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Author Topic: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps  (Read 18018 times)
Pierce
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January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« on: 01/23/17, 10:43 AM »

With the report of good, stable snow Dave and I set out to find some turns in the Baker area.  Because of the low light and variable visibility we opted to stay close.  After a short run in the Blueberry chutes to kick off the day, we put in a skin track up the side of Table Mountain.  The north facing aspect kept the snow from baking allowing for consistent snow quality all day, so we opted to lap that till we had our fill.  The numbers stayed down till the afternoon, by then we'd had our fill and headed out.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJf9K9iBLGc



* table_mt.jpg (221.4 KB, 1000x562 - viewed 2528 times.)
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brainbrian
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #1 on: 01/23/17, 03:06 PM »

Turns were really nice even in the sunny aspects. Overall snow seemed to have bonded well. We did set off a couple small wind slabs along north facing ridges (maybe 10 cm in depth and 3 meters in width that never turned into much). Scaled our objective of 'mt ann' back a bit because of the storm slabs and low visibility in the morning. It seemed like snow was consistently being deposited from the south onto the northern facing slopes.

Another great day in the mountains.



* 16142358_10155009368206742_1701269725886942304_n.jpg (46.24 KB, 960x642 - viewed 2376 times.)
« Last Edit: 01/23/17, 09:01 PM by brainbrian » Logged
brainbrian
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #2 on: 01/23/17, 03:17 PM »

One thing I found interesting... with the warming around 1/2pm, the Black Diamond Glop Stopper actually works to keep the snow from sticking to your skins. Anyone have other solutions?
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Jason4
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #3 on: 01/23/17, 03:36 PM »

That skin track is exactly where I found the best turns last Saturday and Sunday, what an unfortunate spot to put it.
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #4 on: 01/23/17, 04:40 PM »

Please, pretty please, with sugar on top...

NEVER put that skin track there ever again, no matter how stable you think it is.  The life you save may be your own. 

If you're going to ski that area, the preferred method (by ski area management*, ski patrol*, and virtually everyone that taught me about that area) is to ski that from the top to the lake, then go around and ski it from the top again.  You'll get a longer run and be out of the line of fire from other parties that might set off that little windslabs that brainbrain mentioned (or worse) right on top of you on your way up.  The skin around may be slightly longer but you're not exposed 100% of the time like you are when you are in the middle section of that run all day long. 

Edit: looking closely I see nine (!!?!?!?!) people on that track?  Nine people exposed on the same steep slope at the same time?!? 

*yes I realize that MBSA has no jurisdiction over the Bagley Lakes basin but they're generally first on the scene if anything happens nearby, so they do actually care. 




« Last Edit: 01/23/17, 04:52 PM by hop » Logged

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kamtron
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #5 on: 01/23/17, 05:02 PM »

This argument has happened before.
Or is it annual?
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #6 on: 01/23/17, 05:48 PM »

This argument has happened before.
Or is it annual?

I brought it up a couple years ago.  http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=33188.0 

While many agreed with me, apparently the public shaming angle wasn't the best way to bring attention to the situation so I'm going for a softer approach here. 

This season, snow safety expert Doug Krause started an excellent Avalanche podcast https://soundcloud.com/user-660921194 that covers all sorts of things from terrain and route choices, snowpack, communication, brain traps, etc.

Listening to this throughout the season has kick-started my avy thinking into high gear and prompted me to look back on my previous patterns in an objective manner.  In doing so I've realized that even though I have tried to use the best practices in avy terrain as often as possible, and while I've managed to make back every time, there have definitely been times where my partners and I have blown it and just gotten lucky.  Minimizing time in avy terrain is one of the golden rules and that applies to the up-track just as it does to the downhill route.  Clearly the OP made it home safe and sound this time, but there might be a day when the snow isn't as stable.  Will they be able to make that assessment and not do that thing they've done before, or will they just go for it because it's worked for them in the past?  I try to minimize the variables - just as I wear my seatbelt every time I'm in a car - I go around when I ski that route because I'm never 100% certain I'm going to be fine.  The scariest thing to me about that skin track is the fact that you don't know who is dropping in from above where it's steeper and there are more technical start zones.  If someone above you kicks off something small, it could easily propagate into that whole slope (seen it happen multiple times over the years). 

I'll be the first to admit I'm not perfect; there have been plenty of times (and surely there still will be more times) when I've defended my dumb mistakes instead of learning my lessons.  As I get older and hopefully wiser (and lose more friends to avalanches), I find myself more open to constructive criticism, especially if it can keep me from making a mistake that might kill me or my partners.  If I'm doing something stupid, please tell me! 

I encourage everyone to listen to Slide and reflect objectively about their own practices, and those of their BC partners. 
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dberdinka
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #7 on: 01/23/17, 06:11 PM »

Oh yay!

The annual "SEATTLE SKINTRACKERS $&@#%!&@& URGGH GLAGG!  dRRRR...."
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #8 on: 01/23/17, 07:02 PM »

Oh yay!

The annual "SEATTLE SKINTRACKERS $&@#%!&@& URGGH GLAGG!  dRRRR...."

Curious if you have anything constructive to add to the discussion or just something in your throat?   Huh

An interesting article from JH:
http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/sports/sports_extras/outdoors_snow_survey/if-we-screw-up-and-shut-up-nothing-is-learned/article_9980334c-86dd-5285-81fa-c209bf278e03.html#.WGRcaKHyImk.facebook

"So we are faced with a conundrum. To learn from our mistakes, we have to be willing to share them and probe into the root causes. We have to separate the individual from the act and try to listen with empathy. We have to recognize that failure is the incubator for growth and change and that only by examining our failures can we improve.

But we also have to realize that in a crowded world we cannot disregard the fact that we are not alone out there. If our decisions hurt innocent bystanders, we need to accept the consequences."
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z-bo
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #9 on: 01/23/17, 07:14 PM »

Bad form is bad form.  That track my friends is bad form.  Our dear friend hop is speaking from a place of love, and hoping to dissuade future mistakes that could lead to bad outcomes.   The backcountry is no doubt crowded nowadays, and a great number of the new or new-ish are of below average skill on the up and the down.  It's sad for many of us who have honed our skills over many moons, to see such atrocities in real life or the internet.  Know that we don't despise you.  We too once made Gross mistakes on the very same slopes.  I too once upon a time broke trail up that very same slope on a warmish slush-a-lanch day.  I regret it fully now that i have seen the light, and fear the white walker.  I wish I had such a mentor as sir hop when I was just a newbie.  I hope you can find solace that we don't want to hurt you, we just want to help you.
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skykilo
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #10 on: 01/23/17, 07:52 PM »

Saw that precise phenomenon while lapping Herman a day or two into 2017 and thought that it was a strange way to farm the pow.  Saw lots of other weirdness happening in the area too.  The cat's out of the bag and Heather Meadows is a great starting point.

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mtkato
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #11 on: 01/23/17, 08:53 PM »

My first ingnorance of reading the snowpack conditions and subsequent avalanche was on that slope in 2004.  Believe "little AK" is the run and the slide started at the knob/cliff/convexity directly above the skin track; between the skin track and table proper.  Ran well past where you guys topped out at. 

As much as this seems like an annual rant from hop, he IS spot on.  Due to the steepness and rolling nature of that terrain, a skier shredding from above would not see u before placing their weight on the slope/potentially triggering an avalanche. 

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brainbrian
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #12 on: 01/23/17, 09:00 PM »

That skin track was bad, agreed, but I think the tracks on Herman were even worse. At least with this track this group who decided to do it were basically putting only themselves at risk. I'm not sure that's actually 9 people on the skin track, I didn't see that many myself, but it did look like 1 group was continually lapping that area. I don't believe anyone else was near that area on Saturday (*there were some tracks on lil alaska though)... still they could not be sure of that and it's a dangerous spot to put yourself in for an extended period.

What was actually worse were the tracks put in on Herman... and the individuals riding down said skin tracks. It was a scary, free-for-all seeing people ride down it from the other side of the valley. There was clear avalanche activity in recent days... including a whole rock face that slid recently.

Thanks for bringing it up to the group again. Often it's how it's phrased... coming out with "Seattle Skintrack" is maybe a bit abrasive considering one can only assume where others live.

Be safe out there and think of more than just your group.
« Last Edit: 01/23/17, 10:13 PM by brainbrian » Logged
brainbrian
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #13 on: 01/23/17, 09:06 PM »

Reviewing the photo a second time, you are correct. 9 on that track. all congregated towards the top. I guess it wasn't one group. Again, Herman was just as bad.
« Last Edit: 01/23/17, 10:07 PM by brainbrian » Logged
SKIER-X
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #14 on: 01/23/17, 09:35 PM »

 This great conversation may reach a broader audience in Weak Layers...? Thanks everyone for moving the situational awareness component forward .   X
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #15 on: 01/23/17, 10:16 PM »

That skin track was bad, agreed, but I think the tracks on Herman were even worse. At least with this track this group who decided to do it were basically putting only themselves at risk. I'm not sure that's actually 9 people on the skin track, I didn't that many myself, but it did look like 1 group was continually lapping that area from what I saw. I don't think anyone else went near that area on saturday... still they could not be sure of that and it's a dangerous spot to put yourself in for an extended period.

What was actually worse was the tracks put in on Herman... and the individuals riding down said skin tracks. It was a scary, free-for-all seeing people ride down it from the other side of the valley. There was clear avalanche activity in recent days... including a whole rock face that slid recently.

Thanks for bringing it up to the group again. Often it's how it's phrased... coming out with "Seattle Skintrack" is maybe a bit abrasive considering you have no idea where the people live who set it.

Be safe out there and think of more than just your group out there.

As I mentioned in my thread two years ago I didn't make up the name "Seattle Skintrack".  I got that name from a mentor when I first moved to the area in 1999.  If it makes any difference he was from Seattle, and extremely experienced in the Cascades and elsewhere.  Sadly he passed away ski mountaineering in Argentina in 2005.

Technology, marketing, and other factors (powder scarcity inbounds after 0915) have advanced to the point where the backcountry is where people want to be, but not everyone has the experience to safely negotiate the terrain once they leave the ski areas.  There's also no question the Bagley Lakes basin is easily accessible and heavily used.  There were some people in the other thread that said the area is "sidecountry" which is a term I think is totally meaningless and actually dangerous because it immediately puts someone in false sense of security or complacency.  I also disagree with the area being labeled as "beginner terrain".  The terrain in question is often steep and highly complex and proximity to the ski area or the parking lot doesn't make it safer than more inaccessible terrain hours away (I seem to recall a snowshoer getting buried at that corner of the road maybe 100m from the Blueberry access gate a few years back?)  There are terrain traps everywhere, and you are exposed from nearly every aspect when you're at the bottom of a run that ends at the lake. 

Throw a handful, ten handfuls, or a hundred handfuls of users of all experience levels into the mix skinning and skiing all over the place and the situation gets even more complex.  It's amazing there haven't been more incidents.  We're lucky that the PNW snowpack is generally rather forgiving in that regard. 

Still, in the interest of self-preservation and also not wanting others to get hurt or killed by making shortcut/overly risky/poor form choices, I think it's important to bring up when the opportunity presents itself.  Less than a month ago I lost a friend to a slide and now I regret not saying anything to him about his somewhat loose approach to self-preservation the last time I saw him a few days before he passed.  Who knows if it would have made any difference but NOT saying anything certainly didn't help. 

So yeah, if I see someone doing something overly risky I'm going to bring it up.  Maybe they've thought it through but maybe they haven't and don't know any better. 

I certainly hope if I post a photo of a skintrack that screams "RED FLAG", someone lets me know what I'm doing wrong so I can learn from my mistakes before it's too late. 
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kamtron
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #16 on: 01/23/17, 10:21 PM »

This season, snow safety expert Doug Krause started an excellent Avalanche podcast https://soundcloud.com/user-660921194 that covers all sorts of things from terrain and route choices, snowpack, communication, brain traps, etc.

Great resource and constructive comments here
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #17 on: 01/23/17, 10:31 PM »

Great resource and constructive comments here

While I knew (or was aware of) many of the things he covers in his podcast, for some reason hearing Doug tell stories about the information really hammered it home and caused me to reflect on my own experiences and practices in a way that just reading it didn't.  Thank you for Special Story Time Doug-san! 

He's extremely knowledgeable and responsible for some of the best runs of my life so when he talks, I listen. 

(his sense of humor is also pretty on-point)
https://www.instagram.com/p/BBinoi_mz4h/  
« Last Edit: 01/23/17, 10:35 PM by hop » Logged

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Jason4
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #18 on: 01/24/17, 10:05 AM »

As someone who has blown out a knee by landing in a firm traverse line where there shouldn't have been one (as witnessed by Hop) I'm a bit sensitive to skin tracks in places where I might be coming in hot.  I'd like to think that it's common etiquette to put skin tracks in places that won't hurt other people and especially won't get the people in the skin track hurt.
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Free your heel, free your mind.
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rlsg
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #19 on: 01/24/17, 04:02 PM »

On a pat-on-the back note..i'd like to congratulate you on
the nice fall line tight turns..seems like the lemingish traversing precious pow is iin vogue these days...
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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #20 on: 01/24/17, 06:26 PM »

Curious if you have anything constructive to add to the discussion or just something in your throat?   Huh

An interesting article from JH:
http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/sports/sports_extras/outdoors_snow_survey/if-we-screw-up-and-shut-up-nothing-is-learned/article_9980334c-86dd-5285-81fa-c209bf278e03.html#.WGRcaKHyImk.facebook

"So we are faced with a conundrum. To learn from our mistakes, we have to be willing to share them and probe into the root causes. We have to separate the individual from the act and try to listen with empathy. We have to recognize that failure is the incubator for growth and change and that only by examining our failures can we improve.

But we also have to realize that in a crowded world we cannot disregard the fact that we are not alone out there. If our decisions hurt innocent bystanders, we need to accept the consequences."

I'm confused.  How would these guys "hurt innocent bystanders" by lapping that bowl? What was their mistake again?  Skinning where you wanted to make turns?  I never realized there were so many rules up there.  Can somebody please put up a sign?
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #21 on: 01/24/17, 07:13 PM »

I'm confused.  How would these guys "hurt innocent bystanders" by lapping that bowl? What was their mistake again?  Skinning where you wanted to make turns?  I never realized there were so many rules up there.  Can somebody please put up a sign?

The JH story isn't 100% directly applicable to the situation in the Bagley Lakes basin but I linked to it because it talks about learning from one's mistakes, accountability and responsibility in the backcountry.  Try reading the thread again with that in mind.  Other posts outlined clearly what I (and many others, not necessarily posting in the thread but regular visitors to that area) think the mistakes are. 
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T. Eastman
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #22 on: 01/24/17, 08:05 PM »

Go track skiing...

