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scary fall down chute at Steven's Pass

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

The 7th Heaven lives up to its name. Great double black runs off this chair, often the best snow conditions at Steven's. Some of the most difficult terrain is accessed via a 5 min hike up from the chair unload and then a spicy traverse.
 

I was behind a kid (6-7 yo) and his dad. The kid made it past the roller-coaster traverse, but the dad lost speed and slid backwards into the chute. I saw one ski close to the entry to the chute. I caught up with the kid who was waiting, told him that his father went on a different route and asked whether he was comfortable going down the now somewhat easier bumps. A few turns later we found the dad who was dusting off snow. Unscathed. I reckon he fell 80 vertical ft in crazy terrain. Good luck in bad luck...

My takeaway:

  • I'll ask about hazards (what to expect) when I am about to go for the first time on a difficult run/traverse
  • I'll be sure to always carry enough speed on the traverse to not slide back


Here's a picture of the chute. The chute is really intimidating when looked at from above or below.

chute_stevens.jpg
 

 

post #2 of 10
 I'd hate to fall down that one...

My bias is to leave a decent chunk of room ahead of me on some of the traverses in that neighborhood. However, then you get all kinds of impatient behavior from certain folks. OTOH, I hate surprises on traverses.

Interestingly, I've seen the line directly under the lift skied a few times this year (there are a couple inconveniently placed cables hidden in the snow in the picture too). Usually by a specific patroller who is cutting it. But I've seen a couple other folks hit it as well. Interestingly, 2 out of 3 were on Kuros. But I digress...

The picture does not do justice to how steep that is. IIRC the named run (Bobby's) to looker's right just out of the picture has an average slope of a bit over 40 degrees for the full run. I'd guess the drop directly under the lift at about 60 degrees - give or take. The fall path is obviously somewhere in between, but decently north of 45...

FWIW, check out this fall in roughly the same place that someone posted on youtube a couple years ago:

post #3 of 10
love the falling off video, I don't think he got more than a foot into the line before tumbling....
post #4 of 10
one (turn) and done. Lot of vert in a short time.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

 I'd hate to fall down that one...

My bias is to leave a decent chunk of room ahead of me on some of the traverses in that neighborhood. However, then you get all kinds of impatient behavior from certain folks. OTOH, I hate surprises on traverses.

Interestingly, I've seen the line directly under the lift skied a few times this year (there are a couple inconveniently placed cables hidden in the snow in the picture too). Usually by a specific patroller who is cutting it. But I've seen a couple other folks hit it as well. Interestingly, 2 out of 3 were on Kuros. But I digress...

The picture does not do justice to how steep that is. IIRC the named run (Bobby's) to looker's right just out of the picture has an average slope of a bit over 40 degrees for the full run. I'd guess the drop directly under the lift at about 60 degrees - give or take. The fall path is obviously somewhere in between, but decently north of 45...

FWIW, check out this fall in roughly the same place that someone posted on youtube a couple years ago:


wow I wonder what his underpants looked like after that fall. I am still laughing, the accelration was amazing. 

"that looked gnarly my friend"
post #6 of 10
 Wow, and he didn't even swear! 
I'da filled a cuss jar on a fall like that.
post #7 of 10
*shudder* that video pretty much explemplifies what I fear happening during some of the hairier parts of some traverses. The kind of things that have gotten me to over compensate and fall "up" the hill.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski=free View Post

one (turn) and done. Lot of vert in a short time.

I think it was no turns and done. Relatively few people drop off that early part of the traverse intentionally. I'm guessing the guy doing the video got a tip deflected on the traverse - and off he went... 

On a funny note, the lift base has long had signs with the the ritual "expert runs only, no easy way down" nonsense. For some reason this year they felt compelled to add a very, very prominent "no groomed runs" sign. I can only imagine the conversations that led to that one...
post #9 of 10
My sister in law used to patrol at Stevens and she told me that traverse was the scariest place to take a toboggan on the mountain.  I also patrolled there but never had to do it, thank God.  I'm absolutely positive she was correct.
post #10 of 10
Pretty amazing that in that video, it seems the guy went down about 100 yards per second after the fall off the traverse.  He came really close to nailing that tree.  The picture by the OP shows very nice conditions for that pitch.  In Utah or Colorado, the snow would never cover something that steep.
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