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General => Ice & Winter Climbing => Topic started by: lucky luke on January 12, 2013, 12:33:49 PM

Title: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 12, 2013, 12:33:49 PM
wet snow avalanche are the worse, they happen every where without warning. There was a huge one in huntington ravine and people was kill many years ago. Wet avalanche are not just caused by rain, but by heavy snow. Moisture in the air are absorbed by the snow and the pack weight more...so the danger increase.

in a snow storm, the snow flakes are light weight. The crystal flake is sharp and the snow hold better. From the direction of the wind, we can know where a corniche is form and we can see the direction of avalanches because many small of them occur without too much danger.

So can we explain that today the danger is moderate (can be trigger by human and natural are unlikely), and in a snow storm it is extremely dangerous?
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: kenreville on January 13, 2013, 08:47:32 PM
"So can we explain that today the danger is moderate as it can be trigger by human and low as natural and in a snow storm it is extremely dangerous?"

As difficult as it it to understand just what it is you are asking, methinks I've figured it out.

It's because of the ethics of the avalanche.
Fresh snow is much more trad than that sporty wind slab.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JJ Jameson on January 13, 2013, 09:27:20 PM
Ken, for the WIN.
I wouldn't have the slightest clue where to even start with a response to Luke's post, as I have NO IDEA WhAT THE F HIS POST WAS ABOUT!
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: carp on January 14, 2013, 08:07:53 PM
Methinks that I'm waaaaaaaaaaaay too sober to even begin to understand Luke's post. However, I have some bourbon, scotch, and whiskey on hand, so...

Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: bennybrew on January 14, 2013, 08:36:43 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/#/?part=tunnel-creek

an interesting article and an interesting presentation of information.

takes a while to get through, though.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 14, 2013, 09:17:09 PM
LL, I'm glad you are interested in avalanches... I think you would benefit from a actual course as you have a lot of knowledge, but also a lot of misconceptions... to pull out a few:

"wet snow avalanche are the worse, they happen every where without warning."

Warning = a noticeably wet snowpack + warm temps (above freezing) and sometimes strong solar radiation (especially southern aspects). Rain is more dangerous on a winter snowpack vrs. a spring snowpack... but rain is never great...

"Wet avalanche are not just caused by rain, but by heavy snow." - kind of a silly statement. It was rain and/or warm temps that made the snow heavy...

"Moisture in the air is absorbed by the snow and the pack weight more...so the danger increase."- talking fancy here... unless by "moisture in the are is absorbed" you mean "when rain hits the snow it is absorbed"...

"in a snow storm, the snow flakes are light weight."- Depending on the snowstorm, and climate, i.e Maritime, Continental, Intermountain, the snow in a snowstorm can be very heavy and wet... we get wet snow all the time...

"The crystal flake is sharp and the snow hold better." - Sharper crystals are actually less likely to bond together, creating point release avalanches, sluffs, and potentially weak layers underneath if stronger snow falls on top...

"From the direction of the wind, we can know where a corniche is form and we can see the direction of avalanches because many small of them occur without too much danger." - Close, but you state this backwards. It would be more accurate to say "from looking at cornices we can see what the direction of the wind was, and maybe figure out where wind slabs have formed"...

"So can we explain that today the danger is moderate (can be trigger by human and natural are unlikely), and in a snow storm it is extremely dangerous?" - Snow storms are typically dangerous as you can get widespread avalanches in many places... slabs, loose snow, wet slab... it all depends... so generalizing is not often helpful when learning to travel in avalanche terrain....

You've certainly read some books about avalanche danger, and you have a basic understanding. Be careful of making broad assumptions... as an old Appalachian proverb says;

"It's not what you don't know that will get you killed... it's what you think you know that just ain't so"....

@ Bennybrew, nice graphics and glad it brings the problem more into the public eye, but lacking some serious critique on the social pressures and human factors that drove those 16 people into that terrain given those conditions...

Since we're talking avalanches, I just got back a couple days ago from a great course in the Cascades...

http://davidlottmann.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/stevens-pass-instructor-training-course/
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: Admin Al on January 14, 2013, 11:31:09 PM
I read this. great story... it was also about the crowd mentality.

http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/#/?part=tunnel-creek

an interesting article and an interesting presentation of information.

takes a while to get through, though.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 15, 2013, 12:59:37 PM
I read this, great story... it was also about the crowd mentality.

Yes. and one of them was an experience skier. It is mostly what I am saying. It is more dangerous after a snow storm than in the snow storm. The avalanche was tree feet deep and in a carve tunnel, the sky was grey, but there is no snow fall I think. People get out to have fun in the powder.

In the article, they state that the cause of the avalanche was: "The energy raised the temperature of the snow a couple of degrees, and the friction carved striations high in the icy sides of the canyon walls."

I am sorry for dman who never shovel roof in march. He will know that, in a sunny day, the humidity of warm air is absorbed (1. To take (something) in through or as through pores or interstices.) by the snow. In sunny day, the snow pack is heavier in the afternoon than in the morning even if there is no rain. It can be as much as 1.5 more heavier in the afternoon without rain...and it is not because I was tired.

I think that what happen is warm weather change the form of the crystal in the snow pack and reduce the friction of them. As the humidity increase, the pack gained weight to a breaking point. There is no course or technique to evaluate that because it can occur in two or three hours (second man to do all the 14 000meters state that). It began with one crystal that three, tens and millions of them. Only experience can told you. (the reason of my post it is to find climber and train to gain experience)

In the story, the woman wore a safety device. It seems it save her life.     
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 15, 2013, 03:12:37 PM
It is more dangerous after a snow storm than in the snow storm.

This statement is flawed. More people get caught in avalanches after the snow storm because less people venture out during the storm when danger is obvious. In a way you are correct, as many people, especially skiers, get caught by avalanches after the storms, during mild blue sky weather... so many that it has been labeled "Blue Sky Syndrome", i.e. people take greater risks when the weather is nice out...

In sunny day, the snow pack is heavier in the afternoon than in the morning even if there is no rain. It can be as much as 1.5 more heavier in the afternoon without rain...and it is not because I was tired.   

Again, you make assumptions from your basic understanding of mountain snowpacks. You've read enough to think you know what you are saying, but you miss some factual info in the re-telling of what you have read. First, solar radiation itself does not add any weight or mass to the existing snow. Solar radiation, plus warm temps, can melt the surface layers and cause the existing snow to become more dense "mashed potatoes" as we call it around here... no weight or moisture has been added to the snowpack, per your humidity transfer comments. The top layers have become more dense, and in certain situations this can lead to instability in the snowpack, but is not in and of itself a bad thing... it's this process that ultimately leaves us with a stable Spring snowpack and 1000+ people in Tuckerman Ravine with no beacon (and that's OK under those conditions)...

There is no course or technique to evaluate that because it can occur in two or three hours... Only experience can told you.

There is plenty of research that helps predict the likelihood of avalanches like this happening. That's why there are so many avalanche forecasting centers in Canada and the US. You can learn more at www.avalanche.org. Taking a good course can help you prioritize what you should be paying attention to while in the mountains.

In the story, the woman wore a safety device. It seems it save her life.     

You are correct.

Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 16, 2013, 03:53:31 AM
You are correct.

for the more scientific people: INTERACTION BETWEEN SNOW METAMORPHISM AND CLIMATE: PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL ASPECT.

For the other; be happy, with have very little snow this year. we won't be able to shovel the roof to verify if the snow is heavier at the begining or at the end of the day!!!
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DWT on January 16, 2013, 07:58:01 AM
You are correct.


Champ's been setting this moment up for years.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DGoguen on January 16, 2013, 08:01:38 AM
I can't decide which is my favorite season here at NEClimbs.
BOLTS or AVALANCHES.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: Admin Al on January 16, 2013, 08:04:22 AM
I can't decide which is my favorite season here at NEClimbs.
BOLTS or AVALANCHES.

LOL... right on!
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: ridgerunner on January 16, 2013, 11:15:14 AM
Yes but trad or sports avalanche ?

Avalanche (noun). Famous Austrian pick up line when pronounced à la Schwarzenegger. Example : "Hey baby, have a lunch with me ?"
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 17, 2013, 04:21:43 AM
I can't decide which is my favorite season here at NEClimbs.
BOLTS or AVALANCHES.

LOL... right on!

I hope that you understand that I am not trying to demonstrate systematically that the other is wrong. it make me sad that the intention is just to make me non-trustable or to disguss other people to climb.

Dman is a guide, he state: " kind of a silly statement. It was rain and/or warm temps that made the snow heavy...[...]... unless by "moisture in the are is absorbed" you mean "when rain hits the snow it is absorbed"..."

I said that when, we take a shower, the humidity of the air condense on a miror. Ice is at zero degree, other wise it is water. When humid air touch the snow, a similar effect happen: humidity condense in the snow. If you have three pounds of snow, and one pound of moisture from condensation, we will have an increase of the weight of the snow to four ponds. Four pounds and the methamorphosis of the light snow flake into a round shape crystal can favorise avalanches.

Who are you going to trust. One say that three pounds of snow with warm temps will give four pounds of water and the other say that three pounds of water plus one pounds of water from condensation of humid air give four pounds?

Because you laught at me, I loose my credibility and people didn't try to understand some point that could save their life, they don't understand why they could be in danger. Many people don't climb because of that. it is not fun.   

 
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JeffD on January 17, 2013, 11:47:36 AM
There is no course or technique to evaluate that because it can occur in two or three hours (second man to do all the 14 000meters state that).

Just wondering where all these 14,000 meter peaks are, perhaps Mars???
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 17, 2013, 12:24:37 PM
Just wondering where all these 14,000 meter peaks are, perhaps Mars???

Fourteen 8000 meters I think, just a mistake on what I red too fast (The Quest for all 14 8000 Meter Peaks Summits)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 17, 2013, 01:45:54 PM

...If you have three pounds of snow, and one pound of moisture from condensation, we will have an increase of the weight of the snow to four ponds. Four pounds and the methamorphosis of the light snow flake into a round shape crystal can favorise avalanches.

...

Because you laught at me, I loose my credibility and people didn't try to understand some point that could save their life, they don't understand why they could be in danger. Many people don't climb because of that. it is not fun.   

First off Champ, I am not laughing at you. I like that you are so interested in the snow science. Perhaps you are losing something in the translation, but much of what you are saying is incorrect, mis-explained, or just wrong. Many of your blanket statements like "round shape crystal can favorise avalanches" are 110% wrong. Rounded grains lead to stronger layers and a more stable snowpack as the season progresses. They can also create slabs when sitting on-top of weaker layers (more sharp crystals). Neither rounds, nor facets (sharp/angular crystals) are dangerous in and of themselves, but in their relation to other layers in the snow pack they can be...

Back to your idea of condensation on the snowpack.. here you are greatly exaggerating the effect of condensation on the snow surface. What I think you might be thinking of is how "Surface Hoar", or Hoar Frost forms. It grows on the surface of the snow from humidity in the air during rapid radiative cooling (calm, clear, cold nights) and later can become dangerous when it is buried by stronger snow. The weight that surface hoar adds to the snowpack is neglible, but the effect of buried surface hoar is quite noticeable as it is often the weak layer for "persistent slabs". This mechanism is not a player in our east coast avy terrain as we very rarely get the conditions to promote it... it's more a Continental (Rocky Mountain) snow climate issue where they do get lots of cold, clear, calm nights...