... better skiing, fewer assholes, and more fun...
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toph
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #23 on: 01/24/17, 09:41 PM »

Haven't really kept up with the thread, but would just like to say I was up there this past Saturday, saw that skin track, and immediately thought NOPE. That track goes against everything they teach you in touring/avy safety 101. Good on @Hop for calling out an obvious red flag! We could all stand to learn something from these TRs. I know I have learned a great deal!  Cool
« Last Edit: 01/24/17, 10:33 PM by toph » Logged
natefred
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #24 on: 01/25/17, 08:34 AM »

First thing I thought when I saw that pic was that I'm glad I have safer options for skiing. I assumed what they were doing must have been their best option. It don't like loitering below objective hazards.

Hop I appreciate what you're doing. The struggle against human nature is upstream, so I hope you don't let it get to you too badly when you see people doing this time and time again. The smart folks will figure it out themselves or notice the grizzled old fellas taking the long way and wise up, but for many that wisdom is slowly developed over many years & all too often tears.

I think most people only learn the hard lessons the hard way. Unfortunately for backcountry skiers that usually involves near death experiences or the loss of someone close.
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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #25 on: 01/25/17, 09:49 AM »

That slope was unequivocally stable on the day they skied it, right?  Hop is saying you should ALWAYS come in from a different slope and ski it blind from the top, because that would be SAFEST.  He's right that it is a better run top to bottom, and not skinning there makes it a better shared resource for others.  But you guys are accusing the OP of doing something unsafe (or maybe worse, implying s/he is inexperienced and making dangerous choices).  The facts don't agree with that assessment.  They didn't "get away with one here".   Haven't you guys ever put a skin track in on a big slope on a stable day?  Let's cut the histrionics and admit this is mostly about resource competition (with a bitter hint of localism).
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #26 on: 01/25/17, 10:13 AM »

That slope was unequivocally stable on the day they skied it, right?  Hop is saying you should ALWAYS come in from a different slope and ski it blind from the top, because that would be SAFEST.  He's right that it is a better run top to bottom, and not skinning there makes it a better shared resource for others.  But you guys are accusing the OP of doing something unsafe (or maybe worse, implying s/he is inexperienced and making dangerous choices).  The facts don't agree with that assessment.  They didn't "get away with one here".   Haven't you guys ever put a skin track in on a big slope on a stable day?  Let's cut the histrionics and admit this is mostly about resource competition (with a bitter hint of localism).

Unequivocally stable? No way. Let's look at the facts (not "alternative facts").  NWAC had a "Considerable" rating for the 21st.  http://www.nwac.us/avalanche-forecast/avalanche-region-forecast/2863/cascade-west-north-baker/
Considerable

Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.


brainbrian mentioned setting off small windslabs on N facing terrain (which that is) that day as well.  I was in a different BC zone that day and we found similar small pockets of unstable snow.  Who knows how fast/far/wide the debris would have run if someone had kicked off one of those windslabs on the steeper convex rolls above the skintrack?  Maybe it would have been fine, but are you that confident that you're willing to spend the better part of your day exposed under all those potential start zones? 

I can see putting a skin track up a big face (for example the White Salmon glacier) on a stable day because there isn't another way around.  In this case there IS another option that's much safer, and you're not skiing it blind from the top unless you skip all the potential test slopes on the way up the road. 

Just because the OP got away with it this time doesn't mean it was a smart choice. 

As for bitter localism and resource competition: I moved here from somewhere else and those that were here before me taught me about the area and how to safely approach it.  I try to do the same with others that follow behind me because I'd rather share the BC with safe users.  I also don't fault anyone for wanting to ski here - after all, it's where I chose to live!  Furthermore, since I wasn't anywhere near that area on that day I wasn't competing for tracks there.

End histrionics.   Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: 01/25/17, 10:24 AM by hop » Logged

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jwplotz
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #27 on: 01/25/17, 10:18 AM »

I wonder how safe skinning was preached before the internet?  You'd have to be lucky enough to go b/c skiing with someone like Ira Spring, where he could set up his 4x5 camera, shoot a slides, get them developed and then submit them for publication where someone knowledgeable about skinning practices could view the photos and then pen and publish a critique.  

Sounds cumbersome.
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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #28 on: 01/25/17, 10:23 AM »

It was stable Hop.  The pictures and report tell the story. You can keep throwing out red herrings about "10cm wind slabs" and impeccable safety knowledge of your mentors, but I find your arguments unconvincing.  What I keep hearing is you want everybody to "do it like you".  Own it.
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #29 on: 01/25/17, 10:27 AM »

It was stable Hop.  The pictures and report tell the story. You can keep throwing out red herrings about "10cm wind slabs" and impeccable safety knowledge of your mentors, but I find your arguments unconvincing.  What I keep hearing is you want everybody to "do it like you".  Own it.

You are correct.  I would rather see people be smart and safe in the BC instead of cutting corners and making avoidable mistakes.  I'll own that all day long. 

Apparently you think differently but IMO a poor decision isn't justified because nothing bad happened. 
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Jim Oker
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #30 on: 01/25/17, 11:12 AM »

a poor decision isn't justified because nothing bad happened. 
Key thought.

I expect things to get more circus-like up there  before getting any better, but it's still important to shovel at least some  sand against the tide. When on the lifts this year, I  keep  running into  folks who have BC gear that they haven't used in the bc yet but who plan to start "getting out soon..." but most haven't taken AIARE level 1 nor have they found any form of "mentorship" to help  ease them a little more safely into the all important routefinding task.

Ya sure many of us have set lines directly up  slopes, but at least some of us still avoid it when there's a way  around unless we have bomber spring consolidation or are ski cramponing up  raincrust we hope will thaw a bit for  the descent. Why take even a low percent chance when it only costs a fraction of a run's time to go the  smarter way?? The only reason I can fathom is "scarcity..."
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jacoblmandell
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #31 on: 01/25/17, 11:26 AM »

It was stable Hop.  The pictures and report tell the story. You can keep throwing out red herrings about "10cm wind slabs" and impeccable safety knowledge of your mentors, but I find your arguments unconvincing.  What I keep hearing is you want everybody to "do it like you".  Own it.

I skied in the bagley zone on sunday 1/22 and there was certainly instabilities in the snowpack. I triggered 5-6 inch by 30 ft windslab on a N facing aspect near that skin track. I was on a steep roll on a relatively small start zone but a skier could've easily triggered something much larger above that skin track.

There is a safe and easy up track to all these lines and you can easily scope them out on your way up. Use them so we can have a safer backcountry ski community in such a high usage area.

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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #32 on: 01/25/17, 11:44 AM »

If it was dangerous, you shouldn't have skied it, right?  if it was safe, you could skin it, right? Which is it?  Personally, I prefer to assess a slope like that from below.  Experience (not my home area, but I've skied it plenty of times over the past 15 years or so), has taught me that the instabilities are generally at the ridgeline up there (like most places).
« Last Edit: 01/25/17, 11:47 AM by Good2Go » Logged
z-bo
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #33 on: 01/25/17, 12:01 PM »

Good2go needs to move his chronic dissension to tgr where he can fully expound his patriotism for alternative facts and anti-agreement with anything resembling common sense.  The padded room is waiting for you buddy!
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #34 on: 01/25/17, 12:04 PM »

If it was dangerous, you shouldn't have skied it, right?  if it was safe, you could skin it, right? Which is it?  Personally, I prefer to assess a slope like that from below.  Experience (not my home area, but I've skied it plenty of times over the past 15 years or so), has taught me that the instabilities are generally at the ridgeline up there (like most places).

It's both.  If it was dangerous, yep, probably best to not ski it.  If it was "safe" (how did you decide it was safe?), you COULD skin it, but as many people have chimed in saying - it's not the smartest choice given there are much safer options right there.  

How do you safely assess a slope like that from below?  It's flatter the lower you are so you're unlikely to be able to assess much of anything at the bottom.  If you climb it and assess as you go you're already deeply committed to the slope by the time you can find out anything meaningful.  If you're in the middle of that slope and you don't like what you've found - too bad, you're already there and fully exposed.  It's definitely possible to trigger slides from below so you better hope you don't bring the whole thing down on top of you while you're there.  

There are plenty of short test slopes on the road that can give you all the information you might want without being exposed to that entire run right off the bat.  If those indicate it's probably good to go (ahem) then you can move on to the start zones, and further assess them.  If they are still good to to you rip that thing top to bottom and have a great time.  If you don't like what you find you just turn around and leave the hazards below you.  You can't do that from the bottom.  

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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #35 on: 01/25/17, 12:05 PM »

Good2go needs to move his chronic dissension to tgr where he can fully expound his patriotism for alternative facts and anti-agreement with anything resembling common sense.  The padded room is waiting for you buddy!

Backcountry Asshattery? 
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bfree32
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #36 on: 01/25/17, 12:06 PM »

If it was dangerous, you shouldn't have skied it, right?  if it was safe, you could skin it, right? Which is it?  Personally, I prefer to assess a slope like that from below.  Experience (not my home area, but I've skied it plenty of times over the past 15 years or so), has taught me that the instabilities are generally at the ridgeline up there (like most places).

Really? You can't see the difference between spending 2 minutes on an avalanche prone slope (during which you know what is going on around you) vs. spending hours on a slope (where others are likely to drop in on top of you, in the upper terrain that you have agreed is more likely to slide)?
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jacoblmandell
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #37 on: 01/25/17, 12:09 PM »

If it was dangerous, you shouldn't have skied it, right?  if it was safe, you could skin it, right? Which is it?  Personally, I prefer to assess a slope like that from below.  Experience (not my home area, but I've skied it plenty of times over the past 15 years or so), has taught me that the instabilities are generally at the ridgeline up there (like most places).

As I described in my initial post it was a small slope that would not propagate and potentially encompass a large amount of terrain, unlike the place where the skin track was. It was a risk I felt comfortable taking and understood, therefore I ski cut the slope and went to safe zone.

On the descent you spend less time in the line of fire and can minimize risk more effectively- i.e. ski cutting if done properly. Putting skin track up a potentially unstable slope and opening yourself up to a ton of hang fire above on a very popular descent is completely different.  
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chuck
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #38 on: 01/25/17, 12:31 PM »

If you look at the original picture, in the left third you can see a crown and slide path. It wasn't huge but it happened on Saturday, about the same time this up track was put in. If someone dropped in from the top a similar slide would have likely run right thru this up-track. It would have been unpleasant.

We saw the circus going on and were happy to be heading elsewhere. Before we lost sight of this group of 9 densely packed ascenders, I noticed 2 people poking around directly above this up-track. Their presence combined with the earlier slide on the same aspect just a few hundreds yards east made me take notice. The 2 folks eventually retreated to artist pt.

We don't know if they retreated because:
  • the descent was choked up with selfish ascenders
  • they didn't want to take the chance of pushing snow down on parties below
  • or they felt unsafe dropping in

None of these options say good things about those camping in the lower half.

If you think this is a reasonable way to operate in the bc then good luck to you. No one is going to put up signs or attempt to stop you. Those of us who know the area are also not going to be adding you to our parties or sharing info because you've demonstrate unsafe and selfish methodologies.
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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #39 on: 01/25/17, 12:43 PM »

Good2go needs to move his chronic dissension to tgr where he can fully expound his patriotism for alternative facts and anti-agreement with anything resembling common sense.  The padded room is waiting for you buddy!

Ha!  I probably hate Trump more than you!  I'm not disagreeing for sport. I honestly think you guys are kidding yourselves about your superior safety knowledge.  Sometimes it's OK to ski the big open slopes and sometimes it's not.  You are imposing the latter assumption on the OP, which is very TGR like.  TAY usually gives the benefit of the doubt.  What makes you guys so sure you know better than the OP?  Hubris, I'm guessing.
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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #40 on: 01/25/17, 12:44 PM »

If you look at the original picture, in the left third you can see a crown and slide path. It wasn't huge but it happened on Saturday, about the same time this up track was put in. If someone dropped in from the top a similar slide would have likely run right thru this up-track. It would have been unpleasant.

We saw the circus going on and were happy to be heading elsewhere. Before we lost sight of this group of 9 densely packed ascenders, I noticed 2 people poking around directly above this up-track. Their presence combined with the earlier slide on the same aspect just a few hundreds yards east made me take notice. The 2 folks eventually retreated to artist pt.

We don't know if they retreated because:
  • the descent was choked up with selfish ascenders
  • they didn't want to take the chance of pushing snow down on parties below
  • or they felt unsafe dropping in

None of these options say good things about those camping in the lower half.

If you think this is a reasonable way to operate in the bc then good luck to you. No one is going to put up signs or attempt to stop you. Those of us who know the area are also not going to be adding you to our parties or sharing info because you've demonstrate unsafe and selfish methodologies.

Ha!  I wouldn't want ski with you guys.  Way too boring and paternalistic!!!!
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #41 on: 01/25/17, 12:46 PM »

As I described in my initial post it was a small slope that would not propagate and potentially encompass a large amount of terrain, unlike the place where the skin track was. It was a risk I felt comfortable taking and understood, therefore I ski cut the slope and went to safe zone.

On the descent you spend less time in the line of fire and can minimize risk more effectively- i.e. ski cutting if done properly. Putting skin track up a potentially unstable slope and opening yourself up to a ton of hang fire above on a very popular descent is completely different.  

This is actually just plain wrong.  Vast majority of avy incidents happen on the way down.  Believing you can ski cut your way to safety on a big slope has killed many "experts".
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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #42 on: 01/25/17, 12:48 PM »

Really? You can't see the difference between spending 2 minutes on an avalanche prone slope (during which you know what is going on around you) vs. spending hours on a slope (where others are likely to drop in on top of you, in the upper terrain that you have agreed is more likely to slide)?

This exemplifies the fallacy. If you think there is a reasonable chance that slope will slide, you shouldn't ski it.  Plenty of other options around there.
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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #43 on: 01/25/17, 12:50 PM »

Question for the Bagley Police:  Would you have raised this fuss if the OP had placed that track 300 yards to the lookers' right?
Backcountry Asshattery? 

