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Unbelievably Boneheaded Move

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

The excuse I'm going with is that I was away from Jackson Hole for over two weeks and I was probably travel-lagged when this occurred.

 

A week ago, there was a really big early-season snowstorm here in the Tetons.  Apparently, one of the snow stations at the ski resort reported a total of 38" of snow during the course of the storm.  I, of course, was back in Iowa for family things and wasn't here to ski the huge dump but I was HEARING about it from several friends.

 

So, I drove back into Jackson early (REALLY early, if you know what I mean) Friday morning and got a few hours of sleep.  By Friday afternoon, I couldn't stand the idea of all that snow up there so I went up Teton Pass with the intent of just skinning out to the Black Canyon Overlook and then skiing the trail back to the car. 

 

That plan was working fine aside from the fact that I was pretty tired.  I was about halfway to the overlook, skinning along the side of Olympic Bowl, when I heard somebody call my name.  I looked up a little ways and there was Theo Meiners digging a snow pit.  For those of you who don't know, Theo is one of the Alpine Guides at the JH Mountain Resort and also happens to be the owner and head guide at Alaska Rendezvous Lodge on Thompson Pass outside Valdez, Alaska.  You can read a report about my outstandingly incredibly GREAT trip to Theo's operation at this Wiki:  http://www.epicski.com/wiki/alaska-heli-skiing-trip-report

 

So anyway, I talk to Theo for a few minutes and then head on up the trail to the overlook.  Once there, I took the skins off and just skied back down the skin track toward the car.  When I got back to where Theo was, he was still working on his pit so I stopped to see what he had found with the snow layers.  He was very excited about how well the crystals were bonding down near the bottom of the snow, and he said "You gotta come see these crystals!  I've got a field microscope and these bonds are really cool." 

 

So I sidestep my way up to where he dug his pit and take off my skis so I can get to where I can look through the scope.  As I'm doing this, I set one of my skis down and accidentally kicked the tail so that the tip pointed downhill.

 

What happens next?

 

Of course you know the answer to that question.

 

The ski just took off down the hill. 

 

Theo and I look at each other and we both go, "Oh, sh#t!".  As we stand there watching, that ski just surfs along the top of the powder, straight down the fall line, leaving a nice little track.  The bowl we were at the top of is about 500 vertical feet.  It starts out pretty mellow and then rolls over to very steep before ending in a terrain-trap gully with trees to the far side.  Well, the ski was REALLY zipping along when it disappeared over the rollover and Theo and I are standing there looking at each other in complete silence.  

 

Now, this is a major bummer because the sun has gone down and I'm not exactly fresh and rarin' to go as far as slogging down the bowl looking for my stupid ski. 

 

Since there's no alternative, however, I put my remaining ski over my shoulder and started booting down through waist-deep snow following the ski track.  I could follow the track pretty well until the rollover, where some skier tracks kind of broke up the nice smooth surface.  I was able to spot the track from the ski further down, though, and could see where it intersected a skier track and disappeared.  Once I floundered my way down there, almost at the bottom, I could see that the ski launched off the downhill mound of the skier track and sailed over the surface for about thirty feet.  Below, there was about a 6 inch wide indentation in the snow where the ski had dived in.  I went to that spot fully expecting to find my ski, but nothing... Ten more feet of digging and probing and nothing... 20 feet, nothing.  My spirits are starting to go seriously downhill at this point because I really, really didn't want to lose that ski.  Finally, about 35 feet below where the ski dove back in, I found the stupid thing right on the ground under about three feet of snow.  I would never have believed it would go that far under the surface.

 

Once reunited with my ski, I had to skin back up out of the gully and make my way back to the car.  Theo had very courteously dropped a ways down the bowl and put in part of a skin track for me so it wasn't quite as bad a slog as it might have been otherwise.

 

So, it's a good lesson to ALWAYS pay attention to your equipment when you take your skis off - no matter what the terrain is like or how many distractions there might be. 

 

The whole experience DID make an otherwise routine afternoon into something really memorable. 

post #2 of 27

THINK OF THE AEROBIC CONDITIONING you got!

post #3 of 27

skis do run under the snow, your ski was prob doing 50.

 

post #4 of 27

 

Someone has hacked Bob Peter account and posted to totally fictitious story to make him look human.

 

Glad you found you ski.

post #5 of 27

Bob Peter's ski didnt want to put under the torture test of what bob calls an easy day out so the ski ran away.

 

post #6 of 27

I guess this answers that question posted on another area of the site.  Is Bob Peters real or fiction.  I now vote fiction.

 

The "real" Bob Peters would have NEVER walked down the hill with a ski over his shoulder.  He's have skied down on one ski (switch).

