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post #31 of 152

Atomicman, FWIW, because I've spent time reading your posts over the years and know that you're generally a peace loving guy, I get your point and understand the tone.  In the meantime, its sad to see people we hold in high regard pass so soon.  

As Crgildart said,  If the risks weren't high then why was Elyse wearing an Air Bag?

As I noted, I know Elyse, and I think that parts of her interview that you posted about were generated from being in shock(and disbelief). 

 

No arm chair quarterbacking, no indignance intended, just peace to the family(s) and friends for people who took risks to have a great day and paid the highest price. 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

I took a ski camp with Elyse Saugstad as one of the instructors last year.  Listening to her words is very sobering

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/19/10450796-survivor-of-deadly-washington-avalanche-it-was-like-a-washing-machine#.T0KEyb1wCiJ.twitter

 



One thing is clear........that airbag was the best investment she ever made!



Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

I had the privilege to meet and hang out with Jim Jack several years ago.  Ironically we met during a four day avalanche training.  I found JJ to be a very smart and fun person to train and party with.  I didn't know him well, but genuinely liked him and enjoyed our time together.  I felt like he went out of his way to be nice to me.  I am deeply saddened to hear of his death.  This makes about a half dozen people I know who have died in avalanches.  About the same number in kayaking accidents.  Sadly we lost a veteran S&R member in a heli crash this week in JH.  This is a small town and I knew him as well.  Please be careful out there and enjoy every sandwich.


Thanks for the thought.  I think I'll enjoy my sandwich and I'll toast to Big Wally while I'm at it. 

 

 

post #32 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Nothing you've written has made me reconsider anything. You're a hard headed MF  Your observations are simple hindsight, which is always 20/20.  Bull!  but you're entitled to your opinion. nothing hindsight about it!



 


You are really comparing your risky activity list to the risk inherent when skiing out-of bounds with high avy danger warnings? Pleeeez..........................................rolleyes.gif  Come on, dude!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post



or ski fast along the side of the trail near the trees, or race GS on a sub 35 meter ski, or leave the house without a helmet, or.......words.gif 

 

 

Being the seasoned pros they were (albeit not perfect) they knew the risks.  Saugstad wouldn't have been wearing the freakin' air bag if they really believed the risks weren't at least moderate if not high.

 

RIP.  This won't change the behavior of others, although we will likely see more folks wearing air bags.



 

post #33 of 152

 Sounds like they were following the basic rules, (skiing off to a safe area, going one at a time, etc..)   I can say that could of happened to me or any BC enthusiast a 100 times already.    We all roll the dice when we go out there.     

PS,  air bags sound great, but if you are caught in a slide in trees nothing will help... 

post #34 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post



 


You are really comparing your risky activity list to the risk inherent when skiing out-of bounds with high avy danger warnings? Pleeeez..........................................rolleyes.gif  Come on, dude!
 



 



Ya, I mos def am.  How many folks are seriously injured or killed skiing fast along the edge of ski trails each year?  I'll wager that it is at least twice as many that are injured or killed in avalanches the same year.   Trees and rocks take out as many skiers as slides do easily!  Just about all of us that love to ski fast are only a hooked edge or binding malfunction away from from suddenly being in the woods in a very bad predicament.  We know the risks, so do folks that get their rush skiing BC.  Not much difference in my opinion.


Edited by crgildart - 2/20/12 at 12:12pm
post #35 of 152

This thread did not start as a memorial to the deceased. If you'd like to do that, it would be great. I know how much more devastating it is when it happens at your home mountain.

 

Is the newspaper being callous to mention that the avi reports indicated a high danger level?  No one is second guessing...just dealing with the tragedy in their own way. If you don't know history, you're doomed to repeat it over and over.

 

Gil, there's a difference. You can moderate your skiing around trees and rocks to be safer, and skill can reduce danger by giving control over the situation. Once you are out on an unstable slope, there is nothing you can do to mitigate the danger. It's there.

