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Question 2019 Is there an avalanche threat to be considered?

Discussion in 'Alpine & Southern' started by Rat trap bindings, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. Rat trap bindings

    Rat trap bindings One of Us Ski Pass: 30 Day

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  2. Jellybeans

    Jellybeans Walking on a dream Ski Pass: Gold

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  3. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think there's definitely a window of increased risk this cycle, for sure.
     
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  4. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    The avy risk will be high for varying periods during and after current snow flurries.

    Fresh snow on a uniformly frozen surface on the areas i have been in NSW, not a big sample but I think it’s representative, will have some slabs breaking away and sliding.

    Don’t traverse slopes for next week.

    No need to panic, but use real caution.
     
  5. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    This :thumbs:
     
  6. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Most of what will slide should do naturally but certainly next week will be sketchy in sketchy terrain.
     
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  7. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I suggest the Hotham area will be sketchy as. Can any Hotham locals chime in here?
     
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  8. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Plenty of shots of today's slides in Mary's etc. Big issue would be getting swept into the creek and ravine at the bottom.
     
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  9. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Do I leave this obscurely in weather or move to BC???
     
  10. Rat trap bindings

    Rat trap bindings One of Us Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Hummm.. clicked the main range link and..
     
  11. Rat trap bindings

    Rat trap bindings One of Us Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    I did two years of CMH helli a few years back and the retrieval training really showed the possiblity just of a 200mm slab slide can be death..
     
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  12. Jellybeans

    Jellybeans Walking on a dream Ski Pass: Gold

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  13. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ummm.... any slide can be catastrophic.
     
  14. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh definitely. Terrain traps below ridges etc. People skinning below exposed areas.

    Wind plays a big part here both packing the snow and creating wind loaded lee side and knolls. Luckily most are only exposed to short run outs.

    It's the short steep traps that I am wary of, snow slides and packs you in and very difficult to get out again.
     
  15. Rat trap bindings

    Rat trap bindings One of Us Ski Pass: 30 Day

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  16. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    The biggest variable right now is wind. Even a few cms can translate to a couple of feet in leeward aspects.
    Reports of graupel today (in almost all resorts) are concerning, esp considering the amount of snowfall due tonight/tomorrow, and under high wind.
    The risk will be there for some time IMO.
     
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  17. sbm_

    sbm_ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    (rant incoming...sorry)

    A week? A WEEK!?

    48 hours is enough time in a maritime snowpack and this is a common rule of thumb. In Tahoe my host called it the Tahoe rule, in NZ it was the postman's rule, because legend has it the Milford Sound postman had a lifelong incident-free career traversing that avalanche-prone highway, simply by waiting two days after a storm.

    You know what people (including avalanche professionals) do in North America when it snows a bunch and the condition is red? Do they hide in bed? THEY GO SKIING. IN THE BACKCOUNTRY EVEN. It's powder skiing! It's what we're here for! Come on dawooduck, I respect your experience. you know this. Now, of course they don't go ripping turns down the middle of huge steep open leeward bowls - they carefully navigate to gentle slopes in the trees.

    It is a fact that avalanches are impossible in the majority of the Australian high country. IMPOSSIBLE. Two words - slope angle. It needs to be steep to avalanche. We all remember that 37-38 degrees is the sweet spot, and above 30 degrees is risk-prone. However it is exceptionally, exceptionally rare for slopes below 25 degrees to avalanche (you need very weird conditions like Icelandic summer corn slab or something). Hotham sees lots of avalanches because it has the most steep terrain that gets lots of snow. Perisher or Falls Creek basically never see avalanches.

    Now would I go ski the Blue Lake or Club Lake chutes this weekend? Or ski into a steep gully like Stanleys or Vortex near Thredbo? Hell no. Oh god no. But absolutely I would go to the Paralyser or Dead Horse Gap and ski. With care and trying to use my avalanche training and terrain avoidance skills to my best.

    This is going to come off like I'm encouraging every man and his dog to charge off into the backcountry. It's not what I mean - though, sigh, I probably am. What I'm trying to say is that, to pretend that only fools go outside of the resorts after snowfall, it's just misleading. Thousands of people do and they're almost always safe. You can't pretend the risk is high when it's low. In Australia it really is low.
     
  18. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    The problem is; without avi skills and training (maybe 98% of Aus skiers, maybe 60-70% of Aus BC users) the risk is high in the BC/Main Range right now.
    Risk mitigation is easy... if you have the knowledge.
     
  19. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I reckon its fair to say, dont ski anything too interesting in the short term, unless you have the skills/knowledge to assess.

    Majority of slides in OZ are cornice collapse, rain undermining, and ski cut. Short term a ski cut could easily give a good slide, combine that with a terrain trap (like Stanleys/Vortex) and it could be very dangerous.