Guarantee I have smashed more untracked pow than you bud.
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Jim Oker
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #44 on: 01/25/17, 12:55 PM »

When the cost is not great, I'd MUCH rather assess a slope from clues gathered from adjacent slopes on a climb somewhere not exposed to one long slope, as well as from a bit of checking of snow conditions while skiing down from above. Add to that the  high probability of folks coming in from far above at such a busy area and I know what my choice would be on any day that was  worth skiing, even a moderate hazard powder snow day. It's about margin  of error - even if I'm not worried about the  slope (why else would I want to  ski it?) this gives me a little more margin of error. Over a lifetime the odds add up... I get that others make a different decision - that much is rather obvious. That whole width of Table from the Bagley Lakes side is just such a nice "lapping slope" when  it's not already tracked up, that I think it's always going to lure folks even to the spots lookers left where there is  very reasonable top-access via an only-moderately-longer climb. It's a free world and more of us than ever are enjoying it.

But nonetheless I think it's good that the decision is being discussed as IMO this is hitting on some super important route planning factors.
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RonL
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #45 on: 01/25/17, 01:04 PM »

Ok that does it. I am putting on my snowshoes and coming for your skin track. These pictures will be helpful.
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #46 on: 01/25/17, 01:19 PM »

Question for the Bagley Police:  Would you have raised this fuss if the OP had placed that track 300 yards to the lookers' right?
Guarantee I have smashed more untracked pow than you bud.

Yes, for all of the same reasons already listed.  No matter what alternative facts you want to believe, it's impossible to safely assess that slope from below if you're 300m to the right, left or anywhere on that wall.  Maybe if it's frozen solid and you're climbing with crampons and an ice axe but when it's pow, on a "considerable" day with signs of instabilities already there, you're fooling yourself to think otherwise. 

Guarantee that I don't care if you think this is a pow-smashing competition, pal. 

Clearly you're as stubborn as the rest of us, just on the other end of the safety spectrum.  Like Jim Oker said - I would much rather have a larger margin for error because I don't know everything and am never 100% sure that my assessments (or that of BC users around or above me) are bombproof. 
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Jim Oker
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #47 on: 01/25/17, 01:49 PM »

Worth adding that it's quite possible to ski  that  slope one-at-a-time with  radio  or cell phone contact between the first and last skiers in a group to give the "slope is  clear!" signal from below for each skier after the first crust-and-slab detector. It doesn't add lot of time to a trip down. Much harder to limit group exposure on that  uptrack...
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #48 on: 01/25/17, 01:53 PM »

It should be noted that the most recent avy death in Washington involved a  friend of mine and occurred while she was skinning not skiing in the Crystal BC.
See the latest  NWAC accident report.
The were of course other circumstances particular to that accident that were tragic ( solo).
One of my biggest fears is being on an avy slope with skins on ( toes locked, huge anchors on my feet) no possibility to try and ski to a safe zone etc.

Thank you HOP for a thoughtful intervention.



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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #49 on: 01/25/17, 02:02 PM »

If it was dangerous, you shouldn't have skied it, right?  if it was safe, you could skin it, right? Which is it?  Personally, I prefer to assess a slope like that from below.  Experience (not my home area, but I've skied it plenty of times over the past 15 years or so), has taught me that the instabilities are generally at the ridgeline up there (like most places).

I've frequently found instabilities at mid slope in the Bagley bowl area.  If I had to put a count to it only 1/4 of the avalanches I've been involved with in that bowl have been at the top of little AK (the real little AK off the top of Table, not from the side entrance).  The rest have all started somewhere mid slope well below the ridgeline.  I've made lots of mistakes, hopefully other people can learn from them.
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bfree32
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #50 on: 01/25/17, 02:15 PM »

This exemplifies the fallacy. If you think there is a reasonable chance that slope will slide, you shouldn't ski it.  Plenty of other options around there.

If someone began to drop in from the top of the line above you as you were skinning up on this considerable day with minor instabilities already noted, what would you do? Be totally stoked and cheer them on because you've green lighted the whole face as good to go?
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #51 on: 01/25/17, 02:17 PM »

It should be noted that the most recent avy death in Washington involved a  friend of mine and occurred while she was skinning not skiing in the Crystal BC.
See the latest  NWAC accident report.
The were of course other circumstances particular to that accident that were tragic ( solo).
One of my biggest fears is being on an avy slope with skins on ( toes locked, huge anchors on my feet) no possibility to try and ski to a safe zone etc.

Thank you HOP for a thoughtful intervention.

Sorry for your loss Scotsman.  Being on an avy slope in "up" mode is also one of my biggest fears (which should be apparent from reading this thread).  

The avalanche that killed Craig Kelly (among others) was triggered by folks above and happened when he was heading up the skintrack.
https://www.outsideonline.com/1821466/thin-white-line

Garrett Grove got caught on the way up and was lucky to survive.  
http://www.powder.com/the-human-factor-1.0/index.php?chapter=2

Sheep Creek killed five on the way up.  They triggered this one from below.  
http://avalanche.state.co.us/caic/acc/acc_report.php?accfm=inv&acc_id=505

People (hopefully) put a lot of thought into their descent but it seems they may forget that the ascent route, and the time spent on the ascent route, needs careful consideration as well.  
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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #52 on: 01/25/17, 02:53 PM »

If someone began to drop in from the top of the line above you as you were skinning up on this considerable day with minor instabilities already noted, what would you do? Be totally stoked and cheer them on because you've green lighted the whole face as good to go?

That probably happened that day, without effect.  If I had assessed the slope as stable, such that I felt comfortable putting a track in that spot, I would expect it.  And, I'd only cheer if they had good style.  For the record, I would not put a track in that spot, mostly due to local's attitude about it.  Safety is secondary, assuming the slope is stable. If I was in doubt, I wouldn't ski there at all.   I have put in a lapper a few hundred yards to the right many times over the past 15 or so years, without incident.  I must be the luckiest man alive.
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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #53 on: 01/25/17, 02:54 PM »

Yes, for all of the same reasons already listed.  No matter what alternative facts you want to believe, it's impossible to safely assess that slope from below if you're 300m to the right, left or anywhere on that wall.  Maybe if it's frozen solid and you're climbing with crampons and an ice axe but when it's pow, on a "considerable" day with signs of instabilities already there, you're fooling yourself to think otherwise. 

Guarantee that I don't care if you think this is a pow-smashing competition, pal. 

Clearly you're as stubborn as the rest of us, just on the other end of the safety spectrum.  Like Jim Oker said - I would much rather have a larger margin for error because I don't know everything and am never 100% sure that my assessments (or that of BC users around or above me) are bombproof. 


My point is that you seem to think you know something I don't, and I keep waiting for you to reveal it.
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #54 on: 01/25/17, 03:13 PM »

My point is that you seem to think you know something I don't, and I keep waiting for you to reveal it.

Safety is secondary?  What's primary in your world?  Hard to continue doing the things you like to do if you're not safe about it.  Sooner or later the odds are going to catch up with you.   

In this case, I know it's impossible to safely assess that slope from below (as you seem to believe) and I know there are safer options for ascending if you want to lap that slope that keep you out of harm's way, instead of keeping in IN harm's way 100% of the time.  I also know that minimizing your time and exposure in potential avy terrain is one of the golden rules for staying alive in avy terrain.  You seem to think that because you've survived 15 years of bad judgement on that slope that you've been right all along and all of your assessments have been 100% spot on.  I can't argue with the fact that you're still alive but I'm guessing that's got more to do with our generally user-friendly coastal snowpack vs. your perceived "expertise" and BC protocols.   

Your continued defense of this skintrack doesn't lead me to believe you know any of the above, especially considering just about everyone that's posting besides you considers this skintrack bad form.   
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Jim Oker
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #55 on: 01/25/17, 03:49 PM »

I find the discussion of what other posters may or must be thinking to be much less interesting than the discussions of our own thought processes and route planning practices.
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #56 on: 01/25/17, 04:08 PM »

I find the discussion of what other posters may or must be thinking to be much less interesting than the discussions of our own thought processes and route planning practices.

I find it pretty relevant, especially if there's a consensus towards a better route that is being ignored or dismissed as unnecessary by a vocal minority.  I don't personally know you or Good2Go (that I know of - if he's been in the area for 15 years it's quite possible that we've met), but I do know and have skied with a number of the other posters and I consider them experienced BC travelers that frequent the area in question. 

On the subject of personal thought processes and route planning practices, I still would love to know how Good2Go safely assesses that slope from the bottom up without being exposed while doing so.  That question hasn't been addressed yet but hearing his/her thought process behind it might help me understand. 
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Jim Oker
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #57 on: 01/25/17, 04:45 PM »

We can describe our own thoughts. We can ask others to describe theirs. That's all good stuff. Totally relevant to the thread and useful to get this stuff as explicit as possible. I tried to share my own thought process on routes like this one in my own posts above. And would happily entertain any questions on where I may have left blanks open.

Making guesses at the thoughts  of others just  strikes me as a provocation (and it's gone both ways above). Such guesses are often wrong, and over the years on web forums, I've seen that they tend to feed a cycle of defensiveness and attack. I see no constructive contribution from them.
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #58 on: 01/25/17, 04:54 PM »

We can describe our own thoughts. We can ask others to describe theirs. That's all good stuff. Totally relevant to the thread and useful to get this stuff as explicit as possible. I tried to share my own thought process on routes like this one in my own posts above. And would happily entertain any questions on where I may have left blanks open.

Making guesses at the thoughts  of others just  strikes me as a provocation (and it's gone both ways above). Such guesses are often wrong, and over the years on web forums, I've seen that they tend to feed a cycle of defensiveness and attack. I see no constructive contribution from them.

Fair enough!  Smiley
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #59 on: 01/25/17, 06:42 PM »

The thought process I try and abide by when setting a skin track is based upon the "Best Practices" protocol that we use at work to avoid killing people when engaged in complex construction work.

My personal Best Practices for skin track setting is as follows.
#1 Set the skin track in the safest place possible because I feel vulnerable with skins on, toes locked out and anchors on my feet. Even if this means going the long way around to my desired point of entry.
#2 Avoid  a close stacked Z track wherever possible or keep them to a minimum. Spacing is important on a skin track and in a stacked Z, impossible to achieve. The people above or below you are still in danger. On a stacked Z you can be 500 ft apart but the person above is still directly above you and both of you are in the slide path.
#3 Avoid or minimize sKintrack steepness. Steep skintracks are tiring and inherently more difficult  and can cause bunching especially with groups of mixed experience.
#4 Avoid or minimize kick turns... Ditto point #3. My wife can contort her body at yoga but she can't do a nice kick turn to save her life( yet)
#5 Try and not set a skin track where skiers can come from above.
#6 Conserve good slopes.... don't set a skin track up a good slope.

Those a mine, your's may be different.
I try to check every box above with my skin tracks.
When I look at the photo... I can't in all honesty tick any box.

As hop and z-bo have said... not trying to flame or troll.... just trying to cut down on your learning curve so you can continue to enjoy life and post lots of future trip reports.
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #60 on: 01/25/17, 07:28 PM »

The thought process I try and abide by when setting a skin track is based upon the "Best Practices" protocol that we use at work to avoid killing people when engaged in complex construction work.

My personal Best Practices for skin track setting is as follows.
#1 Set the skin track in the safest place possible because I feel vulnerable with skins on, toes locked out and anchors on my feet. Even if this means going the long way around to my desired point of entry.
#2 Avoid  a close stacked Z track wherever possible or keep them to a minimum. Spacing is important on a skin track and in a stacked Z, impossible to achieve. The people above or below you are still in danger. On a stacked Z you can be 500 ft apart but the person above is still directly above you and both of you are in the slide path.
#3 Avoid or minimize sKintrack steepness. Steep skintracks are tiring and inherently more difficult  and can cause bunching especially with groups of mixed experience.
#4 Avoid or minimize kick turns... Ditto point #3. My wife can contort her body at yoga but she can't do a nice kick turn to save her life( yet)
#5 Try and not set a skin track where skiers can come from above.
#6 Conserve good slopes.... don't set a skin track up a good slope.

Those a mine, your's may be different.
I try to check every box above with my skin tracks.
When I look at the photo... I can't in all honesty tick any box.

As hop and z-bo have said... not trying to flame or troll.... just trying to cut down on your learning curve so you can continue to enjoy life and post lots of future trip reports.

The voice of reason, again.

It's baffling when people disregard all "best practices" of backcountry travel when it comes to time spent exposed to objective and subjective hazards.

What's interesting to me is why they chose to skin up there when there is an obvious route that
IS safer, but also why in the only path with sparse trees, potential weak spots. Did they think that those trees offered a safer more anchored up track?
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freeski
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #61 on: 01/25/17, 08:14 PM »

I brought it up a couple years ago.  http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=33188.0 

While many agreed with me, apparently the public shaming angle wasn't the best way to bring attention to the situation so I'm going for a softer approach here. 

This season, snow safety expert Doug Krause started an excellent Avalanche podcast https://soundcloud.com/user-660921194 that covers all sorts of things from terrain and route choices, snowpack, communication, brain traps, etc.

Listening to this throughout the season has kick-started my avy thinking into high gear and prompted me to look back on my previous patterns in an objective manner.  In doing so I've realized that even though I have tried to use the best practices in avy terrain as often as possible, and while I've managed to make back every time, there have definitely been times where my partners and I have blown it and just gotten lucky.  Minimizing time in avy terrain is one of the golden rules and that applies to the up-track just as it does to the downhill route.  Clearly the OP made it home safe and sound this time, but there might be a day when the snow isn't as stable.  Will they be able to make that assessment and not do that thing they've done before, or will they just go for it because it's worked for them in the past?  I try to minimize the variables - just as I wear my seatbelt every time I'm in a car - I go around when I ski that route because I'm never 100% certain I'm going to be fine.  The scariest thing to me about that skin track is the fact that you don't know who is dropping in from above where it's steeper and there are more technical start zones.  If someone above you kicks off something small, it could easily propagate into that whole slope (seen it happen multiple times over the years). 

I'll be the first to admit I'm not perfect; there have been plenty of times (and surely there still will be more times) when I've defended my dumb mistakes instead of learning my lessons.  As I get older and hopefully wiser (and lose more friends to avalanches), I find myself more open to constructive criticism, especially if it can keep me from making a mistake that might kill me or my partners.  If I'm doing something stupid, please tell me! 

I encourage everyone to listen to Slide and reflect objectively about their own practices, and those of their BC partners. 

Well stated. This was the mountainering ethos when i started climbing up to ski down.

I read a lot of climbing stories and those early climbers had no problems with talking about their mistakes or the mistakes of fellow climbers.

btw, the use of 'shame' is considered to a morally exceptable practice to engage in when used to try to correct behavior that has the potential to put others at increased risk of harm. It equates to tough love.
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #62 on: 01/25/17, 11:49 PM »

What's interesting to me is why they chose to skin up there when there is an obvious route that IS safer, but also why in the only path with sparse trees, potential weak spots. Did they think that those trees offered a safer more anchored up track?

