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What exactly is backcountry skiing ? - Page 3

post #61 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr View Post
Route planning - the number one thing that will save you life (no - it's not beacons).

Powdr
Completely agree with you there. The best way to survive an avalanche is not to get caught in one in the first place. Way too many people think as long as they're beeping they're immortal. Sad truth is a beacon is only a body locator - that body may be conscious and breathing, unconscious or mangled and battered beyond recognition.

I think the maps vs. feild observations thing depends a lot on where you ski, and I have tried the contour measuring thing when planning unknown ascent routes. But as far as descents - most of the time I'm on slopes I know are capable of sliding. To me it's not a matter of avoiding steep slopes altogether, it's a matter of assessing the stability and other risks and making a descision from there.

For anyone interested in a much more lengthy debate, there's always this:
http://www.telemarktalk.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=27498
post #62 of 83
Ok, I allready typed up a big long reply, which internet explorer decided shouldn't be posted, so here we go again.

Yuri, you seem sincere, so I'm going to give you some good advice. Stay out of the backcountry for now. Judging by your first post, you do not seem to have the neccesary skills to even start being safe out there. I'm not trying to be holier than thou or anything, but I really do know a whole lot more than you, and I still don't think that I am expeirianced enough to really say I am a savy backcountry skier.

Every year you hear about people dying from avalanches, or god forbid, just people that freeze to death maybe a mile or two from a road, just because they had no idea where they were, or what they were doing.

Go check out the tgr site like goldmember said, and in a couple months, once the snow really starts to fall, people will start posting some awesome Trip Reports, and you will really be able to get a great look at what backcountry skiing is all about.

And yes, it ussually is a lot of work, but most BC skiers find the hiking/excersize pretty enjoyable, along with just being out in nature away from a bunch of other people.

Oh, if you want to prepare yourself to someday start skiing bc, I would start by just getting more expeiriance hiking around in the summertime. Maybe do some overnight backpacking trips, this will give you expeiriance making desicions based on weather, routefinding, etc, without as much danger as in the wintertime.


Regardless, good luck, and don't get yourself killed. No one wants to come find your body.
post #63 of 83
I don't think anyone was seriously suggesting that Yuri go off and do it on his own right now. If I was doing it I would go with a guide or someone who was very experienced and knew the area well.
post #64 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
Ok, I allready typed up a big long reply, which internet explorer decided shouldn't be posted, so here we go again.

Yuri, you seem sincere, so I'm going to give you some good advice. Stay out of the backcountry for now. Judging by your first post, you do not seem to have the neccesary skills to even start being safe out there. I'm not trying to be holier than thou or anything, but I really do know a whole lot more than you, and I still don't think that I am expeirianced enough to really say I am a savy backcountry skier.

Every year you hear about people dying from avalanches, or god forbid, just people that freeze to death maybe a mile or two from a road, just because they had no idea where they were, or what they were doing.

Go check out the tgr site like goldmember said, and in a couple months, once the snow really starts to fall, people will start posting some awesome Trip Reports, and you will really be able to get a great look at what backcountry skiing is all about.

And yes, it ussually is a lot of work, but most BC skiers find the hiking/excersize pretty enjoyable, along with just being out in nature away from a bunch of other people.

Oh, if you want to prepare yourself to someday start skiing bc, I would start by just getting more expeiriance hiking around in the summertime. Maybe do some overnight backpacking trips, this will give you expeiriance making desicions based on weather, routefinding, etc, without as much danger as in the wintertime.


