Question Would you enter the backcounty with a random?

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Harry James, Feb 14, 2018.

?

Would you let a random come on a guided backcountry tour?

  1. No way, I've got my crew and we are all set

    4 vote(s)
    16.7%
  2. Yes, I'd let a random in if costs go down

    20 vote(s)
    83.3%
  1. Harry James

    Harry James Early Days
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2018
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    13
    I've consistently been on snow trips with people who either don't ski or not at my ability level. I'm at the level and experience where backcountry is the only place I want to go. When getting to resorts, the cost for a private guide is not worth it. When combining with a group, the costs get drastically reduced. Would you accept a random in your group if it meant the cost goes down considerably for everyone?

    I'm thinking about building a site where like-minded people could connect in resorts who have the same passion for backcountry, but if it all seems a bit too creepy, i'll re-consider. Let me know.
     
    Poppies likes this.
  2. Belly

    Belly A Local
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Messages:
    7,538
    Likes Received:
    2,721
    Voted - some feedback for your consideration. Having experienced both the Vic and NSW BC scenes quite extensively I think the nature of the terrain and access creates a certain dynamic to this. The amount of non resort based daytime options in NSW definitely makes it easier to hook up with like minded people if you don't have your own permanent crew or are new to the area. And you can meet in the carpark or whatever. But in Vic to access the serious terrain you are looking at overnighting or 5am CCG meets so that takes the interpersonal logistics to another level.
     
    hongomania and Harry James like this.
  3. Belly

    Belly A Local
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Messages:
    7,538
    Likes Received:
    2,721
    And with the modern equipment and appetite for untracked fresh or corn I've definitely noticed a rise in resort specific OOB communities but of course you need a season ticket for this. In particular Hotham and the 2 nsw resorts.
     
    Harry James likes this.
  4. neilmny

    neilmny Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    155
    I say no because regardless there is an element of responsibility to take care of every member of a group and be limited by the capacity of the weakest link. I believe you need some knowledge and perhaps proof of a random members skills so that you know what you are committing to.

    A simple "No way" etc. option doesn't really say it for me and the "Yes" option seems mercenary.
    Risk and responsibility should be primary.
     
  5. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Messages:
    24,095
    Likes Received:
    7,643
    Survey doesn't specify hotness as a factor
     
  6. dibloc

    dibloc One of Us

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    1,970
  7. Gimp

    Gimp One of Us
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Messages:
    2,630
    Likes Received:
    3,197
    'You're only as fast as the slowest in your group'
     
  8. Hermannator

    Hermannator One of Us
    Silver Bruce

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    479
    I'd go with randoms but with caveats - need to suss out inbounds ability 1st, then whether person knows how to use transceiver/probe/shovel and if they are the right type of character (no softcocks).

    Same problems apply to heliskiing, when I did this was stuck with a couple of gumbies who were too slow.
     
  9. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    22,902
    Likes Received:
    23,042
    Ive only ever been on 'guided' trips to take photos for friends, and its usually been a "see you guys out there later" kind of a thing. I started the old fashioned way with the old man dragging me around trying to kill me.

    My observations of seeing my friends working as guides

    They are professional. They quickly assess the abilities and fitness levels of the groups members, and make adjustments to plans accordingly. They do prefer a group that are closer in ability/fitness, but have become really good at dealing with disparate groups, and making sure everyone gets to have a great trip. After all, referrals are everything.

    So I would say randoms are not a big problem, a good guide will take care of everyone.
     
    Harry James, smackies, zac150 and 5 others like this.
  10. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Messages:
    15,578
    Likes Received:
    6,404
  11. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    813
    Likes Received:
    1,001
    I would tend to think this way myself but in reality the duty of care is on the company and the guide. That does not take away any moral duty. Personally I do not like doing anything BC, summer or winter, with randoms and it is not likely I would pay someone to guide me anyway.
     
