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Inbounds avy stuff - Page 9  

post #241 of 313
Thread Starter 

Another battle of the last words. Who will win?

post #242 of 313

I blocked Kook so I guess he does.cool.gif
 

post #243 of 313

You guys still reading CTKook's comments?  eek.gif

post #244 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

You guys still reading CTKook's comments?  eek.gif

 

I stopped trying to follow along a while ago...

 

Did we ever decide if airbags were good or bad?

post #245 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvarley84 View Post

 

I stopped trying to follow along a while ago...

 

Did we ever decide if airbags were good or bad?

 

I did. 

post #246 of 313

So Crested Butte has formalized its uphill use policy, to address in an organized way the uptrend in inbounds skinning.  Why in a place like that would anyone want to skin inbounds?  Well, several reasons, but one is that on high avy risk days, the resort is a safe place to go and get a good aerobic workout without having to bring avy gear.  That is true despite the fact that Colorado's snowpack outside the resorts is one of the most unstable in the nation on average. 

 

As far as patrols adopting avy packs, btw, we're looking at 14 patrols so far in a list that I believe is still incomplete.  The thing to note there is that patrols do a lot of work, obviously, on terrain that is usually inbounds but not yet open to the public, and so their normal needs in terms of snow safety are different from average resort users.  As Kirkwood's snow safety manager said when they purchased their fleet of airbags a few years ago, "avalanche airbag technology is proven to prevent burial," http://www.backcountryaccess.com/2011/03/20/huge-snow-floats-and-t2s-for-kirkwood/ . 

post #247 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

So Crested Butte has formalized its uphill use policy, to address in an organized way the uptrend in inbounds skinning.  Why in a place like that would anyone want to skin inbounds?  Well, several reasons, but one is that on high avy risk days, the resort is a safe place to go and get a good aerobic workout without having to bring avy gear.  That is true despite the fact that Colorado's snowpack outside the resorts is one of the most unstable in the nation on average. 

 

As far as patrols adopting avy packs, btw, we're looking at 14 patrols so far in a list that I believe is still incomplete.  The thing to note there is that patrols do a lot of work, obviously, on terrain that is usually inbounds but not yet open to the public, and so their normal needs in terms of snow safety are different from average resort users.  As Kirkwood's snow safety manager said when they purchased their fleet of airbags a few years ago, "avalanche airbag technology is proven to prevent burial," http://www.backcountryaccess.com/2011/03/20/huge-snow-floats-and-t2s-for-kirkwood/ . 

curious if squaw and alpine are on the list, since both have had patrol fatalities in recent years.  I wonder how long before OSHA or CalOSHA mandates airbags for patrollers. If it were up to me I would mandate them. 

post #248 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

curious if squaw and alpine are on the list, since both have had patrol fatalities in recent years.  I wonder how long before OSHA or CalOSHA mandates airbags for patrollers. If it were up to me I would mandate them. 

Squaw is on the list.  I don't know about Alpine.

post #249 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

curious if squaw and alpine are on the list, since both have had patrol fatalities in recent years.  I wonder how long before OSHA or CalOSHA mandates airbags for patrollers. If it were up to me I would mandate them. 

 

Of course you would, but based on what industry knowledge and real world experience are you making that decision for me?

 

Suppose in my experience I choose not to add an additional 10 pounds to my already heavy work pack.

 

Suppose using my experience I would rather rely on my skills at avoiding hazard rather than your decision?

 

"As Kirkwood's snow safety manager said when they purchased their fleet of airbags a few years ago, "avalanche airbag technology is proven to prevent burial," http://www.backcountryaccess.com/2011/03/20/huge-snow-floats-and-t2s-for-kirkwood/ ."

 

And while so far it has been proven that airbags may prevent burial provided they are deployed properly, what about the trauma associated with being caught and strained through trees?

 

It has also been proven that airbags may cause what was a possible escape scenario to degenerate into a situation where the victim ends up taking the entire ride and that ride ends in timber.

 

While I appreciate your concerns, I would much rather have people who are true experts make such decisions for their respective programs such as KWs SS manager than you or some guy who works for OSHA or CAL-OSHA and has never spent a day in their life doing avalanche mitigation.

post #250 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunion View Post

 

...

 

Suppose in my experience I choose not to add an additional 10 pounds to my already heavy work pack....

