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

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
11/18/17, 05:22 PM

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


NWAC Avalanche
Forecast
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  Hot Air
| |-+  Random Tracks: posts that don't fit elsewhere
| | |-+  Avalanche Potential Mapping
:
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Print
Author Topic: Avalanche Potential Mapping  (Read 911 times)
davidG
Member
Offline

Posts: 923


Avalanche Potential Mapping
« on: 09/01/17, 01:39 PM »

Well, saw this announcement, not live yet.. Can guess where the data comes from.. They do an interesting job on fire mapping, so maybe this will be of interest. Avalanche potential
Logged

"Maybe we should ban hikers from anywhere that there is a potential threat to surface water?" [courtesy Newtrout, 2011]

"Good for you for getting it and thank goodness I wasn't there with you." [courtesy mikerolfs, 2014]
PhilH
Member
Offline

Posts: 132


Re: Avalanche Potential Mapping
« Reply #1 on: 09/03/17, 06:17 AM »

Thanks for the link. The fire mapping is very interesting.
Logged
hefeweizen
Member
Offline

Posts: 115


Re: Avalanche Potential Mapping
« Reply #2 on: 09/24/17, 09:47 AM »

I have some reservations about this and will be curious to see what they roll out. The "fire mapping" product appears to simply pull off the InciWeb site, I fail to see how it is any different than simply visiting that provider.

Will this product simply be an overlay of slope angle shading similar to what CalTopo already does? Or will be it be NWAC/Regional Avalanche Center's forecast overlayed? A combination of the two? What I don't want to see is any sort of product that the general public may unintentionally rely on to tell them what is "safe" terrain. People love to use technology to make their lives easier, but it's possible that this will encourage folks to shortcut the trip planning process of their travel in avalanche terrain, which I think is a very important step that deserves active consideration.  If they are going to put someone else's existing forecast over a map and call it a new product, what is the point? That will only serve to confuse users.
Logged
CookieMonster
Member
Offline

Posts: 523


WWW
Re: Avalanche Potential Mapping
« Reply #3 on: 10/16/17, 10:39 PM »

I agree with hefeweizen, only I'm not prepared to be nearly as charitable in my remarks!

This is a spectacularly bad idea, and worse, it's absolutely and totally unsupported by science. That makes it pseudo-science, which is harmless at best, and dangerous at worst.

With respect to mapping 'avalanche potential', there is one particular source of uncertainty that must be absolutely respected:

* Uncertainty due to incremental changes to the snowpack across space and time.

Even if you have high-resolution stratigraphy for a fairly large area ( which they won't ) and the results of numerous tests, including shear frame tests, ice grain analysis, etc. ( which they won't ), and even if you collect astoundingly meticulous records, you simply cannot make a prediction for anything larger than a single slope. As just about everyone here already knows, it's debatable if you can even use this information to make a safe prediction for a single slope.

But once someone takes this information and makes a map from it, it gains an air of certainty and respectability that it most certainly does not deserve.

A few years ago, NWAC introduced a feature on their web site that overlaid the public avalanche forecast onto maps of the forecast area. I wrote a blog post critical of the idea, and my thoughts haven't changed.

http://avalanchesafety.blogspot.com/2012/04/pseudoscience.html

It wasn't a good idea when NWAC did it, and there is no chance in hell that this outfit is more qualified than NWAC.
Logged

peteyboy
Member
Offline

Posts: 286


Re: Avalanche Potential Mapping
« Reply #4 on: 10/16/17, 11:46 PM »

Not interested in a pile-on slam, BUT.... yes, I agree, the cultural thirst for information (like easy access) may render this product more harmful than good.  But what I feel I must mention is that the fire map shows no fires within 100 miles of Santa Rosa, CA today.
Logged
RonL
Member
Offline

Posts: 490


Re: Avalanche Potential Mapping
« Reply #5 on: 10/17/17, 06:43 AM »

I don't know cookie. I think the nwac maps have to have some positive role in mitigating risk in some of their audience. I imagine a lot of people on the red days choose lifts or another activity. Too many considerable days with great trip reports from the lot of us probably creates a confusing grey area. Maybe some more specific definitions based on snow profiles would make the changing of stoplight maps more useful?
Logged
davidG
Member
Offline

Posts: 923


Re: Avalanche Potential Mapping
« Reply #6 on: 10/17/17, 07:50 AM »

I noticed that, too, Petey.  And more interestingly that Inciweb had nothing either, and agreeing with Hefe that Inciweb is the go-to compiling authority and provides probably most of the data for this project.
But I'm still going to reserve judgement on how the avy map comes down.  I get what Cookie is saying, but I can't imagine these guys just painting red, yellow, or green across the State..  I like the idea of a single broad map, clickable, that takes you to authoritative info, whether it be from NWAC or any of the other Pro offiices, without opening and closing a dozen pages.  Are more easily accessible INFO and safety mutually exclusive?  Hell yeah, pile on, but maybe with ideas on how to make a broad scale system useful and successful.

eta grammar correction..
« Last Edit: 10/17/17, 11:36 AM by davidG » Logged

"Maybe we should ban hikers from anywhere that there is a potential threat to surface water?" [courtesy Newtrout, 2011]

"Good for you for getting it and thank goodness I wasn't there with you." [courtesy mikerolfs, 2014]
Pages: [1] | Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Login with username, password and session length

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

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

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


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