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Discussion in 'Alpine & Southern' started by Rat trap bindings, Aug 8, 2019.
There's a write-up on the alpineaccess site. Sounds like the guy had just done AST1 a week earlier.
Wasn't part of an ast1 a flag that an ast1 may give a false boost to ones skills? It's been a while.
Either way, as others have said - huge snowfall event, wind then heat.... Avys aren't a big issue here but during big events things need a look
There in lies the biggest danger ..... confidence and some "safety gear".
Yes good point.
How-ever knowing the Instructors very well , and having spent many many days / weeks in the back country with them
I do know they drill into the group that it is preventative and awareness
the safety gear is for worst case , for recovery not to be considered life saving device.
rather than this makes it OK approach.
What's that graph they show in the AST-1 course about confidence increasing with experience and learning until an incident where it plummets and on the cycle goes?
Bloke went out on a considerable avalanche hazard day and rode a wind loaded convex slope. clearly wasn't paying attention in the course.
They also thought they were suitably experienced to perform a hand-shear test and interpret the results after an AST1...
I put this down to pilto error also.
as woody says and you both say.
we all knew it was sketchy af out there until the snowpack settled.
think I read they only did a hand shear test !!!
so like I said, they weren't paying attention.
Before you even get to the hand sheer test, there should've been enough red flags to make you consider very carefully your terrain choices.
People screw up all kinds of ways. Experience, and observation over a long period will beat any course, any day. Its a matter of HOW people built up that experience and knowledge IMO. You cant fast track it, other than by spending more days out there. I have been watching for 45 years now, but friends whop have only been going out for 15 years actually have more experience than me.
I wouldn’t have even bothered with that.
It’s 1m of snow on top of an ice rink on a warming day.
Maybe just stay off slopes in the slide angle that are wind loaded to buggery.
None of this needs a test or anything.
It’s boring initial decision stuff.
Etheridge is a well known slide path.
I’ve seen slab action there since the 80’s.
LOTS of red flags ignored IMO
If in doubt, don’t.
Wasn’t paying attention in school.
I think the most likely vector of increased risk from an AST1 is the fact that you're entirely more likely to go into the backcountry after having done one. Better having done an AST1 than nothing though.
I dunno, ‘I’ve done an AST1’ has become fb-groups-speak-looking-for-a-partner for ‘I’m not an idiot’ which is not really the case. It’s like ‘I’ve got a white card’ as a proxy for being an experienced building site anything, what it means is you can legally be allowed through the gate but are still likely totally clueless.
Experience is a hard master; you get the test first and the lesson later.
Correct me if I am wrong, but that storm was a “once in a blue moon” storm. 1.5m of snow on boiler plate ain’t just going to sit there happily anywhere on the planet. You don’t need to rethink too much except maybe why these slides aren’t “once in a blue moon”
Usual slope angles may need to be slightly expanded, and a little conservatism after these events is never a bad idea.
On AST1’s, I think mine worked well, I came out feeling I knew a lot less than when I went in.
AST 1 = " now I know that I don't know "
Just like July 2014... dump of snow, some rain followed by a dump of snow. I skied out to Carruthers from CP but didn't ski anything of consequence as the layers were as slippery as soap...... and then Buckland and Kerr were killed on Bongong.
Guess that was the last blue moon that I remember.
By experience for the dumbferk at Etheridge.
I can accept the Etheridge one, over the Stilwell tent rescue one.
No way i would have been skiing Etheridge this week though. But I have the insight of what it was like before the dump, having tried to drop a line then.
In the partnering-up aspect, AST1 tells me someone has the ability and mindset to sit and attend a course and has thought about it. Which might partner up with a degree of thought in other areas.
My worldly experience tells me that courses like this absolutely give you no experience, just an inkling. If the takeaway, is slope angle etc then that is useful.
All this snowpit digging is just a tool - there is a bit of 'showing off' here too. "Look, I can dig a hole".
The real skill is filling in the hole once you're done so Guthega ridge isn't a death trap (speaking from real experience).
That's my exact point though. Would you rather be touring with an idiot who has at least done some training, or an idiot with none? Having at least done the course shows that someone is willing to take a couple of days and spend a bit of money on learning.
AFAIK most serious incidents around the world involve people who have a great deal of experience, simply because they're the ones who push the boundaries the most, and put themselves in the terrain in the first place.
I’d rather tour by myself than with an idiot.
Agree, you make a judgement, and go from there. One day you make the wrong call, for whatever reason.
