Thanks again for the discussion. All good points/suggests.
Originally Posted by markojp
Not to dampen your enthusiasm for safety, but the only thing a rope will get you if you fall into a tree well on your own is the search party saying," wow, the guy/corpse was carrying a rope... I wonder what for?" the message being that the only way to ski in an area with tree wells safely is to ski with a partner or better yet, two. Take a moment and enter the patrol phone number in your cell phone as well. Bob's suggestion of webbing is a good one for your emergency pack. And yes, I've skied with a beacon, probe, and shovel inbounds on occasion at W/BC.
Agreed. But this hole I pretty much skied into wasn't a tree well, it was more like a true well going 12' down in the snow. It was not marked as a hazard and you could only see it when you were on top of it (a couple of feet either side and you would not know it was there). I'd avoid areas with tree wells if I could, especially if I'm solo. The experience tells me it'd be better to have it nd not need it than need it and not have it. At the very least, I may have been able to rope the ski and pull it out without going down the hole. And the bloke that turned up and helped me out could have used it to pull me out. I would NOT go down a hole/well of any kind skiing solo. Walls could easily cave in when I'm down there...
Another way i justify it is like having an emergency kit in your car. Yo don't plan to slide off the road into 20' of snow and have to hang out there until they find you. Sometimes stuff happens so like we learned in Scouts (back in the day...) "be prepared".
Originally Posted by markojp
If you're anywhere that you want an avalung, you'll also want a shovel, probe, beacon, and a partner.
I'll also consider the avalung as I will probably be doing some BC with a few friends who live in BC and are hard core. Of course for one of those trips, shovel, probe and beacon are mandatory. And I'll be taking some av safety courses too before my next trip.
I'd prefer to always have a partner but the last two seasons I've done trips solo to W/BC. I'll ski a few days with my friends that are local but they have lives so I'll spend at least 3 or 4 days on my own. I'll sometimes link up with locals and do some stuff with them but I need to be prepared. And again, after that experience I'd just feel safer having a rope along - even if it's to help someone out that had the same misfortune i did. If it weren't for that bloke that skied up I would have had to slog out through 4-5 feet of powder, wait for ski patrol and maybe they help me get back in to get my ski - if I could find the spot again...
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD
People die from NARSID in bounds too?
Dunno if you'd consider 7th Heaven in bounds but the bloke did die. I think he was VSA/non-responsive when a buddy of mine (he mountain safety volunteer, was first responder on scene) found him. They choppered him off the hill but it was too late. A family from England found him. They noticed his snowboard - apparently he must have taken it off somehow. He suffocated head first down the tree well. My mate's a bartender and I was telling him what had happened to me at his bar that evening when he gave me the details.
Originally Posted by lonewolf210
i'm gunna have to agree with the others that unless used for repelling a rope is not going to be very useful for a single person. As a matter of fact I don't really see it being useful for skiing in general unless glacier travel or protected climbing is required. If ur thinking of self rescuing from a tree well with a rope u wont be able to get the rope out let alone use it.
Struth. If I happen to fall down one of these things the rope would be useless. Simple solution - just down fall down one ;-)
Thanks again. I'll add 50' of flat nylon webbing to the kit for just in case. Nobody plans to get caught in an avalanche but your survivability increases with an avalung and/or one of those flotation things. Might be just marginal increase but in those situations you take whatever you can get...