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Could have won a Darwin award

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Headshaking stuff
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sounds familiar - is that the girl who was punting her story with HAT a while ago?

Dumbass seasonnaire anyway
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Unfortunately I doubt she’s alone among seasonnaires skiing without kit...
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-17137366/i-was-buried-alive-in-an-avalanche
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.

http://youtube.com/v/UYs5-GzUmWE


http://youtube.com/v/oYIyq6ghNb4


http://youtube.com/v/0VGlHNPX-Bs
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@Mike Pow, Oh dear, A little bit of sick in the back of my throat right now.
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An astonishingly idiotic girl (irrespective of where she might have picked up her Sloanie accent) but, to give her her due, at least she's gone public to advise people to take avi kit with them off piste.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
BobinCH wrote:
Unfortunately I doubt she’s alone among seasonnaires skiing without kit...


My experience has actually been that often the locals and seasonnaires can be less likely to have the correct equipment because of a bizarre subconscious belief that their local knowledge and skiing ability compensates for it.

I met a group of English seasonnaires in Cham who were skiing off piste as a group of 6, they had 2 bleeps, 2 probes and 2 shovels between them on account of the fact that they couldn't afford any more and that 2 shovels would be enough to dig up the victim. I pointed out that what if the shovels were on the people who got buried? Or what about the fact that if the 2 shovels weren't buried, then it'd be because a probe or a transceiver was. None of the kit is useful on it's own, it needs to work as a trio to work at all. They seemed to think that having 2 of each item among the group was sufficient because the chances of both transceivers, both probes or both shovels being lost was much less than 1 of each. My attempts to convince them that there should be 6 of each fell on deaf ears, being cited as too expensive and never used anyway.
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@dp, Shocked rolling eyes
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No reference to what an idiot she and her mates were in the latest attempt to parlay an entirely avoidable accident into some kind of fame. Plus 6 years after the event - a teeny bit desperate no?
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@dp, to be frank I'm amazed they were that kitted up. I have frequently encountered (british) seasonairres with no beacons , probe or shovels

However possibly the biscuit falls to the north American gentleman skiing with a Sloanie English mate I saw 2 weeks ago; the American had got off the Muggengrat then decided to ski the off-piste above the skiers left on the long run down to Zurs despite the fact that half the slope had either slid / started to slide / had huge glide cracks in it. If he'd been the next Candide I might have just about understood but he could barely make his turns. I was standing next to his English mate on the piste watching this debacle and though I ought to keep an eye in case he was actually caught in a slide. His mate was laughing and when I asked what avi kit they had he seemed non-plussed so I enquired how he envisaged being able to a) find his mate and b) dig him out if he got caught

I also asked how he felt about the fact that any skier generated slide would have potentially compromised the piste below which he'd failed to appreciate either

The problem is that they got away with it and will think nothing of repeating such stupid activities in the future
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
dp wrote:
BobinCH wrote:
Unfortunately I doubt she’s alone among seasonnaires skiing without kit...


My experience has actually been that often the locals and seasonnaires can be less likely to have the correct equipment because of a bizarre subconscious belief that their local knowledge and skiing ability compensates for it.

I met a group of English seasonnaires in Cham who were skiing off piste as a group of 6, they had 2 bleeps, 2 probes and 2 shovels between them on account of the fact that they couldn't afford any more and that 2 shovels would be enough to dig up the victim. I pointed out that what if the shovels were on the people who got buried? Or what about the fact that if the 2 shovels weren't buried, then it'd be because a probe or a transceiver was. None of the kit is useful on it's own, it needs to work as a trio to work at all. They seemed to think that having 2 of each item among the group was sufficient because the chances of both transceivers, both probes or both shovels being lost was much less than 1 of each. My attempts to convince them that there should be 6 of each fell on deaf ears, being cited as too expensive and never used anyway.


