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11/24/17, 02:20 PM

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Author Topic: NWAC Pro or no-pro.. what would you do?  (Read 1248 times)
mikerolfs
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NWAC Pro or no-pro.. what would you do?
« on: 09/21/17, 10:36 PM »

Last year at NWAC, not attending the pro session killed the day for me. Mostly what I remember from last year was "...and we covered that in the PRO session", and "...if you'd been in the PRO session, you'd have really heard a good story". There was plenty of good stuff in the general admission session, for sure, but it felt second class. I'd forgotten how that made me feel until I clicked "tickets" today on the NWAC sign-up site and was faced once again with the "PRO" v "General Admission" choice. So... what to do!?

I'm no pro. I'm a pure recreationalist. But I spend more time skiing than my mountain rescue friends, who are pros. I'm fully conflicted by this.

Pro or General Admission? Do I "Pose", or do I stew over being shut out from the serious conversation. Or do I just skip it?
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jtack
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Re: NWAC Pro or no-pro.. what would you do?
« Reply #1 on: 09/22/17, 07:25 AM »

I'm in the same boat, I am sure no pro, and would feel out of place in that forum. In years past one of the best parts of NSAW was sitting in the room hearing all the rich discussion that came from that environment. Frustrated to see the same setup again.
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flowing alpy
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Re: NWAC Pro or no-pro.. what would you do?
« Reply #2 on: 09/22/17, 11:32 AM »

by all means go pro, invite Silas.
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jtack
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Re: NWAC Pro or no-pro.. what would you do?
« Reply #3 on: 11/05/17, 07:50 AM »

As it turned out, I went for the pro. Should have stayed in bed, and waited for the talks on Wolverines and red alge.  Had lunch with Silas, he was wiser (of course) and came at the end for a beer and to visit.
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flowing alpy
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Re: NWAC Pro or no-pro.. what would you do?
« Reply #4 on: 11/05/17, 12:18 PM »

one outta two's not bad assuming you learned something from one
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Blizz Mountain
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Re: NWAC Pro or no-pro.. what would you do?
« Reply #5 on: 11/05/17, 04:07 PM »

"....Should have stayed in bed, and waited for the talks on Wolverines and red alge"   yeah...the two talks that I originally thought I'd skip ended up being the most interesting...right?   

There definitely was a good lesson  'buried' in the Phantom avalanche at Alpental years ago... what for literally hundreds of years can be considered a 'safe zone' can become an epic catastrophic avalanche when the conditions are right.
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freeski
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Re: NWAC Pro or no-pro.. what would you do?
« Reply #6 on: 11/13/17, 10:03 AM »

Concerning exclusionary meeting practices.  NWAC is administrated by the USFS and therefore as a publicly administrated agency needs to be transparent.

I suspect most of this lack of transparency occurs because the commercial interests on public land desire to talk about Avalanche incidents in private.

As many people at TAY know I have been advocating for a requirement by the public land managing agencies to require that all Guide\ Outfitters who  operate under  special use permits on public land make available to any potential clients their safety records. A client has a right to know this information in order to make proper risk analysis.

Case in point. Many years ago there was a skier fatality up in Canada at a place known as Fairy Meadows.

Since a person on that tour was from my town the story quickly circulated as hearsay.

Apparently the group was out late skinning up where wet snow slides where a probability. An avalanche occurred above of the members of the group and carried a skier into a crack where the snow had pulled away from the rocks. That skier was quickly buried under an amount of snow that would have been nearly impossible to dig through in time to save the life of the skier.

The story went on, this was apparently a guided group out of one of the Huts up in Canada.

If the story was true I knew the guide. 

Friends of mine and myself had encountered the guide out late on several occasions during heated spring days in our area. We were heading out while the guide was starting up and naturally we expressed our concerns to the guide. We were seeing a bad habit that could have serious consequences.

So my research continued and it was pretty clear that this story was not going to be told to the General Public. I even requested information from the British Columbia coroner's office only to be repeatedly told that the file had not been released.

I did come across an obscure reference   at another Avalanche Center where they  apparently hold exclusionary private commercial meetings. Apparently this fairy Meadows incident was discussed, but that's all the information that was given. Zero transparency.

The implications of this are that commercial guides can and do hide Avalanche incidents and even fatalities from the General Public and potential clients. It's a private club.

That is of course if the story is true. That ambiguity is supported by the Avalanche Centers, and it's being done in the interest of the commercial users who believe that disclosing their safety records is bad for business.

Well maybe it is. Maybe guides will stop killing themselves and their clients if their safety records come under scrutiny.

Being held accountable has a habit of changing behavior for the better.

But hey let's keep our head in the sand and maintain the illusion that a bunch of folks who have a high tolerance for risk and are willing to pass that risk on to others for the sake of money and ego are gods of the mountains. Yes you should worship them.

Just imagine if the commercial airline industry operated by hiding it's accidents from their potential customers. But they don't, they are professionals.



« Last Edit: 11/13/17, 12:15 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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snoqpass
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Re: NWAC Pro or no-pro.. what would you do?
« Reply #7 on: 11/13/17, 06:35 PM »

The pro session was about mentoring not covering up incidents from the public
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mikerolfs
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Re: NWAC Pro or no-pro.. what would you do?
« Reply #8 on: 11/13/17, 07:25 PM »

I sent email to organizer and asked if I could attend and the response was "yes". 
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peteyboy
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Re: NWAC Pro or no-pro.. what would you do?
« Reply #9 on: 11/14/17, 12:18 AM »

The question perhaps we should all/each ask ourselves when unsure what choice to take, in avy terrain, in the field or in life, perhaps should be "WWMRD?"
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