    But agree with the sentiment of @sbm_
     
  20. jonathanc

    jonathanc One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thanks for the permission slip - I'm gonna head out and drop the main chute on the crags south face this arvo, climb the waterfalls in lady northcote and then boot up avalanche alley. Wish me luck LOL

    In all seriousness I will actually be out and about on Sunday or Monday but will be sticking to lower risk terrain. The icy base, fluff from yesterday and reports of graupel should keep people cautious for a while. Similar to conditions in France in 2015 when there were record numbers of avalanche deaths, heaps of inbounds stuff was closed and people got buried on relatively low-angle terrain. I was there and met one of the guys who got buried inbounds - survived due to quick thinking and good luck.
     
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  21. Pink

    Pink One of Us

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    Hotham provides daily backcountry reports on their website. From this morning:
     
  22. sbm_

    sbm_ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Ok I'll pull my head in and answer the question.

    Is there an avalanche threat to be considered? Yes. Those with some training and experience will be able to work around the threat. For those who don't, it would be wise to wait 48 hours after the last significant accumulation.

    Sorry what set me off was the suggest that the backcountry won't be safe for a whole week. It's Australia! In a week the season will darn well be nearly over!
     
  23. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Virtually, live obs on the current situation:
     
  24. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    When skiing with @rocketboy I've seen Eyre bowl slide inbounds with less IMO.
     
  25. jonathanc

    jonathanc One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Seen this before, and also a real weird one on ~25 degree slope at rock garden in blue cow.
     
  26. rocketboy

    rocketboy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I was taking it a little careful today under some large overhangs and the like. The wind load is significant in quite a few spots within the resort.

    Then I nearly fell off a snow cliff on sidewinder (skier right MtP double) while heading to eyre for a E&B roll. it's all about priorities.
     
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  27. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    I totally agree. There is so much avalanche frothing theses days. My comment on "sketchy terrain" was related to creeks and ravines.
     
  28. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Comparing Australia with France is ..... silly
     
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  29. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    You took my "next week" comment literally to mean a whole week .. crikeys.

    Point being that this storm is forecast to blow into next week so even your "wait 48hrs" would be into Wednesday.

    Personally, and this was discussed today in a group with 120 yrs of skiing between them, pretty much no one ever mentioned avalanche in regards to Australia until people started promoting AST courses in Australia.

    The whole "beacon and probe" thing has taken on a whole new froth.
     
  30. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    ABC reporting a snowboarder carried in avalanche down Mary’s slide... which highlights everything we’ve been saying on this thread.


    Why would you ski that on a day like this... it’s even called slide ffs
     
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  31. The Plowking

    The Plowking Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looks like the bottom 'intermediates sideslip makes icy after no snow for a while section’
    No bonding, prettylogical.
    You'd ski it because its open.
    Think it went yesterday too?
     
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  32. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    It’s not open, it’s out of the resort
     
  33. The Plowking

    The Plowking Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mary's Slide ?
    100% in resort
     
  34. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    To me all this graphic and colour really only tells me one thing, there is a blizzard on. So no real info at all apart from the blinding obvious.

    Harsh comment I know but that's what I see in this. They could give more data more simply and it would be more helpful. Or is all this another topic?
     
  35. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I was thinking it was that gully on the village side?
     
  36. The Plowking

    The Plowking Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wall of Uselessness (death)?
     
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  37. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think you're thinking of The Drift, under the T-Bar...
     
  38. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think Hackers Horror went Yesterday, but maybe there were a few?
     
  39. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  40. jonathanc

    jonathanc One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I totally agree
     
  41. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ive nearly died multiple times in mega avalanches, both inbounds and out.

    But I didnt die.

    This one time, I farted heaps, which turned my pants into an avibag, keeping me bum up, on top of the snow.

    So far as I know, there has been one death in a terrain trap, in Thredbo (out of bounds), and another guy that was extremely lucky, in the same spot. Lots of people, including me, have been part buried in milder slides. But usually its ski patrol who get this honor. there is a risk in the backcountry, in certain aspects, for sure. But anyone with the skill and experience to ski those aspects, would likely have the experience and knowledge to make the right call.

    that said, year before last, I was out skiing with Jen. We decided based on conditions to take it easy. Same day someone skied Watsons....he had an iceaxe at the ready, so obviously knew he was being a bit of an idiot. These are the people perhaps causing the froth. Froth seekers.
     
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  42. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    http://mountainsportscollective.org/main-range-nsw
     
  43. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  44. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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  45. sbm_

    sbm_ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Wow...that's...wow. That's legit. That's exactly the kind of event I thought was once-in-a-blue-moon here. Skier triggered on a blue sky day some time after the blizzard, actual large dry slab.

    I'm looking pretty foolish here. I'm going to have to rethink some stuff...
     
  46. jonathanc

    jonathanc One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Decent sized remotely triggered one in the ramshead area too...
     
  47. sbm_

    sbm_ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Holy flying spaghetti monster the Ramshead spur went too

    [​IMG]
     
  48. jonathanc

    jonathanc One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    That's what I said haha.

    That's actually the area I was planning to head to on Monday and decided against it. Good call by the looks.
     
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  49. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Was it really skier triggered, the bloke was snow shoeing up a "Rocky ridge" and was taken out from above ?

    Looks a lot like natural action in obvious places as things settle and the sun comes out.

    10 days of sunshine, a little rain prior to a big storm of wind and snow loading everything up, sun comes out ..... whomp