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Vail Avalanche 1/12

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
The more I see these reports the more I think I need a beacon before I make my trip west.

My heart goes out to the family and friends.
http://summitdaily.com/article/20080112/NEWS/318127906
post #2 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
The more I see these reports the more I think I need a beacon before I make my trip west.

My heart goes out to the family and friends.
http://summitdaily.com/article/20080112/NEWS/318127906
TC,

For what it's worth, these folks were out of bounds. East vail is lift accessed but out of the ski area. THOUSANDS of skies ski ever day at western resorts without a beacon. If your really worried, buy a couple of Recco reclectors, they are about $20. Everywhere you'd ski, they have the detectors and they would be deployed quicky to an accident scene.

http://www.mountaingear.com/pages/pr...tem/640258/N/0

If you want to buy a peice of safety equipment that would have a better chance of being used on your trip, buy a whistle...

http://www.rei.com/product/761180?vcat=REI_SEARCH
post #3 of 22
out of bounds super steep terrain not your typical vail.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
TC,

For what it's worth, these folks were out of bounds. East vail is lift accessed but out of the ski area. THOUSANDS of skies ski ever day at western resorts without a beacon. If your really worried, buy a couple of Recco reclectors, they are about $20. Everywhere you'd ski, they have the detectors and they would be deployed quicky to an accident scene.

http://www.mountaingear.com/pages/pr...tem/640258/N/0

If you want to buy a peice of safety equipment that would have a better chance of being used on your trip, buy a whistle...

http://www.rei.com/product/761180?vcat=REI_SEARCH
I bought a whistle after this incident at Jay this year.
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
The more I see these reports the more I think I need a beacon before I make my trip west.
TrekChick,

I don't think you need a beacon. If you are only going to buy it to ski Vail (inbounds) then I would say Do Not buy it.

Yesterday I skied Highland Bowl 3 times and never felt like I needed my beacon. Highland Bowl is more prone to avy then any part of Vail. We have also had more snow than Vail this year.

If buying a beacon may motivate you to study/learn backcountry skills and then use them in the backcountry, then buy the beacon. (If you needed an excuse)

enjoy!
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

Good call.

I've got a whistle on my pack, but after being called a you-know-what, I haven't been wearing it very often.

Time to start wearing it again, I suppose.
post #7 of 22
TC,

My sister moved out to Vail at the end of the summer. Her boyfriend and her best friend's boyfriend were in the East Vail Chutes area 90 minutes before the 1/4 slide - they dug a pit, decided it looked sketchy and left. It seems the two fatalities in the area over the last 10 days haven't been as avalanche savvy as they should have been (given where they were and the amount of new snow the area has received since the 1st of the year).
post #8 of 22
TC just wants more gear!

I agree ... I wouldn't worry about it unless you plan on going outta bounds. And if you're skiing with a bunch of Bears, as it looks like, few others (if anyone) will have them anyway, so it would be kind of useless.

Spend your $$ on something else.
post #9 of 22
So sad. You have to wonder how experienced these skiers were. I don't get it. There is 5,000 acres of skiing at Vail that is serviced by the patrol. Unless, you posess a high level of mountaineering and snow knowledge you need to stay in bounds. It would appear these skiers were looking for a backcountry experience and one paid with their life. Very unfortunate and tragic and reinforces the mountains can play for keeps.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post
So sad. You have to wonder how experienced these skiers were. I don't get it. There is 5,000 acres of skiing at Vail that is serviced by the patrol. Unless, you posess a high level of mountaineering and snow knowledge you need to stay in bounds. It would appear these skiers were looking for a backcountry experience and one paid with their life. Very unfortunate and tragic and reinforces the mountains can play for keeps.
5000 acres of Mcskiing vs East Vail which is sick terrain unprepared or not I know why they were out there.

Now would i be out there that day....probably not.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
TC just wants more gear!

