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Is Fresh Powder History? - Page 4

post #91 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowsport View Post
You've got the first chair thing right. Here in the East, powder days aren't exactly a regular occurance. I recall a weekend in Stowe about 5 years ago. It started snowing around noon Saturday. It snowed all day, and was predicted to continue through the night. By 9:00pm, all the bars on the mountain road were nearky empty. Stowe, unlike many other ski areas, opens at 7:30am on weekends. We pulled into the lot at Mt Mansfield at 6:45, and there was already a line at the quad! Talk about wanting to get the first chair!
What, you consider 45 minutes before the bell to be early? :
post #92 of 103
As an experienced powder skier living in a big city near the mountains, I figure I've got the following options:
-ski early and hard every time it snows, figuring I've got 2, max 3 shots at getting the goods before everything's tracked out
-shell out for guiding for BC skiing (I don't have the experience or skills to go alone)
-ski midweek; at my mountain, a dump will provide fresh tracks 2-3 days during the week
-keep hitting my (little) private stashes after storms
-shell out for a heli or (in my case) cat week every year.

I figure that, following these rules, if I'm lucky I get maybe 20 powder days a year. Obviously, I'd like to get more.
post #93 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Most "non-locals", won't know where to find pow after the initial stampede, and therefore won't have secret stashes. That doesn't mean they're "definitely lacking in motivation". It just means you know where the goods are, and they don't.
I'm not necessarily talking about secret stashes. Devil's Castle at Alta is a good example. It's pretty obvious riding up the Sugarloaf lift that it's open and that there are plenty of shots yet to be skied. I've lapped DC for hours without crossing another guys tracks. You've just gotta be willing to side-step it way the hell out. It's true that knowledge of the hill helps in many instances, but a lot of stuff is slow to be skied off simply because many people are unwilling to put forth a little effort. Then there's also the herd instinct - it's amazing how many locals are lapping 6" of wind-blown "goodness" on West Buff off the High T when there's nobody at all back on Supreme.
post #94 of 103
Another take on risk vis-a-vis Bob P and Capt. Strato:

You're both right. Modern statistics incorporates prior experience, choices, into current probabilities. Called Bayesian logic. So yes, the overall risk of going B.C. is definitely higher than staying inbounds. Not to mention the physical demands. So the surge of popularity probably will be followed by more horror stories, which should reduce the surge.

But your preparation and skills DO have an impact on your own risk, and it DOESN'T necessarily accumulate each time you go out. In fact it should decrease. Unless you increase your risk-taking with experience, which makes it more complicated...

Anyway, "When your number is up...blah blah" is a great aphorism, but it ain't true.
post #95 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
As an experienced powder skier living in a big city near the mountains, I figure I've got the following options:
-ski early and hard every time it snows, figuring I've got 2, max 3 shots at getting the goods before everything's tracked out
-shell out for guiding for BC skiing (I don't have the experience or skills to go alone)
I was surprised at how easy it was to get powder all day in Italy - Not many people were venturing into the interesting terrain. On the other hand, I did kick off a serious sized slough, so I can see why...
post #96 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
...
My personal issue with BC is: Death ...
That from someone who is willing to drive 542 on a powder day?!!

I consider the scariest part of BackCountry skiing to be the ride to and fro. The risks on snow I have more control over.
post #97 of 103
^^^^^^^^^^^^

Yeah - I've been BC skiing for nearly 15 years ( a lot of the time solo) and I have yet to die even once.
post #98 of 103

We have met the enemy, and it is us!

Around the area where I live there has been a huge increase in backcountry skiers and boarders in last 5 years. The supply of untracked is virtually limitless. In the Red Mountain Pass area there are hundreds of recognized slide paths, many of which are the best and most inviting places to ride when conditions are safe, but the snowpack in this area is generally the most dangerous in the Country. I received avalanche training and worked as a patrolman bombing and skiing avi terrain, so I have always felt relatively comfortable in the bc because I (and the people I choose to go with) are knowledgeable and extremely conservative.