Those trees exist because they're on a little ridge of slightly higher ground which doesn't get swept by *most* of the avalanches which come down fairly often to both left and right. That's what makes it (slightly) safer, therefore tempting as a place to put in an uptrack. You can claim the trees as weak spots, but in my experience that little ridge is a relatively stable zone.

On the other hand, sometimes it's the only line free of avalanche debris, which makes a frozen uptrack pretty irritating.

The better uphill route, referenced by lots of people posting above, is much longer and very indirect. Besides, it takes you around to the top of the slope, where things are steeper and more variable--rolls, little gullies, windslab over hoarfrost below the ridges, strangely shifting winds that crossload terrain features, places where detailed local knowledge is really handy. That's the other reason for that uptrack being where it is--it allows lapping the mellow lower part of the slope. You can't really do that from above.

Not that I do it that way myself. I usually ski that slope from the top, or not at all. Hop's right: halfway up is not really a safe place to hang out. The presence of people dropping in above you (among all those slabby gullies and rollovers) makes it extra nerve-wracking. The fact that half of them don't seem to have much of a clue makes it even more so.

Most people get away with most stupid stuff most of the time. It's like a law of nature. You can hit that slope 20 times, or 50 or a hundred, and if it never slides you might conclude that means you're safe. You'll never know how close you were to getting buried, hurt or dead--until your luck runs out and you get buried, hurt or dead. Only then do you realize how close you really were all those other times. There's a certain amount of that apparent in some of the posts on this thread.

The question I hear Hop wrestling with is how to best communicate the understandings--I'll call it "wisdom"--he's accumulated over the years. Coming on strong and abrasive doesn't work, but neither does calm, quiet and respectful. On the evidence, we don't listen very well any more here in the land of the free, and we're quick to take offense and launch counterattacks. That's not very pleasant in presidential politics (IMHO), and it's kind've perplexing in discussions here. At our best, we listen respectfully, learn what we're able, and thank each other for sharing. That, too, is apparent in (other) posts above. It's an interesting tension.

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aaron_wright
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #63 on: 01/26/17, 06:37 AM »

Those trees exist because they're on a little ridge of slightly higher ground which doesn't get swept by *most* of the avalanches which come down fairly often to both left and right. That's what makes it (slightly) safer, therefore tempting as a place to put in an uptrack. You can claim the trees as weak spots, but in my experience that little ridge is a relatively stable zone.

On the other hand, sometimes it's the only line free of avalanche debris, which makes a frozen uptrack pretty irritating.

That makes a little more sense, you can't see the relief in that picture.

In the posted video, you can see the trees in the upper part of the area of the skin track and they are flagged and inclined down slope so it must slide on occasion.
« Last Edit: 01/26/17, 06:43 AM by aaron_wright » Logged
natefred
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #64 on: 01/26/17, 09:14 AM »

Great post markharf.
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cumulus
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #65 on: 01/26/17, 09:22 AM »

Great post markharf.

I second that!  Beautifully balanced, nuanced, and sage Mark. Thanks.

Great discussion all around, even the incendiary elements which provided the fuel for more thought and input. Thanks Hop et al and OP (Pierce).
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Stefan
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #66 on: 01/26/17, 10:44 AM »

When I was younger, I had taken to heart Anselme Baud's words in Peter Cliff's 1987 book on ski mountaineering. I took a 20 year break from downhill bc skiing and when I started paying attention to the sport again, this sentiment had changed:

"I finish with a personal thought, but it is shared by many others: always climb the couloir before skiing down it. It enables you to have a look at the slope, at the condition of the snow, at the exact route. It lets you warm up before having to ski down, and, above all, it lets you get accustomed to the slope. All these things reduce the risks and increase the chances of success."

I can see in a crowded environment with folks dropping in blindly on top of you, this approach might no longer be cogent.
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freeski
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #67 on: 01/26/17, 11:02 AM »

Those trees exist because they're on a little ridge of slightly higher ground which doesn't get swept by *most* of the avalanches which come down fairly often to both left and right. That's what makes it (slightly) safer, therefore tempting as a place to put in an uptrack. You can claim the trees as weak spots, but in my experience that little ridge is a relatively stable zone.

On the other hand, sometimes it's the only line free of avalanche debris, which makes a frozen uptrack pretty irritating.

The better uphill route, referenced by lots of people posting above, is much longer and very indirect. Besides, it takes you around to the top of the slope, where things are steeper and more variable--rolls, little gullies, windslab over hoarfrost below the ridges, strangely shifting winds that crossload terrain features, places where detailed local knowledge is really handy. That's the other reason for that uptrack being where it is--it allows lapping the mellow lower part of the slope. You can't really do that from above.

Not that I do it that way myself. I usually ski that slope from the top, or not at all. Hop's right: halfway up is not really a safe place to hang out. The presence of people dropping in above you (among all those slabby gullies and rollovers) makes it extra nerve-wracking. The fact that half of them don't seem to have much of a clue makes it even more so.

Most people get away with most stupid stuff most of the time. It's like a law of nature. You can hit that slope 20 times, or 50 or a hundred, and if it never slides you might conclude that means you're safe. You'll never know how close you were to getting buried, hurt or dead--until your luck runs out and you get buried, hurt or dead. Only then do you realize how close you really were all those other times. There's a certain amount of that apparent in some of the posts on this thread.

The question I hear Hop wrestling with is how to best communicate the understandings--I'll call it "wisdom"--he's accumulated over the years. Coming on strong and abrasive doesn't work, but neither does calm, quiet and respectful. On the evidence, we don't listen very well any more here in the land of the free, and we're quick to take offense and launch counterattacks. That's not very pleasant in presidential politics (IMHO), and it's kind've perplexing in discussions here. At our best, we listen respectfully, learn what we're able, and thank each other for sharing. That, too, is apparent in (other) posts above. It's an interesting tension.


That part where you describe people dropping in above you is spot in.

On the east side of the north casades, many well seasoned bc skiers have asked the forest service to mitigate just such an issue, for many years, with the commercial users.

Skinning up a slope while the heli drops loads of powder frenzied skiers is no fun.

When asked about it, the fs simply tells us that it's a risk that we bc skiers assume, because we should know that the heli has a permit for that area.

And the fs tells the heli company not to do it, but we already know that company doesn't follow the rules.

Last year a friend of mine was breaking trail and a guide out ski touring with a client, ski cut an avy slope above my friend and the resulting avy took out my friend and had the potential to take his life.

My friend chose a route that was exposed to that avy path for less than 5 min. of skinning time and as a whole, that route has the least amount of avy activity or path exposure for the entire area.

So low probability- high consequence accidents do happen. And with enough trials, they happen often enough to get you or you're loved one killed.

It is a mistake to assume that people placing others at risk of harm don't have experience at what they do.

Do they know what they are doing is altogether a different matter.
« Last Edit: 01/26/17, 11:25 AM by freeski » Logged

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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #68 on: 01/26/17, 12:53 PM »

Thank you everyone for the open discussion. It is super valuable to see different thought processes that people use when evaluating routefinding options. It's only my 3rd season after my AIARE class and the closest substitute for years of experience is probably seeing how a variety of experienced folks would approach a situation.

This is actually just plain wrong.  Vast majority of avy incidents happen on the way down.  Believing you can ski cut your way to safety on a big slope has killed many "experts".

Without getting into the effectiveness of ski cutting (which was a part of the context of the quote), I wouldn't put much weight in the fact that most avy incidents happen on the way down. This thread demonstrates that many people intentionally steer their uptrack away from potential avalanche slopes (perhaps being more willing to accept the risk for the benefit of a steeper descent). Since the probability of an avy incident ~ risk*exposure, if skiers' aggregate exposure to avy terrain while skinning uphill is lower, then it doesn't necessarily follow that uphill is safer than downhill in terms of risk. For a winter snowpack, I suspect that exposure is better measured by # of skiers entering the start zone while you are in the path, than by time exposure (opposite in spring?) although in a busy area like this the two are related.

If I can make my exposure 0, I will do so even if my estimate of risk is close to zero, for the simple reason that my estimate of risk might not be correct. If I am wrong about risk on the down, then I might be buried. If I am wrong about risk on the up, then my whole party might be buried.

OP, sorry your TR got hijacked. Nice turns!
« Last Edit: 01/26/17, 01:02 PM by bbrelje » Logged
Jim Oker
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #69 on: 01/26/17, 01:41 PM »

When I was younger, I had taken to heart Anselme Baud's words in Peter Cliff's 1987 book on ski mountaineering. I took a 20 year break from downhill bc skiing and when I started paying attention to the sport again, this sentiment had changed:

"I finish with a personal thought, but it is shared by many others: always climb the couloir before skiing down it. It enables you to have a look at the slope, at the condition of the snow, at the exact route. It lets you warm up before having to ski down, and, above all, it lets you get accustomed to the slope. All these things reduce the risks and increase the chances of success."

I can see in a crowded environment with folks dropping in blindly on top of you, this approach might no longer be cogent.

Great to have this brought up. I was thinking about this advice when reading and responding to this thread. I think that for the  types  of couloirs that Baud and Sudain and so forth were skiing, this is very smart. What if that >50 degree slope is sheer ice, for instance? I don't think the same notion applies to the sorts of routes I ski, nor for what at least most of the  folks here typically ski. Perhaps this would be the ideal way to  ski something like the upper Slot Couloir, but my understanding is that this is quite atypical  even  there. If this photo is of the  slope I'm thinking of, it's not nearly gnarly enough  for Baud and his few peers to have sought out.

FWIW, I've skied I think about 10+ weeks with Canadian ski guides (at huts  in BC). While they certainly set tracks up descent slopes at times, at least as often they've set routes that  took a more moderate approach, both on average lower angled, and with the steep bits shorter and more broken up. They tend to spend a while at the top of such ascents gathering  data to decide whether we should start skiing their planned objective (and they'd been  gathering  data on the entire ascent, and often at additional points on the descent as well).
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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #70 on: 01/26/17, 03:21 PM »

Those trees exist because they're on a little ridge of slightly higher ground which doesn't get swept by *most* of the avalanches which come down fairly often to both left and right. That's what makes it (slightly) safer, therefore tempting as a place to put in an uptrack. You can claim the trees as weak spots, but in my experience that little ridge is a relatively stable zone.

On the other hand, sometimes it's the only line free of avalanche debris, which makes a frozen uptrack pretty irritating.

The better uphill route, referenced by lots of people posting above, is much longer and very indirect. Besides, it takes you around to the top of the slope, where things are steeper and more variable--rolls, little gullies, windslab over hoarfrost below the ridges, strangely shifting winds that crossload terrain features, places where detailed local knowledge is really handy. That's the other reason for that uptrack being where it is--it allows lapping the mellow lower part of the slope. You can't really do that from above.

Not that I do it that way myself. I usually ski that slope from the top, or not at all. Hop's right: halfway up is not really a safe place to hang out. The presence of people dropping in above you (among all those slabby gullies and rollovers) makes it extra nerve-wracking. The fact that half of them don't seem to have much of a clue makes it even more so.

Most people get away with most stupid stuff most of the time. It's like a law of nature. You can hit that slope 20 times, or 50 or a hundred, and if it never slides you might conclude that means you're safe. You'll never know how close you were to getting buried, hurt or dead--until your luck runs out and you get buried, hurt or dead. Only then do you realize how close you really were all those other times. There's a certain amount of that apparent in some of the posts on this thread.

The question I hear Hop wrestling with is how to best communicate the understandings--I'll call it "wisdom"--he's accumulated over the years. Coming on strong and abrasive doesn't work, but neither does calm, quiet and respectful. On the evidence, we don't listen very well any more here in the land of the free, and we're quick to take offense and launch counterattacks. That's not very pleasant in presidential politics (IMHO), and it's kind've perplexing in discussions here. At our best, we listen respectfully, learn what we're able, and thank each other for sharing. That, too, is apparent in (other) posts above. It's an interesting tension.



I first bought a snomo 11 years ago and had a lot of fun learning to ride it. I went to most of the snomo version of ski areas in WA to learn, and found it striking that the snomo community has a much lower perception of risk in the WA snowpack. They cover way more ground than skiers typically do, often hitting every aspect and elevation within a large area.  I came to realize that the skiing community (and NWAC - no surprise there given their mission) often grossly overestimates instability.  Granted, if you're wrong, you can die.  But, when the perception is way off the reality, it's really not all that valuable.  i would assert this is at play in this group analysis.  It was fine to put the track in that spot ON THAT DAY, as borne out by the results.  There is no evidence that the OP was "stupid" as Markharf and others assert (why people are congratulating that conclusion is beyond me) or that they "got away with something".  Should you put an uptrack in that spot when there is instability above?  Nope.  But the OP accurately assessed the risk ON THAT DAY and skied it without incident.  You guys/girls are adamant that it's never safe to lap that spot, but that's complete BS. Hop could of made his/her point by simply saying that more people could enjoy that slope if everybody used the "MT Baker Pro Patrol Approved/Hop Mentor Certified/Bagley Police Mandated" uptrack down the way.  I know this will come a shock to some of you, but your so-called "wisdom" may not be wanted, needed or appreciated by the OP.  I know I found it obnoxious. 
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freeski
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #71 on: 01/26/17, 04:52 PM »

Quote ''I know this will come a shock to some of you, but your so-called "wisdom" may not be wanted, needed or appreciated by the OP.  I know I found it obnoxious.'' 
unquote

Just as you and the op have the right to express opinions here on a public forum, others have the same right to question actions in the bc that put others at risk.

It's likely that someone in that group didn't have a clue concerning the  risk of that skin track location and was following the 'wisdom' of other group members.

No one is saying that the op is stupid. You put up a strawman argument.

A heli guide friend of mine says that you can't depend upon luck forever in the bc. Now that is wisdom.
« Last Edit: 01/26/17, 05:00 PM by freeski » Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #72 on: 01/26/17, 05:04 PM »

I first bought a snomo 11 years ago and had a lot of fun learning to ride it. I went to most of the snomo version of ski areas in WA to learn, and found it striking that the snomo community has a much lower perception of risk in the WA snowpack. They cover way more ground than skiers typically do, often hitting every aspect and elevation within a large area.  I came to realize that the skiing community (and NWAC - no surprise there given their mission) often grossly overestimates instability.  Granted, if you're wrong, you can die.  But, when the perception is way off the reality, it's really not all that valuable.  i would assert this is at play in this group analysis.  It was fine to put the track in that spot ON THAT DAY, as borne out by the results.  There is no evidence that the OP was "stupid" as Markharf and others assert (why people are congratulating that conclusion is beyond me) or that they "got away with something".  Should you put an uptrack in that spot when there is instability above?  Nope.  But the OP accurately assessed the risk ON THAT DAY and skied it without incident.  You guys/girls are adamant that it's never safe to lap that spot, but that's complete BS. Hop could of made his/her point by simply saying that more people could enjoy that slope if everybody used the "MT Baker Pro Patrol Approved/Hop Mentor Certified/Bagley Police Mandated" uptrack down the way.  I know this will come a shock to some of you, but your so-called "wisdom" may not be wanted, needed or appreciated by the OP.  I know I found it obnoxious. 