    Harry James and Chaeron like this.
  12. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    6,259
    Likes Received:
    9,766
    Pro tip: Don't be "that guy" ;)
     
    Ozgirl, Harry James and zac150 like this.
  13. Ralf_Plow

    Ralf_Plow One of Us

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Messages:
    1,001
    Likes Received:
    1,455
    If a pro guided trip, of course, you have to, but if a private trip, not without a decent vetting process, or a very easy route.

    I did BCSic 2007 with some guys I didn't know and a few I did, all went ok and it was a super fun trip with many good lines skied. We just turfed @Fozzie Bear along the way to the camp site....he survived.
     
    Fozzie Bear likes this.
  14. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    6,693
    Likes Received:
    2,969
    Survey too limited
     
  15. Belly

    Belly A Local
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Messages:
    7,538
    Likes Received:
    2,721
    Re-reading Harry's first post it is not explicit about Aus only or Aus + international intent. But it has been posted in the BC forum which indicates a more local content. Point being that I think the emphasis on potential partner technical skills varies depending on this context ;)
     
    Harry James and Chaeron like this.
  16. Belly

    Belly A Local
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Messages:
    7,538
    Likes Received:
    2,721
    I think the cost element is getting at sharing fuel, food etc. Not acting as a pro guide, but who knows...
     
    Harry James likes this.
  17. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
    Bruce the Mod Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 1998
    Messages:
    18,572
    Likes Received:
    7,518
    You pays your monies and takes your chances.

    If you want a trip all about you and want to ensure it is all about you you pay more.

    If money is an issue you make sacrifices such as maybe a slower rider in the group to make your money go further.

    A tinder for double black diamond riders sounds like a good idea, after all we are all super honest online, arn't we?
     
  18. PiedPiper

    PiedPiper Addicted

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    715
    Likes Received:
    384
    I voted yes, but my initial response was framed from the " well it's better than traveling alone in the BC" context.
    As with all BC decisions there are a lot of factors that come into it, If i'm just doing laps of DHG ( reasonably simple terrain that i am familiar with) then for sure. If i'm descending a colouir in France, maybe not....
    But a lot of my BC riding is by myself ( yes poor form i know) so i'm usually happy to meet another enthusiast.
     
    Harry James and kaegee like this.
  19. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    24,285
    Likes Received:
    16,792
    Would a rating system work?

    Fat bastard
    Fit bastard
    Etc
     
    Harry James, coolair and neilmny like this.
  20. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    22,902
    Likes Received:
    23,042
    Haha

    Im a fat bastard that often gets dragged around by fit bastards!
     
  21. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    22,902
    Likes Received:
    23,042
    Would you enter a random, in the backcountry?
     
  22. Kletterer

    Kletterer Loading Dock Manager
    Bruce the Mod Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    13,962
    Likes Received:
    13,042
    Who is that random swine that just fired up a spliff ?
     
    hongomania and Harry James like this.
  23. Kletterer

    Kletterer Loading Dock Manager
    Bruce the Mod Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    13,962
    Likes Received:
    13,042
    Leaning towards Kiting old fella ?
     
    nfip and Harry James like this.
  24. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    22,902
    Likes Received:
    23,042
    Twice as scary on teles.
     
    Kletterer likes this.
  25. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    6,259
    Likes Received:
    9,766
    Tele skiing + kiting ! Should definitely be a category on the BC tinder app !
     
  26. Kletterer

    Kletterer Loading Dock Manager
    Bruce the Mod Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    13,962
    Likes Received:
    13,042
    Backcountry folk dont need Tinder.
     
  27. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
    Bruce the Mod Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 1998
    Messages:
    18,572
    Likes Received:
    7,518
    No we use Flint & MSR, no need for tinder.
     
  28. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    19,697
    Likes Received:
    10,887
    Trouble with randoms is that the biggest numpties talk themselves up the most. My tip pick modest randoms as they are probably not numpties.

    The only exception is me. Im awesome at everything.
     
