Originally Posted by oneplankawanka
So... Some Avi training and pit digging would have helped these guys determine the safety of the snow layers and terrain they were about to ride was safe?
Its beyond comprehension to me that they would ride BC w/o the benefit and piece of mind of some Avi training, let alone shovels, transceivers etc. Lucky bastards indeed.
digging pits only gives you an idea of snow stability via its history and faceted layers (if they are even viewable) in the area that a rider/climber is in at the time. a pit could indicate that the snow is safe and appears stable at the top of a peak, however a 20 feet below there could be a weak layer causing a crown fracture or slab release due to a change slope angle, wind loading, exposure to solar radiation, etc.
it's a game of odds when you are in the b/c-my group tends to go to the same areas where we know the topography of the terrain very well and are aware of most convex aspects, terrain traps and other terrain no-no's, etc. as far as the above comment regarding time, i agree that starting out earlier on your hikes is logical, as it gives you time to turn around if the weather changes from what it was originally reported to have been. personally, i stay away from south facing aspects.
most people/victims that are caught in avys are ''in-the-know'' (or at least are reported 'experts') and do carry proper avy gear. in the climbing story above, these guys were wearing crampons, carried ice axes, did the buddy system, so i am guessing they were beacon'd... but i could be dead wrong.
we see idiots get off the planes here in slc, go up to the resort with know gear/or with gear and no understanding/common sense, no rescue breathing/cpr knowledge and go out the gates and die all the time. the last few years at my local hill has been a game of roulette-so many
out-of-town-ers have been washed to their deaths. and then there are all the citidiots
that move here and act like they know what the fuck is up-''i watch warren miller and tgr films... don't heckle me when i drop in at the same time with my buddy.''
bottom line, read books, take courses, only ride with people you know can rescue your ass in a worse case situation, pay attention to the weather, ride a lot in the areas you want to hike and listen to that little voice in your head-always.