You repeatedly keep missing my point.  It's never been about getting more people to enjoy that slope as you seem to think.  It's about minimizing your exposure while in/around avy terrain.  I can't say that any clearer; I don't know why it's so hard for you to understand.

Also, successful outcomes don't justify bad decisions.  In your case they seem to reinforce them.  Seems like you can't understand this either.  

Markharf's right.  I have no idea how to communicate with people that think a legitimate public safety concern is "obnoxious".  

If anyone considers the Bagley Lakes basin to be in the same league as Baud et al.'s ski mountaineering terrain where the "climb before you ski" mentality is used, well, no matter how "extreme" you want to be there's nothing in the area like the Gervasutti Couloir.  Hans probably should have climbed that one first.  RIP.  Pretty much everything in the basin can be safely assessed from unexposed test slopes.  On that note, I'm still waiting for Good2Go to describe the technique of assessing that slope from below like he/she prefers.  

In other news, my ski partner and I skied from the top of Little AK 2x today.  We took a line from the top of Table to the lake and walked out via Grandma's (and picked up a bunch of beer cans and trash from a jump that some snowboarders had made), around the countless zig-zags (I realize that there are plenty of folks that seem to think it's ok, but does each party really have to make their own skin track?  That's doubling/tripling/quadrupling down on the ridiculousness) all over the majority of that slope, and back up the road for round two.  Easy peasy, no exposure, great snow.  

Edit:  Good2Go, if nothing else, I challenge you to listen to the first three episodes of the Slide podcast and then objectively (if you can) think about this skintrack.  Doug Krause is a snow safety expert with decades of experience and in addition to being a super smart guy that we can all learn from, I guarantee he's crushed more untracked pow than you.  Bud. 
« Last Edit: 01/26/17, 05:19 PM by hop » Logged

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David_Lowry
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #73 on: 01/26/17, 05:30 PM »

Thanks for the correction. "always climb the couloir" does not mean always, it depends on whether it is extreme. Didn't mean to imply the terrain is similar. It does seem odd to me that you can assess slope A by studying slope B. I am only trying to learn here, and the quote I posted has had me confused about this topic for a long time.
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natefred
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #74 on: 01/26/17, 05:35 PM »

Another point I think Good2Go is missing (and that is probably contributing to his irritation) is that it's not about judging this group's decision making or the outcome on a particular day, it's about what is likely to happen if people continue the habit. If one, two, or a bunch of people do get buried on a skin track there some day, EVERYONE (well, I can't really speak for everyone I guess) is going to say how stupid, tragic, and easily avoidable it was.

For one I appreciate hop's willingness to speak up and to be respectful about it.

With the growing numbers out there, there ought to be some standard protocol in these high traffic areas regarding folks skiing down on top of others who are camped out, dilly dallying, farming corn/powder/slush. My take is that I can expect people to come down on top of me anytime they like, it's my responsibility not to be below stuff I think might get me. And you never know when or where people are going to come out of the woodwork. But what the heck do you do if you climb a ridge, look into your line that you want to ski cut the top of before dropping in, and see nine people in a conga line down there? Let your conscience be your guide..
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #75 on: 01/26/17, 06:08 PM »

Thanks for the correction. "always climb the couloir" does not mean always, it depends on whether it is extreme. Didn't mean to imply the terrain is similar. It does seem odd to me that you can assess slope A by studying slope B. I am only trying to learn here, and the quote I posted has had me confused about this topic for a long time.

When I think of "climb what you ski" I think of classic Alps couloirs, or other big terrain where the likelihood of people dropping in on you is zero or extremely low.  Trevor Peterson and Eric Pehota stuff from remote BC back in the early 90s.  Also consider that the book being referenced was written in 1987, far before the backcountry got as crowded as it is now.  I used to consider lines like the NW Couloir and the North Face of Shuksan to be in the same realm, but nowadays it seems there are so many people going up the White Salmon to get to those lines whenever they might be "in" that there's no way I'd want to be booting up either and have anyone come down on top of me.   

As for assessing A by studying B: There are plenty of smaller slopes on the road up to Artist Point that have similar aspect and slope angle as the run in question, but they're short, have near zero exposure, and don't commit you to the main event.  You can ski cut, dig pits, even make a turn or two depending on which one you're on.  If things go south on those little slopes you can easily just turn around without consequence.  If you hit the gnar straight away (or from below) and it goes south, well, good luck. 

If Good2Go ever explains the technique of assessing the top or middle of that run from the bottom maybe I'd understand their method, but until then... I'm happy with test slopes that minimize my exposure.   
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T. Eastman
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #76 on: 01/26/17, 06:13 PM »

Hop,

Most of the big Alpine routes were skied in summer or early-fall conditions where there was no issue with winter snowpack. The primary reason to climb the routes was assess problems with ice and rock.

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rlsg
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #77 on: 01/26/17, 06:19 PM »

Just watched the video:  VERY NICE!!
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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #78 on: 01/26/17, 06:21 PM »

You repeatedly keep missing my point.  It's never been about getting more people to enjoy that slope as you seem to think.  It's about minimizing your exposure while in/around avy terrain.  I can't say that any clearer; I don't know why it's so hard for you to understand.

Also, successful outcomes don't justify bad decisions.  In your case they seem to reinforce them.  Seems like you can't understand this either.  

Markharf's right.  I have no idea how to communicate with people that think a legitimate public safety concern is "obnoxious".  

If anyone considers the Bagley Lakes basin to be in the same league as Baud et al.'s ski mountaineering terrain where the "climb before you ski" mentality is used, well, no matter how "extreme" you want to be there's nothing in the area like the Gervasutti Couloir.  Hans probably should have climbed that one first.  RIP.  Pretty much everything in the basin can be safely assessed from unexposed test slopes.  On that note, I'm still waiting for Good2Go to describe the technique of assessing that slope from below like he/she prefers.  

In other news, my ski partner and I skied from the top of Little AK 2x today.  We took a line from the top of Table to the lake and walked out via Grandma's (and picked up a bunch of beer cans and trash from a jump that some snowboarders had made), around the countless zig-zags (I realize that there are plenty of folks that seem to think it's ok, but does each party really have to make their own skin track?  That's doubling/tripling/quadrupling down on the ridiculousness) all over the majority of that slope, and back up the road for round two.  Easy peasy, no exposure, great snow.  

Edit:  Good2Go, if nothing else, I challenge you to listen to the first three episodes of the Slide podcast and then objectively (if you can) think about this skintrack.  Doug Krause is a snow safety expert with decades of experience and in addition to being a super smart guy that we can all learn from, I guarantee he's crushed more untracked pow than you.  Bud.  

Ha!  You keep missing MY point:  It's not "lucky" if you made the correct stability/safety assessment. And, if you accurately determine it's stable, then you do not need to apply additional avy mitigation measures. Why is that so hard to understand?  If it's stable, it doesn't matter if people ski in on you.  Just like the ski area. You keep suggesting it wasn't stable, without any actual proof.  Regardless, I promise to never put a track there, in deference to your authority, Officer Hop.
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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #79 on: 01/26/17, 06:34 PM »

Another point I think Good2Go is missing (and that is probably contributing to his irritation) is that it's not about judging this group's decision making or the outcome on a particular day, it's about what is likely to happen if people continue the habit. If one, two, or a bunch of people do get buried on a skin track there some day, EVERYONE (well, I can't really speak for everyone I guess) is going to say how stupid, tragic, and easily avoidable it was.

For one I appreciate hop's willingness to speak up and to be respectful about it.

With the growing numbers out there, there ought to be some standard protocol in these high traffic areas regarding folks skiing down on top of others who are camped out, dilly dallying, farming corn/powder/slush. My take is that I can expect people to come down on top of me anytime they like, it's my responsibility not to be below stuff I think might get me. And you never know when or where people are going to come out of the woodwork. But what the heck do you do if you climb a ridge, look into your line that you want to ski cut the top of before dropping in, and see nine people in a conga line down there? Let your conscience be your guide..

Saying things like "people getting away with stupid choices" is hardly being respectful IMO.  And, this is not a platform for broad avy education. It's somebody's TR. The OP wanted to share their joyful (and by all accounts totally safe) experience, and instead they got a stern talking to by Officer Hop.  I doubt we'll be seeing any more TRs from Pierce on here.
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #80 on: 01/26/17, 07:34 PM »

Hop,

Most of the big Alpine routes were skied in summer or early-fall conditions where there was no issue with winter snowpack. The primary reason to climb the routes was assess problems with ice and rock.



Exactly.  Which is another reason why the "climb before you ski" mentality doesn't really apply to this area in mid-winter. 
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #81 on: 01/26/17, 07:43 PM »

Saying things like "people getting away with stupid choices" is hardly being respectful IMO.  And, this is not a platform for broad avy education. It's somebody's TR. The OP wanted to share their joyful (and by all accounts totally safe) experience, and instead they got a stern talking to by Officer Hop.  I doubt we'll be seeing any more TRs from Pierce on here.

Why can't a TR that shows questionable practices also be a platform for broad avy education? 

Would you prefer this thread?  Apparently it was too offensive for some but the message is the same. 

http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=33188.0
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Gregg_C
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #82 on: 01/26/17, 08:08 PM »

After skiing in the Baker backcountry for four decades I notice an interesting trend.  Every 5-7 years a new group of skiers come along and rename all the runs and act as if they were the first ones to access Table Mountain.  All it would take is a trip into the Heather Meadows lodge to view the photos from the 1930's to show skiers ripping up the north side of Table to change their opinion.  I was out on the day in question and saw the up track and joked about the coming TAY diatribe from the so knowledgeable  new up and comers.  Looked like a great place to ski and I salute the folks for putting in a lovely skin track to access the goods.  I have done the same many times in the past. 

Long live the Seattle Skin Track!!!!
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saltydog
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #83 on: 01/26/17, 09:17 PM »

 Cheesy
After skiing in the Baker backcountry for four decades I notice an interesting trend.  Every 5-7 years a new group of skiers come along and rename all the runs and act as if they were the first ones to access Table Mountain.  All it would take is a trip into the Heather Meadows lodge to view the photos from the 1930's to show skiers ripping up the north side of Table to change their opinion.  I was out on the day in question and saw the up track and joked about the coming TAY diatribe from the so knowledgeable  new up and comers.  Looked like a great place to ski and I salute the folks for putting in a lovely skin track to access the goods.  I have done the same many times in the past. 

Long live the Seattle Skin Track!!!!

hahahahaha.... gawd. yes. this bc stuff is not safety guaranteed... the pnw is all safety safety safety... blah blah blah... case in point. bike helmet law in seattle.. wtf. it's part of the culture here. and i know coming from other parts. look at those numbers, they are tabulated and you can see. look up how many rides bike share nyc.. not a SINGLE fatality. not one. and yet seattle mandates with a fine for no helmet. you are better off wearing a helmet as a pedestrian or travel via car.... sorry digress. but pnw is obsessed. i take my own risks... and own my body.
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blackdog102395
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #84 on: 01/26/17, 09:20 PM »

We should start a pool prior to the season giving the over/under on the days before the following topics are discussed in multiple page threads:

1) Snowshoeing in the skin track
2) High risk tolerance vs. ignorance
3) The proper way to access/ski the most popular regions
4) Don't out my "secret" stash

These topics will continue to be discussed year after year.  This will never change.  I am certain.  Spending some time contemplating as to why this is the case may possibly be a better use of time than beating this dead horse for another 4 pages.

Accessing an area in the safest way possible makes sense the majority of the time.  However, some people either don't care or are ignorant in such matters.  This is not going to change.  Feel free to offer advice, but don't for a second believe anyone is obligated to listen.  Places like Bagley Lakes and Pea Gravel Ridge are a no go for me at this point in my touring career.  I am fully capable of getting myself into enough trouble without the help of others.  I want to spend my time focusing on my decision making and not worrying about the decision making of others.  As with most TAY classic diatribes, the answer is simply to go farther and further.
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Randy
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #85 on: 01/26/17, 09:26 PM »

The other higher risk choice the OP made I observed in their video was the choice to basically ski together on the decent.   If the slope had failed -- they would have both been caught up.  

Seems like both the up track choice or the choice to ski together might reflect ignorance or a high degree of confidence in the stability of the snowpack.  

Since the OP hasn't responded to this thread -- perhaps they haven't checked back or they know that there isn't much they can say.  
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #86 on: 01/26/17, 09:44 PM »

After skiing in the Baker backcountry for four decades I notice an interesting trend.  Every 5-7 years a new group of skiers come along and rename all the runs and act as if they were the first ones to access Table Mountain.  All it would take is a trip into the Heather Meadows lodge to view the photos from the 1930's to show skiers ripping up the north side of Table to change their opinion.  I was out on the day in question and saw the up track and joked about the coming TAY diatribe from the so knowledgeable  new up and comers.  Looked like a great place to ski and I salute the folks for putting in a lovely skin track to access the goods.  I have done the same many times in the past. 

Long live the Seattle Skin Track!!!!

I've been in the area half as long as you so I've seen 3-4 of your new generation of folks show up after me.  In that time I've noticed a few things, but one relevant thing is that there's been a huge increase in backcountry users.  Again, I have no problem with this because hey, it's a great spot with easy access.  Most of the new folks that I've met after I showed up have been respectful and eager to learn; I don't know who you've encountered that acted otherwise.  

While you may have been able to do whatever you wanted back in the day, there's no getting around the fact that with increased users comes increased responsibility.  You're not by yourself out there anymore and others may be affected by your actions.  Adapt or die, or kill someone else.  If you're insisting that you can just do what you want without regard to the others you may be affecting I'd say that you're the disrespectful one, not the newbies.  

Cheesy
hahahahaha.... gawd. yes. this bc stuff is not safety guaranteed... the pnw is all safety safety safety... blah blah blah... case in point. bike helmet law in seattle.. wtf. it's part of the culture here. and i know coming from other parts. look at those numbers, they are tabulated and you can see. look up how many rides bike share nyc.. not a SINGLE fatality. not one. and yet seattle mandates with a fine for no helmet. you are better off wearing a helmet as a pedestrian or travel via car.... sorry digress. but pnw is obsessed. i take my own risks... and own my body.