 

(and next time you are that close to the family compound here.......give a call and stop in)

 

 

UL & SC

post #7 of 27

I did something similar while skiing with an avalanche mentor.  Doug Abromiet kindly allowed me to accompany he, his wife, and one of his friends on a tour in the Sawtooths when I was in Sun Valley several years ago.  His wife fell in front of me and her ski came off and lodged several feet above her.  I pulled up to the ski and gave it a "helpful little nudge" towards her.  I didn't realize that said ski had no brake on it.  She missed it and it took off into the valley and there was nothing we could do about it, we just watched it go and go.  I felt incredibly stupid.  I was already tired from tele bumping at the resort from bell 2 bell the day before and hung over from my wifes office party/banquet the night before.  It was hard getting up and being on time and even harder keeping up with that group on the climbs.  Dougs' super strong friend retrieved the ski for us pretty quickly and everyone was nice to me.  I even got invited to ski with them again.  The last time I saw Doug He told me that he and his wife now have brakes on their AT skis.  I also have brakes on both my AT set-ups after my experience.

 

So Bob...  How was the snow?  I went out to do the same tour on the previous Tuesday and wound up skiing some great wind-loaded powder in Avalanche Bowl.  Theo has been a great mentor to me in my avalanche studies.  I would definitely stop what ever I was doing to spend some time in his pit!

post #8 of 27

Bob, let's be honest.  Your ski heard Theo talking about the crystal bonds, got jealous and had to have a look for itself. 

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

Bob Peter's ski didnt want to put under the torture test of what bob calls an easy day out so the ski ran away.

 



 LOL!  The ski ran away!  Hopefully Bob spanked the ski, and it will never do that again.

post #10 of 27

 

Quote:
My spirits are starting to go seriously downhill at this points

Hahaha.  you said "downhill".  I'm thinking a super fat rocker would have stayed on top as long as it didn't turn upside down.  Time to trade up from those SL skis that Klammer tried to steal from you.

 

Or were you yelling ...."Jimmi/Riitchie!!!!!! STOP!!    WAit!!!!  Come back here!!!!!!!!"


Edited by crgildart - 11/2/10 at 8:04am
post #11 of 27

Theoism #103

 

"Every group has someone soft and if you don't know who it is, it's YOU!"

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Louie View Post

I guess this answers that question posted on another area of the site.  Is Bob Peters real or fiction.  I now vote fiction.

 

The "real" Bob Peters would have NEVER walked down the hill with a ski over his shoulder.  He's have skied down on one ski (switch).

 

UL & SC


OMG!!! You are absolutely right!  Someone must have hacked Bob Peters' account and posted this thread to make him look human.  It must be the same "Star Wackers" that are after Randy Quaid!  Attn Admin, please restore Bob's account to him.

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Louie View Post

I guess this answers that question posted on another area of the site.  Is Bob Peters real or fiction.  I now vote fiction.

 

The "real" Bob Peters would have NEVER walked down the hill with a ski over his shoulder.  He's have skied down on one ski (switch).

Good one.

 

I actually did consider skiing down on one (but not switch). I'm passably good at skiing on one ski.  Theo talked me out of it based on questionable snow coverage and buried obstacles.  Plus, booting down gave me at least the beginnings of a boot track coming back up the steep part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post
 
So Bob...  How was the snow?  I went out to do the same tour on the previous Tuesday and wound up skiing some great wind-loaded powder in Avalanche Bowl. 


I saw your report while I was back in Iowa.  I was jealous, to say the least.  The snow was really good, although it was pretty well tracked up thanks to earlier poachers like YOU.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post

Bob, let's be honest.  Your ski heard Theo talking about the crystal bonds, got jealous and had to have a look for itself. 


I never thought of it that way.  Good theory.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDog View Post

 LOL!  The ski ran away!  Hopefully Bob spanked the ski, and it will never do that again.


I think the ski spanked me for not taking proper care of it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

 

Hahaha.  you said "downhill".  I'm thinking a super fat rocker would have stayed on top as long as it didn't turn upside down.  Time to trade up from those SL skis that Klammer tried to steal from you.

 

Or were you yelling ...."Jimmi/Riitchie!!!!!! STOP!!    WAit!!!!  Come back here!!!!!!!!"

They're Head Monster 95 O.B.'s with Dynafit bindings. I absolutely love those skis and that's why I really didn't want to lose one.

