions most of the time there is new snow and the majority of our time in BC probably involves considerable rating on at least one aspect. One thing to consider is the depth of the considerable instability--is it considerable probability of 6-12 inch slabs, or, as things are currently across much of the NW, considerable danger of a deep slab releasing? Some food for thought, anyways...
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:09 pm Posts: 682 Location: white room
24-40" in the Sierra is not like 24-40" in CO. At least not usually. It's very typical to find some safe BC during and right after multi-foot dumps. What's really unusual this season is persistant weak layers. I've never seen those in Tahoe this late in the season, robably never past New Years. I actually climbed out of a line inbounds at the ski area yesterday because I knew there was potential for it to go and rake me through some nasty stuff. I still don't know if I would have been where those guys were, there is plenty of other stuff with easier access that is probably a bit safer. The terrain those guys were in is mostly treed, but with some scattered open patches where slides are more likely, which is where it looks like they got caught. I'm not going to second guess them, though, as I do not know them or what their decisions were based on that day. I'm pretty sure every one of us has F-ed up and made a bad call and put themselves somewhere they shouldn't have been, and just didn't get unlucky that day.