Regardless, good luck, and don't get yourself killed. No one wants to come find your body.
Thanks for the post. I do realize the danger and want to start slowly, like getting powder experience in safe settings, taking guided tours, lessons, etc. all of which will take a while, cause i am in ontario, so it would have to be done on trips.
post #65 of 83
I would suggest you look around your area for some kind of club. Where I live, for example, we have Spokane Mountaineers which is a collective group of hikers, rock climbers, ice climbers, back country skiers, backpackers, anything involving mountain sports. They put on clinics, equipment demonstrations, group buys on equipment, etc. They also organize and teach from basic beginner skills all the way to organized Himalayan climbs. It's designed to take from neophytes with mountain interests and evolve them as far as they wish to go in their skills development, all the way to the top of Everest if they choose. I would guess there is something similar in your area and they would have all the resources you would need to become a safe and confident user of the mountains. If you truly have an interest in learning more, I would guess they would be happy to provide you with a glimpse of what you could be involved with. In the meantime, like Maggot said, lurk around TGR and you'll get an online idea of the experiences that can be had. FWIW, I got onto TGR last spring and was motivated enough by it that for my birthday this year, a group of us climbed 12,280' Mt. Adams here in Washington State and skied down it. This trip was totally inspired by what I learned at the TGR site. It's worth some time to look at.
post #66 of 83
Thread Starter 
GoldMember, thanks for the pointers.
post #67 of 83
GoldMember I'm almost as impressed that you use a word like neophyte as that you climbed Mount Adams (skiing down I could have done).


(Mind you, some words are more used in one of our countries than the other. When I used the word penultimate, which is not that unusual here, talking to an American, he said it would be thought strange in conversation over there).
post #68 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
Ok, I allready typed up a big long reply, which internet explorer decided shouldn't be posted, so here we go again.

Yuri, you seem sincere, so I'm going to give you some good advice. Stay out of the backcountry for now. Judging by your first post, you do not seem to have the neccesary skills to even start being safe out there. I'm not trying to be holier than thou or anything, but I really do know a whole lot more than you, and I still don't think that I am expeirianced enough to really say I am a savy backcountry skier.

Every year you hear about people dying from avalanches, or god forbid, just people that freeze to death maybe a mile or two from a road, just because they had no idea where they were, or what they were doing.


Go check out the tgr site like goldmember said, and in a couple months, once the snow really starts to fall, people will start posting some awesome Trip Reports, and you will really be able to get a great look at what backcountry skiing is all about.

And yes, it ussually is a lot of work, but most BC skiers find the hiking/excersize pretty enjoyable, along with just being out in nature away from a bunch of other people.

Oh, if you want to prepare yourself to someday start skiing bc, I would start by just getting more expeiriance hiking around in the summertime. Maybe do some overnight backpacking trips, this will give you expeiriance making desicions based on weather, routefinding, etc, without as much danger as in the wintertime.


Regardless, good luck, and don't get yourself killed. No one wants to come find your body
.
Yeah, you could wait a few months...or you could go to TGR right now and look at the BC TR's from previous years. :

(TR=Trip Report)
post #69 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowball View Post
GoldMember I'm almost as impressed that you use a word like neophyte as that you climbed Mount Adams (skiing down I could have done).


(Mind you, some words are more used in one of our countries than the other. When I used the word penultimate, which is not that unusual here, talking to an American, he said it would be thought strange in conversation over there).
I'm really quite cultured, don't you know...
post #70 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool View Post
Yeah, you could wait a few months...or you could go to TGR right now and look at the BC TR's from previous years. :

(TR=Trip Report)
That's what I suggested earlier along with a link to iskibc and the Pyramid Peak climb he did last fall. If that doesn't put the face on the potential of b/c skiing, nothing does.
post #71 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yury View Post
Thanks for the post. I do realize the danger and want to start slowly, like getting powder experience in safe settings, taking guided tours, lessons, etc. all of which will take a while, cause i am in ontario, so it would have to be done on trips.

Yea, I just figured I'd help endow you with a healthy sense of fear and respect which is actually one of the most important things to have in the BC. You actually seem like you are aware of your own abilities/limitations enough that, with some research, and some guidance, you might be able to start venturing out there some.

I think that a lot of good, strong resort skiers don't have near enough repsect for the BC. A lot of people don't get that backcountry/avalanche knowledge has nothing to do with skier ability. So, when good skiers start getting into backcountry skiing, they want to ski the big, impressive, scary lines, whether they know they are stable or not.

I'm a decent skier, and I want to ski those lines too, but I just know that I have to stay humble, and even if I don't get to actually ski down anything, maybe just hike out to the base of something, then turn around, its still ok, I got some excersize and all that.