I don't mean to steal your credibility, but you are describing processes incorrectly (or greatly exaggerating), and even if you did describe them correctly they are not easy to observe in the field.

We should probably stop here before we start talking about vapor pressure and temperature gradients in the snowpack... but that is where this is heading...
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 17, 2013, 01:52:52 PM
OK, one last note since I am trying to think about how to better explain the snowpack getting "heavier" as you say...

It's a combination of settlement, compression (from gravity), which is sped up by warm temps/solar. No weight is added, but the snow feels heavier because there is less porous space in the snow, less air... as it condenses, it feels heavier... these effects are vastly more pronounced than what can be added to the snowpack from humidity in the air, which is almost non-measurable.

Since you used the mirror example... the mirror weighs 6 pounds, the condensation from the shower adds how much weight to the mirror? Same with the snow, condensation from air humidity (surface hoar), adds a very negligible weight to the snow pack, and only on the surface.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: frik on January 17, 2013, 01:55:56 PM
Personally i can't wait for: "Ze prezure, she has de vapors!"
 
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DWT on January 17, 2013, 05:49:35 PM
I can't decide which is my favorite season here at NEClimbs.
BOLTS or AVALANCHES.

LOL... right on!

Because you laught at me, I loose my credibility and people didn't try to understand some point that could save their life, they don't understand why they could be in danger. Many people don't climb because of that. it is not fun.   
Champ,

No disrespect, but I don't think your credibility problems are anyone's fault but your own.  It's very difficult to distinguish whether or not it's only a language barrier problem.  Sometimes I can make sense of your posts and sometimes it might as well be in french.  People who've climbed with you speak highly of your ability, but I'd be hard pressed to find someone who'd speak highly of your ability to make a clear point in this forum.  FWIW If you really cared about your credibility, you'd reel it in a smidge.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 18, 2013, 09:49:19 AM
First off Champ, I am not laughing at you. I like that you are so interested in the snow science. Perhaps you are losing something in the translation, but much of what you are saying is incorrect, mis-explained, or just wrong. Many of your blanket statements like "round shape crystal can favorise avalanches" are 110% wrong.

Dman I have a  master degre in limnology. I studied the state of water from is pure crystal shape to the transformation of nitrate to acid rain. I gave you a reference, " INTERACTION BETWEEN SNOW METAMORPHISM AND CLIMATE: PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL ASPECT", where it is state that metamorphosis of snow by humidity is important in avalanches. Saying that is incorrect, mis-explained or just wrong...your formation is military and you state that the harder think that you did in snow storm is omega first pitch as you state before.

Do I insult you? Do I say that, in a film like good morning america, you look like the guy who think that his conception of music is the good one and there is no other possibility. You cover a market, there is some people who like very strict rules and need to follow some one else in what is a great adventure. Because climbing at any level is a great adventure. But you insult people, like the person trap in Mt Jackson because she underestimate the power of the wind in her way back and stayed a live because she had the skill and intelligence to stay in a shade area.

DWK, my english is better than before. It is hard some times to understand me, I know that. But therms like condensation and mirror don't need a lot of explanation to understand that warm and humid water condense in a mirror when some one take a shower. A text like "Yes but trad or sports avalanche ?" means and understanding of what I am saying and an intention to ridiculise an other person. I can understand that a word like body x position and going to an adventure can make a reference to some think funny. But there is no attack on my credibility in those joke... and it is that kind of discussion that we had at the bottom of the cliff in the golden age.

often experiences climber don't say a lot of think because they know never say never. In the wild, there is always a situation that can't be explain. As a climber, you look at a route and can say if it is easy or hard. But you have to try it to test your judgement. In a forum, it is the same. If you think that you are right you can test what you think in a forum. It is enought humiliating to understand that what we think is good or wrong. it is a fall and every body look at you. But who can be a good climber without falling. when some one fall, you can humiliate him, saying that you are better climber, but you can also gave him beta to find the best partner ever. 
Nb. one of my partner didn't have academic knowledge, he can't explain scientifiquely avalanches. Even with my knowledge, I will trust him any times because he know the answer in snowfall terms...he have a pratical knowledge and he gather informations every where like a sponge and test it in the field. Thank you Mark  
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JBro on January 18, 2013, 10:11:14 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/4kUG3.gif)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: Admin Al on January 18, 2013, 11:08:48 AM
OK
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: strandman on January 18, 2013, 12:02:54 PM
Ya'll need avalanche poodles... and if you are old enough to remember them, then you should not get avved
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: slink on January 18, 2013, 12:07:38 PM
+1 John.I miss Tami's cartoons
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DGoguen on January 18, 2013, 06:03:24 PM
Wow, you might want to pull some strings and have your water tested.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 18, 2013, 06:46:46 PM

...I gave you a reference, " INTERACTION BETWEEN SNOW METAMORPHISM AND CLIMATE: PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL ASPECT", where it is state that metamorphosis of snow by humidity is important in avalanches...

Do I insult you?...But you insult people, like the person trap in Mt Jackson because she underestimate the power of the wind in her way back and stayed a live because she had the skill and intelligence to stay in a shade area.

I don't know why I keep trying.

WARNING: SERIOUS SNOW GEEK TALK COMING BELOW!

You are talking about TWO different processes, confusing the transfer of vapor pressure "humidity" WITHIN the snowpack and the additional load on the snowpack of humidity from the ATMOSPHERE (surface hoar, and negligible for "weight" reasons).

The first is important as it is the main process that will determine whether the layers are faceting or rounding. Without digging a full snow profile and taking the temperature gradient for the entire snowpack the easiest way to figure out what is probably happening is depth/air temp.

Deep (more than a meter) and warm (32+) promote rounding.

Shallow (less than a meter) and COLD promote faceting.

Neither adds weight to the snowpack, as I have already explained. It does shift where the mass in each crystal goes to. Rounding crystals actually don't loose or gain mass, but they shift mass from the sharper ridges to the valleys, making the grain more "round". As I said this creates a stronger layer, which may be a dangerous slab IF it is sitting on a weaker layer (like facets/surface hoar).

If ANYTHING the snowpack will lose some mass through sublimation during this whole process, though top layers will feel heavier as they compress, they have gained NO mass from atmospheric humidity.

"metamorphosis of snow by humidity is important in avalanches" - Yes... you are correct, all I am saying is it is not making the snowpack "heavier", perhaps more or less dense based on what I said above, but atmospheric humidity ONLY comes into play in the formation of Surface Hoar, which can be a very dangerous buried weak layer, but adds no noticeable "weight" to the snowpack... so I think we both agree, but the way it is explained can be tricky.

Reference: The Avalanche Handbook, 3rd Edition, considered the best technical book on the subject (and hundreds of hours taking courses through Level 3 AIARE, and spending time in workshops and seminars dedicated to snow science.)

http://www.amazon.com/The-Avalanche-Handbook-David-McClung/dp/0898868092/ref=dp_ob_title_bk/191-8247558-6921602

And as for the Jackson lady, all I said was if she had a map & compass she could have walked herself to safety in 1 hour 45 minutes... better than spending the night out in those temps... but she kept her head and stayed alive. Not insulting her, simply stating what is COMMON knowledge. Map & Compass are the first two items on every gear list... how is that insulting?
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 21, 2013, 02:07:29 AM
I went to Mt Washington.

I jump on an open slab, push it to try to trigger an avalanche...there is more danger that an avalanche from the roof of a house in quebec hit some one than an avalanche in mt Washington saturday: considerable danger of avalanche... with 9 inches of snow on the ground.

even if the condition was moderate few days ago, I doubt that an avalanche cause the accident in mt Washington. When I looked at central couloir, I don't see two or three feet of snow. Even with zero danger of avalanche, if someone don't kick hard enought to touch the ice...he will fall bringing snow with him. With the warm temperature and the big big big 9 inches of snow...I think that a water damn broke and bring the parties down the slab...In all consideration that I can make a mistake an a real avalanche happen.
water damn is when the water run under a slab and stop the water. A pressure is form and when someone hike on it, it can broke and be dangerous for the climber. There is one or two in central couloir and in damnation I think

But I know that we can't trust what we read in journal 
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 21, 2013, 08:43:19 AM
I doubt that an avalanche cause the accident in mt Washington... if someone don't kick hard enought to touch the ice...he will fall bringing snow with him. With the warm temperature and the big big big 9 inches of snow...

But I know that we can't trust what we read in journal

You’re worried about your credibility yet you question the avalanche bulletin?

12 witnesses who commented on the slide was waist deep, obvious avalanche debris, the fact it triggered right where the bulletin stated they were most concerned... yeah, ice dam... I see no motive for them to lie about that... it would have been less embarrassing had that been the case...

As for kicking hard enough to reach ice, Central Gully is 90% snow climb with one ice bulge. Haven’t you climbed it? You only need to “kick” for 20 feet... They were well above the only ice bulge on the climb, so I think your theory is lacking...

9 inches of snow is a lot, when combined with wind... but you know that already right? Snow will accumulate 3 to 5 times deeper in the lee areas like the top of Central Gully...

Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 21, 2013, 12:19:52 PM
all I am saying is it is not making the snowpack "heavier", perhaps more or less dense based on what I said above, but atmospheric humidity ONLY comes into play in the formation of Surface Hoar,

density: a. The quantity of something per unit measure, especially per unit length, area, or volume.
b. The mass per unit volume of a substance under specified conditions of pressure and temperature

So if one cubic feet of snow weight one pound and the same one cubic feet of snow weight two pounds...that means that you gain one pounds of some think. The density have increase

can it be done by compaction. In that case, you take a box, place the snow in it and close it hermetically. If you take the density of the box today and in a month...it will be the same. The air trap in the snow is going to be at the top and the solid or liquid part at the bottom, but the wieght by one cubif feet box will be the same if they are no entry or leak.

If you take a feet of snow and keep it in the same condition on the top of the slope: it can loss density by melting,by sublimation and by wind

other way, if you keep the temperature at 25 and just change the humidity of the air for three or five hour, without compaction effect, you will notice that condensation occur, not as hoar, which is a kind of precipitation, but by condensation of water vapor into the same volume of snow.

Yes, there is circulation of air in snow as in " snow avalanche case reports have documented the survival of skiers apparently without permanent hypoxic sequelae, after prolonged complete burial despite there being only a small air pocket on extrication"

In vulgarisation, we lost things. What I am saying is that some people can't make the difference between physical knowledge  and vulgarisation. As it is not what you don't know that will kill you...it is what you think that you know... Those people, with large influence, explained things with a superficial knowledge and make mistake. Mistake that climbers will follow...and they will have an accident.