 

The interesting thing is that the brake did NOT deploy.  The top layer of snow when I had finished skinning was getting dampish in the warm temperatures and I *think* that what might have happened is that I didn't exactly clean out the bindings real well when I switched from skinning to skiing.  When I took the ski off to get down in the pit, I believe that the brake was jammed with snow and didn't pop out and I didn't notice it.  Interesting.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Theoism #103

 

"Every group has someone soft and if you don't know who it is, it's YOU!"


There's a poker saying like that.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

 

OMG!!! You are absolutely right!  Someone must have hacked Bob Peters' account and posted this thread to make him look human.  It must be the same "Star Wackers" that are after Randy Quaid!  Attn Admin, please restore Bob's account to him.


"Human" is being overly generous.  "Moron" is much more appropriate.

post #14 of 27

I lost a ski on my very first run on my very first brand new pair of skis, hart Gremlins.  I was 11.  Blood was running down the back of my head from where it whacked me safety strap nun chuck style before detaching from my ankle and fleeing the scene of the crime.  I was balling while looking around the bottom of the hill for it.  A resort employee eventually found it so I was able to get a couple more laps before the hill closed for the night.

post #15 of 27

glad you found it.  thanks for the reminder too.

post #16 of 27

I know an arrogant guy. (don't we all) he didn't want to buy new bindings for his wider skis and wasn't mechanically inclined enough to bend out the brakes correctly so he had a pair of skis with the brakes stuck in the up position. I asked him if he thought that was a good idea. He said he never fell, so what does it matter. goodnuff. so, he's at the end of a bootpack on the edge of a closed area putting on his skis. you guessed it, one of them took off like a bat out of hell, down the wrong side, the closed area side..


Edited by davluri - 11/2/10 at 11:15pm
post #17 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
He was very excited about how well the crystals were bonding down near the bottom of the snow, and he said "You gotta come see these crystals!  I've got a field microscope and these bonds are really cool." 

Sorry if this is too much of a tangent, but I'm curious to know what this bonding-crystal-stuff means. Can Bob or someone who understands this explain?
 

post #18 of 27

the shape of snowflakes, original crystals or altered by wind, temperature change, etc, determines how they will bond with similar or contrasting shaped snowflakes in proximity, determining if a slab will form, if one layer is shifting easily over another and so on related to sloughs and avalanches. the reference above is to original crystal shapes that bond with combinations of the points of the next star shaped crystal.

post #19 of 27

I discovered last season that ski brakes don't necessarily work in very light powder

Fortunately, it wasn't the kind of slog that Bob had, just 30 or 40 meters off the side of a ridge and they hit some brush and stopped.

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

I lost a ski on my very first run on my very first brand new pair of skis, hart Gremlins.  I was 11.  Blood was running down the back of my head from where it whacked me safety strap nun chuck style before detaching from my ankle and fleeing the scene of the crime.  I was balling while looking around the bottom of the hill for it.  A resort employee eventually found it so I was able to get a couple more laps before the hill closed for the night.


Ha ha..... Last year on my first day on my shiny new pair of Head Jimi's.... Kicking Horse opening day, fresh snow everywhere..... I said hello to a tree well and lost a ski.....  I feared the worst and nearly broke into tears (i'm 32!).... Thankfully the garishly bright coloured binding (which I had previously said I hated) was just visible under the snow about 10ft away from me!.....  I now love the color of those bindings!

post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TallSkinnyGuy View Post


 

Sorry if this is too much of a tangent, but I'm curious to know what this bonding-crystal-stuff means. Can Bob or someone who understands this explain?
 


No problem at all on the tangent thing.  That's one of the ways we learn things.

 

Davluri's explanation is a very good one.  To add to it slightly (and to grossly oversimplify an extremely complicated science), layers of snow and snowpacks are constantly undergoing changes.  Individual snowflakes break down, break apart, collapse, melt, refreeze, bond, separate, and so on.  One very important part of snow safety analysis is what Theo was looking at: are those individual snow crystals "bonding", which means their connections to each other are getting stronger.  If they are, then you can conclude that at least that particular part of the snowpack is getting less likely to avalanche. 

 

It's far more complicated than that, because a midwinter snowpack is going to have many layers, often made up of radically different types of snow crystals.  Some of the bonds might be strengthening at the same time that others might be weakening.  Does that make it confusing enough?

 

If you're interested, here's a great online resource about snow crystals:  http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/natural-disasters/avalanche1.htm
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

the shape of snowflakes, original crystals or altered by wind, temperature change, etc, determines how they will bond with similar or contrasting shaped snowflakes in proximity, determining if a slab will form, if one layer is shifting easily over another and so on related to sloughs and avalanches. the reference above is to original crystal shapes that bond with combinations of the points of the next star shaped crystal.