    SkiMountaineer, nfip, Bloke and 12 others like this.
  29. Kletterer

    Kletterer Loading Dock Manager
    Bruce the Mod Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    13,962
    Likes Received:
    13,042
    You still wear puffies in public. Big shoes to fill :cool:
     
    Snow Blowey likes this.
  30. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty!
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    23,276
    Likes Received:
    10,991
    This is true.

    I thought there was also a male/female element with more girls talking themselves down and the lads mostly talking themselves up; however I was proved wrong on a recent girls trip where a friend of a friend talked herself up to a ridiculous extent - like ‘can go anywhere inbounds’ when the reality was get off the family slope and she was in tears. Nightmare! Would not want to end up in the back country with someone like that. Total liability.

    Everyone is that guy at some stage.
    Just hopefully not TOO far off the pace.
     
    nfip, SuskiQ, piolet and 1 other person like this.
  31. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    19,697
    Likes Received:
    10,887
    You know what they say about big shoes...


    Lots of spare room at the toe.
     
    piolet, neilmny and Kletterer like this.
  32. FatBoyDave

    FatBoyDave One of Us
    Silver Bruce

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    911
    Watching with interest....
    Bought all the gear (well most of it, skins, touring skis, backpack) etc...and have some idea.
    Done some group guided back country in Japan and a bit bored/jaded with the inbound at my local Vic resorts.
    Would prefer not to head out beyond the ropes on my own but....

    Most of my current ski buddies are either:
    - Not interested in earning your turns
    - Not of an ability that I'd take them that far out.

    As a consequence I find myself skiing Mt Loch, Derrick Hut, Golden Point where I'm likely to see other people but not much further.
    Keen to head a bit further out with like minded others and hopefully gain some knowledge along the way.
     
    hongomania and Harry James like this.
  33. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    27,000
    Likes Received:
    9,364
    I would have thought maybe 2 levels of trips - Type 1 (easy and shortish) accepts randoms. Type 2 you to have been on a Type1 trip and been assessed as suitable for Type 2.
     
    Harry James, LMB, coolair and 2 others like this.
  34. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    Messages:
    2,470
    Likes Received:
    2,900
    Last time I went into the back country with randoms was with @Telemark Phat and @telecrag,

    That trip didn’t end well!

    @Telemark Phat talked the talk, walked the walk and in the immortal words of Billy Birmingham, just ****ed up!

    Seriously though it depends on the adventure, a day trip I’d spend less time worried about partners but a week trip where exit points are limited I’d want more detail.
     
  35. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    16,602
    Likes Received:
    10,034
    I have had that happen to me back when I used to help lead UNSW Bushwalking and Mountaineering Club Trips. One beginner overnight XC trip was from Thredbo to Cootapatamba Hut where we set camp and a ski up Kosci before heading back to Thredbo on the Sunday. The guy who talked himself up decided he couldn't be bothered to ski anymore on the ascent back up to Ramshead. I took the rest of the beginners back to Thredbo, we got back to the Village at the planned 4:30pm. The trip leader managed to get the guy back to Threbo village at 1:30 in the morning. He was beyond a liability, he was dangerous.
     
  36. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    16,602
    Likes Received:
    10,034
    I'll never live that day down.
     
  37. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    Messages:
    2,470
    Likes Received:
    2,900
    Nope
     
    Telemark Phat likes this.
  38. Ralf_Plow

    Ralf_Plow One of Us

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Messages:
    1,001
    Likes Received:
    1,455
    Is this an offer?
     
  39. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    19,697
    Likes Received:
    10,887
    Climbermans nature friend. Yes i would enter.
     
    Majikthise likes this.
  40. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Silver Bruce

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,623
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    I take beginner/ intermediate level people out BC snow camping on XC BC skis and snow shoes . Being a VNPA leader means I get to meet new snow loving people. I do have to screen and vet them with extreme scrutiny prior to accepting them on a trip lest they not freeze to death or get themselves or others into trouble in other ways.
    You can easily freeze to death on overnight BC snow trips in the Vic. Alps. Carrying the extra weight with an ice axe, snow shovel, microspikes, XC BC skis, snow shoes, winter tent, winter sleeping bag , spare mittens and under gloves , extra food and stove fuel etc. It is not for unfit units and total newbies.
     