It take time to understand the theory behind a situation. Some have a pratical understanding of it (climbing bum). Those who survived are the more skill at it and those who didn't climb as much as they said are the worst. As we climb with climbing bum, we gain knowledge that we can explain theorically (they leave by guiding most of the time). That take times and a lot of climbing/reading. After that, those people who explain the theory gave the information to make money (the worse) or to make it accessible for most of us. In doing so, they loose some information. That lost are implify by those who read the book and said I know every thing I can teach you even if I stay in my house at the first sign of snow storm. The results is considerable danger of avalanches with nine inches of snow (every body can see if a place have deep snow or if they saw shrubs between the snow like in huntington ravine)

More than the diference between sport and trad, I think that the interpretation of scientific paper by people without any background is more what will kill our sport. The results is a war of leadership to know who pee father. As the climber climb and the other make public relation...the climber are not there in the important moment, they are in the cliff. So, the mistake done by those who are supposed to be a reference to avalanche are not trustable   
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: danf on January 21, 2013, 03:09:36 PM
David (or anyone esle), luke and not being able to understand what he is trying to say aside, can you explain to me why rounded particles are stronger than crystallized?  Don't think I'm trying to argue here, because I am not- I simply don't understand how that is the case.  I will admit that I have absolutely no avy training and have yet to try to climb anything more than a sledding hill in the snow.  But only way I can possibly understand what you are saying is correct is to assume that the crystalline form of snow flakes/particles is simply more brittle and thus more likely to fracture under load...? 

I guess when I try to envision the snowpack on a microscopic level, the rounded particles seem like BB's and the crystalline form is more like gravel/stone.  The phi angle of BB's is nearly non-existant, while gravel/stone is somewhere around 30 degrees. 

Am I simply thinking about it the wrong way? Please educate this over-educated hole digger....
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 21, 2013, 03:31:47 PM
Gladly, though you should consider joining me in a course if you are really into this. But here's the gist;

First, "stronger" refers to the layer... not the snowpack.

The winter snow pack is made up of layers from each storm/weather event. Strong layers sitting over weaker layers would create a weak snowpack.

Rounded grains bond to each other more readily than "faceted" grains, which don't bond together. They form "stronger" more cohesive layers. "Stronger" does not mean better or safer. Slabs are made of snow that has cohesion, which can be created by wind or rounding... if these cohesive "stronger" layers sit on top of a weaker layer, you have a concern. We look out for "strong over weak" layering, as it is the bond (or lack of bonding) between these layers that could result in an avalanche.

So you can have strong and weak layers within the snow pack. Where they are in relation to each other can promote a strong or weak snowpack.

Essentially, for a nice stable snowpack, you want the strongest layers on the bottom, progressively getting weaker towards the top, with no strong sitting over weak. This is what we get by late Spring when the snow in Tucks is concrete, with some nice weaker corn on top.

Our biggest concern on Mt. Wash is almost always wind slabs (sometimes storm slabs), but when you take a ski pole or ice axe and push through a foot of dense wind effected snow and feel soft less dense snow below, there may be a stability issue there... there are ways of testing the bonding in those layers outside of what I'll try to explain here.

Does that help? Sometimes I feel I go to far with explanations :)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: danf on January 21, 2013, 04:02:22 PM
I think so.  I'm interested to the point of internet understanding right now.  I don't do any sort of trekking at the moment, that was my ex-wife and she never wanted my company (which is part of the reason for "ex") when she hiked at any time regardless of season.  I still don't know if she has made a winter time ascent of Washington, but I know it is on her "to-do" list.  I do know she won't do it by herself though, pretty sure Joe Lentini was supposed to take her at some point and with him in the lead I don't think I need to worry too much about our kids being left mother-less....
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 22, 2013, 04:14:14 AM
http://avalancheinfo.net/fixed/weather/glossaries/advanced/advdefs/metamorphism.html

So, what to remember? "Through metamorphism, the form and size of snow crystals and grains inside a snowpack change continuously, altering the strength characteristics of the snowpack. If it is altering the strenght characteristics of the snowpack, snow flake with point are more stable than when metamorphosis alter the strenght characteristics of the snowpack.

Powder avalanche in mt washington is pratically inexistant because the place where the snow can form a slab in steep terrain are limited and because the quantity of snow is not of three or four feet like in some other mountain. I was in the mountain in some white out and I can told you that the size of those avalanche are very small. Those avalanche are influence by the humidity of the air.

As the wind is cold and the bottom of the snowpack is warm, a crust can be formed on the surface of a snow field. With metamorphosis, the fresh snow on the surface of the field froze. It is cause by the vapor from the snow pack, the humidity of the air, a freezing rain, the sun, etc. The result is a crust of ice over fresh snow. As the snow begin is metamorphosis, it come more compact and create a pocket of air between the crust and the snow...we have "slab avalanche". Waking on it is safe, but when the crust broke you are in danger. Damnation and yale are very treacherious for that.

At the begining of the thread, I say that it is more dangerous after a snowstorm...because slab avalanche can be trigger....than during the snowstorm....because there is not a lot of steep section where the snow can built and gain enought energy to make a dangerous powder avalanche. And that they rate the danger more dangerous during the snow strorm than after.

Dman said: "Our biggest concern on Mt. Wash is almost always wind slabs (sometimes storm slabs),"

No trustable?

Nb, there is also wet avalanche. I was close to a wet avalanche like the one who kill people on mt washington. The wind create by the slide blow my tent down...even if I was inside!!! close call

       
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 22, 2013, 07:50:29 AM
You continue to pass incorrect information.

A “Powder Avalanche” by definition is an avalanche that has gone completely airborne AND has no associated mass behind it. It is all aerosol. We don’t get them as we don’t have big enough steep terrain. They do happen in bigger mountain ranges.

You are referring to a “Point Release” or “Loose Snow” avalanche. We get those during heavy snow events. Small ones are sluffs. Sometimes they are bigger enough to bury.

Slabs form AND release during storms... so “more dangerous after a snowstorm” is a poor statement. Hillman’s Highway ran D4 a few years ago and wiped out 3 acres of 60 year old pine trees... during a snow storm...

Again, more people get caught after the snowstorm because they are smart enough not to be there during the storm if the rating is Considerable+... except you.

"Dman said: "Our biggest concern on Mt. Wash is almost always wind slabs (sometimes storm slabs),"

No trustable?”

I said biggest concern, not only. Wet slabs & wet point release are both issues any time there is a lot of free water in the snowpack (spring time, during rain, etc).

Also, the “air blast” as talked about that can proceed an avalanche is no more than a small gust of wind. If it was not windy at the time, and you felt the air blast from an avalanche, you really are a lucky luke.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JJ Jameson on January 22, 2013, 10:25:53 AM
Luke, earlier you state:
 "When I looked at central couloir, I don't see two or three feet of snow. Even with zero danger of avalanche, if someone don't kick hard enought to touch the ice...he will fall bringing snow with him. With the warm temperature and the big big big 9 inches of snow..."

You truly do not seem to be understanding the idea that isolated slabs can, and do occur all over the ravines, and that these can and will slide, by themselves, or with a human trigger. You don't need a lot of snow, and typically these slabs will form on lower angle portions of all the gully climbs.(exactly as described in the bulletin... there is a reason he included that very specific info)

Wind, and ANY snow precipitation can cause this. Wind, by itself, AFTER snow precipitation can cause this.
This photo shows a well consolidated wind slab over two meters tall in Tuckerman's Ravine. This was the result of a 6 inch snow fall, followed by 90 MPH winds. The overall snow depth depended entirely on terrain features, loose powdery snow evenly spread, to areas with no trace of snow. This slab was at the base of a buttress, so digging a pit wasn't putting us at risk.
 
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 22, 2013, 10:31:20 AM
Great photo JJ. Love needing a step stool to carry out a compression test! ;)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 22, 2013, 11:23:19 AM
This slab was at the base of a buttress, so digging a pit wasn't putting us at risk.

I don't say that avalanche are not dangerous, but avalanche is more dangerous after a snow storm. I walked in hips-shoulder deep snow at the bottom of pinacle asking me if what I was doing was right. In pinacle, a corniche can form in the gully at the top 0f the third pitch and, in some condition, of humid air, it can fall as loose snow. But I didn't see it often. Walking in deep snow was better than in the avalanche path.

It is easy to understand that with rock shoes, you can friction up a slab and there is a time when the feet will slipt??? So, at the difference of rubber, it is snow flake point that make friction. A sharp pick have always better friction than a round ice, which act as a bearing in a wheel. So, for powder and wet avalanche, you have all the theory you need. The rest is judgement like the one you did: "so digging a pit wasn't putting us at risk"

Slab avalanche can be made the first snowing day and increase in danger as the season go on. a pocket of air is predictable by the shape of the slab and there is technique to identify them. It can settle by themselve, trigger by human, by humid snow more than dry, and by a lost of mechanic tension (some are grade wet, but are wind avalanche). So, I never say that the danger is less than the day before. I said that the danger is less than the day after...

So, when you follow the avalanche risk: first day is low avalanche danger. second day is extreme danger and four and fift days, it is moderate so the quantity of tourism not expecting an avalanche is higher. When you understand that some climber say: "I am 5.10 rock climber so I can transfer my knowledge from rock to ice...I am sure that they never climb without t-shirt in a blizzard at the summit of Mt Washington". For them no danger of avalanche is no danger at all.

Avalanche awardness must change. Actually, it scare people and people don't learn technique to save there ass. Avalanche awardness are no-trustable. Always be ready for extreme avalanche activity and decide by yourself.

Burrying people with a lot of paper information on snow metamorphosis to show that we have a full case of knowledge and beeing caught by a powder-slab avalanche in a snow storm (yes it's happen to me) is very different. My partner walk directly in the weakest point of the slab. We were rope up and he didn't loose his equilibrum, but it was very scary.     
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 27, 2013, 09:49:14 PM
If you are still reading this thread I just came across a great blog post from an avalanche survivor I wanted to share:

http://blog.mec.ca/2013/01/23/the-finger-of-god/

LL, What ever you think is being taught in “avalanche awardness” courses is quite different from what is being taught in AIARE courses in the US. We do not teach fear, but a balanced approach of decision making, snow science, human factors, and honest self-assessment. We encourage people to travel in all danger ratings, but to be sure their terrain choice matches both the conditions and their understanding of the problem.

Your countless “scary” experiences indicate that you may be stuck in a “non-event feedback loop”, i.e. you get away with climbing in high danger days so it re-enforces you made the right choice...

1) “My tent got hit by air blast from avalanche”

2) "My partner climb on weakest part of slab and it was scary”

3) “Yes I got caught in powder-slab avalanche"

You may be simply rolling the dice my friend...

It’s a lifelong passion learning about the snow... no expert claims they know everything... but no one should shun learning more...

An AIARE 1 course is 3 days long. No one should expect to be an expert at anything after 3 days. It is a foundation (and a good one based on feedback from 200+ students who have gone on to climb all over the world).

Competency takes practice and time in the mountains... but we need to start somewhere.

The words you use to describe processes can really confuse people who only speak English.

Your point is often lost in mis-intrepretation.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 27, 2013, 11:46:23 PM
You may be simply rolling the dice my friend...

It’s a lifelong passion learning about the snow... no expert claims they know everything... but no one should shun learning more...

Rolling the dice is pure hasard. Maybe I learned about the danger and how to avoid it in real situation more often than theorically. It is clear that what I know about avalanche as pratical knowledge make many situation safer for me than for you. How can you know? the worse you did is climbing omega first pitch at canon in a snow storm.

The argument`you won't be always lucky...is a good way to scare people. As I climbed for more than 25 years...I can talk about a lifelong passion learning about snow with real situation. The most important thing is that I climbed many winter in very different condition that you cannot imagine and, even with a bag of trick, I can bail in the most beuatifull sunny day after a storm, with a low avalanche danger, because it is too dangerous for me. and nobody will take a decision for me on my safety, even if I can be a good second.

