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While it was Astle's first trip to Europe he had knowledge of avalanches.  

Bounous resents some commentary on the tragedy that he believes portrays the racers as reckless for going free-skiing. Bounous said Astle, like all members of the Snowbird team, had been given backcountry safety education from a young age, with experts from the Utah Avalanche Center instructing them on conditions and leading them through rescue drills.

In Europe they avalanche risk flags are everywhere.  There are signs everywhere that explain the meaning of the flags.  There are often additional signs saying what the avalanche risk is.

I am not ready to dump blame on the USST coaches.  All of these kids had raced NorAms.  They travel all over North America.  So even Drew from MRG must have had some knowledge of avalanches.   

I am surprised about how little information that has been released.   It will probably come to light if the families pursue litigation against the USST.
Looking at the FIS site,  only Jack Gower has returned to racing since the incident.   So I wonder if the other survivors were badly injured. 

I am curious as to what gear they took to Europe with them.  Did they take fat skis and avi gear with them?




On Wed, 21 Jan 2015 09:27:28 -0500, Michael Taub <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>somehow I missed that article, here�s  a link to it in case anyone else missed it, I think you posted it Matt.
>
>http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/u-s-olympic-skiing-hopefuls-died-austrian-mountains-article-1.2072402
>
>Mike
>
>Life is worth living.
>
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>
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>On Jan 21, 2015, at 12:14 AM, Matthew Kulas <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> They weren't with their coaches at the time of the Avalanche, but it was a USST training camp for C & D teamers. Here's what Nate Vinton wrote:
>> 
>> "After breakfast, while the coaches went to scout out training locations, the racers ventured up the enormous mountain."
>> 
>> I imagine something along the lines of the coaches saying, "We're going to scout training locations, you guys free ski and we'll meet back here at lunch."
>> 
>> Steve Bounous, the director of the Snowbird Team that produced Bryce Astle said:
>> �It was like getting hit in the face with a two-by-four,� says Bounous. �That was (Astle�s) first trip to Europe. He was on an unbelievable high. Just over the moon, and so confident. He just knew that he was going to take off from there. His confidence was soaring.�
>> 
>> So while some of his teammates may have skied in Europe before, Bryce Astle hadn't.
>> 
>> --Matt
>> 
>> On Jan 20, 2015, at 10:49 PM, Brad McCusker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>>>  
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 1:13 PM, Matthew Kulas wrote:
>>> 
>>> >If it hadn't been a USST trip, or that of another organized group, such as a college or academy team,
>>> 
>>> Well, if it was a USST trip, then I am with you 100% on this one.   For some reason I was under the impression this was a day off excursion type of thing and assumed it was somehting the group did on their own.
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