  41. weerab

    weerab One of Us
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,456
    Likes Received:
    865
    Don't know if it is classed as BC but I hooked up with a young guy a couple of years ago at Falls on the way to Mt Nelse. We were skiing up the BHP road and started talking. We were both heading across Heathy Spur on way to Mt Nelse so it made sense to ski together. He was probably half my age but he was really easy to talk to and we got on quite well. He was obviously fitter than me but he was using skins for the first time and was constantly taking them off in the undulating terrain. It turned out that I was spending a lot of time waiting for him but that gave me a chance to catch my breath.

    Anyway, forgotten what my point was, but, yes, it is possible to ski with people of different abilities. What was the question again?
     
    Chaeron, GS, Harry James and 3 others like this.
  42. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    13,673
    Likes Received:
    18,806
    Crew, random, guided, costs!?
    What are these words you speak of?
     
    nfip, Kletterer and zac150 like this.
  43. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Silver Bruce

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,623
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Were you using pattern based skis and no skins?.
     
    weerab likes this.
  44. weerab

    weerab One of Us
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,456
    Likes Received:
    865
    I was definitely skiing pattern base and no skins. My "random mate" had just bought a S/H pair of non pattern base skis and skins and was finding out how much of a PIA they are for the BHP.

    I did the same ski trip years ago on AT skis and it was pretty horrendous, lost count of the times you had to take the skins off.

    However, I did ski from Windy Corner to Mt McKay last season on old Fischer AT skis with Fritschi bindings and old Dynafit boots.

    It was more of a nostalgic trip, really, but went quite well as the terrain was steeper and there was less need to keep taking the skins off and on. I skied alongside a couple from Wandi who were on XC gear but also had skins. We kept pace pretty well although their gear was lighter. I was quite surprised when the guy launched off the steepest part of McKay on his skinny skis, most impressive.

    So the trip went well, only took me about two weeks to recover from blisters from the old Dynafit boots!
     
  45. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Silver Bruce

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,623
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Skinny skis on the steep BC. What skills!
     
  46. Kletterer

    Kletterer Loading Dock Manager
    Bruce the Mod Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    13,962
    Likes Received:
    13,042
    Its green season. Walk all possible routes and leave caches of beer. Seasoned campaigners will gladly show you the way.
     
  47. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    813
    Likes Received:
    1,001
    Beer freezes. Take scotch.
     
  48. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    813
    Likes Received:
    1,001
    ??
    Or you can die from exhaustion.
     
  49. Poppies

    Poppies Hard Yards
    Gold Bruce

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2018
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    72
    Yes, because I like bringing out interested people who might not view themselves as fitting into the traditional options for newcomers.
     
    mr and Mister Tee on XC Skis like this.
  50. hpsauce

    hpsauce A Local

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    2,224
    Mostly good experiences......but you do rely on the guide pairing you up appropriately, and the self-reported level of the other customers.
    So it is a trade between benefits of social aspects, and costs and unpredictable abilities.

    Was on a backcountry tour in NZ......with a v well known guide, and one other customer - an american fella who said he was super fit and good.
    Very first climb of the day, young american guy was straight out the back door. F'n totally HR Puffnstuf!

    Then second run of the day was in some sun....with a bit of a slabby choke between rocks at the top. And as the guide is standing there chin scratching and pondering his safest way to cut it, American guy just blazes away straight down the guts.

    The Guide looks at me and says....."Well, I guess it's not going to slide then...."

    At the end of the day, the guide says to american...."Maybe you'd prefer to go in a chopper tomorrow?".
    So I had the guide to myself the next day and it was much more awesome.
     
    Snow Blowey, piolet, Poppies and 6 others like this.