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Avalanche Gear Debate

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Avalanche Gear Debate

Postby jallred22 » Tue May 24, 2011 8:58 am

Do you take avalanche gear (shovel, beacon, probe) for mountaineering events when you dont ski or snowboard?? If you stay on ridge lines most of the time and go out in good avalanche conditions is there a reason to bring avalanche gear or is it overkill?

I have been debating with friends and we are still split on the decision...

Bottom Line: We agreed it depends on the route, what do you think?
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Re: Avalanche Gear Debate

Postby Joseph Bullough » Tue May 24, 2011 1:32 pm

I carry avalanche gear unless conditions are good and the route generally stays out of avalanche terrain (i.e. ridgelines). I was wearing a beacon when hit by a Pfeifferhorn avalanche in 2007, but I was knocked unconcious, and the beacon had no bearing on the outcome.
Last edited by Joseph Bullough on Tue May 24, 2011 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Avalanche Gear Debate

Postby Alpynisto » Tue May 24, 2011 3:39 pm

Shovel can be handy for lots of things. Beacon and probe are probably only useful for body recovery, especially in the big mountains.
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Re: Avalanche Gear Debate

Postby Hotoven » Tue May 24, 2011 4:49 pm

I never take them, but then again, every time I have been out in "avalanche conditions", I choose a different route witch sometimes ruins the point of the trip, but I rather be extra cautious and more safe than sorry.

I have bailed on routes because in my judgment they were unsafe, but then I hear someone else doing the same route the same day. A lot of it comes down to using judgment.
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Re: Avalanche Gear Debate

Postby Joseph Bullough » Tue May 24, 2011 5:36 pm

You need to use a certain amount of judgment about where your route will be going; across avalanche paths, terrain traps, etc. Also, the knowledge of your party members. If they are not somewhat skilled in its use, avalanche gear just becomes dead weight.
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Re: Avalanche Gear Debate

Postby Dan Shorb » Tue May 24, 2011 5:56 pm

Joseph Bullough wrote:You need to use a certain amount of judgment about where your route will be going; across avalanche paths, terrain traps, etc. Also, the knowledge of your party members. If they are not somewhat skilled in its use, avalanche gear just becomes dead weight.


Well put.

I think having the knowledge is more important than the gear. Remember, the gear is for when you have already f*ed up. Knowing, prevents f*ing up usually. If questions remain, bring a shovel to dig a pit and actually look at whats going on. if that provides info to make you think you'll need beacons and probes, bring them too.

Just like roping up: you cant . . . unless you bring a rope.

Often on ridges, gear wouldn't help much, because falls from the slopes crossed would cause injury/death anyways. Indeed, a rope would be more important in those cases. Like Joseph says, one must use observations (then judgement) to try to estimate the potential and the gathering of facts must be done along the way -- gear or no gear...
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Re: Avalanche Gear Debate

Postby Hotoven » Tue May 24, 2011 10:42 pm

To bad matski isn't here, he would give you an ear full about it, and some other things....
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Re: Avalanche Gear Debate

Postby mconnell » Wed May 25, 2011 3:16 am

Bottom line is that it depends on the route. I usually carry avy gear when ice climbing you are almost always going to be in areas where avalanches come down. On a ridge, I almost never carry it (except I almost always carry a shovel on overnight winter trips). Skiing, I carry it unless I'm solo, but I usually don't get on very steep slopes and am very cautious when alone.
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Re: Avalanche Gear Debate

Postby 96avs01 » Wed May 25, 2011 5:05 am

mconnell wrote:Bottom line is that it depends on the route. I usually carry avy gear when ice climbing you are almost always going to be in areas where avalanches come down. On a ridge, I almost never carry it (except I almost always carry a shovel on overnight winter trips). Skiing, I carry it unless I'm solo, but I usually don't get on very steep slopes and am very cautious when alone.


couldn't agree more
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Re: Avalanche Gear Debate

Postby Hotoven » Wed May 25, 2011 8:25 pm

manfromnantucket wrote:To bad matski isn't here, he would give you an ear full about it, and some other things.... No shit that guy was funny. To bad our fun come to an end


Yeah he was fun to poke at. Its for the better of the site though now that hes gone.
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Re: Avalanche Gear Debate

Postby Dan Shorb » Thu May 26, 2011 2:54 am

Is this what you're talking about?

Image

or this?

Image

or this?

Image

or....

Image
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Re: Avalanche Gear Debate

Postby 96avs01 » Thu May 26, 2011 3:14 am

ds wrote:or this?

Image



DROOL!
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Re: Avalanche Gear Debate

Postby Dan Shorb » Thu May 26, 2011 3:22 am

96avs01 wrote:
ds wrote:or this?

Image



DROOL!


Torment Forbidden Traverse
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