You can do whatever you want if you're the only one that's going to be affected.  The second you start doing stuff that may affect others, then others get a say in what you're doing.  You want a free-for-all?  Go skiing in Russia or somewhere else where nobody cares what you do.  

Question for you Seattle Skintrackers: If you get taken out from above while you're on the Seattle Skintrack, is the upper party at fault or are you?  
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Skier of the Hood
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #87 on: 01/26/17, 09:49 PM »

The immediate terrain around Table is small when compared to Connaught at Rogers Pass. As anyone who has visited recently can tell you shits wild and it is only a matter of time until Strathcona repeats itself however this time the avalanche will be human triggered. Homies dropping cornices into STS have a hard time missing when the congo line going up Connaught is 150 strong, and you have the uninitiated trying to boot up or lap the fan. Actions in crowded areas have consequences. Is it the homies dropping cornices into STS's fault that they sluffed out the people booting up the chute that they couldn't see? How about if they bury the congo line? Or what about people causing slides on any of the numerous paths that cross the Connaught skin track. These discussions happen among tribes and inform their members actions, but a greater community discussion about what is acceptable behavior may bring greater consensus. As hard as it may be for any diverse group, let alone a group that mostly communicates anonymously over the interwebs, to agree on any subject.
« Last Edit: 01/26/17, 10:16 PM by Skier of the Hood » Logged

"As we all know, the true driving force behind every early morning wake up is not necessarily safety, but the overpowering drive to be sitting on a patio by 1 pm, intoxicated, and spraying loudly about the morning's adventure."

-Andrew Wexler 2011
hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #88 on: 01/26/17, 09:56 PM »

Ha!  You keep missing MY point:  It's not "lucky" if you made the correct stability/safety assessment. And, if you accurately determine it's stable, then you do not need to apply additional avy mitigation measures. Why is that so hard to understand?  If it's stable, it doesn't matter if people ski in on you.  Just like the ski area. You keep suggesting it wasn't stable, without any actual proof.  Regardless, I promise to never put a track there, in deference to your authority, Officer Hop.

Just because you got away with something doesn't mean it was a smart decision.  Read that again so it sinks in. 

But don't take it from me. Listen to the first three episodes of Slide and learn something from an actual expert, not Officer Hop (sic).  Or don't; since you're never putting that skin track in again (for whatever reason) I'm not worried about you anymore. 
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saltydog
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #89 on: 01/26/17, 10:31 PM »

that.s the great thing about it... no rules. only your own rules. you can chose not to be there if it looks like trouble....
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hop
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #90 on: 01/26/17, 10:45 PM »

that.s the great thing about it... no rules. only your own rules. you can chose not to be there if it looks like trouble....

You might wish you were somewhere else, but you're not going anywhere if you're stuck on that skintrack heading up when someone or something happens and the slope rips on you and your party of nine. 

So I guess you're with Good2Go and Gregg_C and are ok with your fate if that happens.  Better hope your assessments are 100% spot on, including the more complex start zones above you that you haven't seen because you started from the bottom. 
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saltydog
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #91 on: 01/26/17, 10:50 PM »

You might wish you were somewhere else, but you're not going anywhere if you're stuck on that skintrack heading up when someone or something happens and the slope rips on you and your party of nine. 

So I guess you're with Good2Go and Gregg_C and are ok with your fate if that happens.  Better hope your assessments are 100% spot on, including the more complex start zones above you that you haven't seen because you started from the bottom. 

agreed! my fate is in my hands. i have no control over others actions or behaviors... (although that would be nice.) i've turned around a few times.
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freeski
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #92 on: 01/27/17, 07:59 AM »

that.s the great thing about it... no rules. only your own rules. you can chose not to be there if it looks like trouble....
do you stop at stop signs? Rules. Were you required to attend school? Rules. Well public land has rules also, oh, and laws that govern your behavior.

@greggc, we've known for awhile now that some avy instructors and some guides are part of the problem. Thanks for confirming the teaching of ignorance once again.

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C Hedges
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #93 on: 01/27/17, 09:22 AM »

It's impossible to change some bad snow behavior.  Once I suggested some snowshoers away from the steeper slopes climbers left of Pan Face in poor avy conditions - they said they would just tuck and roll.

Personally - I would not put in that track because it seems in a bad place, there are safer and more aesthetic approaches, and it acts as magnet for other skiers.  But - that's me.  I agree with the idea of ski community safety - but this tread can go on a long time with no resolution.  It is the interwebs after all.
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chuck
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #94 on: 01/27/17, 10:56 AM »

My personal Best Practices for skin track setting is as follows.
#1 Set the skin track in the safest place possible because I feel vulnerable with skins on, toes locked out and anchors on my feet. Even if this means going the long way around to my desired point of entry.
#2 Avoid  a close stacked Z track wherever possible or keep them to a minimum. Spacing is important on a skin track and in a stacked Z, impossible to achieve. The people above or below you are still in danger. On a stacked Z you can be 500 ft apart but the person above is still directly above you and both of you are in the slide path.
#3 Avoid or minimize skintrack steepness. Steep skintracks are tiring and inherently more difficult  and can cause bunching especially with groups of mixed experience.
#4 Avoid or minimize kick turns... Ditto point #3. My wife can contort her body at yoga but she can't do a nice kick turn to save her life( yet)
#5 Try and not set a skin track where skiers can come from above.
#6 Conserve good slopes.... don't set a skin track up a good slope.

This is a solid contribution to the conversation, thanks! Its like the podcast hop recommends earlier.

This season, snow safety expert Doug Krause started an excellent Avalanche podcast https://soundcloud.com/user-660921194 that covers all sorts of things from terrain and route choices, snowpack, communication, brain traps, etc.

Listening to this throughout the season has kick-started my avy thinking into high gear and prompted me to look back on my previous patterns in an objective manner. 

None of it is new info to most of us but hearing it laid out in another’s words helps it sink in.
 
Defense in depth is a security concept that is applicable to bc travel. The idea is that multiple layers of controls are placed in the system to provide redundancy in the event of a failure. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket and be able to handle a couple mistakes and still achieve your goals.

Most bc travelers focus on a route plan, the avy report and local observations as they travel. This is a fine first layer, but it is not enough. One day the report will be wrong for the location, your estimation of stability will be incorrect, conditions will change throughout the day or someone will do something terrible above you. When that happens its good to have stacked a few more layers of security in your plan.

In this thread we are talking about minimizing time exposed to danger by selecting the best, safest up-track. There are lots of other layers to add such as:
  • navigation skills & tools
  • first aid kit & ability to apply it
  • emergency response plan
  • beacon, shovel, probe
  • air bags
  • communicate your trip plan
  • descending and ascending skill
  • extra gear to survive a night out
  • extra parts & tools to repair your kit
  • healthy group communication
  • discipline to handle fear and keep steady
  • discipline to turn around
  • and the list goes on…

Most days these extra layers go unused, taking up space in your pack and mind. If you want to keep at it for years and not hang your survival on luck then you need to add layers of security to your ritual.
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rlsg
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #95 on: 01/27/17, 11:23 AM »

 I hope you see the possible wind transport issues for the clues...pits on undicator slopes that often are tucked under cornices while hucking said cornices and not be a

ble to see folks hidden below rolls who mtight be transitioning out.  When seeing crazy tracks and jumps...that screams sidecountrt to me.....farther furth@er....
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freeski
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #96 on: 01/28/17, 10:48 AM »

I've been in the area half as long as you so I've seen 3-4 of your new generation of folks show up after me.  In that time I've noticed a few things, but one relevant thing is that there's been a huge increase in backcountry users.  Again, I have no problem with this because hey, it's a great spot with easy access.  Most of the new folks that I've met after I showed up have been respectful and eager to learn; I don't know who you've encountered that acted otherwise.  

While you may have been able to do whatever you wanted back in the day, there's no getting around the fact that with increased users comes increased responsibility.  You're not by yourself out there anymore and others may be affected by your actions.  Adapt or die, or kill someone else.  If you're insisting that you can just do what you want without regard to the others you may be affecting I'd say that you're the disrespectful one, not the newbies.  

You can do whatever you want if you're the only one that's going to be affected.  The second you start doing stuff that may affect others, then others get a say in what you're doing.  You want a free-for-all?  Go skiing in Russia or somewhere else where nobody cares what you do.  

Question for you Seattle Skintrackers: If you get taken out from above while you're on the Seattle Skintrack, is the upper party at fault or are you?  
I would say that anyone dropping that line from the top still has the responsibility to ensure that they are not placing anyone below them at risk of harm.

I'm sure that you would not risk someone's life just because the party below is not acting according to best practice safety protocols.

why don't you ask the local land management to close that line to uphill travel. Sounds like the professionals at the baker ski patrol would back you up concerning the risks.

Hop, you have correctly identified an area and a problem that has public safey concerns.

I commend you for your efforts and don't worry  about the folks who do not even want to have the conversation, call you names or otherwise express their ignorance.

Their behavior reflects their charactor, not yours. But i know you this, for you are indeed a person of fine charactor and courage.
« Last Edit: 01/28/17, 11:30 AM by freeski » Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
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blackdog102395
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #97 on: 01/28/17, 12:18 PM »

The immediate terrain around Table is small when compared to Connaught at Rogers Pass. As anyone who has visited recently can tell you shits wild and it is only a matter of time until Strathcona repeats itself however this time the avalanche will be human triggered. Homies dropping cornices into STS have a hard time missing when the congo line going up Connaught is 150 strong, and you have the uninitiated trying to boot up or lap the fan. Actions in crowded areas have consequences. Is it the homies dropping cornices into STS's fault that they sluffed out the people booting up the chute that they couldn't see? How about if they bury the congo line? Or what about people causing slides on any of the numerous paths that cross the Connaught skin track. These discussions happen among tribes and inform their members actions, but a greater community discussion about what is acceptable behavior may bring greater consensus. As hard as it may be for any diverse group, let alone a group that mostly communicates anonymously over the interwebs, to agree on any subject.

Yep.  Spent four days at the pass last week with two being in the Connaught drainage.  8812 Bowl is another good example.  Their were 4 parties accessing the bowl on the last day of our trip including ourselves.  A party of two and ourselves decided to go lookers left, up through the rock band and on to Bruins Pass.  Another party of two decided to go straight up the gut of the bowl.  Yet another party accessed from Bruins Ridge. We all reached the pass within 15 minutes of each other.   We were the first party to descend with no one approaching from the bottom at the time.  However, we did not know that given the sight lines on the descent. It was mid week with not a ton of people out.  If it were a weekend or a little bit different timing, people certainly would have been descending when people were ascending.  People were continuing up the valley to Balu pass when we were descending.  So what's the right answer here?  It seems unreasonable for everyone to access 8812 bowl via Bruins Ridge.  Even if they did, people would still be traveling up the valley floor.  Don't even get me started about the Mousetrap and accessing the Asulkan valley.  

We have hit the point of no return.  There will be more and more competition for low hanging fruit.  In the busiest areas people are going to descend while people are ascending.  My only answer for this is to move farther out.  We may have not have had this problem if we went at least to Video Peak, but this was no guarantee, as this has become a "regular" tour as well.  Short winter days don't always provide a lot of opportunity for getting "out there."

As an aside, STS had a good sized cornice.  I can only imagine what would happen if that thing cut loose.
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AlpineRose
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #98 on: 01/28/17, 01:25 PM »

This is a very good discussion on the crowding issue.  A couple of heuristics are operating very strongly here:  scarcity, and the idea that if others are doing it, it must be safe (don't recall the official term for the latter). 

Increased bc crowding in popular or easy to reach areas is here to stay.  So IMO it adds another important consideration - along with everything else (weather, snowpack, temperature, precip, winds, terrain selection, etc.) which should be included as part of standard safe/safer bc protocol:  on the uphill, consider folks may be dropping in above you;  on the downhill, consider folks may be below you.  Like all other aspects of the protocol, you do what you can to mitigate risk to yourself and others.  Understand you'll never reach 100% safety.

As well, crowd management protocol should be added to bc/avy instruction. 

That uptrack in the photo?  Personally, I'd never use it.  That's just me.
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~Link~
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #99 on: 01/28/17, 07:05 PM »

Well stated. This was the mountainering ethos when i started climbing up to ski down.

I read a lot of climbing stories and those early climbers had no problems with talking about their mistakes or the mistakes of fellow climbers.

btw, the use of 'shame' is considered to a morally exceptable practice to engage in when used to try to correct behavior that has the potential to put others at increased risk of harm. It equates to tough love.

Well said.  I've been cringing far too often lately, watching the bc explode with inexperienced folks, evident by such unsafe climbing routes/selection, and/or naive descents. 

I read a thread very recently from that same area that erupted into an argument about bc etiquette.  I think etiquette and safety just about work hand-in-hand in the bc, for sure.  I really appreciate the objectivity exercised by folks in this thread.  It's not anything to be taken lightly.  Safety, pow conservation are good-neighbor practices. 

I spent years on this web site before investing in a splitboard, and then luckily got in with some great TAY all-stars and lurkers who were great examples skill and knowledge. But that's my own conation, I suppose. Before the bc, it was years of getting my riding strong/dialed before going beyond the ropes, and many hours of reading threads and studying snow science, all put forth in action as I practice this love of finding good snow and majestic terrain.  I can only encourage people to do the same but sadly, you see otherwise out there. 
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freeski
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #100 on: 01/28/17, 07:41 PM »

This is a very good discussion on the crowding issue.  A couple of heuristics are operating very strongly here:  scarcity, and the idea that if others are doing it, it must be safe (don't recall the official term for the latter). 

Increased bc crowding in popular or easy to reach areas is here to stay.  So IMO it adds another important consideration - along with everything else (weather, snowpack, temperature, precip, winds, terrain selection, etc.) which should be included as part of standard safe/safer bc protocol:  on the uphill, consider folks may be dropping in above you;  on the downhill, consider folks may be below you.  Like all other aspects of the protocol, you do what you can to mitigate risk to yourself and others.  Understand you'll never reach 100% safety.

As well, crowd management protocol should be added to bc/avy instruction. 

That uptrack in the photo?  Personally, I'd never use it.  That's just me.
Those are good points. Should rock climbers expect that a hiker may be throwing rocks down a popular climbing route and just except that as one of the risks?

Or is the hiker throwing rocks down the climbing route negligent by endangering climbers?

Is it really a free for all out there in the mountains or is it time to ask the land managers to study this growing public safety concern and offer solutions?

People won't like it, however, if popular hazardous areas are over crowded, maybe a permit should be required.