 
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: darwined on January 27, 2013, 11:55:49 PM
You may be simply rolling the dice my friend...

It’s a lifelong passion learning about the snow... no expert claims they know everything... but no one should shun learning more...

Rolling the dice is pure hasard. Maybe I learned about the danger and how to avoid it in real situation more often than theorically. It is clear that what I know about avalanche as pratical knowledge make many situation safer for me than for you. How can you know? the worse you did is climbing omega first pitch at canon in a snow storm.

The argument`you won't be always lucky...is a good way to scare people. As I climbed for more than 25 years...I can talk about a lifelong passion learning about snow with real situation. The most important thing is that I climbed many winter in very different condition that you cannot imagine and, even with a bag of trick, I can bail in the most beuatifull sunny day after a storm, with a low avalanche danger, because it is too dangerous for me. and nobody will take a decision for me on my safety, even if I can be a good second.

Wow! Arrogant much?
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: Jeff on January 28, 2013, 08:53:55 AM
Lucky Luke: I don't get it-- you want to inform people so that they will enjoy climbing and learn through experience and good judgement and you recommend learning from a number of people you consider "masters" such as John Bouchard, Base, SA (who often posts here), Yvon Chouinard and his ice climbing book, Freedom of the Hills-- which according to you is the BIBLE ( I too have read it in several editions, starting with Edition 1, which I'm old enough to have bought when it was the only edition). DMan is an experienced climber and guide who has made avalanche study and education a big part of his work. Yet you seem to be offended that he is trying to help others gain valuable knowledge without having to go through the "trial and error" route that you and I may have used in our apprenticeships. I started climbing frighteningly near 50 years ago in the French alps near Grenoble-- in 1974 I nearly triggered an avalanche while skiing in a storm at Val d'Isère--a convex slope we were traversing in whiteout  "thumped" and I dropped about 18 inches (my wife, new to skiing and trusting my "knowledge and experience" and two friends were following me). The next thing to "thump" was my heart, rapidly, as I executed a kick turn and said "GO BACK". We escaped, but it could have been tragic. Years before that, a partner and I decided to climb Pinnacle Gully as our first NH ice climb. It had only that year been climbed without cutting steps, and since we had been in the same Yvon Chouinard ice climbing clinic in the Adirondacks as Jim McCarthy (who, with Rick Wilcox), did the first ascent without step cutting that year, we figured we might as well "give it a go". We climbed in a blizzard and all went well, until our descent-- we planned to descend the Escape Hatch or South Gully but we went too far (zero visibility, moving cairn to cairn, getting dark, etc) and descended the Ravine of Raymond Cataract in thigh deep snow. This was the year that the big slide devastated trees below that cataract all the way across the Huntington Ravine trail leading to the Harvard Cabin. Why we didn't trigger a slide and suffer from our inexperience, I've never understood-- I attribute it to blind luck. As I've continued to ski and climb and learn a bit more through avy courses, reading, and talking to more knowledgeable folk than I, (Dman among them) I have become safer (but NOT SAFE)-- I recognize that the risks can not be eliminated; indeed that is part of the appeal of the mountain life. As you know, I also guide, and teach new skiers and climbers, trying to mentor them as I was once mentored . As I believe you are, Dave and I are still learning and improving our mountain craft. That is why I started this note by saying "I don't get it". I don't know why you seem to have to take a contrary position to every post Dman puts up. Perhaps you and I should discuss it in French some day, since we are both fluent in that language. Until then, bonnes courses!
Jeff Lea (full disclosure : I work for the EMS Climbing School and Wildcat Ski School-- these opinions are my own, and not those of my employers)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: strandman on January 28, 2013, 09:24:35 AM
You can  predict the snow- sometimes- and then again.. I think Alex Lowe might have been considered an "expert"  dead in an Av..JB also i would say expert avved approaching a climb he did the f/a of !

Once again that Freedom book of BS
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 28, 2013, 10:18:05 AM
You can  predict the snow- sometimes- and then again.. I think Alex Lowe might have been considered an "expert"  dead in an Av..JB also i would say expert avved approaching a climb he did the f/a of !

Once again that Freedom book of BS

It can be very hard to predict what is happening over a mile away and thousands of feet above you.... McLean speculated it was probably caused by lee wind-loading. Spend enough time in big mountains, and we all know this might be an outcome. IMO there is a big difference from being caught by such a massive natural slide so far from the start zone and being the one to trigger it when there are warning signs of unstable snow...
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: strandman on January 28, 2013, 10:20:23 AM
Since I know little about avalanches, i will assume the X position for the remainder of the winter
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 28, 2013, 10:26:48 AM
Always a good idea ;)

Wrapped up another avalanche course yesterday... report here:

http://davidlottmann.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/aiare-1-avalanche-course-12513-12713/
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 28, 2013, 10:11:18 PM
Lucky Luke: I don't get it-- you want to inform people so that they will enjoy climbing and learn through experience and good judgement and you recommend learning from a number of people you consider "masters" such as John Bouchard, Base, SA (who often posts here), Yvon Chouinard and his ice climbing book, Freedom of the Hills-- which according to you is the BIBLE ( I too have read it in several editions, starting with Edition 1, which I'm old enough to have bought when it was the only edition). (...) As I've continued to ski and climb and learn a bit more through avy courses, reading, and talking to more knowledgeable folk than I, (Dman among them) I have become safer (but NOT SAFE)--

I think that people must follow experience climber who bring you to learn by yourself. To protect your life with every experiences.

When a leader, make interdiction (like the avalanche report), insult you when you are doing a mistake and try to bring you by the hand to the good technique (I will teach you)...I am out. It is the most important difference between me and Dman.

Deep understanding, not superficial rules means that you must gather your information every where. What can you do and what can't you do is different for every one...so the avalanche danger is also different from one person to an other. althought I always consider that I am in danger.

Most of all, you most be able to climb in many situation and decide yourself your limit.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JJ Jameson on January 28, 2013, 10:45:34 PM
OK, I think I get it now.


So, the only knowledge worth having is what you learn or experience on your own?
Or what you read in Freedom of The Hills?

Anyone who uses a professional guide ( full disclosure... I am one...with 30 years of experience), to instruct them in some of the intricacies of the technical climbing world, is clueless, and wasting their time and money, being taught to be afraid? They should better have "deep understanding" rather than use rules that are based in real world scenarios , by full time professional climbers and snow scientists who actually do have years of real world knowledge and experience? They should sort it out on their own, like, say, the climbing party of twelve on Central Gully last week, instead of listening to the snow ranger who actually knows the mountain, and possible snow conditions? Tell me Champ: Would you take four rope teams of three up that climb in those conditions, with that avalanche bulletin? And be comfortable with those results?
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 28, 2013, 10:59:35 PM
JJ, the answer is clear, if you dig back into Champ’s (Lucky Luke’s) posts you’ll see he fully believes that you can not learn about avalanches without out being out in a gully during High Danger, and that he even feels the snow rangers can’t be trusted as they “just don’t want to come rescue me”.

He wants to help new climbers, but for some reason hates professional guiding, as we are “just trying to sell courses” and promote fear.

He has already said all that group needed was 1 or 2 good leaders and somehow they could have magically not triggered that avalanche... We all know 1 or 2 good leaders would have re-routed the group to Lion’s Head given the forecast/bulletin/local advice... but since LL couldn’t see 2-3 feet of snow from Pinkham he thinks it was a busted ice dam, not an avalanche...

Reality and LL have yet to meet I’m afraid...



Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 28, 2013, 11:05:13 PM
So, the only knowledge worth having is what you learn or experience on your own?
Or what you read in Freedom of The Hills?

If you read freedom of the hill... you learn or experience by your own, specially if you read it after you went to a cliff and dont understand a situation. You will understand the situation and see many different option that you can train after to realize your goal.

If someone teach you that you must do that kind of knot, climb hard, avoid any situation higher than low danger condition, read freedom of the hill from page one to the end, ... he is not teaching you how to evaluate your situation and decide the best technique, he is teaching you what to do. I am out.

 
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 28, 2013, 11:54:47 PM
If someone teach you that you must do that kind of knot, climb hard, avoid any situation higher than low danger condition, read freedom of the hill from page one to the end, ... he is not teaching you how to evaluate your situation and decide the best technique, he is teaching you what to do. I am out.

Phew... glad I am not that guy!
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 29, 2013, 09:59:15 AM
Would you take four rope teams of three up that climb in those conditions, with that avalanche bulletin? And be comfortable with those results?

I could take 12 person in the same condition. I will take a leader to lead the pitches and avoid the deep snow. I will stay close to hm to have an eye on what he is doing. Instead of making four party, to avoid that people climb one over the other, I will have one party who lead the pitch with other following close togheter and with a belay at each pitches.

As a pointed rock stop the fall of a party, I am sure that nobody will hae an accident even if we trigger an avalanche...great time and, maybe a good adventure as seeing an avalanche is very stressfull and amasing at the same time.

But it is just an option to hiking a trail.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: triguy on January 29, 2013, 10:07:40 AM
Luke, do you keep a copy of FOTH in your pack to reference against current conditions?

Kinda like the chick I saw at the gym this morning with a weight lifting for dummies book.....
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 29, 2013, 10:36:36 AM
I can't respond to LL anymore. Someone please respond to his post. "Weight-lifting for dummies" LOL!
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: strandman on January 29, 2013, 11:24:29 AM
I believe that Warren Hardings  Downward Bound should be the definitive climbing book   ;) Learn how to tie in,belay and then go climbing.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: sneoh on January 29, 2013, 02:30:58 PM
LL needs to spend some time with Coach Niland!

It just seems to me avy is not something you want to try to learn from a single book or by experimentation, similar to learning how to avoid water borne diseases, malaria, or STD! :)

Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: strandman on January 29, 2013, 02:38:12 PM
Coach and I went ice climbing.. ONCE.. tells you how long ago that was :o
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 29, 2013, 03:27:44 PM
I could take 12 person in the same condition. I will take a leader to lead the pitches and avoid the deep snow. I will stay close to hm to have an eye on what he is doing. Instead of making four party, to avoid that people climb one over the other, I will have one party who lead the pitch with other following close togheter and with a belay at each pitches.

As a pointed rock stop the fall of a party, I am sure that nobody will hae an accident even if we trigger an avalanche...great time and, maybe a good adventure as seeing an avalanche is very stressfull and amasing at the same time..

OK, I will respond. You are over-confident and arrogant. To assume you could somehow have a different result with 12 people of limited ability in the exact same conditions is quite a stretch. “Avoid the deep snow”. It was noted the route conditions were too narrow to navigate around the wind slab. The only way to avoid it was to turn around, or better yet choose Lion’s Head given the copious amounts of local information and knowledge that was provided...

“Pointed rock stop the fall...” That was very fluke luck... do you really look down and think that little rock will catch us if we get avalanched so we’ll be OK?