I again would recommend the airbag pack studies and summary info, that is widely available on the web.  www.wildsnow.com  has an excellent summary which has already been linked, but here it is again http://www.wildsnow.com/5014/avalanche-airbag-backpack-overview/.  Weights generally range from 6 to 8+ pounds, for instance, for the entire pack plus cylinder, not 10 pounds for just the cylinder.  A lot of the stuff said about about airbag packs in this thread, ranging from claims that their effectiveness is not proven, to their being adopted by only 2 or 3 patrols (as opposed to at least well north of 10), to their weighing an extra 10 pounds, could easily be cleared up with a little research and a little talking to peers.

 

The patrols at  Alyeska, Jackson, Mount Baker, Mission Ridge, Squaw, Kirkwood , Snowbird, Aspen, Telluride, Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Loveland, and Wolf Creek have already voted with their $$.  Some patrollers among others have been involved in the design process of some packs.

 

Again, it is clear that airbag packs are simply the most effective gear available for mitigating the effects of avy entrainment.  Multiple studies are out there and have already been linked.  For people such as patrollers who may in fact be facing significant noncontrolled slide risk inbounds, they can make sense for that reason. 

post #251 of 313
post #252 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

...  I wonder how long before OSHA or CalOSHA mandates airbags for patrollers. If it were up to me I would mandate them. 

On that front, WorkSafeBC, a Canadian equivalent, has already recommended them for some uses.  In practical terms, I think you are right that this will happen.

 

I'm not a big fan of that in general for specialized activities, but for most patrols, I think it will be a moot point.  Patrols do talk to each other, and generally do know what each other are doing in this context. As noted, patrollers have been involved in the design process in the space. 

 

For passive readers, if you look at inbounds-oriented packs, you have the small, sidecountry/slackcountry/inbounds designs, and you have what I would call a more patrol-oriented type pack.  Looking at the Mystery Ranch Blackjack, http://www.mysteryranch.com/adventure/skiing-snowboarding-packs/blackjack-pack , you have a 43L bag, room for a big-ass shovel like a Chugach Pro, and the whole thing clocks in at 7.8 pounds.  That is the whole pack with airbag fixin's included.  And that is the heavier side of the pack spectrum.   I am just using this pack as one example, and I am in no way affiliated with the company.

 

The reason these designs -- airbag packs that are not real touring-focused, and do make room for things like big shovels that most dedicated human-powered bc users won't want -- came about several years ago is because patrols in fact are one of the big logical users of this type of gear. 

post #253 of 313

http://www.revelstoketimesreview.com/breaking_news/192769991.html

 

 

Sad story, all had airbags.

 

Did they go out in a period of high hazard because they did have an airbag?

 

Reports are the death was trauma related and that yes the 3 that were caught successfully deployed their bags and they kept them on top. Victim went over a cliff and into timber.

post #254 of 313

I go out in high hazard periods, because that's when it's good.  The airbags are just another tool.  Hopefully I use all the tools at my disposal and make good decisions based on the conditions.

I understand some people don't care to use some tools, but don't condemn those that do, just because of it.

post #255 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunion View Post

http://www.revelstoketimesreview.com/breaking_news/192769991.html

 

 

Sad story, all had airbags.

 

Did they go out in a period of high hazard because they did have an airbag?

 

Reports are the death was trauma related and that yes the 3 that were caught successfully deployed their bags and they kept them on top. Victim went over a cliff and into timber.

There is an odd persistence of anti-airbag sentiment on here.  The fact that some people went out of bounds during a time of high hazard and got caught in a slide, and one died, says absolutely nothing about the efficacy of airbags, except for the fact that airbags don't protect you 100% of the time.  No one, period, has said that they do protect you all of the time.  People get shot to death while wearing bulletproof vests, too.

 

Certainly the Stevens Pass crew managed to go out with a rating of high to considerable depending on elevation with only one member of the whole party having an airbag pack, so while risk homeostasis is always a concern, people have decided to press their luck with or without airbag packs.