If I were you, I'd stay in the resorts, but focus on improving skills that will be important in the bc:
Get in good shape, maybe start skiing some in bounds hike-to areas, work on being comfortable in powder, and the most important thing you could do, is try and find some knowledgable, expeirianced person to take you under thier wing.
post #72 of 83
Tagging onto Maggot's post, here is a link just posted at TGR by the survivor of an avie yesterday in Utah. He is an experienced b/c'er and photographer who was with a couple of friends yesterday when the slope above them slid. He was buried for 15 minutes but was rescued by his very knowledgable and experienced b/c partners. He was very lucky and owes it to the knowledge and experience of his group. Even with all that, they had wandered into an area that they admit they shouldn't have been. The telltale signs were there but they pushed it. Backcountry activities are dangerous and often times, unforgiving. This guy was given a serious warning this time. He's one of the lucky ones.

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=67518

edit to add this link which is the unfolding of the whole event yesterday. Sobering stuff.

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=67422
post #73 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowball
When I used the word penultimate, which is not that unusual here, talking to an American, he said it would be thought strange in conversation over there).

I have heard fellow Americans use the word. But almost never correctly. They usually think it means "the most ultimate."
post #74 of 83
We Americans seem to have a tough time with the English language. Most ultimate is sort of like most best. "That is the best but this is the most best." It's like when someone gives 110% effort. No, it's still 100% effort, just 10% better than what you thought they were capable of. I have a quirk about these things....
post #75 of 83
Hey Yury
Here's one place for courses here in Vancouver:
http://www.themountainschool.com/courses-winter.html
There are probably others. If you're willing to travel there should be places to learn. Heliskiing would be educational if you can afford it!
post #76 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by doug_957 View Post
Hey Yury
Here's one place for courses here in Vancouver:
http://www.themountainschool.com/courses-winter.html
There are probably others. If you're willing to travel there should be places to learn. Heliskiing would be educational if you can afford it!
Heliskiing they basically do all the decision-making for you. Very different from going into the backcountry on your own. Any guided activity to be honest is very different, though the appropriate guided activity can be a good way to be introduced to it and guides can give you a good knowledge base from which to then evaluate prospective "mentors" or partners in the future. (It's hard starting out to tell otherwise who's experienced, knowledgeable and safe, and who's experienced, knowledgeable and been in two slides the lastyear and working on the trifecta.)
post #77 of 83
All you'd learn heliskiing would be powder skiing, but a great way to learn!
Whistler has a 1 day course:
http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/ren...ackcountry.htm
post #78 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post
(It's hard starting out to tell otherwise who's experienced, knowledgeable and safe, and who's experienced, knowledgeable and been in two slides the lastyear and working on the trifecta.)
How true.

Witness the recent slide in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
post #79 of 83
Indeed. And the lesson most will take away from that is to do beacon drills (which they should be doing anyway) and that ain't the lesson there.
post #80 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post
Indeed. And the lesson most will take away from that is to do beacon drills (which they should be doing anyway) and that ain't the lesson there.
Indeed.
post #81 of 83
Drills and practice aren't too exciting, but I have spent a number of afternoons at Kirkwood working in the Beacon Basin. The differnece is amazing. I meet friends and drill them on beacons (hiding one and asking them to find it0. Its amazing how many don't realize you have to follow a flux line, and have not ever done fine search grids. Many of us have beacons. You'd be amazed how few know how to use them. Lets hope we don't need a beacon, but for heaven's sake if you have one, PRACTICE.
post #82 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post
Indeed. And the lesson most will take away from that is to do beacon drills (which they should be doing anyway) and that ain't the lesson there.
Yup, especially since the truama of an avalanche can definitly kill you.


However, I remember preseason in Montana (or it might even have been in Canukistan?) last year, hearing about a party of four in the BC. They were definitly NOT oberying proper protocol, since three out of the four got caught in the same slide, and completly burried. The remaining one guy, found, and dug out each of his freinds (at least enough to breath) in less than ten minutes. Pretty freaking inspiring, and theres no way that could have happened without a TON of practice.

At the same time though, no matter what you're doing, 3/4 of your party should never get caught in the same slide, that shows carelessness.
post #83 of 83
FWIW, the avalanche pros that I know or have met talk at least ten times more about snowpack analysis, weather, and recognition and avoidance of hazards than they do about beacon use. <- There's a lesson there.
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