Trigger an avalanche = great time for you... ya man... you crazy... seeing an avalanche is one thing, but it’s quite scary to be the one triggering anything but the smallest sluff or slab...
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: strandman on January 29, 2013, 04:44:30 PM
DMan- you are a glutton for punishment

I have seen avvies... that's enough for me. Why do you suppose it's called Gulf of Slides ?? :'(
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: OldEric on January 29, 2013, 05:09:05 PM
Coach and I went ice climbing.. ONCE.. tells you how long ago that was :o

I did the Dike with Paul ~20 years ago.  On the crux rock traverse (neither one of us led it) he looked at me and said "I have no idea what to do - I feel like I am on a Whitey route".  Somehow we both did it cleanly.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: sneoh on January 29, 2013, 05:14:33 PM
"I have no idea what to do - I feel like I am on a Whitey route". 
Only old gym rats like us know what Paul meant!  I miss those routes!  Fifteen moves, getting pumped, and you are only five feet off the ground!!
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 29, 2013, 05:18:00 PM
DMan- you are a glutton for punishment

I sure am!

I wanted to share this video with everyone, a fatality from CO last year due to a very small terrain trap. I use it in most my classes...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdkdHFAjn5w

A 30 foot slope... doesn’t take much when conditions are ripe... check out the sugar at the end...
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: strandman on January 29, 2013, 05:21:35 PM
"I have no idea what to do - I feel like I am on a Whitey route". 
Only old gym rats like us know what Paul meant!  I miss those routes!  Fifteen moves, getting pumped, and you are only five feet off the ground!!
Try Whitey's Hard One down in the Woods sometime... short, skin ripping, V9 or so AND you won't do it
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: sneoh on January 29, 2013, 05:22:58 PM
Wow, quite sobering, DMan.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 30, 2013, 03:14:02 AM
It just seems to me avy is not something you want to try to learn from a single book or by experimentation, similar to learning how to avoid water borne diseases, malaria, or STD! :)
if someone don't know how to swim...he will shout at loud that every things over his head is considerable danger, a river with two feet of water will be moderate and even a pond with inches of water will gave you malaria.

Younger, we had four or five feet of snow per year. I constructed a "fort" in structure like corniches that we diig inside the slope. I walk on snow slab that broke on my weight, without danger of avalanches. I trained, trigger an avalanche is part of a training, and climb in many situation. I learned also by book and stories and video. I know that I did more than the majority of the climber and that it can be dangerous in the mountain. Avy courses is part of it.

But the thread is: is it more dangerous in a snow storm, when the snow slab is forming and stable (extremely dangerous awardness), or after a snow storm, when metamorphosis begin and slab are ready to fall and the weight of the snow is higher too...?

As I went to whiteout as you climb lion head, don't know how you can answer that question.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 30, 2013, 08:28:55 AM
But the thread is: is it more dangerous in a snow storm, when the snow slab is forming and stable (extremely dangerous awardness), or after a snow storm, when metamorphosis begin and slab are ready to fall and the weight of the snow is higher too...?

As I went to whiteout as you climb lion head, don't know how you can answer that question.

I do know the answer to this question, and have already answered it. Here it is again.

Storm Slabs form and release NATURALLY during storm events, which is why when it is snowing more than 3cm per hour you can expect naturals to hapen. They can be just as destructive as human triggered avalanches (D4 wiped out 3 acres of 60 yr. old pine trees below Hillman’s Highway in 2008). Many gullies will avalanche multiple times in one snow storm. This is how the fan in Huntington gets filled in with snow, along with regular loading.

How quickly the danger from storm slabs goes away depends on a few factors, temperature, settlement rate, and underlying layer. While storm slabs may abate wind slabs can still form after a snow storm has ended if there is snow available for transport. So... different problem, different red flags to look for, but still could be danger.

Trying to state it is more or less dangerous during or after a snow storm is folly.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 30, 2013, 11:03:14 AM
Trying to state it is more or less dangerous during or after a snow storm is folly.

Exactly what I think about your prediction on avalanches awardness... you are better to stay worm inside all winter long.

N.B. avalanches are dangerous, there is technique to master other than staying in an hiking trail

always think that advice from Dman is the opinion of one person, so it is for books and courses....but it is Your life.
Note in the golden time, where it was allowed to play in the backcountry, the mountaineering freedom of the hill was just a compilation of all technique that you can use to safe your life in climbing (no recommandation). Today, it is a receipe without deep understanding.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 30, 2013, 12:00:33 PM
Exactly what I think about your prediction on avalanches awardness... you are better to stay worm inside all winter long.

As for “staying inside all winter long”, I bring 12 person classes into avalanche terrain during Considerable & High conditions, but we use careful terrain selection and avoid run outs and start zones of major avalanche paths and anywhere there may be a terrain trap.

From the course linked below:

<photo was too large, but can be seen at the link>

http://davidlottmann.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/finally-it-snowed/

I also encourage my students to tour/climb in all types of conditions, but to try to choose the correct terrain based on the bulletin, current conditions, and their own level of knowledge and risk acceptance. Rarely do I ever suggest “just stay home”. There are always options that can allow one to recreate safety in the mountains.

Your personal level of risk acceptance sounds higher than the average person. That’s ok, that’s why it’s “personal” level of risk acceptance.

However your disregard for the advice of professionals who live & breathe this stuff, both guides, instructors, and USFS Snow Rangers is quite rare.

Every local climber and guide I know respects the opinion of the USFS Snow Rangers, and bulletins produced by forecast centers all over North America, www.avalanche.org (http://www.avalanche.org)

While my advice is only the opinion of one person, it comes from 100’s of days in avalanche terrain, 100’s of hours of taking courses and attending seminars, multiple trips out west to travel in different snow climates, conveying what I’ve learned to 100’s of students over many dozen courses, and it all started in 2002 after watching 2 people get killed in Tuckerman in an avalanche right in front of me...

http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/search-rescue/incidents-accidents/2002-2003-summaries/

You are right. It is YOUR LIFE. You owe it to your friends and family to learn everything you can. No one course will make someone “safer” in the backcountry. In fact, statistics show people who have taken a course have a higher percent chance of getting caught in an avalanche. The truth is these are the people that usually spend more time in avalanche terrain, especially as avalanche education has become more refined, effective, and available in the last 10 years.

There are many resources out there for those who want to learn more. Other than avalanche.org avtraining.org is great. Not everyone learns best from books & websites, so group learning in a course is another great option.

I forget who said it but “There are no masters in avalanche education. The masters are all dead.” The point is the learning NEVER stops... there is a lifetime of information to try to absorb, comprehend, and apply to your future climbing/ski trips. It’s an awesome topic to dig into, at least for me.

Lucky Luke (Champ), I think we often are saying the same thing. “Deep Understanding” is a great goal. But I’ll end on this Appalachian pro-verb:

“It’s not what you don’t know that will get you killed, it’s what you think you know that just ain’t so.”

I’d say this topic has run its course, but hopefully the 1,500+ views have been helpful for some.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 30, 2013, 12:26:30 PM
I bring 12 person classes into avalanche terrain during Considerable & High conditions,

but all the rest of the people are stupid and can't do that. foolish you said??? arrogant I think

I am sure that you have a lot of more insult for people that you don't wrote.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JBro on January 30, 2013, 12:27:08 PM

Exactly what I think about your prediction on avalanches awardness... you are better to stay worm inside all winter long.

N.B. avalanches are dangerous, there is technique to master other than staying in an hiking trail



(http://i.imgur.com/QpfxM.gif)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 30, 2013, 12:38:37 PM
I bring 12 person classes into avalanche terrain during Considerable & High conditions,

but all the rest of the people are stupid and can't do that. foolish you said??? arrogant I think


Please show me where I called any of them “foolish” or “stupid”. I questioned their judgment, as did the rest of the community. You, I called arrogant, and I stand by that accusation.

There is a difference between bringing 12 people into the ravines and staying out of run-outs and bringing 12 people into a start zone of a Considerable rated gully. How do you not understand that?

Terrain Selection. It is the most important decision and a big part of AIARE’s Decision Making Framework.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 30, 2013, 12:47:59 PM

OK, I will respond. You are over-confident and arrogant. To assume you could somehow have a different result with 12 people of limited ability in the exact same conditions is quite a stretch. “[...]

Trigger an avalanche = great time for you... ya man... you crazy... seeing an avalanche is one thing, but it’s quite scary to be the one triggering anything but the smallest sluff or slab...


But you are a lot better than me...mostly to insult people
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: xcrag_corex on January 30, 2013, 12:52:32 PM
someone is about to hit their Karma Bicentenial....who's gonna do it?
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 30, 2013, 12:54:57 PM

OK, I will respond. You are over-confident and arrogant. To assume you could somehow have a different result with 12 people of limited ability in the exact same conditions is quite a stretch. “[...]

Trigger an avalanche = great time for you... ya man... you crazy... seeing an avalanche is one thing, but it’s quite scary to be the one triggering anything but the smallest sluff or slab...


But you are a lot better than me...mostly to insult people

Whatever man, not trying to insult you. But you think you could have magically led that group through that area in that condition and are positive you would have had a different result. That is highly unlikely, but you sound sure of it. That = arrogance + over-confidence.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JBro on January 30, 2013, 12:55:55 PM
Lookout gents, we got a serious throwdown in progress...

(http://images.wikia.com/jasonganley/images/e/e6/Fail.gif)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: Maxsuffering on January 30, 2013, 05:21:44 PM
After six pages I think if I were traveling in avalanche terrain I'd rather be with DMan. Anybody else keeping score?
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 31, 2013, 10:23:36 AM
Whatever man, not trying to insult you. But you think you could have magically led that group through that area in that condition and are positive you would have had a different result. That is highly unlikely, but you sound sure of it. That = arrogance + over-confidence.

"The debris was examined by a Snow Ranger, who estimated its size as 5-7 meters wide, 60 meters long, and 30-60cm deep"

Fifteen to twenty one feet wide, if you stay on the side with an anchor, and the three party close togheter with anchors... I really don't know what can happen. It is like a hike on the side a river. In the text, they said that the leader cross the path of the avalanche, at a weak point. He had snow to his hips....

With your phylosophy to lower the rescue fees to minimum, you overestimated the danger to discourage people, the people understand that the avalanche awardness is not exact....they think that they are safe and make mistake in very easy ground. That gave you argument...but it is your fault first. 

And you insult those who say that it is an overestimation, you can travel safely on many terrain. As here, the best was to avoid the avalanche path and make anchor.



 

 
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 31, 2013, 10:27:31 AM


It will be fun to have the advice of climber like rick wilcox... it seems to me that it is a small avalanche who trigger many small avalanches above the first one. Many snow pocket in a row. Imagine where is the breaking point with a slab of 60 meter???
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: triguy on January 31, 2013, 10:56:52 AM
Luke, high avalanche danger on mt Washington today!

Sounds like you will also have the rare opportunity of learning how to deal with exploding ice dams - truly a valuable lesson!

Why aren't you out learning how to avoid death?
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on January 31, 2013, 02:18:52 PM
Luke, high avalanche danger on mt Washington today!
Sounds like you will also have the rare opportunity of learning how to deal with exploding ice dams - truly a valuable lesson!

Why aren't you out learning how to avoid death?

I am learning...but what is the condition to have an ice dams? I always thought that it is when the weather come warmer and the water run under the snow and can not flow down because of an obstruction, call damn. Actually, the condition is going from rain to snow with a decrease of temperature from 30 to zero. I don't think that ice damn will be a problem.

In a weather like that, hypothermia is more a concern. if there are winds, it is worse. Route finding can be tricky as some ice field can be thin or on the rock.

In my opinion, there is no danger of avalanche as the weather is going to be colder and there is no snow actually. But it is some of the worse condition to be in the cliff because you can freeze and there is nothing beautifull on that kind of snow storm.