 

As regards inbounds users, patrollers are again one class of inbounds users for whom airbag packs are quite relevant.  Patrols do have a legal and ethical obligation to get informed about this not-new technology, in evaluating it as PPE.  Informed includes knowing that the airbag apparatus weighs about 3.5 pounds, not 10 pounds, reading the relevant research that makes clear that airbag packs do provide a clear margin of safety versus beacons alone, and for that matter understanding that most of the uphill travel done by patrollers is via either lifts or mechanized transport, so that the weight penalty of the roughly extra 3.5 pounds (not 10) matters less for patrollers than for other user groups such as people going bc touring.  It includes knowing that a large number of patrols have already adopted their use, and being familiar with what those patrols relate from that.   It includes considering that, for patrollers, risk homeostasis is less an issue than for recreational users because of the circumstances of their work.

 

A tragedy involving recreational use of terrain outside resort boundaries is exactly that, a tragedy.  It does not speak to the frequency of inbounds slides, nor for that matter to what PPE may be appropriate for resort employees along with other inbounds users. 

post #256 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

I go out in high hazard periods, because that's when it's good.  The airbags are just another tool.  Hopefully I use all the tools at my disposal and make good decisions based on the conditions.

I understand some people don't care to use some tools, but don't condemn those that do, just because of it.


Where is there any condemnation?

post #257 of 313

this a common skier attitude: I would always wear one on danger days if the pack was the size of a waterbottle bag, not a backpack. There is a size tolerance for some skiers.  It seems to be possible soon.

post #258 of 313

I don't know about soon, hopefully in the near future.

 

Like Beacons and other "tools" an economy of scale along with a greater market/market share will drive a better product.

 

Still a very niche market but as more development and smaller/lighter/more ease of use may cause ABS to become as mainstream as the Beacon/shovel/probe combo that people in this thread have derided as useful in bounds.

 

Probably won't happen in my career span but that's cause I am OLD.rolleyes.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

I go out in high hazard periods, because that's when it's good. 

Is this at Alpine Valley or up north at Bohemia?biggrin.gif

post #259 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

this a common skier attitude: I would always wear one on danger days if the pack was the size of a waterbottle bag, not a backpack. There is a size tolerance for some skiers.  It seems to be possible soon.

My 11yo son and I both wear a Karve 6.  It's small/shallow enough that it doesn't bother either one of us.  We load it with the hydration bladder, Viole shovel, probe, snacks and extra set of gloves. (Wearing the Beacons too of course as well as ski patrol on speed dial)  He wears the size small and it doesn't bother him on the lifts or skiing.  It's relatively thin and even though we don't use the safety bar on the lift it doesn't put us out on the edge where we feel unsafe.   It works for us. 

post #260 of 313

Once sliding along  I had time to think: I wish I could get rid of my skis. Bicycles once had a motorized derailleur. I'd buy a blow off binding. Good for sloughs mos'ly.

post #261 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

Once sliding along  I had time to think: I wish I could get rid of my skis. Bicycles once had a motorized derailleur. I'd buy a blow off binding. Good for sloughs mos'ly.

 

You could always use whatever the heck binding system they use for ski BASE jumping.  What the hell do they use for that anyway?  (and what failed McConkey on that note?)

post #262 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

 

You could always use whatever the heck binding system they use for ski BASE jumping.  What the hell do they use for that anyway?  (and what failed McConkey on that note?)

He used an old Tyrolia binding that released by pulling upwards, so he could attach a release cord.  Shortly before he was killed he posted on TGR asking if anyone had any of those old bindings they could give him.  

post #263 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

He used an old Tyrolia binding that released by pulling upwards, so he could attach a release cord.  Shortly before he was killed he posted on TGR asking if anyone had any of those old bindings they could give him.  

 

Oh man.  I really hope it wasn't on a second-hand binding from someone else on the TGR marketplace.  Kind of ridiculous that a Red Bull sponsored athlete would need to get equipment that way.

post #264 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunion View Post

...

 

Still a very niche market but as more development and smaller/lighter/more ease of use may cause ABS to become as mainstream as the Beacon/shovel/probe combo that people in this thread have derided as useful in bounds.

...

Players like Dakine, TNF and Mammut; BCA owned by K2 -- not that niche.  The sidecountry/slackcountry/inbounds pack designs are already quite small and light.  The "patrol"-oriented packs are larger, but for a reason.

 

Again, I would recommend people take advantage of the excellent resources available to get more familiar with the space, not to mention maybe even go so far as to walk into a store and look at one to see how much it weighs among other things.