 

Anyone beside me think that wearing an air bag is the strangest thing in the world to do???  This is insane!

post #36 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

You are really comparing your risky activity list to the risk inherent when skiing out-of bounds with high avy danger warnings? Pleeeez..........................................rolleyes.gif  Come on, dude!

 



Like I said. You win. The issue isn't about you though, it's about having a very small amount of respect, but for people like yourself, being right is more import. Just curious, have you skied where they were? I haven't. I don't have enough information about the terrain, specific topography, ground cover, aspect, snowpack history in that specific location, etc... The official report will have all this and more. I'm willing to wait. You're not. That's where we differ. 

 

post #37 of 152


Fair enough Mark, but the comment you quoted was for C-dart!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post



Like I said. You win. The issue isn't about you though, it's about having a very small amount of respect, but for people like yourself, being right is more import. Just curious, have you skied where they were? I haven't. I don't have enough information about the terrain, specific topography, ground cover, aspect, snowpack history in that specific location, etc... The official report will have all this and more. I'm willing to wait. You're not. That's where we differ. 

 



 

post #38 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

Gil, there's a difference. You can moderate your skiing around trees and rocks to be safer, and skill can reduce danger by giving control over the situation. Once you are out on an unstable slope, there is nothing you can do to mitigate the danger. It's there.

 


You can choose to stay out of BC in high risk days.  You can choose to ski slower on piste to reduce the risk of a hooked edge sending you in to the woods out of control.  Choosing to ski fast on piste closer to the edge of the trail is just as risky as choosing to go steep pitch BC in deep snow on higher risk days.  You have control over both situations. You understand the risks of the choices and behavior for both, both can be quickly fatal.

 

post #39 of 152

Do you recall the discussion that followed the avi death on the heli trip a month or so ago?  Any more definitive information ever provided by authorities? not. and there never is. so the learning process, if it is to occur, is here and now, last chance. there's nothing to wait for.

 

Gil, what I mean is that the only way to avoid avi danger is to not be there. trees and rocks can be skillfully dealt with. 100,000 tons of snow can not.

 

If people haven't seen Steep, there is a segment that shows an avalanche. It makes it look so sinister and evil, malicious and aggressive. 

post #40 of 152

Agreed!


 

Sorry your friend had to experience this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

Atomicman, FWIW, because I've spent time reading your posts over the years and know that you're generally a peace loving guy, I get your point and understand the tone.  In the meantime, its sad to see people we hold in high regard pass so soon.  

As Crgildart said,  If the risks weren't high then why was Elyse wearing an Air Bag?

As I noted, I know Elyse, and I think that parts of her interview that you posted about were generated from being in shock(and disbelief). 

 

No arm chair quarterbacking, no indignance intended, just peace to the family(s) and friends for people who took risks to have a great day and paid the highest price. 

 


 



One thing is clear........that airbag was the best investment she ever made!


Thanks for the thought.  I think I'll enjoy my sandwich and I'll toast to Big Wally while I'm at it. 

 

 



 

post #41 of 152

Maybe the air bag was the problem, not the solution.   Reliance on gear, however expensive and sophisticated, is a poor safety measure. If anyone takes from this event the lesson that they need to start wearing an airbag when they go out in high avi danger, I've really heard everything.  Someone tell me, what is the thought process you go through when putting on a floatation pack or CO2 scrubber pack? 


Edited by davluri - 2/20/12 at 1:17pm
post #42 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

Someone tell me, what is the thought process you go through when putting on a floatation pack or CO2 scrubber pack? 



Humm, 30 years ago most said the same things about putting on a helmet for recreational skiing, or even basic level USSA competitions.  There were no seeded bumps, not just anyone could go hit the tabletop jumps (if the resort even had any). Only freestyle team members could hit those and only while the coaches were watching, and we still didn't consider helmets.   Shaped skis didn't have people bombing blacks after two hours of figuring out some of the basics either.  The sport is still evolving, and changing fast.

post #43 of 152

Helmet is to deal with known risks. Avi Pack is to deal with an unknown. Huge difference, IMO

post #44 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

Helmet is to deal with known risks. Avi Pack is to deal with an unknown. Huge difference, IMO



BSmeter.gif

BS  You don't "know" you're going to hook and edge and go careening in to the trees or get hit from behind by an out of control rider when putting on a helmet any more than you don't know a slab's gonna break loose under you when putting on an air bag or avilung.  Both are precautionary measures "just in case".

