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Old 10-26-2012, 10:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Early season reminders

It's that time of year again. People are getting turns outside of the ski area. Yay!

Just some reminders for the n00bs and old vets alike.

If there is enough snow to ride there is enough snow to slide. Keep that in mind. You should be packing full avy gear regardless. This is the time of year where if the snow does decide to go it can pop in unexpected places. In the late 1990's the Plume that runs through the 90's on Berthoud Pass went to the ground. Arguably the most popular run on the pass. It forms bumps during the season. We got a 40+" dump, add a rider to it and we got that end result. Fortunately no one was carried. We have a pretty similar set up all over the West. It can happen.

Keep in mind the consequence if you do get carried. Slides are likely to go to the ground, dragging you through rocks, fallen tree limbs, stumps, etc. In other words, you are probably going to get beat up pretty bad if caught.

Change the batteries in your beacon for the start of the season. Just do it.

Remember, the season is a marathon, not a sprint.

Tons of stuff I could add to this. If you feel it's worth mentioning, post up!

Practice good habits, and have fun out there.

Last edited by killclimbz; 10-26-2012 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Word to the lazy (like me) - get your ass in shape!

I'm gonna be hurting in the early season, but I'll be good to go once things get cranking. Three months straight of 65-70 hour work weeks aren't exactly conducive to getting or staying in shape.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Bud over to dinner last night before the film fest, one of the local avy experts he said folks are already hiking, some without gear thinking its too early/not enough to slide.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just finished reading Bruce Tremper's book last week, and one thing that got drilled in my head is a thin snowpack is a weak snowpack. I'm seeing so many people already getting out there and after it, I just hope we're all staying safe.

It reminds me last year on opening day at Stevens Pass, ski patrol was letting people hike up to the closed lifts at their own risk. I was hiking (with my gear of course) followed by a bunch of park rat stoners following me. I remember them talking about hiking all the way up Cowboy Ridge. Someone asks about avalanches. The kid leading the charge goes "nah bro, there's not enough snow." I just looked back and shook my head.

Here's a pic I saw on FB from Baker last weekend, looks like some good turns...

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Old 10-26-2012, 03:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Living on the east coast I dont know much about avalanche conditions but the bit of safety advice I preach is always wear a helmet. Even if you are 100% confident in what and where you are riding that day, the guy coming up behind you might not be.

A little horror story..an instructor I work with hit his head and has not entered REM or deep sleep in the last 3 years without the help of serious medications. After last season he was studied extensively at Wake Forest University.

Things like this are uncommon but why risk it when it is easily preventable with one piece of gear.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If someone is hitting me from behind while I am on a run in the backcountry, they better kill me, because I am going to kill them. That is akin to a drive by shooting. Something like that should never happen. This isn't resort riding.

A helmet is still a good thing. Stuff that is marked inbounds is not. So a tumble could easily put your head against rocks and other unknown obstacles. Never bad to wear a helmet. It is limited as to what it will protect you from. You should not be worrying about collisions in the backcountry. A very basic tenant is one person is exposed to danger at a time. You don't gang bang slopes while you are out there.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I didn't even realize that there is enough snow yet in Colorado to be even thinking about venturing out into the backcountry or even roadside laps off one of the passes.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yesterday.

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Old 10-26-2012, 04:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Cameron Pass?
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Scouting out smooth grassy areas in the summer makes finding smooth turns in the fall easier. It just feels good to put the skins on and go for a walk.

Went out yesterday to bridger and asked a couple of hunters which way they were headed so I could stay out of their way, they seemed nice. As I left I heard them joking about us wearing beacons, I smiled and them you never know. Only six inches of snow at the trail head, close to two feet up high. A lot of steep tricky terrain at bridger.
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