Matt Duphphy [[log in to unmask]] writes:

> So because my name isn't Andrew Mclean, everything I say is BS?
>I'm not a well known bigshot means I couldn't possibly have done what I

(Tossin' some gas on the fire...)

Naw, it's 'cuz yer name is "Matt Duphphy" that everything you say is BS!

In fact, looking at the pics I have no problem believing the steepest
pitches may be north of 60.  I don't believe anything McLean sez about
pitches though, because I disagree with the methodology by which he
measures angle (laying the clinometer on the snow/ice on a ski pole.) By
his method I've skied stuff in the 80 degree range- it's the average
angle over distances much greater than 1.2 meters of ski pole that make
a pitch steep (or not). Someone even swore to me once that he measured
Hillman's Highway in somewhere in the '50s by that method- had to have
been a mogul face 'cuz it ain't anything like 50 degrees sustained for
even a full turn anywhere on Hillman's.

OK, maybe I can trust relative steepness in Andrew McLeans guidebooks,
but absolute numbers I plunk 3-5 degree error bars around. But at least
he measures (or says he does.) Many guidebooks diverge from the facts
(not just Andy's) when tested by better measurement. (Not always
overestimates either!) Estimated angles, even from the pros, vary a lot.

But measuring even 50 degree stuff is difficult, if only because it
generally takes 2 hands get the clinometer out and measure. (I'm usually
hangin' on with everything I'm worth when it's north of 50!)  This stuff
is better measured with real surveying equipment than the cute trinkets
us skier & climber tend to have on board.

I have measured stuff in the 60 degree range, even traversed it- but
didn't point 'em down. Looking carefully at Matt's pics, I believe it's
"in the range", and no small feat given the breadth of that boulevard.
But Shefftz is right to look askance at any estimates in that range.
Damned few people ski/climb that pitch often enough to have a good gut
feel of what is 60 vs.65 or 70- a much more difficult angle to eyeball
than the easy symmetry of 45 degrees. It's steep alright- steeper than
anything I'm likely to ski!


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