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I nearly died today

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Bluebird Powder day in Cham, no tracks on the Pas du Chevre (because the exit is full of shitty rocks), so me and a buddy decide to ski the Poubelle (the one they ab. into in Blizzard)...After a rather windy short rapel with lots of onlooking gapers rog makes a turn....a bit of sluff....ok 5 more turns and waits...I ski down to him and carry on down...two turns further and I break through to ice....problem, my rock skis don't have good/any edges..I slide downhill at 45 degrees, tips hooked up and start to fall (Nobis in TGR further style)...I must have gone 100m (300ft) I lost skis, Ice axe, glasses, hat..stopping by landing one of my cartwheels feet together in the pow!.....Roger eventually apears above with one of my skis....I start to walk up...10 feet put on crampons....50 feet retrive Ice axe...head downhill slowly....at an Ic patch Roger was forced to stop skiing and downclimb but as he puts his skis on to descend again he knocks off abit of slough...about 200kg of which hit me, taking me 20 ft before I manage to stop...but droping one pole and my axe again...wait for Roger to pass...downclimb 200m (600ft)...Roger now has my other ski, pole and hat....ski untracked pow for 2 miles followed by an nast rocky scramble to Montonvers...

Abing in..

My route, fall in red

Shaken, stired and rather beaten up..but still alive

Down climbing

The Pas du Chevre below the poubele

Skiing the Pas de Chevre

[ January 03, 2003, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: tom@cham ]
post #2 of 54
So, are you ready to hike back up and ski it again, ha, ha.

Great photos!
post #3 of 54
Wow, Scary... Great story and great picture. :

Glad you are ok and thanks for sharing
post #4 of 54
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> So, are you ready to hike back up and ski it again, ha, ha.
Great photos!


Don't be a jerk. This guy had a very nasty experience and he was willing to share it with us, pictures and all.

It took some guts to ski that, or attempt to. Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you are ok.

post #5 of 54

Glad you're alive. The first picture is as far as my buddy and I got when we were there several years ago. No snow at all in the upper section. We spent the day skiing the other side of les Grands Montets.

Thanks for sharing the story. Brings back memorys of a stunning day. (Now I'm supposed to get back to work???)
post #6 of 54

Your a lucky boy just being there and certainly to survive without any majors. I am not sure I would take skis with no edges down that sort of marginal. I would sharpen everything twice but you know even then if it was glacier ice under your chances of holding any sort of edge for more than an instant would be marginal.

Thats Europe for you and especially the region around Chamoix.

Great pics. I like the one at the top with just the ski tips showing over the edge. No straight lining being done here.

Pierre! that the sort of terrain that ya need strong hop\pedal turns.

Please more pics from the ski zone.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #7 of 54
Congrats Tom@cham.
I'm envious, I will never ski that kind of terrain.
Do some turns for me too, will you?
Verry nice pictures.
post #8 of 54
Glad your camera is in such great shape after that fall
post #9 of 54
Looks like that chute is for real -- impressive!
post #10 of 54
no way, ruler! that's real stuff.

kinda like Hattrup & Plake in Blizz, eh Tom@Cham?

did you smell any rotting animals in the various crevasses?

post #11 of 54
I agree an amazing experience. For future reference a little friendly advice....skiing is suppose to be fun, so next time try to work that into your ski day.

Otherwise, that's a helluva way to get a rush.
post #12 of 54

Rock on!

I got goose pimples just reading that.
post #13 of 54
Well, I'M certainly wowed by that! Glad you're ok. GREAT photos to go with the story. That's something I'll only read about and never ever get near. Man, you have the skill to do it and the BALLS to take it on. Thanks for sharing that here.
post #14 of 54
Glad you're safe. Great pictures! Closest I've come to being in the Poubelle is watching people rapell in.
post #15 of 54
Why didn't you just go down the groomed piste? :
post #16 of 54
This all mixes in with the overachiever set. Usually, frustrated professionals who for whatever reason have failed in their lives and decide to take on challenges that nobody else is really interested in. Or, where the list of participants is so small that they're guaranteed to finish near, or at the top of the standings.

Like those who go off and shimmy up Mt. Everest - "Honey. I'm going to climb the highest mountain in the world". Yeah? Any selfish bastard with about $100k of disposable income, a penchant for death, and the time to go jogging can go off and climb Everest.

The first clue that you're nutzo should have been when they pulled out the rope -"Uh, excuse me sir, you have to repel down".

Excuse me, but isn't that what catwalks are for?
post #17 of 54
>>>Why didn't you just go down the groomed piste?<<<

What groomed piste? They are few and far between. Have you ever skied in Europe? 1/100 of 1% of skiable terrain is groomed.

post #18 of 54
Tom@cham - How are conditions in the other Poubelle, off of Aguille du Midi? I will be doing the Vallee Blanche around the first week of April, and would like to ski it. I know that is a ways away, but I'm courious if it has been good lately.
post #19 of 54
SCSA- wow, it is hard to believe that anyone who lives in Colorado would think the way you do. There are more people per capita here that would do most of things you wrote about and not for the reasons stated, but just because they have gained the knowlege, experience and physical abilities to do it.
post #20 of 54
This is an introduction to a book about the Wasatch BackCounrty. http://www.bdel.com/andrew/chutglry/Foreword.html Like the man said, it can't be peddles to the timid. Just because your sack is too SMALL doesn't mean you have the right to knock it.
post #21 of 54
I know the people of whom SCSA speaks, and they certainly do exist, but they tend not to bite off things like the Poubelle in Cham. -- they do things they know a guide can hold their hand through. In a chute that steep and technical, you are pretty much on your own. Everest is a different story since a guide can do a lot more hand-holding there.