Edited by CTKook - 2/25/13 at 9:01pm
post #265 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunion View Post

 

 

Did they go out in a period of high hazard because they did have an airbag?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bunion View Post


Where is there any condemnation?

 

Apologies if I misunderstood.  I interpreted the above statement to imply that the victims fell into the heuristic trap solely because they had an airbag.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bunion View Post

 

 

Is this at Alpine Valley or up north at Bohemia?biggrin.gif

 

90%  of my BC is off the backside of Aspen or Highlands. I can ride a snowmobile from the top of the gondola, 40 miles to Crested Butte. Our BC isn't as famous as some, but we have a lot of it and it trends toward instability.  I try to make good decisions based on the conditions and then I take every tool in the kit.

I added an BCA Float  last year and I will probably even use it inbounds in the bowl. Mack and the boys have done a great job opening it and keeping it stable. But when you've seen three friends die in it once, it's hard not to think it could possibly happen again.

post #266 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

 

 

Apologies if I misunderstood.  I interpreted the above statement to imply that the victims fell into the heuristic trap solely because they had an airbag.

 

 

90%  of my BC is off the backside of Aspen or Highlands. I can ride a snowmobile from the top of the gondola, 40 miles to Crested Butte. Our BC isn't as famous as some, but we have a lot of it and it trends toward instability.  I try to make good decisions based on the conditions and then I take every tool in the kit.

I added an BCA Float  last year and I will probably even use it inbounds in the bowl. Mack and the boys have done a great job opening it and keeping it stable. But when you've seen three friends die in it once, it's hard not to think it could possibly happen again.

 



The Chi town reference threw me.

 

The BC around Aspen is deservedly famous for terrain as well as a tricky snow pack.

 

I wasn't saying they did fall into a heuristic trap solely because they had an airbag.

 

It is however a reasonable question to ask, particularly in light of some of the comments of the survivors.

 

http://www.revelstoketimesreview.com/breaking_news/193110801.html

 

I have a couple of staff members headed to Highlands next week on a patrol exchange.

 

I think it will be a real eye opener for them to see how far Highlands has taken their management of Highlands bowl and the other steep terrain that manage. Mac and his crew also have a deservedly famous rep within the patrol world. The Highlands Bowl incident happened just when I was starting my Professional career, I met a couple of Highlands Patrollers a couple of years after and they still couldn't discuss it without a lot of difficulty.

 

IMHO an airbag wouldn't have made any difference to Soddy, Kessler or Snyder.

 

Stay safe and on top.

post #267 of 313

Thanks for the additional link.  

 

I always carry radios, because communication is essential.   I always try to pick my safe zones well, if it goes big, is this really safe?  Two other buddies died in  Maroon Bowl, when they made that mistake.

 

I hope your exchange goes well.  Highlands has a very tight crew, actually all four mountains do.

post #268 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunion View Post

 



...

 

I wasn't saying they did fall into a heuristic trap solely because they had an airbag. [emphasis added]

 

It is however a reasonable question to ask, particularly in light of some of the comments of the survivors.

 

http://www.revelstoketimesreview.com/breaking_news/193110801.html

 

I have a couple of staff members headed to Highlands next week on a patrol exchange.

 

...

???  The fact that you have an issue with airbag packs is pretty clear by this point in the thread.

 

When your staff members head to Aspen, be sure to have them look at Aspen's airbag packs and lift them, among other things.  This should be a great occasion to hear Aspen's experience with them. 

post #269 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunion View Post

"I don't see how mentioning that a large number of patrols have adopted airbags is objectionable. "

 

CT how about you tell us which patrols now are required to use ABS packs or have officially adopted their use.

 

I am aware of exactly 3 patrols in the US, JHMR, Telluride and possibly Snowbird. But please, impress me with your detailed knowledge.

 

Otherwise, go play in traffic.smile.gif

So, this thread has been useful and we have a rather broader list of patrols that use airbag packs.

post #270 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

 

Oh man.  I really hope it wasn't on a second-hand binding from someone else on the TGR marketplace.  Kind of ridiculous that a Red Bull sponsored athlete would need to get equipment that way.

The binding was long ago discontinued--that's why he was looking for used ones. I wonder what other ski-basers are using now.

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