Unfortunately there's a very special demographic of British society which believes to their very core that

1. it's not going to happen to them
a) because 'I've been coming here for years'
b) because 'I live here'
c) because 'I'm / I was a guide for [INSERT NAME OF UK SKI HOLIDAY COMPANY]'

2. they're invincible, if for some inexplicable reason it does in fact happen to them

3. the authorities will take care of everything if for some inexplicable, and quite frankly dashed inconvenient, reason it does in fact happen to them
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@Mike Pow, I'm not too sure that demographics/background have got much to do with idiocy. You being Welsh* - and having an accent to prove it wink - doesn't automatically make you a brilliant and safe skier, though of course you are. wink


*If my outings to WNO are anything to go by, it might give you shockingly bad taste in evening wear, though. Who knows? Toofy Grin
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Hurtle, I think the "demographics/background" for skiing are within a fairly tight band.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Hurtle wrote:
@Mike Pow, I'm not too sure that demographics/background have got much to do with idiocy. You being Welsh* - and having an accent to prove it wink - doesn't automatically make you a brilliant and safe skier, though of course you are. wink


*If my outings to WNO are anything to go by, it might give you shockingly bad taste in evening wear, though. Who knows? Toofy Grin


Smile

That's the key though.

They don't believe they're being idiotic.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
@Hurtle, I think the "demographics/background" for skiing are within a fairly tight band.
That would kind of suggest that MOST skiers are idiots. I don't think that's true, but there again, who knows?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sloane accent! Burn her then dance naked around your admin.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Fri 4-05-18 13:53; edited 1 time in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
It’s not idiocy, it’s naivety. Unless you really educate yourself of the dangers, or something happens to you or someone you know it’s hardly surprising that not everyone is kitted out with bleepers, airbags etc. Killer avalanches are still relatively rare and resorts don’t exactly shout about them. I skied my season back in the day without avi kit or knowledge. I was just naive. Wouldn’t dream of doing it now. And I don’t see any difference with locals / other nationalities.
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@Gerry,
Quote:

Sloan accent!
She probably can't spell either. wink
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hurtle wrote:
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
@Hurtle, I think the "demographics/background" for skiing are within a fairly tight band.
That would kind of suggest that MOST skiers are idiots. I don't think that's true, but there again, who knows?


Speaking for myself of course I'm an idiot. I've done stupid things through inattention, over confidence, under confidence, laziness and in particular the urge to squeeze one more run in at the end of the day/ before lunch etc.

By virtue of staying alive thus far all it makes me is a more experienced idiot able to avoid a number of common hazards in order to expose myself to new ones.
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I do my best to avoid collateral damage, but I don't have the inclination to try to persuade people not to be stupid.

I'll rescue them when I have to, but otherwise... stupid people exist and can't be fixed by finger wagging. Facebook propaganda, perhaps..
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@BobinCH, indeed, I knew next to nothing about avi awareness or kit before I joined snowHeads. But then I didn't ski off-piste then.

On the other hand, these days almost all newspapers reporting avalanche disasters, even the real rags, tend to mention whether the victims were kitted out. Surely most seasonnaires nowadays would know what the basic kit is, and why it might be a good idea to have it, even if they haven't acquired much knowledge of risk assessment?
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@Dave of the Marmottes, Laughing ( rolling eyes )
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dp wrote:
My experience has actually been that often the locals and seasonnaires can be less likely to have the correct equipment because of a bizarre subconscious belief that their local knowledge and skiing ability compensates for it.


Local knowledge only helps you if you pay attention to it, a bit like "mirror, signal, manouver" only helps if you actually pay attention to what you see in your mirror and don't just signal and manouver regardless. When your local knowledge is "(we) nicknamed it Death Valley because it was prone to avalanches, but it was renowned for fresh powder." and, after days of snow so heavy the resort was closed you still ski it without any kit you are rather a waste of DNA.
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Earlier this year I discovered someone in my team at work is a keen skier and likes to go off piste with friends. I made some off-hand comments about avi gear and was met with a blank stare. He had no idea what I was talking about. We then had a most educational conversation and I'm told he went shopping ahead of his next trip. He's not a saisonnaire that's short of money; he's a well-off holidaymaker. He just hadn't the awareness that he should even be worried about this. Most skiers don't hang out on ski forums and they don't know what they don't know.

The woman in the article was bloody stupid and bloody lucky.
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@Maireadoconnor, I had a similar conversation with a keen skier I was working for last year. He was raving about a new backpack he'd got in the sale and showed me how it “has a special pocket so you can keep your transceiver safe”. Erm, no, you want that on your body so your rescuer isn't digging up a freewheeling rucksack...

The fact that this skier managed to collide with her buddy shows a lack of discipline – there are so many reasons you don't want to do that, and unfortunately they discovered one of the more serious ones Confused She is very lucky to have been found.
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Scarlet wrote:


The fact that this skier managed to collide with her buddy shows a lack of discipline – there are so many reasons you don't want to do that.