One of the increasing dangers I see in the bc are the newcomers who's avi experience apparently consists of watching TGR films of skiers starting and skiing out of avalanches on "extreme" terrain. With proper training and experience you can resonably predict the safety of the slopes you are on, but what you can't control are the people above you. Now, almost every time I go out I see people or tracks in places that I consider extremely stupid. The bc danger is multiplying as more people use it, and the need to be aware of where other people are is as important as the snow conditions. For most of the season there is an endless supply of untracked powder in the mountains, and all it takes are AT bindings, skins and some muscle to get you there, but it takes a lot of equipment, training, and presence of mind to ski it (or decide not to) safely and get back without hurting yourself, or someone else you didn't even know was below you.

Unfortunately the sale and use of AT equipment seems to have way outpaced the avi education, so if you go don't forget to watch your back.
post #99 of 103
you practically have to be on Ski Patrol to get freshies at Squaw..

I do have a very fond memory of carrying a bunch of speed into the gate at Silverado just as they dropped the rope and managed to snake everybody who was standing there waiting... but then got sandbagged by a bunch of snowboarders who were stuck in a hidden ravine around a blind corner screaming SLOW DOWN!! DON"T KILL US!!! heh that was a great day.
post #100 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
Around the area where I live there has been a huge increase in backcountry skiers and boarders in last 5 years. The supply of untracked is virtually limitless. In the Red Mountain Pass area there are hundreds of recognized slide paths, many of which are the best and most inviting places to ride when conditions are safe, but the snowpack in this area is generally the most dangerous in the Country. I received avalanche training and worked as a patrolman bombing and skiing avi terrain, so I have always felt relatively comfortable in the bc because I (and the people I choose to go with) are knowledgeable and extremely conservative.

One of the increasing dangers I see in the bc are the newcomers who's avi experience apparently consists of watching TGR films of skiers starting and skiing out of avalanches on "extreme" terrain. With proper training and experience you can resonably predict the safety of the slopes you are on, but what you can't control are the people above you. Now, almost every time I go out I see people or tracks in places that I consider extremely stupid. The bc danger is multiplying as more people use it, and the need to be aware of where other people are is as important as the snow conditions. For most of the season there is an endless supply of untracked powder in the mountains, and all it takes are AT bindings, skins and some muscle to get you there, but it takes a lot of equipment, training, and presence of mind to ski it (or decide not to) safely and get back without hurting yourself, or someone else you didn't even know was below you.

Unfortunately the sale and use of AT equipment seems to have way outpaced the avi education, so if you go don't forget to watch your back.
as one of the heards of new guys trying to do it the right way, I have seen some pretty stupid stuff done in LCC that could of very much affect my meadow skipping fresh powder run on kinda of flat terrain.

eventually I want to ski line like the stuff in wolverine cirque in mid winter conditions but my BC skills and knowledge just dont match up with that kinda of terrain yet.

Untill then low angle powder runs before the lifts open, and corn skiing in the spring for me.
post #101 of 103
OT, but..

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
One of the increasing dangers I see in the bc are the newcomers who's avi experience apparently consists of watching TGR films of skiers starting and skiing out of avalanches on "extreme" terrain.
..and probably the worst thing about that kind of "edjucation" is that nearly all the slides that are outrun by pro skiers in films are sluffs, which are a completely different thing than slabs. Sluffs you can start and keep an eye on and usually outrun. If you get caught in one it's usually no big deal unless you're in a terrain trap or above a cliff. With slabs on the other hand, the whole slope starts moving really fast. There's no outrunning a slab - you're pretty much screwed. I have yet to see a film where there's any discussion at all about the differences between the fun sluffs and the killer slabs.
post #102 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
OT, but..



..and probably the worst thing about that kind of "edjucation" is that nearly all the slides that are outrun by pro skiers in films are sluffs, which are a completely different thing than slabs. Sluffs you can start and keep an eye on and usually outrun. If you get caught in one it's usually no big deal unless you're in a terrain trap or above a cliff. With slabs on the other hand, the whole slope starts moving really fast. There's no outrunning a slab - you're pretty much screwed. I have yet to see a film where there's any discussion at all about the differences between the fun sluffs and the killer slabs.
I learned about slabs the hard way and came out really lucky. I was a newbie and felt really comfortable ski cutting slopes always expecting sluff to break below me and run while I happily watched from above. Then one day ski cutting a slope it broke several meters above me and there was no grabbing the bed suface at that point. Luckily it was a short convex slope with no terrain traps and I ended up on top. But, yeah, lesson learned.
post #103 of 103
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