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December 2004, Week 1


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steve kijak <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 6 Dec 2004 16:12:15 -0800
text/plain (58 lines)
You always want to pick a safe route. So skin/climb up
what you will ski down. If it is not a safe ascent
route it is not a safe descent route.
You should not climb into a danger zone to do an
initial evaluation.

If you were to attempt skinning up the micro-pocket
Matt fractured the first pit would have to be below
the downhill edge of the runout zone.
I don't know the exact day this happened but the few
times I checked recently warned of moderate to
considerable avy danger. I wouldn't even bother with a
pit, I would just avoid suspect terrain.
The deceptive thing about that slope is that now (in
hindsight) we can say the exposed weak layer looks
steep, known to be up to 34 degrees. But before it
slid blown in snow might have made it look 10 degrees
less. Plus no rocks or trees are visible to help the
eye judge angle.

>From:         John Atkinson <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject:      Re: Quandary Avalanche
>I don't necessarily agree Steve. There are many
"quandaries" of travel >and snow evaluation in avy
terrain. Do you pick a safe ascent route or >climb
right into a potential danger zone while skinned up
with limited >mobility?
>Do you dig a pit and if so, where? You want a
representative sample, >but definitely don't want to
expose yourself to get the info. Matt's >micro-pocket
is a perfect example of something you might not ever
>see, unless you were right on top of it, which was
the wrong place to >be.
>Let's say Matt did climb the route, would the result
be different? >Probably.
>Just some thoughts.

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