Yup almost as bad as say cruising along a sub green run then suddenly lauching yourself 90 deg through a substantial fence....just as a random fictional example of course
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Mike Pow wrote:


Unfortunately there's a very special demographic of British society


Is it just a British thing?

We've all seen the French types out on the mountain, with ancient skis and even more ancient clothing, skiing off-piste where they clearly aren't equipped for it in any way. They've got the same mindset - I've been skiing here for 40 years and transceivers didn't even exist when I started so why do I need one?

I think in many ways, being holidaymakers can make us better equipped. Because to us, it's still a hobby and a holiday. It's still something we make a special effort for. The locals can get into it becoming a routine, and because there was no avalanche on their last 100 days skiing that means there's a less than 1% chance that there will be one today, so why bother carrying all that heavy crap?

I was chatting to people on the EOSB about whether accessibility of off-piste puts more people at risk. We agreed that off-piste is a more accessible thing nowadays... for a variety of reasons. Availability of instruction/guiding, availability of fat powder skis, the hyping of a 'fresh powder day' in social media etc. I think in the media which I see, putting fresh tracks in virgin deep powder is definitely way more 'cool' than carving a hard piste. The trouble with that accessibility, and that hype, is that more people are giving it a go. And they're not getting the training, or the equipment. And as @dsoutar pointed out, it doesn't go all wrong, so they assume that they've acted correctly and responsibly.

There's also the concept of 'side piste', and the assumption that as long as you can see the piste all the time, you're not properly off-piste and therefore do not need to take the same precautions as the people skiing well off the beaten track. But they get further and further from the piste and start exploring and it can go to pish quite easily.

In fact on the same note, I bumped into some English snowboarders on a trip back in Jan who I'd met about 2 years prior in the same town. Following the good snow, they'd been for an off-piste explore and skied and skied (or whatever it is that boarders do) until they basically came face to face with an enormous sheer drop which would cause almost certain death. And they couldn't go back where they came from because (a) it would be a very steep uphill walk in deep snow, (b) it was very foggy, and (c) it was getting dark. The end result was mountain rescue having to send a helicopter to a point about 100m away, so that 2 guys could ski over and then show these 2 guys a safe route down. By the time MR got there it was properly dark and very risky. Totally thoughtless actions put them and the MR guys at risk. With no preparation, no kit, and not really the ability either. Yet they were still stood in the bar, with an audience, telling everyone about their gnarly adventure that was so intense it took mountain rescue to bail them out. I don't want to sound grumpy or miserable, but I do have a feeling that it's not *just* the lack of kit which increases the risk of fatalities in an avalanche. The risk is that people are just not taking off-piste skiing as a genuinely hazardous sport and it's becoming a very 'normal' thing for everyone to have a punt at regardless of ability, knowledge or equipment. As @BobinCH said, it's naivety. On the most part, it's not that people are consciously deciding that the safety precautions exist but don't apply to them; it's that they just don't realise what precautions exist and what precautions they ought to take. Everything is more accessible these days, and modern society widely holds an expectation that if you can do it, it is OK to do it.


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Fri 4-05-18 15:38; edited 1 time in total
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
all it makes me is a more experienced idiot able to avoid a number of common hazards in order to expose myself


Just the thought of you exposing yourself is possibly the biggest hazard that the mountain has to offer.

Dave of the Marmottes wrote:

Yup almost as bad as say cruising along a sub green run then suddenly lauching yourself 90 deg through a substantial fence....just as a random fictional example of course


Agree it must be a fictional thing, I can't imagine anyone would be that stupid? Very Happy Very Happy
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Scary.
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Poster: A snowHead
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Hurtle wrote:
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
@Hurtle, I think the "demographics/background" for skiing are within a fairly tight band.
That would kind of suggest that MOST skiers are idiots. I don't think that's true, but there again, who knows?


Speaking for myself of course I'm an idiot. I've done stupid things through inattention, over confidence, under confidence, laziness and in particular the urge to squeeze one more run in at the end of the day/ before lunch etc.

By virtue of staying alive thus far all it makes me is a more experienced idiot able to avoid a number of common hazards in order to expose myself to new ones.

Actually largely agree with this. Of course you are not really an "idiot" or "stupid" but I understand how/why you've used in the context of the rest of what you've said because yes we are all human.

I think where the lady in the article is truly a Darwin contender is a couple of things:

One is this...
Quote:
In our training as ski reps, we had been told that if someone is buried in an avalanche, after about 11 minutes you’re looking for a corpse.