 

post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimintokyo View Post

I discovered last season that ski brakes don't necessarily work in very light powder

Fortunately, it wasn't the kind of slog that Bob had, just 30 or 40 meters off the side of a ridge and they hit some brush and stopped.


On a related note, with skis getting wider (increasing surface area), I haven't noticed that ski brakes have gotten proportionately bigger.  Seems like this may enable an unattached ski to run farther, particularly on a powder day. I learned years ago (the hard way) about the benefits of powder cords but I'm wondering if the trend is that areas are finding more lost skis when the snow melts.

post #23 of 27

Knowledge of this potential problem and inability to keep powder leashes handy is exactly why I put my name and cell phone number in every one of my skis.  I can only hope that if I lose one it might make it back someday before the elements destroy it.

 

I also went and ordered a pair of leashes for my fatter skis.


Edited by crgildart - 11/4/10 at 7:55am
post #24 of 27

Friend of mine lost a ski on one of those extremely rare 24-inch powder days in Michigan years ago before brakes.  The hill is maybe 450 feet, but there was a patch of woods separating the bottoms of two runs and the ski sailed into the woods.  A bunch of us hunted for more than an hour to no avail.  Only spring thaw uncovered the ski.

post #25 of 27

This is just the latest incarnation of the Bob Peters saga as told by the mountains. The story of the snowpit, the runaway ski, and the difficult trek to follow it and bring it back. Of course it's been told before, in 1953 with the move "Shane".

 

You'll recognize everything in this clip. In the clip Bob's inner child is played by the boy, yelling "Come back Shane!". Of course the ski is Shane, with Bob yelling for it to come back. It's not so simple though for in the movie Bob is also portrayed by Shane and the pistols also represent the skis. In the movie there was the digging out of the tree stump. Here this time it's the digging of the snowpit. In the movie there's Shane putting down the gunfighters pistols, saying he's done with fighting. Here it's the taking off of the skins, done climbing.  In the movie Shane eventually takes up the pistols again and rides off. Here Bob puts the skins back on and climbs back up the hill...

There's other clues. You'll see "Acclaimed!" in the movie trailer. Just like Bob. You'll see "The greatest story of the west ever filmed!" in the trailer. Here of course the same thing with the snowpit, the skins, the ski, the trek out and back. This being epicski, of course there's no video...  and how can we expect Bob to film his own epic!

You'll recognize the mountains in the film. They're Bob's. They always were of course.

 

The Story of Bob Peters. (The Early Version)

 

  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWdPmapuOd4


Edited by Tog - 11/4/10 at 9:40am
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Knowledge of this potential problem and inability to keep powder leashes handy is exactly why I put my name and cell phone number in every one of my skis.  I can only hope that if I lose one it might make it back someday before the elements destroy it.

 

I also went and ordered a pair of leashes for my fatter skis.



I skied with leashes before moving to Squaw. Wanted my ski near my foot if I ejected in 2+ feet of powder (not much windmill effect) But there are so many short boot packs here that fastening the leashes causes one to lose the group, too much time taken, and no one waiting. The arguement now is that in good snow, deep that is, no one falls, therefore no one ejects. that's the thinking anyway. I've ejected twice in powder in about 800 days (all conditions) since moving here, and yep, lost it till spring (fyi, it was way higher up than I figured, as I was in a huge slough and thought the ski would be pushed down with the slide).

post #27 of 27

Of course Shane was filmed in JH.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

This is just the latest incarnation of the Bob Peters saga as told by the mountains. The story of the snowpit, the runaway ski, and the difficult trek to follow it and bring it back. Of course it's been told before, in 1953 with the move "Shane".

 

You'll recognize everything in this clip. In the clip Bob's inner child is played by the boy, yelling "Come back Shane!". Of course the ski is Shane, with Bob yelling for it to come back. It's not so simple though for in the movie Bob is also portrayed by Shane and the pistols also represent the skis. In the movie there was the digging out of the tree stump. Here this time it's the digging of the snowpit. In the movie there's Shane putting down the gunfighters pistols, saying he's done with fighting. Here it's the taking off of the skins, done climbing.  In the movie Shane eventually takes up the pistols again and rides off. Here Bob puts the skins back on and climbs back up the hill...

There's other clues. You'll see "Acclaimed!" in the movie trailer. Just like Bob. You'll see "The greatest story of the west ever filmed!" in the trailer. Here of course the same thing with the snowpit, the skins, the ski, the trek out and back. This being epicski, of course there's no video...  and how can we expect Bob to film his own epic!

You'll recognize the mountains in the film. They're Bob's. They always were of course.

 

The Story of Bob Peters. (The Early Version)

 

  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWdPmapuOd4

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