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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-05-2013 05:16 PM
mhaas O I agree. Definitely not encouraging putting yourself in situations where you would be falling a lot. It definitely puts more stress on the snowpack than smooth turns, ie slope cutting suspected windslabs. I was just stating that Im not gonna get on a suspect snowpack that I believe to be stable only if I ride it perfectly.
12-05-2013 12:15 PM
killclimbz Not disagreeing with that logic mhaas. There is always that chance, even after you've looked at everything and are confident in your decision. Falling all over is just not recommended. On any big line. Especially in a continental or even transitional snow pack.
12-05-2013 08:22 AM
mhaas If a fall or hard cut could trigger a slide on a slope Im riding, I don't want to be on that slope to begin with.

I also rip my turns in the bc because, well its super fun.

But ya, getting hurt isn't something I want to happen to me or my buddies. I always look at the fall line and visualize what might happen to me if I fall and take a tumble.

And that video is heavy. The accident stories where people suffer major trauma have way more impact on me than the ones where victims suffocate. I remember the first time I read about a dismemberment somewhere in the PNW. I went to the library and got bruce trempers book a few days later.
12-05-2013 06:50 AM
killclimbz Tbh, my style doesn't change a whole lot. Walove is right. If you are riding a chute, a big bowl, or something of that nature. Falling all over the place is going to have more of an impact. Meaning that if there is a weak spot you have a greater chance of finding it and setting off a slide. 90% of avalanche victims started the slide that got them.

On the flipside, if I am out pillow riding, or cliff jumping, I am putting down some good impacts. Of course I should be pretty confident about what the consequences are in that zone.

Back to the bowl or chute. I'll rip my turns in them, but I will not stop unless or until I've got a safe spot.

Falling obviously happens and in some spots you may do it a lot. It comes down to what terrain you are riding and what the consequences are, in a nut shell. There are a ton of variables you got to look at for any day out in the bc. None of it is very hard and of course it gets easier with experience.
12-04-2013 08:25 PM
walove Light and smooth, don't fall, getting hurt in the bc can be as dangerous as an avalanche. Weak layers are buried, you don't want to create unneeded impact forces. I dail it back considerably in the bc
12-04-2013 08:17 PM
Hasbeen That video was heavy.

One question that immediately came to mind is: Does your riding style need to change for the back country?
(eg..No heavy heel or toe edge turns/stops)
09-04-2013 06:45 AM
killclimbz One bit of advice, I would skip repeating the level I unless it has been over 5 years. You have been out there. Take a II. You can do it in Washington or Montana. There is enough rehash to cover the basic level I stuff and then so much more.
09-03-2013 09:20 PM
walove i've taken basic and lvl 1 avy classes here in montana. I am looking forward to take a lvl 1 in washington once i move back, maybe i'll be able to catch a seminar or presentation in washington this winter. (even better maybe get to put in a day with ale capone) My washington splitting consists of only a handful of days a year, i tend to play it extra safe, fortunately mellow pow runs seem to be plentiful in the cascades.
09-03-2013 08:57 PM
killclimbz Yeah, I am definitely not familiar with Montana bc splitting. Would like to learn a little more first hand. Obviously I have a pretty good feel for Colorado. I am moderately okay in the PNW. Only so much you can learn from the three week long trips I have made there. I have some experience in the Wasatch. Montana like everywhere else seems to have it's unique challenges. Good feedback. Thanks!
09-03-2013 08:49 PM
walove i agree that it can be difficult, i experienced this around heather ridge last year. We were dropping to the SE from the cell tower at the top of the road. There is not really a steep slope to assess right there. I was checking the snow at some of the road cuts on the way up, and on the NE facing slope at our drop in point, and didnt get any reaction. The run starts out in a mellow treed slope heading mostly east, part way down we would veer to the south, the terrain lower down was much steeper and into/across some gullies. I instantly started thinking "watch out things are changing" "terrain trap" I stopped the group and discussed what we were seeing. We agreed to traverse the gullies with extra wide spacing between us and found a treed rib to descend.

In montana i find my self climbing very close to what i am going to ski, at least close enough i can go a little out of the way to get on and assess the slope i plan to ride. I am sure with more experience you begin to gain confidence in relating one aspect/elevation to another, but with the sporadic distribution of weak layers in our mountains i prefer to have a understanding of the snow i am about to ride.

another Continental vs maritime issue i've been dealing with is safe zones. Riding in montana i prefer to ride most slopes top to bottom and stop in a safe area at the bottom of the run, runs usually have limited trees and good visibility, communicating with your partner is not that difficult. In Washington a lot of riding is in trees but still avy terrain. You can loose sight of your partner in a matter of feet, and have limited visibility of the slope above and below. When riding terrain that is not familiar safe zones are hard to find/ decide on. Add in the tree well, deep snow suffocation danger and it is a interesting problem.
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