Or maybe those folks who will fully put others at risk of harm should lose public land access?

What happened to that guy who killed a climber with a rock to the head thrown from above?

And on our public roads do we except that it's our risk to assume that people will be driving drunk or texting while driving ? So just let 'em text and drive drunk.

NO. We pass laws  that try to deal with public safety concerns.
« Last Edit: 01/28/17, 08:26 PM by freeski » Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #101 on: 01/28/17, 10:40 PM »

Well said.  I've been cringing far too often lately, watching the bc explode with inexperienced folks, evident by such unsafe climbing routes/selection, and/or naive descents. 

I read a thread very recently from that same area that erupted into an argument about bc etiquette.  I think etiquette and safety just about work hand-in-hand in the bc, for sure.  I really appreciate the objectivity exercised by folks in this thread.  It's not anything to be taken lightly.  Safety, pow conservation are good-neighbor practices. 

I spent years on this web site before investing in a splitboard, and then luckily got in with some great TAY all-stars and lurkers who were great examples skill and knowledge. But that's my own conation, I suppose. Before the bc, it was years of getting my riding strong/dialed before going beyond the ropes, and many hours of reading threads and studying snow science, all put forth in action as I practice this love of finding good snow and majestic terrain.  I can only encourage people to do the same but sadly, you see otherwise out there. 

I disagree.  While etiquette and safety are tangentially related because they both impact shared users, for me they should be separate topics clearly delineated as such.  I think it's dangerous to confuse the two and would advocate strongly for their separation in discussions such as these.  Ascents and descents land squarely in the realm of safety.  It is much more important that we have meaningful discussion in these areas in an attempt to educate and gain something resembling consensus.  In contrast, etiquette is more about "playing nice" and considering other users experience outside of those related to safety.  I'll talk all day about whether the skin track in the OP is safe, but I have little tolerance for someone telling me where I can turn in an effort to conserve resources or preserve someone's perfectly sculpted turns.   Let's not confuse the two.  One topic is about keeping people alive.  The other is about the effects ones use has on the qualitative experience of others (e.g. snowshoeing in the skin track).  I understand that this is not an either/or situation.  We can discuss both, but I think talk of etiquette is a dangerous distraction in safety discussions.
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flowing alpy
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #102 on: 01/29/17, 05:03 AM »

bc etiquette enforcers are badly needed on the I-90 corridor.
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freeski
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #103 on: 01/29/17, 07:00 AM »

I disagree.  While etiquette and safety are tangentially related because they both impact shared users, for me they should be separate topics clearly delineated as such.  I think it's dangerous to confuse the two and would advocate strongly for their separation in discussions such as these.  Ascents and descents land squarely in the realm of safety.  It is much more important that we have meaningful discussion in these areas in an attempt to educate and gain something resembling consensus.  In contrast, etiquette is more about "playing nice" and considering other users experience outside of those related to safety.  I'll talk all day about whether the skin track in the OP is safe, but I have little tolerance for someone telling me where I can turn in an effort to conserve resources or preserve someone's perfectly sculpted turns.   Let's not confuse the two.  One topic is about keeping people alive.  The other is about the effects ones use has on the qualitative experience of others (e.g. snowshoeing in the skin track).  I understand that this is not an either/or situation.  We can discuss both, but I think talk of etiquette is a dangerous distraction in safety discussions.
excellent point. I once read a post somewhere where the guy was telling people not to ski over his turns simply because they were picture perfect.

That is a totally different issue then ski cutting an avalanche down on someone.
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #104 on: 01/29/17, 08:42 AM »

The thought process I try and abide by when setting a skin track is based upon the "Best Practices" protocol that we use at work to avoid killing people when engaged in complex construction work.

My personal Best Practices for skin track setting is as follows.
#1 Set the skin track in the safest place possible because I feel vulnerable with skins on, toes locked out and anchors on my feet. Even if this means going the long way around to my desired point of entry.
#2 Avoid  a close stacked Z track wherever possible or keep them to a minimum. Spacing is important on a skin track and in a stacked Z, impossible to achieve. The people above or below you are still in danger. On a stacked Z you can be 500 ft apart but the person above is still directly above you and both of you are in the slide path.
#3 Avoid or minimize sKintrack steepness. Steep skintracks are tiring and inherently more difficult  and can cause bunching especially with groups of mixed experience.
#4 Avoid or minimize kick turns... Ditto point #3. My wife can contort her body at yoga but she can't do a nice kick turn to save her life( yet)
#5 Try and not set a skin track where skiers can come from above.
#6 Conserve good slopes.... don't set a skin track up a good slope.

Those a mine, your's may be different.
I try to check every box above with my skin tracks.
When I look at the photo... I can't in all honesty tick any box.

As hop and z-bo have said... not trying to flame or troll.... just trying to cut down on your learning curve so you can continue to enjoy life and post lots of future trip reports.


Just trying to make sure this hits every page.

#7 don't expose yourself to the actions of others.

People just add another level of unpredictability. I try not to put myself in them situations in most cases in life. Work, driving BC skiing.



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scott
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #105 on: 01/29/17, 10:34 AM »

Just trying to make sure this hits every page.

#7 don't expose yourself to the actions of others.

People just add another level of unpredictability. I try not to put myself in them situations in most cases in life. Work, driving BC skiing.

Always a calculated risk...just like rock climbing/alpinism..


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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #106 on: 01/29/17, 05:36 PM »

I would say that anyone dropping that line from the top still has the responsibility to ensure that they are not placing anyone below them at risk of harm.

I'm sure that you would not risk someone's life just because the party below is not acting according to best practice safety protocols.

why don't you ask the local land management to close that line to uphill travel. Sounds like the professionals at the baker ski patrol would back you up concerning the risks.

Hop, you have correctly identified an area and a problem that has public safey concerns.

I commend you for your efforts and don't worry  about the folks who do not even want to have the conversation, call you names or otherwise express their ignorance.

Their behavior reflects their charactor, not yours. But i know you this, for you are indeed a person of fine charactor and courage.

Thank you for the support. 

I personally haven't come around the horn and encountered a party skinning up that area in a long time, mainly because I don't go there that often anymore and if I do, I try to get in and out of there before it gets all stuffed up.  I do recall being super pissed the last time - many years ago - my party got to the top and realized there were a couple handfuls of people skinning all over that area.  I recall a much more vocal member of my party yelled down to the group that we were really bummed about people were skinning up the slope and got a bunch of blank stares in return.  My party had a discussion and skied on top of them, one at a time, and then left the area.  Nowadays if that happened I'd probably just be super pissed and ski somewhere else without skiing on top of the offending parties because I'm far more uncomfortable skiing on top of other people now, but who knows - it sounds like everyone here that admits to skinning up that slope is also ok with being dropped in on and therefore assumes the risk.   Roll Eyes 

While I agree that safety and etiquette are mostly separate subjects and should probably be discussed as such, this is one area where the safety/etiquette lines blur; not only are the uptrackers exhibiting unsafe BC travel practices, they're also selfishly occupying a limited resource and forcing other users to either go somewhere else or make potentially catastrophic decisions in order to "share" the resource.  To me the safety issue is by far the larger issue. 

The last thing I, or anyone, wants is to get land managers involved.  I'd like to think that the BC population can be self-managing but maybe that's overly naive of me in this day and age.  Won't stop me from trying though. 

« Last Edit: 01/29/17, 05:40 PM by hop » Logged

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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #107 on: 01/29/17, 07:42 PM »

the greatest 'seattle skin track' starts just past LoT4.
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #108 on: 01/29/17, 08:11 PM »

The best martinis have a thin layer of ice on top and 3 olives, preferably with a garlic clove or stuffed with cheese.
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blackdog102395
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #109 on: 01/29/17, 09:20 PM »

The best martinis have a thin layer of ice on top and 3 olives, preferably with a garlic clove or stuffed with cheese.

This is the absolute truth.  Possibly the only absolute truth stated in this thread.
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flowing alpy
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #110 on: 01/30/17, 09:04 AM »

The best martinis have a thin layer of ice on top and 3 olives, preferably with a garlic clove or stuffed with cheese.
You can prove this theory while bartending @17BBI.
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #111 on: 01/30/17, 09:35 AM »

This is the absolute truth.  Possibly the only absolute truth stated in this thread.


If there was such a thing. Please realize that most of us are lying in a vat of goo suppling power to the machine world. ;-)
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #112 on: 01/30/17, 10:48 AM »

I first bought a snomo 11 years ago and had a lot of fun learning to ride it. I went to most of the snomo version of ski areas in WA to learn, and found it striking that the snomo community has a much lower perception of risk in the WA snowpack. They cover way more ground than skiers typically do, often hitting every aspect and elevation within a large area.  I came to realize that the skiing community (and NWAC - no surprise there given their mission) often grossly overestimates instability.  Granted, if you're wrong, you can die.  But, when the perception is way off the reality, it's really not all that valuable.  i would assert this is at play in this group analysis.  It was fine to put the track in that spot ON THAT DAY, as borne out by the results.  There is no evidence that the OP was "stupid" as Markharf and others assert (why people are congratulating that conclusion is beyond me) or that they "got away with something".  Should you put an uptrack in that spot when there is instability above?  Nope.  But the OP accurately assessed the risk ON THAT DAY and skied it without incident.  You guys/girls are adamant that it's never safe to lap that spot, but that's complete BS. Hop could of made his/her point by simply saying that more people could enjoy that slope if everybody used the "MT Baker Pro Patrol Approved/Hop Mentor Certified/Bagley Police Mandated" uptrack down the way.  I know this will come a shock to some of you, but your so-called "wisdom" may not be wanted, needed or appreciated by the OP.  I know I found it obnoxious. 

A lower perception of risk doesn't make it a more accurate perception of risk.  And the snowmobile community is probably not a good example of good habits in avalanche terrain, especially not the snowmo-ski community.  At least most of the real slednecks that I know are willing to spend the money on airbags and are asking for better avalanche education options for sledders. 

The last numbers that I saw indicated that the overall backcountry skier deaths are catching up to the overall sledder deaths now.  Previously more sledders died than skiers but in my experience skiers are doing a better job of getting educated and have more resources available easily for education.
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #113 on: 01/30/17, 11:23 AM »



If there was such a thing. Please realize that most of us are lying in a vat of goo suppling power to the machine world. ;-)
I wish that the beings who  are using us as batteries  would send in an illusion of one of those winters with well over 100" of snow depth on the  Snoqualmie telemetry and non-stop powder days in the big trees up thattaway.

But yeah, different people will make different decisions as to how they balance risk avoidance versus other goals.  One hopes that we all are at least factoring in the likely risks as part of the analysis. My impression is that the good discussion that has been  part of this thread has gone through at least a few circles at this point and that the recent useful observations aren't for the most part brand new to the thread...
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freeski
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #114 on: 01/30/17, 02:38 PM »

A lower perception of risk doesn't make it a more accurate perception of risk.  And the snowmobile community is probably not a good example of good habits in avalanche terrain, especially not the snowmo-ski community.  At least most of the real slednecks that I know are willing to spend the money on airbags and are asking for better avalanche education options for sledders. 

The last numbers that I saw indicated that the overall backcountry skier deaths are catching up to the overall sledder deaths now.  Previously more sledders died than skiers but in my experience skiers are doing a better job of getting educated and have more resources available easily for education.

I'd guess that there are more skiiers venturing into avy and avy terrain start zones then snowmobiles.

We also go out on storms days where avys can and do happen in the tree line glades and terrain traps. Some folks even head to more serious avy terrain during high hazard.

Snowmobiles have a hard time in deep powder and no base.

You have to be a very skilled snowmobiler to get up into high places off the road. The numbers can't be that high.

On the other hand, you do not have to be a skilled skier to go anywhere in the bc and that number is increasing. Thanks to new ski tech.

I think we need to be clear in no uncertain terms. Don't put  risk on me, we don't like.

hop, you identified a public safety concern and i will send this thread to your local fs. Could you print the address.
 
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #115 on: 01/30/17, 04:06 PM »


I'd guess that there are more skiiers venturing into avy and avy terrain start zones then snowmobiles.

We also go out on storms days where avys can and do happen in the tree line glades and terrain traps. Some folks even head to more serious avy terrain during high hazard.

Snowmobiles have a hard time in deep powder and no base.

You have to be a very skilled snowmobiler to get up into high places off the road. The numbers can't be that high.

On the other hand, you do not have to be a skilled skier to go anywhere in the bc and that number is increasing. Thanks to new ski tech.

I think we need to be clear in no uncertain terms. Don't put  risk on me, we don't like.

hop, you identified a public safety concern and i will send this thread to your local fs. Could you print the address.
 

I bet the average snowmobiler on a typical day gets into more start zones/day than the average skier.

New mountain sleds are very capable and the snowbikes can get even more places that the sleds can't go.  The biggest sleds these days have 173" tracks and float pretty well on the deepest snow we see around here.

Storms don't slow the sled crowd down, it just changes where they go.  Most sledders will stay off the Easton glacier in flat light but that just means spending the day in the trees or heading to Glacier Creek or Canyon Creek.  Maybe half of my days on a sled are storm days and I consider myself a fair weather sledder.

I'm not sure what the numbers look like for either user group, you could pull sled registration numbers but that doesn't tell the entire story.  I do know that parking areas are full at any of the sled zones around here on any given weekend just like the upper lot at Heather Meadows is packed full of people who can't seem to park any better than they can set skin tracks before 9am on the weekends.

That said, your line of thinking is all the more reason that sledders are a bad example to follow, especially if they are getting killed at a higher rate.  I know the overall number of deaths per year is higher in the sled community than the ski community and you might be right that there are less sledders exposed to danger than skiers.
« Last Edit: 01/30/17, 04:11 PM by Jason4 » Logged

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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #116 on: 01/30/17, 04:23 PM »

Just to fact check myself I played a bit with the link below:
http://avalanche.state.co.us/accidents/statistics-and-reporting/

At first the numbers look like the skiers are getting into avalanches more but that's with data going back to the 1950s.  If you deselect all years and then start adding them back in from 1995 to 2016 it doesn't look so good for sledders.  Then start taking the number back out from 1995 to 2016 and it looks like the number shift dramatically towards more skiers than sledder per year 2009 or 2010, the same time that our economy turned down and people couldn't buy new sleds and probably didn't get out as much as they used to.  I'm implying causation but really can't say much more than to suggest a correlation.  Either way, too many people are dying in avalanches every year.
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #117 on: 01/30/17, 05:21 PM »

My point was ( and i don't think i was clear) that seems like more snowmo deaths per number of user days for the skilled riders able to access avy terrain than skier deaths per number of user days (bc  and side country skiers).

