telemark skiingbackcountry skiingPacific NorthwestWashington and Oregonweather linksThe Yuki AwardsMt. Rainier and Mt. Adams
Turns All Year
www.turns-all-year.com
  Help | Search | Login | Register
Turns All Year Trip Reports
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
11/20/17, 08:32 PM

Become a TAY Sponsor!
 
Trip Reports Sponsor
Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding Service
Turns All Year Trip Reports
(1) Viewing these pages constitutes your acceptance of the Terms of Use.
(2) Disclaimer: the accuracy of information here is unknown, use at your own risk.
(3) Trip Report monthly boards: only actual trip report starts a new thread.
(4) Keep it civil and constructive - that is the norm here.
 
FOAC Snow
Info Exchange


NWAC Avalanche
Forecast
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  Hot Air
| |-+  Weak Layers: decision making in avalanche terrain
| | |-+  Early season avi in Chamonix
:
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Print
Author Topic: Early season avi in Chamonix  (Read 9960 times)
kamtron
Member
Offline

Posts: 559


Early season avi in Chamonix
« on: 10/19/16, 11:41 AM »

https://www.instagram.com/p/BLmBL81hbzy/

To tamper the stoke
Logged
Randy
Member
Offline

Posts: 1293


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #1 on: 10/19/16, 12:06 PM »

Heck of a ski cut -- glad the skier didn't get taken with it!!!
Logged
AlpineRose
Member
Offline

Posts: 171


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #2 on: 10/19/16, 12:41 PM »

Textbook.
Logged
kamtron
Member
Offline

Posts: 559


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #3 on: 10/19/16, 03:48 PM »

Textbook example of a sketchy ski cut?Huh
Logged
Blizz Mountain
5Member
Offline

Posts: 53


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #4 on: 10/20/16, 06:07 PM »

....any constructive comments on the ski cut technique ? Positive or negative ? Would you have done the same or something different ?
Logged
kamtron
Member
Offline

Posts: 559


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #5 on: 10/21/16, 09:00 AM »

I would've tried to end up higher on the subtle ridge, in a safer spot. I can't really think of what else would've made it less dangerous. It looks sketchy to me because the slab broke right under their feet after the ski cutter stopped moving. What do you all think?
Logged
BenJ
5Member
Offline

Posts: 20


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #6 on: 10/21/16, 09:58 AM »

I'm by no means an expert, but that seems like an awfully high consequence slope to ski cut (under those conditions). If I had any idea it was going to slide that big, I'd want a larger safety net than that. Would a belayed ski cut have a place here? Getting raked into those crevasses doesn't look like a good time...
Logged
natefred
Member
Offline

Posts: 132


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #7 on: 10/21/16, 02:38 PM »

It looks like they thought or knew skiers right side was loaded so he cut along just below the top of the rib on that side. What he did looked pretty appropriate to the terrain, making a few turns to stay where it seemed a slide might break, and powering into his right turns. If the loading was thought to be more uniform a cut lower across the gut would be reassuring, maybe the guy shooting video planned to do that after.

I've been taught to come in with some speed and apply pressure where you think the tension zone is where a crown might break. If it's a pretty uniform slope then pumping a bit while cutting across aiming toward someplace I think is safe to stop. If there are obvious tension zones or convexities, powering into short turns there.

I certainly wouldn't want to rely on ski cutting to stabilize a high consequence slope I thought was unstable, but I like it for testing slopes that I believe are OK to ski already. Can't argue against a belay in a high consequence situation but seems impractical except for small starting zones. Checking the snow profile while on belay and using that info to decide whether to retreat or ski test seems sensible.
Logged
hefeweizen
Member
Offline

Posts: 115


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #8 on: 11/05/16, 08:30 AM »

This is an example of applying the wrong technique to the terrain.

1) Likelihood v Consequence: Regardless of how certain the skier was that he/she would cause an avalanche, the consequence of getting caught in that terrain is almost certainly death if you go into those very deep terrain traps (crevasses).

2) Terrain Configuration: Generally, you only want to ski cut one starting zone at a time that you can get into and out of with momentum. This person was basically skiing through multiple starting zones, and clearly hadn't reached a safe zone when they stopped.

The person was probably surprised at the size of slide they caused. To the comment of stopping and digging a snow profile mid-slope: I'm guessing you weren't suggesting that you do this mid ski-cut? You want to have a well informed opinion of what the snow profile is going to look like before you put yourself in the terrain, created by the many moving observations you've made along the way. It's hard to tell exactly what the crown depth is in this instance, but it's well within the range of questionable in terms of a slab that you would attempt to intentionally trigger.
« Last Edit: 11/05/16, 12:50 PM by hefeweizen » Logged
kamtron
Member
Offline

Posts: 559


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #9 on: 11/05/16, 12:03 PM »

hefe, good conclusions
Logged
natefred
Member
Offline

Posts: 132


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #10 on: 11/14/16, 09:35 AM »

My reply was made in the context of the decision to ski test being made already. The consequences of being caught in a slide on that slope are entirely obvious (or should be). Agree they were probably surprised and must have thought it was stable or not quite so loaded. Then again, I hear people are prone to taking risks in Chamonix.

