The Backcountry Etiquette Thread

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Telemark Phat, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Part of the Furniture
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    I was thinking about BC etiquette when skinning around the Paralyser on Sat and with comments in other threads I think a resource for BC newbies and lurkers on the topic could go a long way. I've thought a bit of a process. I'll keep this OP edited to include peoples idea's organised in one spot, TGR style. I'll rank suggestions according to the number of likes the community gives the idea, Reddit style.

    Principle
    When you're in the backcountry you are in a special place. A place you share with everyone in the backcountry today, and into the future. Be aware of your impacts on the backcountry and minimise them as much as possible. That way you'll be protecting the back country for its own sake, the experience of other people and by minimising your impact you'll be protecting your experiences into the future

    Saftey
    1. Be aware of other skiers below you and avoid knocking debris onto them from above. This is especially important in avalanche terrain.
    2. Try to be as self sufficient as possible with the goal of self rescue in the event of any problems in the BC. Being prepared not only reduces the risk of you relying on others to rescue you, you will be more likely to be in a position to help others in trouble.[
    3. If you are travelling in avalanche terrain understand the dangers, how to minimise them and how to use your safety equipment.

    Environment
    Minimise your environmental impact when in the BC so yourself and others can to continue to enjoy it into the future
    1. Camp in appropriate places (away from creeks and rivers)
    2. Follow the regulations on camping locations (out of the glacial lakes catchments in KNP) and Hut use (emergency only accommodation in Seaman's and Cootapatamba Huts).
    3. Pack out more rubbish than you pack in.
    4. Use a poo tube, or ensure you bury faeces 200m away from water courses. Do not defecate in the skin track (it has happened)
    5. When in KNP please follow the document below
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

    Ascent (skinning, snowshoeing and boot packing)
    The clean, pristine face of a mountain is a scarce resource, especially when the snow is good. Minimise your impact on that shared resource by travelling up the mountain with good etiquitte.
    1. Try to set a good skin / snowshoe track which follows a consistent gradient so everyone can use it.
    2. Try to set a bootpack with a medium distance between steps so people with short, medium and long legs can use it.
    3. Don't mix skin / snowshoe / bootpack tracks, set one for each mode of ascent.
      [​IMG]
      Good
      [​IMG]
      Bad
    4. If there is already a skin / snowshoe / bootpack track set on a slope use it. Only make a new skin track if it doesn't suit your mode of uphill transport (too steep for patterns, to steep a traverse for splitboarders). Try to preserve the slope, even if it means going a little out of your way.
      [​IMG]
      The snow shoers were good by avoiding the skin track, but they should have only made one snow shoe track.
    5. Set the track away from where people will want to ski / ride back down the hill. Preserve the fresh snow for your own tracks or those of others.
    6. Avoid setting tracks over the track of another skier / snowboarder. Don't ruin the beauty of your own or someone else's fresh tracks.
      [​IMG]
      Bad track, but @skifree was being good by using the established track rather than setting a new one.

    Descent (Skiing / Riding)
    The clean, pristine face of a mountain is a scarce resource, especially when the snow is good. Minimise your impact on that shared resource by travelling down the mountain with good etiquitte.
    1. Avoid crossing over other tracks on your way down the mountain. Someone's tracks a like a signature, avoid messing up their signature.
      [​IMG]
      Good
      [​IMG]
      Bad
    2. Choose a line which leaves room for yourself or someone else to make another clean set of tracks down the mountain.
    3. If you fall more than once on a run, be sure to separate your bomb craters evenly so you're tracks are still aestheticly pleaseing
     
    #1 Telemark Phat, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  2. tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker
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  3. tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker
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    Carry out what you carry in, including your poo.
    Smile and say hello to fellow BCers
     
  4. Rimey

    Rimey Dedicated Member
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    Yes or @BrianWilson will hit you up for a beer for each and every infraction and never let you forget it.
    The naggin's so bad you'd reckon he'd had a sex change.
     
