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Canada Avalanche Incident

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Canada Avalanche Incident

Postby Ed F » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:32 pm

Although this occurred in Canada, I'm posting it in General because I think there's a lot to learn for anyone who travels in avy terrain. I give a lot of credit to these guys for being willing to give such detailed info. I always learn so much from these.

Basics: http://avalanche.ca/Forums/forums/t/4719.aspx
Photos: http://www.leelau.net/2010/fissileevent2010_04_10/
TGR Thread with lots of information: http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/show ... ost2830856

Money quote:
In skiing, especially ski movies, you here a lot of people say the risk of skiing powder is worth dying for. I think I was in that boat before this instance. I think if you are the only person skiing and no one is with you, then that may still hold true. But I don't think watching your buddies die is worth the risk of skiing powder. Kind of f**cked up logic, I know, but mentally I'm a f*cking mess right now.
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Postby John Duffield » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:37 pm

like this one.

Image

Been so much snow of late, seems likely to lose at least one ski every year. I have one friend who gets them 2 pairs at a time.
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Postby Hotoven » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:15 pm

Wow that's intense, very sad too.
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Postby welle » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:43 pm

Hotoven wrote:Wow that's intense, very sad too.


Sad? why sad? that the guy is freaked to not ski again this season? I think the story has a good outcome all down to finding the skis by the reporter, no major injuries and getting heli-vaced.

It was an interesting thread on TGR to follow. Especially different sentiments about getting helivaced. And about the quote, I don't think I've seen any ski movies where they say "skiing powder is worth the risk dying"...

On a separate but related note, what's wrong with this page/pictures?
http://blog.garrettgrove.com/2010/04/sh ... valanches/
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Postby Hotoven » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:46 pm

Yeah good point, it was a bad word choice, I meant it more along the lines of sobering.
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Postby Bill Kerr » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:14 pm

First person account by Lee.
http://www.telemarktalk.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=68218

I have followed his stuff on the web for years and he is quality skier and quite knowledgable and safe although he does high end skiing.

It is sobering and shows that you can never let your guard down.
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Postby welle » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:34 pm

yeah, Lee's account is topnotch and helpful in understanding how the slide occurred. looks like the intended line of descent was over a benign slope, which was interconnected to a steeper line to the side of the meadow. great classroom material for avy safety instructors.
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Postby Ed F » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:55 pm

Bill Kerr wrote:First person account by Lee.
http://www.telemarktalk.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=68218

I have followed his stuff on the web for years and he is quality skier and quite knowledgable and safe although he does high end skiing.

It is sobering and shows that you can never let your guard down.


Thanks for that link. Even better than the stuff I found.
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Postby Bill Kerr » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:51 pm

With hindsight and examining the overview helicopter pics of the whole mountain - the winds that created the cornices on the sharp summit ridge probably also windloaded the downwind side of the small ridge they went over as can be seen from the crown of the avalanche. It looks like a windloaded soft slab broke off just below the crest of the ridge.
That obviously was a huge suprise given the much steeper terrain they had skied safely to that point but when they moved out of the bowl and over the small ridge, they moved into an area that had experienced different wind action. Hard to think of every possibility before it happens!
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