As snow is an isolator, I think that if you have a lot of snow, the condition will be worse in few days, with a blu bird sky, because of a lost of mechanical strenght in the snow.

after that, I will look at an avy post to have a different opinion.

Here is the true: "Mountain weather is subject to rapid changes and extreme conditions. Always be prepared to make your own assessment of travel and weather conditions." mt Washington weather center
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: triguy on January 31, 2013, 02:39:47 PM
So the Avy rangers that give the forecast on mt Washington are wrong with their assessment?

Yer gonna die!

All yours DMan.....

Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 31, 2013, 09:01:34 PM
Whatever man, not trying to insult you. But you think you could have magically led that group through that area in that condition and are positive you would have had a different result. That is highly unlikely, but you sound sure of it. That = arrogance + over-confidence.

"The debris was examined by a Snow Ranger, who estimated its size as 5-7 meters wide, 60 meters long, and 30-60cm deep"

Fifteen to twenty one feet wide, if you stay on the side with an anchor, and the three party close togheter with anchors... I really don't know what can happen. It is like a hike on the side a river. In the text, they said that the leader cross the path of the avalanche, at a weak point. He had snow to his hips....

....As here, the best was to avoid the avalanche path and make anchor.

Are you familiar with Central Gully? There are very few places to “make anchor” given the current (and past) conditions.

By “path” we mean Central Gully... that is the avalanche path, even if I small avalanche does not clear out the whole gully... regardless, that upper part has few if any places to create anchors and is almost always simul-climbed or soloed...
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 31, 2013, 09:05:16 PM


It will be fun to have the advice of climber like rick wilcox... it seems to me that it is a small avalanche who trigger many small avalanches above the first one. Many snow pocket in a row. Imagine where is the breaking point with a slab of 60 meter???

I have no idea what you are trying to say here, but I know Rick. Next time you stop in IME why don’t you ask him.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on January 31, 2013, 09:08:03 PM
So the Avy rangers that give the forecast on mt Washington are wrong with their assessment?

Yer gonna die!

All yours DMan.....

Lucky Luke (Champ), has already made it clear that snow rangers are not to be trusted and just don’t want to be bothered with going to rescue someone. The fact there is someone out there that openly thinks this is hard to fathom.

For reference, a great read today: http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/2013/01/31/avalanche-advisory-for-thursday-1-31-2013/
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: sneoh on January 31, 2013, 09:42:32 PM

"Expect to reach Mach1 in the event of a fall ..." Cool.  I believe LL likes it fast.
This - "Always be prepared to make your own assessment of travel and weather conditions." is meant to cover their own asses given how quickly the situation can change in the mountains.  More formal than us saying Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: xcrag_corex on February 01, 2013, 12:42:11 AM
" 2. Expect VERY slick and hard conditions later today and through the weekend.  Expect to reach Mach1 in the event of a fall, with self-arresting to be unlikely.  Forecasted high winds may blow you off balance.  Crampons, FREEDOM OF THE HILLS, ice ax and the experience to use them will be essential for safe travel. "
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: xcrag_corex on February 01, 2013, 01:01:28 AM
All sarcasm aside: Lucky Luke, here in New England we like to bust balls. That's just the way it is. But at the end of the day NOBODY wants to see anybody getting hurt or killed in our beloved White mountains.The professionals make educated hypothesis in order to guide people to travel safely and responsibly in the mountains. Here's an eye opener.... When I took the WFR course at SOLO (correct me if i'm wrong here pros) the instructor said rescue services send out 12 people in general on rescues. People need to carry a litter, and give care to the injured. FOCUS HERE: By chancing it and testing your skills, in the event of an emergency, YOU are pulling those people into a dangerous situation.

Those people have a family. those people have friends. those people have children. Remember that. Those people don't do this shit for fun. They are compassionate people who care for there fellow climbers. Climb responsibly.....
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on February 01, 2013, 03:12:27 AM
FOCUS HERE: By chancing it and testing your skills, in the event of an emergency, YOU are pulling those people into a dangerous situation.

As Base said: "the last think I want to do is to call the rescue"

With a little bit more of practice, I will be at the level to deal with four thousand meter in the west. Maybe the Denali. For me, it is a training to higher mountain. Why do I train? To be able to be as safe as any one else climber can be.

"Always be prepared to make your own assessment of travel and weather conditions."  Means that you can adapt to any situation...not just when you, as a whole, decide that it is a good day or a bad day, but any time.

In an other post, a guy wanted to hicked the Mt Washington...Dman tod him to do so because he was in the navy. I asked him if he climbed in a tent in cold weather and to find a place when he can train to do it...like harvard cabin, before attempting the traverse. I did a kind of traverse before, climb damnation in solo, hike to the summit, went down by the south in direction of jackson, get out of the protect watershed, and have the most wonderfull night in my bivy.. and star all over the place. The next morning, I wake up, take my pack sack and hike down. As I turned a corner, I was struck by a wind of 80 miles per hours and more. I wasn't able to stay in my feet and have to crawl for three hours a trail of twenty minutes. Even if I call some one, nobody can reach me that day.

But I was prepared because I went in the mountain before to train on similar weather, althought less intense.

Between training in many places and reading a awardness board...I will say train because you will: ""Always be prepared to make your own assessment of travel and weather conditions."  And if you train a lot, the last think that you are going to do is to call the rescue because it means that you are wrong, still better than dead.
 

 

Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JBro on February 01, 2013, 09:04:00 AM
In an other post, a guy wanted to hicked the Mt Washington...Dman tod him to do so because he was in the navy. I asked him if he climbed in a tent in cold weather and to find a place when he can train to do it...like harvard cabin, before attempting the traverse. 

I've got to admit, champ scored a point here...

(http://gamevip.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/badwrestling.gif)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: frik on February 01, 2013, 11:31:33 AM
Actually lots of points, this has been one of the best trolls of all time....
Good job champ, your work here is done.

I believe it's time to discuss sport, trad, bolting, and thin air... again.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on February 01, 2013, 12:38:25 PM
I believe it's time to discuss sport, trad, bolting, and thin air... again.

I think that to discuss sport, trad, bolting...we most talk about safety

Knowing when to bail and when to go for it....it is a big part of climbing, hard to master as many aspect most be take in consideration

Avoiding the danger to hike lyon head is not climbing, and doing think as the people won't train for safety is not a discussion
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JBro on February 01, 2013, 01:40:05 PM
Take that frik...

(http://www.totalprosports.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/I-know-pro-wrestling-is-fake-but-this-is-pretty-cool.gif)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: triguy on February 01, 2013, 01:52:41 PM
I think that at ice fest this weekend DMan and LL should dress up in inflatable sumo suits and have at it once and for all.

Collect money at the door and donate the proceeds to the mt washington Avy crew.

 8)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JBro on February 01, 2013, 01:58:15 PM
I think that at ice fest this weekend DMan and LL should dress up in inflatable sumo suits and have at it once and for all.



Dman called me, he's up for this and on the way...

(http://image.blingee.com/images16/content/output/000/000/000/52c/396500842_105512.gif)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on February 01, 2013, 07:07:53 PM
triguy, I think that is an excellent idea. If Craig will shave his beard I should be able to wrestle Champ. And I LOVE that JBrochu found a sumo wrestler that not only looks like me but is also on skis...... PRICELESS....


PS... Ice didn’t get hit too bad...

My last two days: http://davidlottmann.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/2-day-private-ice-climbing/

Thinking LHMW tomorrow ;)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JBro on March 06, 2013, 02:20:58 PM
I am learning...but what is the condition to have an ice dams? I always thought that it is when the weather come warmer and the water run under the snow and can not flow down because of an obstruction, call damn. Actually, the condition is going from rain to snow with a decrease of temperature from 30 to zero. I don't think that ice damn will be a problem.


A rapid drop in temperature is one of the common conditions under which ice dams form. Going from rain to snow with a decrease in temps from barely freezing to zero seems like ice dams would very likely.
 

"One way an ice dam can form is under conditions of a rapid temperature drop. The low temperature on the summit of Mount Washington in the previous 24 hours was –19 degrees F. Waterfall ice is formed when water flows over steep terrain in winter. The water that forms the ice is always flowing and constantly forming new ice. When the air temperature drops, water channels freeze up and water begins to pool up behind the ice. This creates hydraulic pressure behind the ice. When the ice dam is disturbed, the pooled water breaks out, often with an explosive force."

Source: http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/search-rescue/incidents-accidents/2000-2001-summaries/

02-18-2001 summary


(I had meant to address this a while ago but I could not find the relevant quote at the time and just happened to come across it recently.)

Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on March 07, 2013, 10:57:00 AM
I am learning...but what is the condition to have an ice dams?
When the air temperature drops, water channels freeze up and water begins to pool up behind the ice. This creates hydraulic pressure behind the ice. When the ice dam is disturbed, the pooled water breaks out, often with an explosive force."
Source: http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/search-rescue/incidents-accidents/2000-2001-summaries/
(I had meant to address this a while ago but I could not find the relevant quote at the time and just happened to come across it recently.)

Look at the reference: it is from the avalanche center and I critic them to have an accademic knowledge of the problem, not a pratical knowledge.

Google the words run off and found as much information as you can on: "The draining away of water (or substances carried in it) from the surface of an area of land"

In a previous thread, I talked about the flow of water, the difference between the day and the night. To show some thing, one guy said that it dosen't exist. If I am wrong, I learned some things that can save my life. Wtih that attitude, I can climb and be safer. If you are wrong, you loose your credibility because you don't talk to help other people, you talk to point out that I am wrong. I know that is a point that pissed a lot of you because it is important what the other think. My goal is to show that we can be safer than yesterday by talking of knowledge. If you confront me with the paper of avy center, I will agree that I was wrong for a part of it.

For the damn, it is like waste water sewer. If there is too much water in the same time (rain exceed the capacity of the sewer) there will be an overflow. Any situation creating an overflow will create a damn. An avalanche for example can stop the run off of water and create a damn if the water is trap under the snow/ice. If the water had a place to go, it will create a damn.

In the particular situation of rain, the run off will be hight for the next day or two. So, much a lot of "pipe" will be open and the water won't be trap. As it began to snow, an isolation of the water inside the snow will occur and the water trap inside the snow will flow away. When the run off will dimished, the pipe will stay there, but they will be free of water. It is only when the run off will become higher than the run off will exceed the capacity of the pipe. That it will be dangerous for the climber. A damn, without water, is not dangerous.

But it is true to say that one way that damn can be form is during a rapid drop of temperature and I was wrong. If you go climbing, look for places where the run off can be stop and where the water begin to emerge from the snow above...and avoid the place. Ex. snow pocket can create a damn.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on March 07, 2013, 12:23:21 PM
I am learning...but what is the condition to have an ice dams?
When the air temperature drops, water channels freeze up and water begins to pool up behind the ice. This creates hydraulic pressure behind the ice. When the ice dam is disturbed, the pooled water breaks out, often with an explosive force."
Source: http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/search-rescue/incidents-accidents/2000-2001-summaries/
(I had meant to address this a while ago but I could not find the relevant quote at the time and just happened to come across it recently.)

Look at the reference: it is from the avalanche center and I critic them to have an accademic knowledge of the problem, not a pratical knowledge.