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  5. teckel

    teckel Old And Crusty
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    I thought this was about etiquette, not about whether you've got a set of tracks fit for facebook.
     
  6. Rimey

    Rimey Dedicated Member
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    Once Wilso's let go of the naggin', I did agree there's a canvas out there. A little thought and consideration and the face needn't look like a a plate of left over pasta.
     
    #6 Rimey, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  7. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    You're a mind reader TP I was thinking the same re: skin tracks on Saturday also.

    It's worth noting that with a little effort each subsequent skier can stamp and kick a little to turn a marginal skin track on a steepish traverse into a veritable freeway. But instead I was faced with a fustercluck.

    On a positive note I had a friendly chat with just about every person I met out in the BC with everyone happy to discuss conditions they had encountered and other tips. So I think that should go in as a pointer.
     
    #7 CarveMan, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
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  8. sbm

    sbm Dedicated Member
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    I dunno, that's a lot of rules for skiing. I think I'm going to ski where and how I want. Let's focus on the important stuff.

    1. Don't ski above someone when you could knock debris at them or trigger an avalanche on them.
    2. Help other parties in trouble, if you can.
    3. Follow the regulations on campsite location and hut use, and don't pretend to be above the rules because you're "responsible and experienced".
    4. Pack out MORE than you pack in. Don't let a few asses ruin it for everyone, I try to think about picking up extra rubbish.
     
  9. DJM

    DJM Dedicated Member
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    This ones a bit out there. I'm not going to adjust my stride all day just in case others might use my track.
    IMO, provided I'm sticking to general good practice by not booting through a good face, the angle of approach is determined by me. If I'm limited in time and energy then i'll make that decision.
    Not trying to be difficult mate and
    good initiative TP.
     
  10. Angus_McCrory

    Angus_McCrory Old And Crusty

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    Don't poo in skin tracks </end thread>
     
  11. piolet

    piolet Old And Crusty
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    As far as rules go, less is more. Focus on the truly important, such as environmental impact and less on pretending there's actually an issue with someone skiing over other tracks.
    If its a canvass and art then thats open to interpretation and why should a previous skier determine which line another should take? Moot point as keeping away from chopped up snow is generally desirable but not if a particular line is sought. The last thing i want is for it to be 'a thing' that people may get upset about let alone argue over out there.
     
  12. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    can I yarn-bomb a skin track?
     
  13. Ralph_implement

    Ralph_implement Addicted Member

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    Best rule of the BC.....there are no rules.

    Do what you want, help others where you can, leave nothing but tracks. Stuff the uptight telemarketer rules!!! :p
     
  14. expatgm

    expatgm Active Member
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  15. Belly

    Belly Addicted Member
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    Yeah good initiative TP but I'm a bit with the others. Focus on the big stuff, make sure you cross Brian Wilson's tracks :)
    A practical example of me not following your etiquette would be laying a second skin track, I'm often out with AT'ers and can't traverse on the split with the same edge control so I'll whack on the ski crampons and go straight up ;)
     
  16. Red_switch

    Red_switch Part of the Furniture
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    @Draizuh and I have come across a shit in the skin track in Wye Creek before.
     
  17. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    Not sure if SRS., TP.

    ........ And here I was buying touring bindings and skins, and getting into the Australian and Canadian Alpine, thinking that I'm getting brief escape from the wife micro-managing my every move.

    Respect bro. Keep me safe. But too many rules ...... I need a mistress not another wife. #justsayn
     
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  18. piolet

    piolet Old And Crusty
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    Or perhaps its better framed as ethics intro 101, things you are doing may be impacting the enjoyment of others.

    If everyone just carried out their turds it'd be great
     
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  19. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    sounds raunchy! I'd go around it. :evil:
     
  20. Bonsi

    Bonsi Active Member

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    Different equipment, your going to get a couple of skin tracks on a steep hill, (pattern base / kicker vs wall to wall etc). But totally #3. Trip out to twynam sat and was thinking the same thing.
     
