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Opening day fatality at Revelstoke

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Sketchy details, but it looks like the skier went into a tree well on opening day and wasn't found until three days later.
post #2 of 9
Very sad! Using the buddy system is so important especially in terrain your not familiar with, and nobody is familiar with Revy yet. People I talked to said it's really in the raw there. Not many terrain features such as cliff bands are marked yet. People can't get complacent, you gotta treat it as back country, cuz that's what it really is.

Condolences to family and friends
post #3 of 9
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

So very sad.
post #4 of 9
But it sounds like they WERE using the buddy system. Somebody always skies faster than the other guy and you don't have eyes in the back of your head. They got concerned when he didn't show at the bottom. I'm sure they thought he was "right behind them." I've had this happen to me - skiing behind my friend because he's always just a little bit faster. I have taken a bad fall and thought to myself "If this was a remote area, he would never know I fell. I could be stuck somewhere for DAYS." I guess walkie-talkies might be an answer but I HATE the darn things...just more to carry. How very sad for his family.
post #5 of 9
Originally Posted by SkiFox View Post
I guess walkie-talkies might be an answer
Or more to the point in this instance, beacons.
post #6 of 9
A tragedy indeed. Bring your cell-phone. Entire mountain is in range.

I live here. I got off the quad on opening day with 3 buddies and even we were a tad intimidated by the expanse of the territory available. We buddied up a little closer and stopped to wait more often.

Hey it's the mountains, and Mt Mackenzie is a very, very big one. Don't drive here unless your prepared, and for damn sure don't ski here unless your prepared. There will/should be an inquest. Tough questions will be asked and all ski-operators will want to hear the answers and recommendations. Due diligence may require hill management do something other than wag warning fingers and hope for the best.

Second run we rode Gondala with dudes from Edmonton talking loud about the great out-of-bounds powder they had found to south - Montana Creek side. 'Just shook our heads. You get down into Montana Creek and you are in serious sh*t.

The tragedy is that this guy was in-bounds. He wasn't really doing anything wrong. Except the story I heard is that they were not really doing close-order buddy skiing. He left the "buddys" to take a very seperate shot with a "meet you on the road" agreement. But who hasn't done exactly that? Hindsight says it's just too big a mountain for that sort of risk management strategy.

Avalanche beacons - unfortunately and gruesomely - are almost always still just the best dead-body finders you can get. No substitute for prudence, common sense and a reasonable dose of fear.

Sometimes a little learning (hokey one day avalanche training courses) is indeed a dangerous thing.

And I too have a young ski-instructor son who spent opening day plus one skiing past the same tree wells. The whole thing gave me a genuine nightmare Sunday night. My heart really does go out to the family. It will be no consolation to them what-so-ever, but all who venture out on the face of Mt Mac. henceforth will be a little more careful.
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by SkiFox View Post
But it sounds like they WERE using the buddy system. ...
The "buddy system" doesn't just mean having some friends on the mountina that day. Here is proper protocol for three skiers on a deep powder day:

The first two guys ski a line that can be observed by the guy above -- one at a time. At least one of the two (the first, usually, since the second down skied past the first guy) stops where he can watch the third guy down. The last guy down takes a very concervative line until he is past an observer. If the last guy down dives into a tree well 300' above his observer, he will likely be dead before anyone can swim up 300' of chest deep snow. Whistles, beacons, and cell phones will not save him.

Keep the legs of the leap frog short.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Resort Hosts?

Have they got resort hosts doing tours? I'm going to be going out there on my own in February, and this discussion has me a little bit nervous on skiing alone (particularly the first day).
post #9 of 9
I just got back from skiing 3 days at Revelstoke Mountain and there are many places I would not recommend skiing alone. Even with the holiday "crowds" there were not very many people. My wife and I skied runs on every part of the mountain when we hardly saw another skier, but there is plenty of open terrain where you do not need to worry about tree wells.

I did not see any ski hosts. Because of the lack of crowds and the layout of the mountain it definitely has a backcounty feel to much of the skiing, and it would certainly be best to have a partner, but if you pay attention and cut your turns clear of the trees you shouldn't have any problems. I thought the unmarked road cuts were a lot more dangerous than the tree wells.
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