Yes, what practical knowledge could they have from spending every day of the winter season in the ravines for the last 20+ years. Those close-minded fools.

The whole rest of your post is “academic” in nature... all that gibberish to then say something so simple and not useable like “snow pocket can create a damn”...
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on March 07, 2013, 03:06:29 PM
The whole rest of your post is “academic” in nature... all that gibberish to then say something so simple and not useable like “snow pocket can create a damn”...

Academic: Of or relating to education and scholarship. Go any where and when a young get out of the school he think that he know every things, but he have to learn how to work in the industry.

If you talk about the difference of the day and night, it is a pratical observation that I did, support by theoric knowledge at the watershed level. Canoe is a good place to learn about the variation of water level after a thunderstorm (a R2 can be a R4, and after a day of rain, R2 will be a r3. The comparaison with a sewer, it is very pratical because I don't repeat what they wrote in a book, but gave an idea that a lot of people can understand.

In your particular case, If I am true, you are wrong. That "game" don't help any climber to save his life.

I don't even remember the book that you refer every time you talk about avalanche.

   
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on March 07, 2013, 03:22:08 PM
Can you back-up or elaborate on your statement about the snow rangers not having “practical” knowledge?
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: kenreville on March 07, 2013, 06:49:55 PM
Dman- You must stop eating the rancid bait.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: WharfRat on March 07, 2013, 07:12:30 PM
I think rancid is his thing..

Clearly bait is  :D
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on March 07, 2013, 08:51:10 PM
Dman- You must stop eating the rancid bait.

I really can’t help it. If he says something incorrect I will speak up.

I hope if members feel he is trolling they voice their feelings to Al in a PM. I know there is a lot of people frustrated with his posts, but many do not speak up.

Let Al know.

I would like to seem him gone.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JakeDatc on March 08, 2013, 01:33:09 AM
Dman- You must stop eating the rancid bait.

I really can’t help it. If he says something incorrect I will speak up.

I hope if members feel he is trolling they voice their feelings to Al in a PM. I know there is a lot of people frustrated with his posts, but many do not speak up.

Let Al know.

I would like to seem him gone.

Gone?  Why, because he doesn't agree with you?  How petty.

As the self proclaimed avalanche expert on the board, where exactly have you climbed outside of New England?   Do you have experience on other ranges? 

gone because he is rude, disruptive, incoherent and repetitively annoying as hell.  And recently offensive in a thread concerning a fatality of a friend of at least one forum member. 
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: Maxsuffering on March 08, 2013, 06:25:13 AM
Get rid of Champ?! ...C'mon, the train wrecks that are Lukes posts are my favorite part of this site!
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: tradmanclimbz on March 08, 2013, 06:35:59 AM
Dman, what would you do without champ? you would be a puppy dog missing his chew toy.... :-[
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JBro on March 08, 2013, 07:25:27 AM

Gone?  Why, because he doesn't agree with you?  How petty.

As the self proclaimed avalanche expert on the board, where exactly have you climbed outside of New England?   Do you have experience on other ranges?


(http://cdn0.sbnation.com/imported_assets/1163067/astros.gif)


(http://cdn1.sbnation.com/imported_assets/1171614/YDPuN_medium.gif)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JJ Jameson on March 08, 2013, 09:28:36 AM


[/quote]
Gone?  Why, because he doesn't agree with you?  How petty.

As the self proclaimed avalanche expert on the board, where exactly have you climbed outside of New England?   Do you have experience on other ranges?
[/quote]

Where he has climbed outside of NE has ZERO bearing on his ability to understand our snow pack and our conditions here in the Whites. He shares his knowledge of our conditions as an expert because he is very familiar with our maritime wind/weather patterns and the resulting snow pack and slabs, the terrain, and the type of activities that occur in our backyard. He doesn't claim to be the universal expert on localized conditions in other avalanche climates, but he certainly has the understanding of them to know that they can be very different from what we experience here.

Dman has invested a lot of time, effort and money in learning about snow science and avalanche science, both for his own knowledge, and to be able to share it with others. Chances are very good his work educating clients in the field has prevented some of them from making mistakes that could have been costly.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: Shepherds Pie on March 08, 2013, 10:11:19 AM
It matters because Luke is offering opinions that may apply to the larger scheme instead of the myopic view of someone who has only regional knowledge.  Basically Luke states that a broad based experience and working knowledge trumps paying for classes to get a certification, which is undeniable.  There was a time not that long ago when the old Lions Head winter trail was considered safe by the powers that be, and we all remember how that worked out.

The constant need to be right and have the last word causes a circular pissing match that makes Dman look petty IMO.  I would never trust a guide that has all the answers and is unwilling to use common sense to learn and grow.

Then we have google .gif search guy who has nothing intelligent to add, so he tries to be funny and demeaning.  I wouldn't rope up with either of them.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: sneoh on March 08, 2013, 10:27:41 AM
IMNSHO, let's keep Champ/LL around.  He might be annoying but no more so than 1/5 of the people I have to deal with on a regular basis.  And because gone is forever and I like to (still) believe people can change/improve themselves if they work at it.

Besides, with Hugo Chavez gone, where else can one find fresh bombastic rhetoric with two clicks of the mouse? :)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JBro on March 08, 2013, 10:59:03 AM
Then we have google .gif search guy who has nothing intelligent to add...


(http://dangerousintersection.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/IronyMeter.gif)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: WharfRat on March 08, 2013, 11:33:16 AM
At this point it is not just Champ/LL that is annoying. Dman imop seems to almost be a mirror image of  Champ/LL.  Both are very much annoying and both for very much the same exact reasons.

Many a times i have felt ban Champ/LL but in all reality banning someone because you do not like and or agree with or they annoy you is pretty lame. And if you ban Champ you might as well ban Dman as well. No actually if you ban Champ you must ban Dman!

Plus without Champ and LL's ongoing soapopraesk love affair you could practically hear tumble weeds blow through this place most days.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on March 08, 2013, 11:41:09 AM
Can you back-up or elaborate on your statement about the snow rangers not having “practical” knowledge?

What I wrote is: "Look at the reference: it is from the avalanche center and I critic them to have an accademic knowledge of the problem, not a pratical knowledge"

I said the avalanche center: the goal of it is to avoid that the rescue wet out and that people take lion head when they state that the avy danger is any thing bigger than low. At least, it is the feeling of a lot of people. In some recent post, some change occur in the report. It will take some times before the climber get accostumed to it. Most of the time, the guy will say one thing and will be in the cliff when it is fun (condamn by the avalanche center) in the west. That contradiction is obvious to those who climb in high activity situation, with a good background. I never saw you up there Dman 

I hope that the time where the "fire insurance saler", shouting at loud to sold insurance that your 100 years old house will burned because you use a fire wood for all those year, is finished and that we are going to have good story, like some of papy and SA, to show that we can have close call in Mt Washington, but that is better to relly on your own judgment and friend to get out of a situation that going bad than to call the rescue...and that you have to plan and train to be able to selfrescue yourself. Am I in danger: the avy danger is low...check... This is stupid

In academic situation there is always a disturbing guy in the class who said I know every thing about hoar ice...I know every thing about metamorphism and used the theory of the methamorphism to explain hoar ice. This is not a deep understanding of the problem and metamorphism and hoar ice (particularly this year) happen every where.

What is a deep understanding of the problem: you are not stupid because you make a mistake. You are on your bike with your feet clip on the pedals...you saw a beatutifull women, but really beautifull, you wave at her...forget to remove your feet from the clip and fall down to the ground. Althought you feel miserable, it is because all your attention was concentrated on some thing important that you made a mistake, not because you are stupid.

In central couloir accident, the guys was filming and wanted a better angle. They just made a mistake.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: WharfRat on March 08, 2013, 11:51:21 AM
The real entertainment in these battles between Champ/LL and Dman is the responses between the posts. Does anyone actually read what they have to say other than maybe to make sense of the latest comment posted in response to their blah blah blah.

I know i cant bring myself to read any of it anymore but the responses between all the blah blah blah can be pretty good entertainment sometimes.

Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: sneoh on March 08, 2013, 01:06:22 PM
What is the difference between dying (or paralyzed for life) due to stupidity or a "simple" mistake?
It is not the same as failing a written exam because of being pissed drunk the night before versus making a bunch of "silly" mistakes.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on March 08, 2013, 03:04:01 PM
What is the difference between dying (or paralyzed for life) due to stupidity or a "simple" mistake?

When you told some one he is stupid, don't do that... we hope that you will gave the example and stop climbing because climbing is dangerous. You are doing a dangerous sport and can do a stupid mistake. Nobody will train

When you say you make mistake, because you wasn't enought concentrated or because you don't revised your knowledge, you will trained at least fifty percent of your time to be safe and really chalenge yourself to push your limit higher. And people will understand that they most train too to be safe...and the chalenge was to push there limit, not to meet the standard of sport hard climber.

Socrate, I think, said: Do what you did yesterday and a little bit more... definition of improvement. (NB doing a little bit more than an other person is foolish if you don't have the background) 
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DGoguen on March 08, 2013, 03:30:46 PM
Socrate, I think, said: Do what you did yesterday and a little bit more...
No I think that was Michael Jacksons doctor that said that.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: sneoh on March 08, 2013, 05:01:08 PM
When you told some one he is stupid, don't do that... we hope that you will gave the example and stop climbing because climbing is dangerous. You are doing a dangerous sport and can do a stupid mistake. Nobody will train
Sorry, this makes no sense to me because I do not have even the most remote idea of you point here.
Anyone care to venture an interpretation?

And, please, hold off on your trad versus sport point, at least until late April.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: mopowers on March 08, 2013, 05:19:11 PM
Code: [Select]
And, please, hold off on your trad versus sport point, at least until late April.
What! No way, rock season is here. Time to move on... or back around the circle.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: sneoh on March 08, 2013, 06:35:47 PM
Geez, Dave.  Do you have to spoil it? :)  There I was, HOPING we could make it through some good early Spring climbing before the TvsS BS starts to fly again.  Besides, Champ KNEW no better, since the places he regularly  rock-climbs at (Cathedral and Canon) won't be much good until the "hanging" snow and ice mostly fall/melt away.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on March 08, 2013, 08:06:28 PM
As the self proclaimed avalanche expert on the board, where exactly have you climbed outside of New England?   Do you have experience on other ranges?

I’ve spent time in the San Juans in Colorado, Red Mountain Pass, Gore Pass, all out of Silverton. Continental Snow Climate. I’ve toured in Steven’s Pass, Washington, quite well known for it’s avalanche terrain (Maritime snow climate). No real experience in Transitional Climates yet (Utah). Some higher stuff in the Andes in Chile but it was lift-serviced and before I had any understanding of the hazards.

I won’t call myself an expert... there are NO “experts” in snow science. As a prominent forecaster at the top of the field said in 2008, “As a so-called “expert” in the avalanche forecasting industry, the only certainty was that after 15 years into my career, I felt that I was barely good enough to do the forecaster’s job well.”

While not an “expert”, I spend about 4 days a week all winter long dedicated to understanding the concepts of safe travel in the back-country, and how better to share them with both complete newbies and seasoned back-country travelers who may have some mis-conceptions to correct... That’s about 45 dedicated days a winter thinking about this topic... that’s taking 12 people into avalanche terrain in all conditions every weekend...

While not an “expert”, Shepard’s Pie, I think I have some info to share.