And of course, snowmo's stress the snowpack more, so more likely to trigger an avy.
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #118 on: 01/30/17, 06:11 PM »

Thanks for the great video and picture, don't let all the "discussion" keep you from poasting more of those great photos or video edits.
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Stefan
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #119 on: 01/31/17, 09:43 AM »

Maybe these people knew what they were doing.

Maybe they evaluated the risk being below the top of a potential skier and decided that was the risk they would be willing to take to do these laps.

It is their risk.
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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #120 on: 01/31/17, 11:51 AM »

Maybe these people knew what they were doing.

Maybe they evaluated the risk being below the top of a potential skier and decided that was the risk they would be willing to take to do these laps.

It is their risk.

That's crazy talk Stefan!  It's axiomatic that they couldn't know what they're doing, because what they were doing conflicted with Hop's safety rules.  PERIOD!  (Sean Spicer style.) 

For my part, I'm glad this string is still going.  Helps the codgers get all the spray out of their system.  Carry on fellas!
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Scotsman
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #121 on: 01/31/17, 01:06 PM »

Helps the codgers get all the spray out of their system. 
URBAN DICTIONARY
Codger
The origin of codger seems to lie in the complex links between cadger and codger (not as a contraction of 'coffin-dodger', as one of my more inventive correspondents has suggested). In some parts of England the two words were used interchangeably, whereas in other regions they were separate words, one meaning 'beggar' and the other 'eccentric/grotesque fellow'. The latter meaning is the one used in an early example of 'old codger', David Garrick's farce Bon Ton, 1775:

"My Lord's servants call you an old out-of-fashion'd Codger."

Men who had fallen on hard times and had resorted to any means possible to keep body and soul together were often those who were too old to find work. A cadger was likely to be a grizzled character wanting to borrow or steal from you; a codger was a peculiar and unfashionable chap, and both were likely to be old. 'Old codger' is most likely to be the linguistic merging of all those images.
David Garrick's farce Bon Ton, 1775:

"My Lord's servants call you an old out-of-fashion'd Codger."
#old fart #old bloke #doddering twat #cadger

I think I prefer "doddering twat" personally.
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dberdinka
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #122 on: 01/31/17, 03:49 PM »

Either way, too many people are dying in avalanches every year.

737 American's die ever year falling out of bed.   So I'm happy to take my chances in the backcountry.   

 I'm of the Greg Cronn school of thought that on a stable day a skin track up Table is a great way to farm pow.  These guys were out 36 hours after a nice dump with moderate winds.  Conditions were stable! They were good to go!  Seems like a lot of new folks in the backcountry have a very "paint by numbers" approach to risk assessment where this or that behavior or ski line is always problematic with regards to actual conditions.  Hopefully they develop a more nuanced approach with time.

An interesting corollary!   A friend of a friend dropped into the north face of Table using Hops designated approach several days after this TR.   An individual ascending the offending skin track BLEW UP on them for dropping in above his party.  This strikes me as equally ridiculous.  If they weren't comfortable with that probability then this particular skin track was the last place they should be.     

In the end you need to make an appropriate decision FOR YOURSELF and stop stressing over your inability to control the decisions others will make.     Basically get up 45 minutes earlier and get the hell out of Bagely Lakes Basin.

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freeski
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #123 on: 01/31/17, 06:13 PM »

737 American's die ever year falling out of bed.   So I'm happy to take my chances in the backcountry.   

 I'm of the Greg Cronn school of thought that on a stable day a skin track up Table is a great way to farm pow.  These guys were out 36 hours after a nice dump with moderate winds.  Conditions were stable! They were good to go!  Seems like a lot of new folks in the backcountry have a very "paint by numbers" approach to risk assessment where this or that behavior or ski line is always problematic with regards to actual conditions.  Hopefully they develop a more nuanced approach with time.

An interesting corollary!   A friend of a friend dropped into the north face of Table using Hops designated approach several days after this TR.   An individual ascending the offending skin track BLEW UP on them for dropping in above his party.  This strikes me as equally ridiculous.  If they weren't comfortable with that probability then this particular skin track was the last place they should be.     

In the end you need to make an appropriate decision FOR YOURSELF and stop stressing over your inability to control the decisions others will make.     Basically get up 45 minutes earlier and get the hell out of Bagely Lakes Basin.


There's a reason why some of us old codgers are still codgering, after hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds or so tours.

Maybe the op will share the snow profile and test results in the start zones that day with all of us. Maybe it was just to dangerous to top out from the bowl that day, don't know.

i am puzzled (us codger get puzzled from time to time) as to why the professionals at the baker patrol don't recommend people putting in skin tracks in avy terrain, when that terrain can be avoided? 
 
and why would a commercial avy instructor think it's ok?

curious and curiouser, tea any one?
« Last Edit: 01/31/17, 06:16 PM by freeski » Logged

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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #124 on: 01/31/17, 06:54 PM »

As Poet Laureate of TAY this wonderful thread has inspired me to compose the " Ballard of the Seattle Skintrack."

To be sung to the classic Monty Pythons " I'm a Lumberjack and I'm OK"

I'm a Millennial and I don't care, I'll put my skintrack anywhere,
the old codgers have got their panties in a twist,
They don't recognize how good I am at assessing risk.

Chorus.
" He's a special snowflake and he don't care, he'll put his skintrack anywhere.

I'm a Millennial and I don't care, I'll put my skintrack anywhere,
I've got a new air-bag pack, fat skis and and avalanche beacon,
the old codgers are just jealous of my disposable income.

Chorus
"He's a special snowflake and he don't care, he'll put his skintrack anywhere.

I'm a Millennial and I don't care, I'll put my skintrack anywhere,
the old codgers think they are helping by giving advice,
but it triggers my hurt feelings and thats not nice.

Chorus
" He's a special snowflake and he don't care, he'll put his skintrack anywhere,

I'm a Millennial and I don't care, I'll put my skintrack anywhere,
I'll ski where I want and I go to the backcountry to be free,
forget others in the area, don't you understand ,this is all about ME!

Final Chorus
" He's a special snowflake and he don't care, he'll put his skintrack anywhere!"
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Good2Go
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #125 on: 01/31/17, 07:08 PM »

Ha!  Any way you can work in "participation trophy" into those lyrics? 
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #126 on: 01/31/17, 07:25 PM »

Ha!  Any way you can work in "participation trophy" into those lyrics? 

Thanks for the feedback.... I'll try.

I'm a Millennial and I don't care, I'll put my skintrack anywhere,
the old codgers keep saying that skintrack setting is an art practiced by few,
but the participation trophy I got from my Mom says that's not true.
Huh?
Not feeling it... but at least I tried.
« Last Edit: 01/31/17, 08:01 PM by Scotsman » Logged

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blackdog102395
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #127 on: 01/31/17, 08:09 PM »

 

In the end you need to make an appropriate decision FOR YOURSELF and stop stressing over your inability to control the decisions others will make.     Basically get up 45 minutes earlier and get the hell out of Bagely Lakes Basin.



While discussions like this can have positive outcomes on peoples' future decisions and justify the effort, the above quote is the only reasonable conclusion.  This thing could go on for 30 more pages and we could rehash the same arguments with the occasional bit of enlightenment thrown in and I would still arrive at dberdinka's conclusion and take it up a notch.  Don't go to Bagley Lakes, especially on the weekend with fresh snow and good visibility.   Again, I can get into plenty of trouble all by myself.  I don't need help from others.  Backcountry risk assessment is difficult enough without having to factor in the behavior of other users. Throw in a fellow codger yelling at me about my slightly imperfect turns brushing the bottom of his supple S turns and I'll be the guy a few ridges over. 
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bigeo
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #128 on: 01/31/17, 08:51 PM »

So glad to see the humor of this thread rise to the top at long last. For awhile, I thought I was the only one laughing. Nothing left of this dead horse to flog. Move along.
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hillybilly
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #129 on: 01/31/17, 11:48 PM »

While discussions like this can have positive outcomes on peoples' future decisions and justify the effort, the above quote is the only reasonable conclusion.  This thing could go on for 30 more pages and we could rehash the same arguments with the occasional bit of enlightenment thrown in and I would still arrive at dberdinka's conclusion and take it up a notch.  Don't go to Bagley Lakes, especially on the weekend with fresh snow and good visibility.   Again, I can get into plenty of trouble all by myself.  I don't need help from others.  Backcountry risk assessment is difficult enough without having to factor in the behavior of other users. Throw in a fellow codger yelling at me about my slightly imperfect turns brushing the bottom of his supple S turns and I'll be the guy a few ridges over. 

Best comment in the whole thread. I've been watching these kinds of TAY discussions for years and believe it is a key factor in discouraging specific types of participation. So many assumptions made about the OP. So much virtue signalling and pontificating. So much assertions over what is "safe", "dangerous" or what exactly is in an aiare level 1 course and how black and white these "rules" all of the sudden are.

You are responsible for yourself. If you encounter someone making a bad decisions that may put you or your party at risk I advise going another route. You don't need to march up to them and lecture them on the side of the mountain and you don't need to come vehemently fuming on TAY in an effort to virtue signal. Proving to yourself and the world how much more experienced you think you are in the BC.

Besides given the area it is like complaining about snowshoers walking to Snow Lake without beacon/shovel/probe. Stupid? Yes but you won't stop them. Don't like it? Get further out!
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #130 on: 01/31/17, 11:58 PM »

There's a reason why some of us old codgers are still codgering, after hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds or so tours.

Maybe the op will share the snow profile and test results in the start zones that day with all of us. Maybe it was just to dangerous to top out from the bowl that day, don't know.

And we know that a snow profile on that slope won't represent the wind slab concern near the complex convex at the top of the slope which, I believe, was the detailed forecast by NWAC that day. A snow pit is but one single data point that should be used in a collection of data points for one's decisions making process.

Quote
i am puzzled (us codger get puzzled from time to time) as to why the professionals at the baker patrol don't recommend people putting in skin tracks in avy terrain, when that terrain can be avoided? 

Well old cogger you probably know that any skiable slope is "avy terrain". The only way to avoid it is to not ski. Smiley
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freeski
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #131 on: 02/03/17, 07:32 AM »

And we know that a snow profile on that slope won't represent the wind slab concern near the complex convex at the top of the slope which, I believe, was the detailed forecast by NWAC that day. A snow pit is but one single data point that should be used in a collection of data points for one's decisions making process.

Well old cogger you probably know that any skiable slope is "avy terrain". The only way to avoid it is to not ski. Smiley
My point that you quoted was one that hop made about the baker pro patrol not recommending that skin tracks be placed in that bowl considering that a way less exposed route exists to the top, where an ongoing stabilty assessment can be conducted in relative safety.

I contrasted that to the opinion that a commercial avy instructor made here (at least i think he ''teaches''). The avy instructor applauded the more risky route in a popular area that will likely have people above you in avalanche start zones.

What does that say about our current state of the guiding and teaching industry?

Does it say money talks, so yes we will take your large group into avy terrain on dangeous days and do our best to keep your group alive while we igor best practice safety protocol.

just look at the industry record of client and guide multiple burials, injury and deaths.

Guide Ken Wiley, out with his large guided group, had multiple deaths and he survived a deep 30 minute burial. He waited two years after his personal liability timed out, got his full cert guide prize, and wrote a book called 'buried' and blamed his boss.

It was ken's decision to go up a slope that had people above him (his bosses group) on a dangerous day and the result was tragic. Is someone who makes these bad choices, that get people killed really qualified to continue guiding or 'teaching'?

The industry says yes, let's make 'em a full cert guide. The industry makes a lot of money training guides.

And the avy instructor here basically says, yea, go for it, hooray for making bad choices, hooray for the 'seattle skin track'.

We humans are great at filtering out information when it does not support our desire.

'' a man hears what he wants to hear and disreguards the rest'' simon and garfunkel
« Last Edit: 02/03/17, 08:29 AM by freeski » Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
skykilo
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #132 on: 02/03/17, 02:44 PM »

This thread is apparently so important that it ate the two February trip reports. 

Edit: they are there when I look but only when logged in.  Buddy couldn't see it from link.  Oh well.
« Last Edit: 02/03/17, 02:50 PM by skykilo » Logged
rlsg
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #133 on: 02/03/17, 03:52 PM »

Better than Jerry Springer ...which is really good!
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sconey
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #134 on: 02/04/17, 08:13 AM »

Now is the winter of our bliss and content
Made inglorious summer by this din of snork
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wickstad
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #135 on: 02/04/17, 08:44 PM »

Zig zags and big bags.
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freeski
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #136 on: 02/05/17, 07:48 AM »

Now is the winter of our bliss and content
Made inglorious summer by this din of snork
yet i am drawn to it like a glorious sunset

this virtual place  i choose to inhabit and blame for my worldly woes
« Last Edit: 02/05/17, 07:59 AM by freeski » Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
rlsg
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #137 on: 02/05/17, 11:21 AM »

yet i am drawn to it like a glorious sunset

this virtual place  i choose to inhabit and blame for my worldly woes



Could be worse?
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freeski
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #138 on: 02/07/17, 10:19 AM »



Could be worse?
yea, we could be living in a county with a dictatorship where people are oppressed and not free to openly express their views. (note: the author could be using sarcasm)

At least we have the illusion of freedom in this virtual vat of goo. ;-)

And now we got snow, a like form and structure to our true
selves. Get it while it lasts.

and now for a possible solution.

after our local guides almost killed a client in an area where they knew about a reactive pwl, and thinking that tiptoeing around it works as an avy mitigation method, and after seeing that the avy debris piled on their skin track in 5 or so different places, --


   
« Last Edit: 02/07/17, 10:39 AM by freeski » Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
freeski
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #139 on: 02/07/17, 10:35 AM »

we, the seasoned locals started to make sure that our skin tracks were located in as safe a location as possible, even when we assumed it was safe to ram one up through the avy terrain.

we figured folks that were less seasoned and the local guides  would poach our skin tracks and learn the routes. It's working.

i just completed a tour on a dangerous day where a total of 15 people in 5 different groups were skiing avy terrain and no one was on a skin track that had people above them.

same area where the local guides gave their client post tramatic stress.

the route now follows a lower angle treed ridge.

Lead by example.

« Last Edit: 02/07/17, 10:46 AM by freeski » Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
rlsg
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #140 on: 02/07/17, 01:41 PM »

I've been training my neighbors...different skill set but life is better. sometimes you just have to take the lead and be the trainer...
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pipedream
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Re: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps
« Reply #141 on: 02/12/17, 08:18 PM »

What's that saying about trash in the backcountry again?

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Moral of story is don't ski when you can snowboard
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