Which seems to indicate she'd been made aware of the dangers and told about safety equipment, etc. but did it anyway.

Two is this...
Quote:
I suggested an area good for going off-piste. My friends had nicknamed it Death Valley because it was prone to avalanches, but it was renowned for fresh powder.

So having ignored the training, not getting the gear, you go to an area you know is risky and to boot after a fresh fall of snow.

And finally as someone else as mentioned you crash into a fellow skier/rider.

Whilst I share Dave of the Marmottes general view of myself I don't believe either of us are idiots in this way or to this extent.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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In the Guardian article (nice to see that they're on the pulse in reporting today's news), she's quoted as saying:
Quote:
In our training as ski reps, we had been told that if someone is buried in an avalanche, after about 11 minutes you’re looking for a corpse.

So the TO included some avalanche information in their training and almost certainly warned them that off-piste skiing without safety gear was both stupid and dangerous, but no doubt they immediately forgot all about that when Nigel declared it a powder day and insisted they all go out for an adventure...

And no doubt if she'd died, her parents would have sued the TO for not providing her with sufficient training and the safety kit rolling eyes
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
[doh - cross post, I delayed hitting submit for too long...]
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Yes, very stupid, but I'm not going to throw too many rocks because I was young and stupid once too.

I also think it's worth remembering that anyone who learned to ski young, as my children did, or has spent a lot of time in the mountains probably doesn't remember feeling scared and in an alien environment. I see this very much with my children; they see the mountain as an amazing playground and have no fear because nothing bad has ever happened.

Now, as I start to take them off piste and have to brief them on the dangers I can see that whilst they get the words they don't really have any perception of the real risks ... I have to remind them to switch on their transceivers, they forget their shovels or, in my son's case, he has the handle but not the blade !

Unfortunately, like it or not, until you have some experience of what can go wrong you're not going to fully appreciate the dangers. Hopefully your bucket of experience gets filled up before your bucket of luck is emptied.
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When I worked a season in 1993/4 no one carried avi gear. When I say no one I don't just mean my fellow seasonaires, you really never saw anyone skiing with a rucsac.

But then no one wore seatbelts in the back of cars when I was a kid. They weren't even fitted until, when, 80s?

Of course you should carry the kit off piste.
Probably even more important than that is not going into to areas of know avalanche risk under avalanche conditions.
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@jedster, that's the thing with the older generation of locals - when they started skiing off-piste in the 70s, 80s and 90s there were no readily-available transceivers, probes were used to find bodies rather than live people, and kit like helmets, body armour and airbags were the stuff of fantasy. They accepted the risk then, and the risk is the same today or maybe lower due to better techniques for avalanche control and better understanding of the science, so they're not pushed to change.

For someone starting out now to be ignorant of the risks and the availability of the kit is pretty poor. However, you can still walk into a hire shop and rent a pair of scaffolding planks without being asked if you have the avi kit to go with them. The better shops are smart enough to have and offer to rent the avi kit to you at the same time, but there are lots of others who will simply take the money and hand them over.

As to "not going into to areas of known avalanche risk under avalanche conditions", that assumes that they are aware of the risk level in the areas they choose to ski, and also know the current avalanche conditions. Very few people seem to be aware of either.
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ousekjarr wrote:
... that's the thing with the older generation of locals - when they started skiing off-piste in the 70s, 80s and 90s there were no readily-available transceivers, probes were used to find bodies rather than live people, and kit like helmets, body armour and airbags were the stuff of fantasy. They accepted the risk then, and the risk is the same today or maybe lower due to better techniques .... .

I don't agree, as politely as the internet will allow....

In the 1980s I for one used the Pieps with the ear plug thing, shovel packs and probes, same as now. I wasn't alone for obvious reasons!
When/ if I didn't have those, or when I was alone, I would not be off piste.
That's actually why I went to North America, a place I could ride off piste without those things.
We knew about the issues, the technology and the risks, and all of them were as "readily available" as anything skiing.

If anything, I think older people tend to be more conservative, and have more money, so they have more toys.
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Trivia - I believe Miss Money-Sterling "I've got a Porsche" is a young Emma Thompson.
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Only just watched the first video Mike posted, I took an almost instant dislike to her. Speaks volumes that her 'showreel' included footage of her proudly talking about how she's a numpty that got caught in a really stupid avi.
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@philwig, I guess that's why the majority of those few people still not wearing helmets are over 50?
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