I agree ... I wouldn't worry about it unless you plan on going outta bounds. And if you're skiing with a bunch of Bears, as it looks like, few others (if anyone) will have them anyway, so it would be kind of useless.

Spend your $$ on something else.
Like skis!!!!?:

You know, I was only half serious about the beacon. Its just that these avalanches make you think twice about the things you invest money in that cost more than the stuff that could save your life.

I am hoping to ski with people far more knowledgeable than I am about the risks.

My motto is:
Don't be fearful, Be respectful and Be Prepared.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
So she lost her freind around 10AM and got lost soon after. She had plenty of daylight left..she heard cars yet still decided to stay put and HOPE someone found her? I don't quite get why she didn't break trail and head for the road
post #13 of 22
CO Avy Center report on the accident:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=65017
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
My motto is:
Don't be fearful, Be respectful and Be Prepared.
And in your situation, just don't go out of bounds. You'll be fine.
post #15 of 22
My husband and i bought whistles for hiking and skiing a few years ago. Winter before last, we got separated in the trees at an area we didn't know well and each worried the other had fallen or something, broke out the whistles and blew like mad. We were quite close to each other but neither heard the other's whistle. It became clear that trees and snow deaden the sound so much that a whistle was pretty useless. Our hiking guide friends from Banff claim that voices actually carry further than a whistle or bear bells.

Not saying don't pack one, but be careful if that's what you're relying on... Try it out yourself and let us know; maybe we were just in a weird space.
post #16 of 22
If I were to buy something for avalanches aside from a beacon, it would be an avalung. Plus they're great for deep powder days.

And while it is sad, it seems as though there are too many amateurs skiing bc areas that are not familiar with avalanche safety or even checking the reports before going out. I definitely would not have been skiing that day where the avalanche report was considerable to high.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnhill View Post
And in your situation, just don't go out of bounds. You'll be fine.
That's advice that would serve many people well.

There can be great skiing out of bounds....but to go there, you need the equipment, the education and most of all the expertise. Too many think that the first, and maybe the second are all they need.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treewell View Post
So she lost her freind around 10AM and got lost soon after. She had plenty of daylight left..she heard cars yet still decided to stay put and HOPE someone found her? I don't quite get why she didn't break trail and head for the road
Many people are told to do exactly that (stay put) when they get lost.

Lot's of people don't have a clue.

I can remember being a completely clueless newbie skiing on the back side of the mountain. I was skiing alone; I didn't expect anyone to come looking for me if I got lost; my plan was ski downhill and then make a big circle around the mountain to the road; I didn't have a clue about avalanches or tree-wells. I did have an excellent guardian angel. It's hard for me to figure getting lost if you know the elevation data and your on the side of a mountain, barring extreme weather.
post #19 of 22
a beacon is worthless in preventing an avy. If you plan on skiing out of bounds(and you shouldn't if you don't have training) then take an avy 1 class. Beacons only help once you're buried, best bet is to not get buried. I live in Vail and if you only plan to ski inbounds, you have a VERY low risk of a slide.
post #20 of 22
a local guy was killed in Vail BC earlier (East Vail Chutes?) - around Christmas. He was also wearing a beacon.

http://www.telegram.com/article/20080106/NEWS/801060430
post #21 of 22
both guys were locals. Both had tons of backcountry experience and training....both made bad decisions in hindsight. Hindsight is the key word. Personally, I would have never touched either line that slid in the winter, but I wasn't the one skiing the line. I am not an expert and both guys had more experience than I do. Mainly very sad that we lost two fellow skiers. Peace to both of their friends and families.
post #22 of 22
yes very sad.

The avi conditions are "considerable," which on the radio this morning they were describing as in some ways more dangerous than high or extreme, as it is less obvious that there is a potential to slide. Right now, the conditions are pretty sketchy and folk need to be careful out of bounds. There are a lot of avi reports from this weekend throughout the CO mountains, many of them started by skiers/boarders.

Mike
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