There are serious athletes who develop skills and knowledge over many many years so they can go into seldom-experienced places. It is most often about connecting with nature in the most intimate way -- merging with rock high above the horizontal plane, flowing with a charging river. These are amazing experiences that are not motivated by insecurity, but by a passion for being alive on this planet. For these people, life experiences are a far higher priority than professional accomplishments, material possessions, or comfort and security. I personally can understand that sentiment.

The people SCSA refers to try to buy experiences, rather than earn them, which is both foolish and dangerous to themselves and others -- and ultimately experiences bought, instead of earned, have a falseness because those doing them have not developed the skills to make the connection, just the tools and guide to get through it.

Anyway, that's my take.

(though I do think the title of this thread is misleading with regard its real value)
post #22 of 54
Well said AC. Tom awesome pictures, post more.

This is again where generalizations fail miserably. Yeah, I am one of those city boys who only ski 30 days a year and have to rely on the guides to get in and out of the mountains. So what? Why is this experience is any less valuable? One does not have become a guide to experience the off-piste skiing.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 29, 2002 10:50 AM: Message edited 1 time, by eug ]</font>
post #23 of 54
eug -- I did not mean to imply that using guides is necessarily a bad thing. Guides and instructors can help you build the skills I mentioned. I am referring to those who use a guide not to learn, but to take shortcuts to the highest peak without first going through the development of fundamental skills and knowledge (as in SCSA's Everest example, where wealthy individuals with virtually no climbing experience pay guides to "get them to the top"). These are guides who almost literally carry clients through an experience, rather than teach them how to actually have the experience.
post #24 of 54
Wow this thread took a U turn. People lining up to show their fear by slinging mud .... most dissapointing ... even for hollywood!!!

ow but if Owen Never Sleeps posted these shots how the locals would bow and scrape

In Europe chutes like these are undertaken by many people. They stare at them all day from the valleys and are trained and shown the correct way as a "rite of passage". The SS guys do things like this on their day off and will even take you along if they think you can "cut the mustard" The ski bar is a fair bit higher in Europe than the US, as reflected in the WC results year after year.

There are people as described by AC and SCSA but they have nothing to do with this post.

Oz :

Looks outwards and you will find the world is actually round.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 29, 2002 04:04 PM: Message edited 1 time, by man from oz ]</font>
post #25 of 54
tom@cham:The beginning of this thread was only your first or second post here - WELCOME! and show us more! I am a sixty year old Vermont recreational skier of truly modest talents and, as I can see, limited experiences - but one of the truly inspiring aspects of my ten year "career" on skis has been taking that one more step - the step that I have never taken before. Doing what had previously been not even imaginable. The first time on a black run; the first time in real bumps; the first time in the trees; the first time on something really steep - they all have taken me to another level of experience and tell me that I am still growing and ALIVE! Even though I never, ever will do what you have done, I do know the feeling of taking the "next step" - and I envy and admire your experience and skill. There have been too many excellent threads on this site to remember every one them - but this, including the commmentary of all, has to be one of the very best. Thank you!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 29, 2002 06:40 PM: Message edited 2 times, by oboe ]</font>
post #26 of 54

Well said! Tom, glad you are OK. Loved your story and photographs. Lets see more.
post #27 of 54
My response was aimed at the "buy a thrill" crowd. People with too much money, too much time, little of anything else.

If that's not you, than great.

But even if it isn't, look at it this way.

Do you have a family? A spouse? If so, aren't you being a little selfish? After all, one slip off the rope and it looks like you're toast.

Meanwhile, your family is left to grieve the rest of their lives! And if you have kids, who's going to take care of them? How are they going to feel growing up without their father?

My wife and I are so connected/in love that if she died, I don't think I'd make it. How the hell could I live without her? I don't even want to think about it.

I ski trees - skied a few with SnoKarver yesterday. I love the little paths and so does my boy. But, I'm giving it up. Because, one slip, wack a tree, and it's all over. I'd never forgive myself. All this great skiing and I choose to go in the trees. Besides, my wife worries and I'm going to respect her feelings.

And, her and I have a few things left to do in life - like grow old together and kiss each other another zillion times. I'm really looking forward to it and I'm not doing anything to change my luck.

Sure. You get out of bed each day and it's a risk. But why charge up the risk meter any more than it already is?
post #28 of 54
Oh SCSA, you are really a softhearted sap, aren't you [img]smile.gif[/img]

Great post, right down my alley... ...Ott
post #29 of 54
Even though it's apparently politically incorrect to agree with SCSA on this one, I do. I'm also amazed that Tom attempted the aptly-titled "La Poubelle" (50 degree pitch, rocks everywhere) without a helmet!

That's not taking anything away from the amazing level of cojones (or foolhardiness, depending on your point of view) it took to even consider doing this.
post #30 of 54

My wife makes my life better and makes me want to be a better man. She's my fuel and without her, I go nowhere.

Translated to skiing, I'm staying away from those big green things. You see, they don't understand how much I love her - they could care less.

No doubt about it, I'm going to miss the trees - I've gotten real good at skiing them. I'll just stop by and talk to them.

"Hey trees, what up?"

"Not much, SCSA, how you doin? We sure do miss watching you ski. C'mon in and play".

"Thanks man, I miss you guys too. But I have to pass. I have a life that I love and my wife worries too much".

"Alright, SCSA, that's cool. We'll just have to put up with all the hacks, scraping away all the snow. Will you at least stop in for a smoke? We love seeing you".

"You got it. I'll check you out next week.

"Later SCSA"!

She's upstairs sleeping now. I think I'll go kiss her.
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