I can't fault their applied technique given their decision to "do something". I wouldn't consider the terrain crossed to be multiple starting zones, so we can disagree on that. No point stopping and starting again in that particular situation, IMO. Standing on the rib where he stopped was about as safe a place to stop as could have been chosen. Would it be wise to find a safer spot? Yes. But there wasn't one available. He was wise to stop above the convexity along the crest of the rib IMO. Basically I think what they did was quite dangerous but perhaps more thoughtful than it first appears.

No, don't stop in the middle of a ski cut to dig a pit. Dig a pit on a questionable high consequence slope with a belay.

Would I have done what they did? No, they were playing with fire big time, I expect they have a very high risk tolerance, didn't know any better, or are simply still in their twenties.
Logged
Scotsman
Member
Offline

Posts: 3388


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #11 on: 11/14/16, 03:24 PM »

The gentleman who did the ski cut is I think, Tof Henry... a Chamonix native and pro-skier.

Highly respected I believe.

He has a facebook page and features in a lot of videos.

http://www.unfilteredskiing.com/video/e03-backyard

Looks to me like he knew exactly what he was doing.


Logged

Chief Etiquette Officer of TAY and TAY's #1 Poster
Poet Laureate of TAY.
Chairman and Founder of FOTAY( Friends of TAY)
Moderator of the moderators.
"Most Brilliant Move" of the 11/12 ski season
" Knows what he is talking about"
Expert Typist.
Crystal Whore
" Scotsman may be correct"....Mikerolfs
natefred
Member
Offline

Posts: 132


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #12 on: 11/15/16, 11:44 AM »

A few quotes I loved from that first video in Scotsmans link:

"Doesn't matter if you are a pro skier or a big name, it's just the same for us, we see the guy who loves skiing"
"Everyone is seeing all this rad stuff from Chamonix, but actually what we do 90% of the time is ski powder with no one around"

Sounds like a good guy & no doubt he understands the risks.
Logged
hefeweizen
Member
Offline

Posts: 115


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #13 on: 12/16/16, 06:56 AM »

A good discussion to be sure. I think a distinction should be made between a pro-skier in his home terrain with a high risk tolerance, and claiming that this is a textbook example of how to perform ski cuts.

We all have the spots that we visit frequently that we're comfortable ski cutting in a variety of conditions. But, if the question is "Was this a good/safe ski cut", and/or an example of a technique that inexperienced folks should emulate in similar terrain, in my opinion the answer is no.
Logged
kamtron
Member
Offline

Posts: 559


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #14 on: 12/16/16, 01:22 PM »

Thanks for the discussion everyone. I think we brought up a lot of good aspects. My personal feeling is that even if someone is a pro, we should still make judgements for ourselves as if they're just another human. We all are.
Logged
mBraun
5Member
Offline

Posts: 30


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #15 on: 12/17/16, 02:58 PM »

My observations:
There is a break in the video. He ended his ski cut slightly higher than where the video resumes. He is actually coming back and is making a new track about 3-ft downslope from the initial ski cut. When it releases, he takes a couple quick side steps uphill. The release occurred along his initial ski cut mostly from the middle to lower arcs and did not release at the upper arcs. The area immediately below him fractures but does not release.

Conclusions:
There was a delay (maybe a minute or more?) between his ski cut and the fracture/release.
It he had cut 20-ft higher, the slope would not have released.
If he had cut 20-ft lower, he would have been in the upper part of the slide.

Logged
powscraper
Member
Offline

Posts: 403


Re: Early season avi in Chamonix
« Reply #16 on: 12/19/16, 01:41 PM »

Speechless! Elite
One fall line turn from eternity 8-|
Logged
Pages: [1] | Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Login with username, password and session length

Thank you to our sponsors!
click to visit our sponsor: Feathered Friends
Feathered Friends
click to visit our sponsor: Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
click to visit our sponsor: Second Ascent
Second Ascent
click to visit our sponsor: American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
click to visit our sponsor: Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding Service
Contact turns-all-year.com

Turns All Year Trip Reports ©2001-2010 Turns All Year LLC. All Rights Reserved

The opinions expressed in posts are those of the poster and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Trip Reports administrators or Turns All Year LLC


Turns All Year Trip Reports | Powered by SMF 1.0.6.
© 2001-2005, Lewis Media. All Rights Reserved.