You guys are all nuts. You dig the holes,know its dangerous and go sking anyways. that is the whole point of sking is to ski the pow. All the avi classes in the world won't save you if you are a powder hound. the guys with the most credentials end up burried with the noobs eventually... Blissfully unaware and burried or stack full of knowlege and burried it is all the same in the end......
This is a weak argument IMO, as there is so much to learn about snow ANY more info that can help make a better decision is good info in my book.
Also, 11/14 avalanche fatalities on Washington were climbers, not skiiers...
While we may be "powder hounds" realizing that the snow-pack is "more" stable on this aspect/elevation rather than "this" aspect/elevation may be all you need to still have a great day with little consequence... granted when we get cocky we make mistakes, as all high risk sports will prove... Here's an epic powder day that is safe(r):
Without a formal avy class (or some self-study) who would know what the hell I'm talking about... sure... sluffing may be an issue today...
R2D2?? I've never heard of these classifications. I took my avalanche course in Canada. I've been taught sizes 1-5. Is the R and D something discussed after level 1 course?
What you probably learned was the Destructive Potential Scale, which is most useful for recreationists...
The "R" scale is the "Relative
to Path Scale"... it accounts for how much of the defined avalanche path slide (horizontal extent of the crown, depth of fracture, how far did the debris go, etc)...
Most useful if you know the feature... i.e. "Right Gully slid R3 yesterday"... if you don't know how big Right Gully is you have no idea how destructive that might have been... is right gully 100 feet long or 2000 feet long with a huge start zone?
Helpful for forecasters, and advanced recreationists... i.e, if things are being reported R3+ then we are well into winter and we should manage travel in run outs accordingly...