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Outrageously Good Powder Skiing at Jackson Hole - 1-19-2011 - Page 2

post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

Sounds like a bad shift to me...I think having the gear is a good thing, but should be looked at like car or health insurance in that you hope you never have to use it...lots of dead guys have been wearing transceivers and a few recently that had airbags (but may not have deployed them)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

SAWEET!  as always, you rock.  Awesome photography. I also noticed the ABS pack, not to hijack, but are you seeing a lot more of these this season?   Looks like a dream day.


The JH ski patrol and guides are required to wear ABS packs this winter, essentially whenever they are on duty.  So, there are a lot of ABS packs on the tram on any given day.  To answer the question more directly, though, I'm also seeing lots and lots of "civilians" wearing ABS packs this winter.  I'm also seeing WAY more Avalungs than ever before, including quite a few guys who are wearing both Avalungs and ABS packs.

 

I think it brings up an interesting question about whether there has been a complete turnabout in how "snow safety" is being approached these days.  When I was going through my early avalanche and snow safety training (admittedly a long time ago now) practically all of the emphasis was on stability analysis and route selection, with the goal being to never get in an avalanche in the first place.  Snow technology has progressed so much from the basics of better shovels and probes through increasingly more sophisticated and easier-to-use transceivers to the Avalung and now the ABS bags.  I think the emphasis has definitely shifted from avalanche AVOIDANCE to avalanche SURVIVAL.  I'm now seeing people ski lines and conditions that make me just shake my head and watch in awe.

 

That shift is a hard one for me to figure out since I am terrified of being being buried under tons of snow, but I think the mindset is definitely out there to push the envelope further than ever before and trust that the gadgets are going to save you if you get caught.

 

 


I agree.  I wonder what the JH guides who have been caught and injured in a avi think about that change in philosophy. I met and skied with AJ the year after he broke his legs in a slide.  

 

Mike

post #32 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

Sounds like a bad shift to me...I think having the gear is a good thing, but should be looked at like car or health insurance in that you hope you never have to use it...lots of dead guys have been wearing transceivers and a few recently that had airbags (but may not have deployed them)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

SAWEET!  as always, you rock.  Awesome photography. I also noticed the ABS pack, not to hijack, but are you seeing a lot more of these this season?   Looks like a dream day.


The JH ski patrol and guides are required to wear ABS packs this winter, essentially whenever they are on duty.  So, there are a lot of ABS packs on the tram on any given day.  To answer the question more directly, though, I'm also seeing lots and lots of "civilians" wearing ABS packs this winter.  I'm also seeing WAY more Avalungs than ever before, including quite a few guys who are wearing both Avalungs and ABS packs.

 

I think it brings up an interesting question about whether there has been a complete turnabout in how "snow safety" is being approached these days.  When I was going through my early avalanche and snow safety training (admittedly a long time ago now) practically all of the emphasis was on stability analysis and route selection, with the goal being to never get in an avalanche in the first place.  Snow technology has progressed so much from the basics of better shovels and probes through increasingly more sophisticated and easier-to-use transceivers to the Avalung and now the ABS bags.  I think the emphasis has definitely shifted from avalanche AVOIDANCE to avalanche SURVIVAL.  I'm now seeing people ski lines and conditions that make me just shake my head and watch in awe.

 

That shift is a hard one for me to figure out since I am terrified of being being buried under tons of snow, but I think the mindset is definitely out there to push the envelope further than ever before and trust that the gadgets are going to save you if you get caught.

 

 


I agree.  I wonder what the JH guides who have been caught and injured in a avi think about that change in philosophy. I met and skied with AJ the year after he broke his legs in a slide.  

 

Mike


I may have inadvertently given the impression about WHO is participating in what I perceive as a shift in snow safety emphasis from avalanche avoidance to avalanche survival.

 

I don't think for an instant that the JH Guides (or ski patrol) are representative of that kind of shift in attitude.  I still occasionally ski with several of the guides and I know for certain that they don't want any part of having clients ever get caught in a slab avalanche.  They communicate with each other constantly via radio throughout the day and report any suspicious snow activity so that all of them will be aware of dangerous conditions.  