  21. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    I think that's really the crux of it & the attitude that Australians often have are not in keeping with that ethic.
     
  22. smackies

    smackies Addicted Member
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    Yes!

    No one thinks about those with ducks disease.
     
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  23. ladycamper

    ladycamper Dedicated Member
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    Be discreet when using mobile phones with others in a group, or have it turned off & only used occasionally to send a trip update to your emergency contact. People come on these trips to escape the pressure of daily life, not to be have the atmosphere taken over by phones and tablets.
     
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  24. expatgm

    expatgm Active Member
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    According to the literature mobiles can interfere with trancieviers . Turn trancievier on and mobile off.
     
  25. surveyorcam

    surveyorcam Active Member

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    I like the whole leave only footprints and take only photos kind of thing. So that the environment is mostly unchanged by your visit. Powder days, just ski the bloody fall line and don't traverse left right and center. (Yes snowboarders I'm looking at you:))
    Maybe in Oz you can get away with using other peoples skin tracks but in Canada I was taught to always lay your own skin track as you can pick up a few clues about the snow pack. That only applies to skin tracks that are a few days old though.
     
    #25 surveyorcam, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
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  26. neck_deep

    neck_deep Active Member

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    Half of that is bollocks, just don't trash the joint, be safe and have some regard for allowing others freshies. Defiantly not going to let someone else's line dictate how I get down the hill and if I come across a iced up skin track im not about to flop around trying to use it. Rarely see too many other soles around vicco anyway

    Edit: except parts of Stirling
     
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  27. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    It was always my impression that BC guys were the mellow, layback sort of guys.

    I'm hoping all the "I know best, so do it my way, or you're doing it wrong", is tongue in cheek.

    I've only BC'ed a handful of times in Oz and OS. But I really don't see how crossing old tracks downhill, can impact someone else's enjoyment. Nor adding an additional set of parallel tracks uphill.

    And if it does. I'd question who is focusing on the anazing eperience. And who is out there to judge others.

    That said. I'm here to learn.
     
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  28. GS

    GS Addicted Member
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    What's the etiquette regarding falling? I regularly leave GS sized holes, should I try and keep them evenly spaced and of uniform depth? :D
     
  29. ladycamper

    ladycamper Dedicated Member
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    BC people are all that you say, we like to enjoy wilderness with an untouched character.
     
  30. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    .....mindful of course that there is no such thing as a natural landscape in Australia, it has been heavily cultured with footsteps, babies born and imbued with meaning for millenia
     
  31. Rimey

    Rimey Dedicated Member
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    How you move through the mountains is your art-form. All your movements and habits leave a trail.
     
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  32. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    Jackson Pollock?



    or Lily Kelly?

     
  33. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

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    This thread brings to mind mythical creatures that live in holes under bridges. Well done TP.
     
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  34. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    Curious feedback.

    Do the "no rules" are the "only rules" folks roolly truly believe that?

    Etiquette is different to rules and my reading was the proposal was to allow more people to enjoy the lack rules by being polite to their fellow BCers.

    It's along the same lines of "if you use fire wood, you replace it" sort of thing.

    Or am I on another planet?
     
  35. Ralph_implement

    Ralph_implement Addicted Member

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    Depends if you call common courtesy a rule or not.

    What the OP lists falls into the realms of rules even though he calls it "Etiquette".
     
  36. teckel

    teckel Old And Crusty
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    I cannot understand what is wrong with
    [​IMG]
    Some people have enjoyed their ski. What is so wrong with that? There's no etiquette or lack of etiquette involved. No, it seems anal to be concerned that ski tracks have crossed each other.
     
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  37. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    I'm not so fussed about that, it's skintracks being trashed that is the main one for me.
     
  38. Ralph_implement

    Ralph_implement Addicted Member

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    Skinned up many a post holed track, if that is the biggest problem you have in a day it's a good day.
     
