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Author Topic: January 21, Table Mountain Area Laps  (Read 18184 times)
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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hop
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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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Scotsman
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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.
« Last Edit: 01/25/17, 07:07 PM by Scotsman » Logged

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aaron_wright
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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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markharf
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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
C Hedges
hop
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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

It doesn't matter where you've been as long as it was deep.
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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Posts: 132


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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