However, we are seeing here, a lot of people getting rescued, who do not have the experience. In fact I was sitting in Wilderness in Jindy the other day, killing time, and observing. All sorts of people are starting to just go for a look. That can be fine, if they go to Kiandra. But even there, enough stupid will kill. I was chatting with locals about the carnage after this dump, there is always some, but no one can remember it ever hitting these highs!
You went with me once!
We did a DHG run on Tuesday. Now I would often just do it, with no kit at all, many here would and have. But one of the people coming could not ski all that well, and it was his first BC foray. I have noticed that even really good resort skiers, can suddenly be almost beginner in the BC. They have not practiced the skills that you need, like kick turns and sidesliding. So in this case, I opted to duck back to the van, and grab a bivvie and puffy, just in case he got hurt, and Jen also went and got her first aid kit. Different mindset altogether than is it was just us hey.
Probably not too dissimilar to what gets uttered in Japan every season
If you dig a hole where someone else has previously dug, does it invalidate the results?
though I'm guessing traffic levels would make it pretty unlikely to dig in the same spot
Im a fan of a good probing.
more than once!
A little slide is visible 1/4 the way down Tate. Looks like snow perched on the rocks lost it's grip and went down, not far but enough to be a warning. Some unusual marks from what looks like cornice dropping a bit further North in the same area. Will post a pic or two when my currently broken phone SIM gets fixed.
I have found the photos of the Etheridge avalanche to be very sobering. I was touring there only two weeks age - lured across from Thredbo by the impressive sight of that southern section of the ridge. The main risk then seemed to be sliding into a rock but we dug a pit anyway and (as per the photo) there was a bit of a shear on column testing. Hence we avoided the steeper sections. Common sense, fear and the tutoring received in the AST courses I have done all played a role in my part of this decision. (#blowfin - being considerate types we also filled the pit back in.)
I have been tending to leave the beacon/probe/shovel at the lodge when I am on my own or the avalanche risk seems low. I think I will now err on the side of carrying it more.
Snow doesn't really stick to rocky areas that well.
IMHO this bloke with his broken ankle did not release the ridge. I think he got hit because he was taking a more direct route up through exposed known cornice and slide terrain.
AST1 is a great course but it's really just a little beginner knowledge and how to use a beacon.
Facebook "back country" groups are the new gnar .....
Well that's the trick isn't it. Everything's business as usual until it isn't!
The thing that really struck me reading the MSC reports was the temperature of the snow. It was a coooold storm (by our standards) and there was more than the usual variation of temperature from 0 down to -8 etc, this seems to have lead to more distinct layers, which were preserved for longer.
The textbook warning is that rain or rapid warming on fresh snow, reliably produces instant avalanches. Here I don't think it's so clear cut, as the snow is usually already wet and warm (I mean consider the effect of rain, on 40cm of Rockies cold smoke, vs 15cm of Australian elephant snot). But having a fall of "overseas quality snow" at -8, means it has a lot more to transition though on the way from powder blanket to ice block.
Pic in bc chatter thread.
Someone looked out a window?
Never seen BOM have an avi warning before!
Read the newspaper and went "oh shit that's a weather effect, we'd better say something about it."
Thanks, missed that - thought it was a discussion on the people checking stability etc!
I think the negative talk about the ast1 course is a bit unwarranted. I just did the course and the main thing I got out of it was 'I dont know shit!' I sure as hell didnt come out all gungho ready to bomb mt bogong. I definately know a lot more than I did going in, but really that has made me a lot more cautious. I wont be going outback without all the gear and someone who knows more than I do. My impression is the only way to learn is to go out and do it, hope the person your doing it with knows what they're talking about and err on the side of caution till you feel you know your stuff.
err on the side of caution always
Haven't read the whole thread. But i could not comment on this.
No impossible, seem many an inbounds avi in thredbo and perisher.
Decent slabs that could harm. Very lucky that no one was in the way.
True, and I was looking up at the Smiggs cornice where it slid a few years just this morning and thinking SP might do something with it tonight.
Hotham has plenty of inbound & close out bounds slides.
You're thinking about the gear, that's the problem with the AST1 in Australia. Gear doesn't make you safe, it means your family will be able to bury you sooner, if you've got well practiced partners you might survive.
Learn about navigation, how to understand the weather and how to safely manage ice to be safe in the Oz BC.
The AST1 and avi grear are the same as helmets inbounds. They make people feel safe enough to either participate or take bigger risks, they do SFA to make people safer.
Seems they are acknowledging the potential and that there are many more peeps travelling and playing in areas of risk.
AST 1 will hopefully make people feel not safer , and thus make them actual behave safer / more conservative in their decisions.
Seems to be failing on that front.....