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  39. piolet

    piolet Old And Crusty
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    When it gets marginal, a booted skin track can lose you a lot of traction.

    In general i do agree with the general vibe of the OP but pow farming and designated skin tracks are perhaps only the domain of the most popular areas.
     
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  40. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    Discourtesy implies you're doing something wrong.

    Rules of Etiquette. Google it. It's a Thing.

    Sometimes I see a better line on the other side of someones tracks. I'm genuinely surprised someone would take offense to me crossing over to it, just because we're in the Backcountry.

    But as I said. I'm here to learn.
     
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  41. Ralph_implement

    Ralph_implement Addicted Member

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    True, but it will hardly ruin your day. If it is that marginal, breaking a new trail two feet away is not the end of the world.
     
  42. tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker
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    The road from Munyang to Schlink Pass is the worst clutterfaq of uphill / downhill track etiquette in the known universe.
    There should be a courtesy sign explaining the basics.
    First thing in the morning after an overnight freeze going up or down can be a 101% potholed unpleasantness of unimaginable proportions.
    End rant for is not good etiquette to rant.
     
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  43. DJM

    DJM Dedicated Member
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    Agree TW. That area is full of new players. I was one of them years ago and thankfully I managed to pick up on the etiquette of skin tracks early. People on shoes simply don't know so it pays to be super friendly and make them aware of how problematic it can be. Just cut the heel strap of any snowshoes left outside the hut when you catch up to them.

    It's pretty rare to have any problems (outside of DHG) anyway. Who boots from DHG these days....I have enough trouble from the top station.
     
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  44. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Part of the Furniture
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    The predominant vibe seems to be people want to go BC to escape rules / etiquette / ethics (whichever word floats your boat). Considering the feedback could the mod who stickied this thread unsticky it and let it rise or fall in according to the communities involvement.

    My late night language was stricter than my intent, I'll change the language to be softer and add the liked suggestions and we'll see where this thread goes.
     
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  45. piolet

    piolet Old And Crusty
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    I think the premise still has merit worth a sticky.
     
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  46. piolet

    piolet Old And Crusty
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    Not always possible. I haven't had too much trouble in the past, moreso in the alps. One climb in particular comes to my mind, its a bit of an access way so gets lots of traffic. Quite a steep slope requiring dozens of switchbacks. Gets icy and once decimated by bootpacks makes it quite untenable without ski crampons and deft technique. Not day ruining stuff but this simple inconsiderate act weighs on the mind and you use more time/energy which can be frustrating at best. Boot crampons straight up the guts in the end which i prefer anyway but no one likes extra transitions, let alone on a steep slope.
     
  47. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    Doesn't it come down to a small few simple rules:
    1. Occams Rule of Tracks: Do not multiply uphill tracks unnecessarily.
    2. The Rule Against Track Miscegeny: Do not allow uphill tracks of different kinds to breed.
    3. The Rule Against Facial Corruption: Keep your faces clean as much and for as long as possible.
     
  48. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Nothing about granola and bathing?
    unimpressed
     
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  49. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    'Who boots from DHG these days....'

    i do
     
  50. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    Try not to be a c*nt. That should be the only rule.

    Yes, the shit in the skin track was bad, not sure if it was worse or better than the shit in the poo bag encircled with piss.

    "
    1. Don't ski above someone when you could knock debris at them or trigger an avalanche on them.
    "
    Yes, This, i hate this, the odd time i come across another group (usually not far out of the resort) and 5 skiers feel the need to over take me, skin above me, and not give a **** about the fact they are sending chunks of broken crust at me.

    As far as skin tracks. There is only one rule. Dont boot in the ****ing skin track. I dont care about any excuses. No boot packing in my god damn skin track.

    If you want to do wanky powder 8's down slope, thats your problem. I want to search out for the best snow on that slope as well as fun natural features to slash/jump/bonk etc.