Author Topic: Alps Avalanche story  (Read 192 times)

Offline triguy

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Alps Avalanche story
« on: March 20, 2015, 02:39:21 PM »
Read this on kzone figured it would be good for discussion here as well....

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Offline Admin Al

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Re: Alps Avalanche story
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2015, 04:33:21 PM »
Man...that is some scary S%#t...
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Offline NEAlpineStart

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Re: Alps Avalanche story
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2015, 08:46:45 PM »
We watched this today in an avalanche course and there is some positive self-critique from the victim. Travel techniques, rescue response, human factors... lots to learn about here. Very lucky that the victim got his ski pole above the surface considering those who were near him only had shovels & probes, but no beacons.

Offline lucky luke

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Re: Alps Avalanche story
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2015, 01:12:59 PM »
Read this on kzone figured it would be good for discussion here as well....

it is good for discussion for sure. heuristic behavior, instead of fact? Here is the text: " I noticed a muffled ‘whumping’ sound as our skis broke through a thin layer of hoare frost about 30cm under the fresh layer of snow. We stopped and discussed our options. Due to this particular gully being known amongst locals as a safer option due to it’s short length and low pitch, also taking into account the fact that we had skied the line on previous trips in similar avalanche conditions without an issue,"

for those who remember what his an heuristic, I think that a decision base on local opinion (that can include avi post) and previous attempt...is not safe. This is short cut to what happen really.

I think that the wump was wind slab. As i can understand, the guy had a good "I buy a course" knowledge on what is hoare frost. Not sure that it is the reason why the wind slab collapse.

Offline NEAlpineStart

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Re: Alps Avalanche story
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2015, 08:59:06 PM »
...
I think that the wump was wind slab. As i can understand, the guy had a good "I buy a course" knowledge on what is hoare frost. Not sure that it is the reason why the wind slab collapse.

I know I will regret this tomorrow morning.

From victim:

"we were hit with a large snowstorm that dumped close to one metre of snow over a 48 hour period."

The problem here was Storm Slab (or Persistent Slab), not Wind Slab. There are zero indications in both the report and in the video that indicate this was a wind effected area. It was a steep rollover that triggered on a persistent weak layer, below tree line. Where do you come up with a wind slab guess?

Quite obvious while watching the video. In 3 feet of new STORM snow. You might also argue it was a persistent slab if it was on "hoar frost", or more accurately called Buried Surface Hoar.

LL... if you don't know the difference between Storm Slab and Wind Slab perhaps you should pony up and "buy a course". You might actually walk away with some share-able knowledge.

EDIT: And "local knowledge saying this is safer" is quite different from expert advice (avi post) listing the danger as 4/5 on the European scale...
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 09:03:29 PM by NEAlpineStart »

Offline NEAlpineStart

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Re: Alps Avalanche story
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2015, 09:08:45 PM »
...
for those who remember what his an heuristic, I think that a decision base on local opinion...and previous attempt...is not safe. This is short cut...

This comment of yours (edited for brevity and accuracy) is SPOT on though... "Familiarity" is alive & well in these type of accidents.

As far as prevention (and ignoring the broken response to the accident), ignoring the whumping and skiing so close together then over a convex roll = accident, regardless of what an avalanche bulletin might have said...