 

My point is that this hindsight holier than thou attitude condescending of the victims is totally hypocritical regardless of who's tossing it around.  We all make mistakes, and we all take risks that others in different positions would consider dumb and unnecessary.  Be it texting or eating while driving, whatever..  That's life, and unfortunately death too.

 

That is all.

post #45 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

Maybe the air bag was the problem, not the solution. maybe without it people would have taken the danger more seriously.  Reliance on gear, however expensive and sophisticated, is a poor safety measure. If anyone takes from this event the lesson that they need to start wearing an airbag when they go out in high avi danger, I've really heard everything.  Someone tell me, what is the thought process you go through when putting on a floatation pack or CO2 scrubber pack? 


I don't know the specifics in this case, but I highly doubt all 13 had them? 

 

I try not to make any different decisions with or without an airbag/avilung.  But I would rather have it and not use it, than to not have it and find it might have helped?

 

post #46 of 152

An Avi Pack is no guarantee of survival.  I read an article just this week of someone killed in an avalanche ( I don't remember now where it was) where their Avi Pack fully deployed and they were still buried under 4 feet of snow.

post #47 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

My point is that this hindsight holier than thou attitude condescending of the victims is totally hypocritical regardless of who's tossing it around.  We all make mistakes, and we all take risks that others in different positions would consider dumb and unnecessary.  


On this issue, I'm in 100% agreement with you, CR.

 

Dispensing with the less than fully informed second-guessing until the victims of this tragedy are at least in the ground might be wise, as well as just decent....

post #48 of 152

I would never consider skiing terrain rated with a "high" or "considerable" avalanche danger with or without an airbag, but I would certainly consider wearing one on the days that I ski in the backcountry when the danger is rated low or moderate.  Could the airbag lead me to decide to ski terrain that I would not ski without it?  No, at least not consciously.  Perhaps subconsciously it could make a difference, but so could any number of other factors, such as the expertise and number of the people I am with, the beacon I am wearing, how lucky I am feeling, etc.

 

Condolences to the friends and families of the fallen snow riders.

post #49 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

Do you recall the discussion that followed the avi death on the heli trip a month or so ago?  Any more definitive information ever provided by authorities? not. and there never is. so the learning process, if it is to occur, is here and now, last chance. there's nothing to wait for.

 


D, the Canadian authorities are notoriously slow. That's just the way it is. Different legal system, and yes, information is provided, just not as fast as we'd alway like. For US accidents, here you go:

 

http://www.avalanche.org/accidents.php

 

Many are updated as investigations continue. Here's a link to one that was discussed on epic as well. Very different than what was speculated:

 

http://avalanche.state.co.us/acc/acc_report.php?acc_id=431&accfm=rep&view=public

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by markojp - 2/20/12 at 2:34pm
post #50 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadrash View Post

An Avi Pack is no guarantee of survival.  I read an article just this week of someone killed in an avalanche ( I don't remember now where it was) where their Avi Pack fully deployed and they were still buried under 4 feet of snow.



Here:   http://avalanche.state.co.us/acc/acc_report.php?acc_id=442&accfm=rep

 

 

post #51 of 152

Most people I know that have an airbag, use that pack for every backcountry tour they go out on, regardless of the danger.  It's standard equipment for them.  I'm sure it was for Elyse too.  I don't find it weird that she had it at all. 

 

post #52 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post



Ya, I mos def am.  How many folks are seriously injured or killed skiing fast along the edge of ski trails each year?  I'll wager that it is at least twice as many that are injured or killed in avalanches the same year.   Trees and rocks take out as many skiers as slides do easily!  Just about all of us that love to ski fast are only a hooked edge or binding malfunction away from from suddenly being in the woods in a very bad predicament.  We know the risks, so do folks that get their rush skiing BC.  Not much difference in my opinion.