None of the concepts we learn about in a structured course mean ANYTHING without post-course real life experience. This is stressed during our “course close”. We need to travel in terrain appropriate for the conditions and our understanding to learn. LL often likes to say “we teach fear” or tell people not to go because we don’t want to rescue them.

That is bullshit, and shows he does not understand modern avalanche courses.

The fact he states below the Central Gully accident was attributed to just a simple position mistake while trying to get a better camera angle is ridiculous... there were half a dozens red flags before that decision... but he would ignore them and focus on that one...

A complete understanding of the science behind Surface Hoar is not needed to make good choices in the back-country, but he spends paragraphs explaining how he knows more about it and is therefore safer...

Bottom line, I think the gif. shit is actually more annoying than Champ’s rants... and it may be time to check out of here for a while...

I can’t waste time on this shit anymore, I have another avy course running now and need to prep for tomorrow’s field trip.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on March 08, 2013, 09:37:01 PM
...Basically Luke states that a broad based experience and working knowledge trumps paying for classes to get a certification, which is undeniable.  There was a time not that long ago when the old Lions Head winter trail was considered safe by the powers that be, and we all remember how that worked out.

The constant need to be right and have the last word causes a circular pissing match that makes Dman look petty IMO.  I would never trust a guide that has all the answers and is unwilling to use common sense to learn and grow.

Then we have google .gif search guy who has nothing intelligent to add, so he tries to be funny and demeaning.  I wouldn't rope up with either of them.

To address these points with more specifics... I think there is some bad rap left over from avalanche courses in the last decade... my first few courses (as a student), were confusing, spent to much time focused on digging pits (not relevant for our snow climate issues), and missed the big picture.

"I would never trust a guide that has all the answers and is unwilling to use common sense to learn and grow.”

Neither would I. I only answer questions I know, or help people find the resources they need to answer them, and continually explain that practical experience is crucial to application. This is a 3 day course... how can it be more valuable than a lifetime of practice?

As LL/Champ calls it, “train for the avalanche”...

Yes, experience is CRUCIAL... but why toss out all the research and case studies of the last 10 years to just say “experience is better than paying for a course”....

You can definitely find courses that you didn’t get your money’s worth...

I was thinking today about this vrs. sky diving... would you spend 3 days and less than $400 to learn how to skydive more safely?

The 24 hour course is a foundation... it’s up to the climber/skier to build the house...

It’s not LL/Champs personal attacks at me that piss me off... I could care less really... it’s his attacks of the USFS Snow Rangers, their bulletin, and well accepted wisdom that pisses me off.

Even his beloved FOTH states map & compass are the 1st two things you pack, yet he likes to defend folks lost without them as they are somehow “training” by sleeping in “wind shadows”... discredits his own personal bible...

I stick around because I like sharing info here. Two days ago a member PM’d me for advice on climbing in Katahdin this week without having a avalanche forecasting center and I spent a half-hour on the phone sharing what I know about the area and how to pay attention to what is relevant... He took a course with me 3 years ago but hadn’t had much practice since...



Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on March 09, 2013, 03:11:25 AM
What is the difference between dying (or paralyzed for life) due to stupidity or a "simple" mistake?
It is not the same as failing a written exam because of being pissed drunk the night before versus making a bunch of "silly" mistakes.

Dying due to stupidity: you don't know your technique, talked like an expert abut the equipment and don't trained in real situation. What ever you do, your stupid if you have an accident. If a party go to mt Washington and plan a week end, whatever the weather, he will want to climb. If someone tell you that the danger is moderate, your stupid, so  don't climb, you will show him a part of your hand.  The only way to save the guy...it is to show the good example: stop climbing! If nobody climb, nobody will do stupidity.

Dying due a "single" mistake means that the guy was good, maybe better than me. If he can make mistake, why can't I make mistake too! As I can make mistake, I will ask myself at each foot placement if I make a mistake or not, I will trained for that. Curiously, there is a rating for the difficulty of climbing, but there is no rating for safety. A beginer most be more aware of his safety than the level he climbed.

The difference is not for the people who died, but for those who will climb tomorow. Futhermore, when you have an accident, you will be more concern about warning the other in Accident in north american mountaineering than trying to eliminate the proof. Climbing after drinking all night long is a test for those who go to climb 8 000 meters, like mt everest. Maybe is better to go with someone in good shape the next day, if it is what you are saying. It is a solution and It is not stupid   
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on March 09, 2013, 03:47:35 AM
Yes, experience is CRUCIAL... but why toss out all the research and case studies of the last 10 years to just say “experience is better than paying for a course”....

First time I talked to you I talked about a music, Peter and the woolf (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zr25umYkxe4 for a waltDisney production: good entertainement for children and classic music). The story is the one who shout that he saw a wolf one time, two time and the last time...nobody listen to him.

Second time, you said that the hardiest time you had in snow storm is when you bail of omega and the only run out is upper refuse at cathedral.

Third time is the difference between  hoar ice and metamorphism.

Who are you to told some one else when they can climb and when they can't? Climbing is one of the sport where the autonony of the climber is more important. You can trust your leader and follow his decision...if as a leader he listen to you before making a decision.

Guiding is your job and a great one, with children, it is important and I think at your situation. I am for courses. If someone want to climb ice, read an accident where you said that a women was stupid and take a course to not be stupid...and go to hike lyon head instead of ice clmbing fun route, it is not bad.

If someone want a course to be able to avoid dangerous situation as he travel around the world...he most know the difference between hoar ice and metamorphism of ice. He most know that mistake happen and it is not because he is stupid. It is because he don't train. And actually, the mentality of the avy center is to stop the climber who want to train because they don't want to rescue them.   
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: triguy on March 09, 2013, 07:49:01 AM
Do you do drugs, Danny?
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: sneoh on March 09, 2013, 07:50:09 AM
LL,
You misunderstood my analogy but that is OK since you provided an explanation of your point which is
"The difference is not for the people who died, but for those who will climb tomorrow."
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on March 09, 2013, 08:34:49 AM
Today’s Front Page:

http://www.conwaydailysun.com/index.php/rss-feed/95685-slides-030913
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: OldEric on March 09, 2013, 09:21:35 AM
Maybe instead of an outright ban the solution should be to institute a quota - a limit of 3 posts a day for LL and DMan.  It hasn't gotten there yet but I assume that soon we will be hearing "Your mother wears army boots" from each of them.  I have to wonder if either of them has a job?  A life?
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on March 09, 2013, 10:50:06 AM
Maybe instead of an outright ban the solution should be to institute a quota - a limit of 3 posts a day for LL and DMan.

As I missed the analogy of sneoh, it can be good to take time to understand what the other say and let more people writing.

We are not just the two of us who may have restriction. Jbrochu with his picture. One his fun, many is too much.

Trol definition is: In Internet slang, a troll (pron.: /ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is someone who posts inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[3]

I wrote too much and I don't like it, but I really think that I am not a troll. I try to promote the spirit of a majority of climber: "read ANAM to learn from the mistake of others so you can come home safely and climb again tomorow". Safety is in every climbing subject.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: sneoh on March 09, 2013, 11:00:19 AM
I wrote too much and I don't like it, but I really think that I am not a troll.
YOU THINK you write too much?  Surely you jest! 
No, you are not a troll but you can be darn annoying.
I think you mean well but you REALLY need to work on your approach and communication skills (especially true when there is a language gap).
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on March 10, 2013, 10:31:25 PM
YOU THINK you write too much?  Surely you jest! 
I don't jest, it's take a lot of time and looking at all that negative thing take me away from my first goal: climbing for fun. Not hard, not like  Mr X., just climbing an exopse situation where the knowledge and physical condition is important.

I want to climb more than to write.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: old_school on March 11, 2013, 11:26:41 AM
Avalanches are dangerous...stay out of them.  :P
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DaveR on March 11, 2013, 12:45:21 PM
Avalanches are dangerous...stay out of them.  :P

You must have taken one of the advanced classes to learn that! ;D
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: old_school on March 11, 2013, 12:55:26 PM
You must have taken one of the advanced classes to learn that! ;D

 ;D
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DGoguen on March 11, 2013, 12:58:35 PM
Avalanches are dangerous...stay out of them.  :P

The "Superficial Statement / Rule of thumbs" alarm just went off down at the office of training.
You will hear from the director on this one. Oh man. :-\
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JBro on March 11, 2013, 01:16:33 PM
I'm trying really hard not to post yet another gif but you guys are not making it easy on me.
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: DLottmann on March 11, 2013, 04:12:19 PM
Last weekends course saw some awesome Surface Hoar and the graupel in the ravine from last Friday provided a fun Rutschblock.

http://davidlottmann.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/aiare-1-avalanche-course-3813-31013/
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JBro on March 11, 2013, 04:26:28 PM
(http://static.fjcdn.com/gifs/SPAM+Not+today+.+Top+gear+polar+special_94c590_4374287.gif)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: JBro on March 11, 2013, 04:29:01 PM
Sorry couldn't help myself...


(http://i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/375/849/9f1.gif)
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: old_school on March 12, 2013, 10:18:13 AM
Sorry couldn't help myself...


(http://i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/375/849/9f1.gif)

JBrochu....how did you find the footage of my high school talent show???
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: darwined on March 12, 2013, 01:12:08 PM
I'm really not trying to start another pissing match here, I just wanted to share a personal experience from Katahdin.  I think traveling in avalanche terrain is somewhat like walking a tightrope.  You only get one chance.

Last week, I spent the week at Chimney Pond with the objective of climbing Cilley-Barber.  In the three days leading up to our arrival the mountain saw 26 inches of new snow which came in on light(under 15mph at the pond) north winds.  It suffices to say we were a bit surprised by the volume of snow on the headwall when we arrived. :o On the first day we basically chilled at the lean-to all day watching snow blow off the ridge and sluff down the gullys.  Some of the gullys showed obvious signs of avalanche activity.  The days were absolutely BLUEBIRD(32 and SUNNY), some of the best weather I've seen in the mountains.  For a couple days we climbed(pamola cliffs) and skied areas we felt relatively comfortable with.  We'd heard the weather was going to change so figured it was now or never. 

Not wanting to head up the route willy nilly we decided to dig a pit close to the base of the route.  We found a weak layer(hoar) at a depth of thirty centimeters.  During our compression test we were able to initiate a failure of the column by easy tapping.  With this info we decided our last day would be better spent hiking.

When we arrived back in camp we learned that someone had sent Waterfall Gully that day.  I'm not saying they were wrong, it just wasn't a decision I was prepared to make.  I'd be lying if I wrote that my ego wasn't a little bruised on the way back out of the park.  It was wonderful and humbling learning experience in a beautiful place.   
Title: Re: avalanches
Post by: lucky luke on March 14, 2013, 01:39:41 PM
I'm not saying they were wrong, it just wasn't a decision I was prepared to make.  I'd be lying if I wrote that my ego wasn't a little bruised on the way back out of the park.  It was wonderful and humbling learning experience in a beautiful place.

Can you identify the bed surface and the exposition of the slide? Is it a place where you can belay your partner safely? Is it a route where you can bail safely? Where is the no return point? What is the steepness of the route? is it corniche on the ridge?

I'm not saying they were right, it just that there is other tools than digging. Knowing that an avalanche can be trigger, I will use different climbing technique than the only good one triangle position.