 

I've not really asked any of the patrollers or guides how they feel about the ABS bags.  All I know is that they are required to wear them while working and therefore they do.

 

The "attitude shift" that I was referring to is more in the general skier population around here.  On an average tram ride on a powder day, I probably see three or four ABS packs and at least that many Avalungs (often both on the same person).  To me, there's two ways of looking at a person who's doing that; one way is that they're extraordinarily safety conscious and want to avail themselves of every advantage they can get, and the second way is that they're more willing to push the envelope on snow safety with the hope that if they get caught the high-tech safety items will help save their lives.

 

It's a very interesting question because there's no doubt that people (here in Jackson anyway) are skiing more and more lines - during and right after storms - that I would never have considered and still don't.  For the most part, there have been very few incidents where the envelope-pushers have been caught in slides.  One conclusion from that is that they're having more fun than I am and they're correctly calculating their risks.    

post #33 of 40

Bob, sorry if I gave the impression that the guides might be part of the trend.  I actually doubt that that is the case.  However, I do think that those who have actually been in a slide, and further those that have been injured by one, probably want nothing to do with taking risk because they think technology might "save" them.  Given that many avi victims die from injuries sustained in a slide (not only from suffrocation -- and no airbag or avalung is going to save you from a trip through the trees or rocks), I seriously doubt they would every think that the proliferation of risk taking associated with technology is a good thing.

 

We've had more than 40 inches of new snow in the last week here in Colorado.  Even though I only ski OB at Jackson/Big Sky with a guide, I'm skiing tomorrow with my beacon in bounds.  We've got an unstable snow pack.  I intend to be pretty cautious even in bounds.  Hopefully, everyone else is as well.

 

Mike

post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

We've had more than 40 inches of new snow in the last week here in Colorado.  Even though I only ski OB at Jackson/Big Sky with a guide, I'm skiing tomorrow with my beacon in bounds.  We've got an unstable snow pack.  I intend to be pretty cautious even in bounds.  Hopefully, everyone else is as well.

 

Mike



But you know that's not true. Many people just believe that if they are in bounds, they are perfectly safe and an avalanche "wont happen to them". I don't think they even ponder the possibility.

post #35 of 40

thread shift.......

 

abs, transceivers and avalungs, - all good things

 

taking an avi course and knowing how to understand, evaluate even better. 

 

That said, since there are no rules that prevent a person from going into avi terrain and there is no way to be certain terrain wont slide, whats wrong with anything that may save your butt or at least make it easier for patrol to find you?  None of the above will prevent a slide........ 

 

Avalungs, may be the best cheap insurance for tree wells going... 

post #36 of 40

The best avalanche pros get buried too, so it seems to me that you are always rolling the dice in uncontrolled terrain. If I were skiing out there, I think I'd be rocking an ABS pack, not because it makes you invincible, but at least it helps the odds.

post #37 of 40

I have a transceiver and an avalung. for skiing in tree-well areas, even inbounds/side country, many may think it's overkill but WTF, seems like a good idea if the need arises..... I definelty used them up in BC. 

post #38 of 40

Save some storms for me - I'll be there in two weeks !!!!!!!!!!!

 

GREAT PICS

 

Falcon_O aka Charlie


Edited by falcon_o - 1/24/11 at 4:00pm
post #39 of 40

The more you guys keep posting stuff like that the more my credit card bill goes up.

 

post #40 of 40

I don't even know what ABS is, I thought it had to do with cars. I've never done an avalanche course, but the areas I ski I know real well and I just don't take risks. There are a few areas on my local mountain i see people ski that i would never go, even on a so-called low risk day. I can happily say no to powder if I think it's too risky.

We lost one of our students here in Leysin about 5yrs ago, skiing where everyone knows they should never go. Have to duck a rope and hike a small ridge. He was the best skier in the school. He'd skied the run 3 times. The first two with some friends, who were tired and didn't ski the third run. Would have been 3 deaths.

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