You might want to do a little research before you make such an assumption....

 

Average yearly skier deaths are about 40, I picked 200/2009 for avi deaths, which was 28.

http://www.nsaa.org/nsaa/press/facts-ski-snbd-safety.asp

 

 
 

 

 

post #53 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by k2skier View Post



You might want to do a little research before you make such an assumption....

 

Average yearly skier deaths are about 40, I picked 200/2009 for avi deaths, which was 28.

http://www.nsaa.org/nsaa/press/facts-ski-snbd-safety.asp

 

 
 

 

 

Gee, you might want to read more carefully before you make such assertions..

 

Quote:
  I'll wager that it is at least twice as many that are injured or killed in avalanches the same year

 


Add the injuries from your little citation (which I have read several times over the past couple years) and the number doubles.  tongue.gif

 

P.S.  I've never liked that reference without actually being able to analyze the raw data myself because some of their stats are representative of the total population (something like 68 million annually?) but some of them are "per one million skier visits.  It stinks of fuzzy math or as Regan used to say "voodoo economics, there you go again" hahahaha..

It still sucks that they're dead nonetheless..frown.gif

 


Edited by crgildart - 2/20/12 at 6:09pm
post #54 of 152

Respect to the family and friends of those lost skiers/riders. I have made a few bad decisions in the BC and was fortunate enough to live through it. After that you almost get a sixth sense/survival instinct when you venture outside of a controlled area. The Mountains like the Ocean may look calm on the surface. I decided not to continue BC skiing even though it still calls to me.

post #55 of 152

So sad for everyone involved in this or any fatality in our sport.

 

Everyone here should take a moment and actually realize how lucky that you have your health and get to ski another day.

post #56 of 152

"High" avalanche danger (4 on a scale of 1-5): " Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.  Natural avalanches likely. Human triggered avalanches very likely. Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches i specific areas."

 

The experience and skill of a skier does not change the avalanche risk of a given slope at a given point in time.

post #57 of 152

On the statistics:

 

The avalanche deaths include a bunch of non-skiers, FWIW.

 

But ... main point:

 

The annual number of skiers killed inbounds is somewhere around 40, while the number killed in avalanches is somewhere around 12.

 

However, the number of inbounds skier days / skier runs / skier miles (however you want to do it) is probably at least 100 times higher than the number in the backcountry. Perhaps more like a 1,000. Backcountry skiing is much more dangerous than on-piste skiing. The likelihood of being killed in an avalanche, per run/mile/whatever, while backcountry skiing, is much, much higher than the likelihood of being killed veering off a ski run.

post #58 of 152



icon14.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

"High" avalanche danger (4 on a scale of 1-5): " Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.  Natural avalanches likely. Human triggered avalanches very likely. Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches i specific areas."

 

The experience and skill of a skier does not change the avalanche risk of a given slope at a given point in time.



 

post #59 of 152

icon14.gificon14.gif  SJ, exactly what I thought when reading the post!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post

On the statistics:

 

The avalanche deaths include a bunch of non-skiers, FWIW.

 

But ... main point:

 

The annual number of skiers killed inbounds is somewhere around 40, while the number killed in avalanches is somewhere around 12.

 

However, the number of inbounds skier days / skier runs / skier miles (however you want to do it) is probably at least 100 times higher than the number in the backcountry. Perhaps more like a 1,000. Backcountry skiing is much more dangerous than on-piste skiing. The likelihood of being killed in an avalanche, per run/mile/whatever, while backcountry skiing, is much, much higher than the likelihood of being killed veering off a ski run.



 

post #60 of 152

This is tragic news.  So terrible.

 

The avalanche inquiry will reveal much.  No doubt, mistakes were made.  They almost always are.  Sometimes we get lucky.  And sometimes not.

 

A key thing is for all of us to learn from these unfortunate occurrences.

 

Mike

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