Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Could have won a Darwin award

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hurtle wrote:
@Gerry,
Quote:

Sloane accent!
She probabley can't spell either. wink


Fair enough.
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Last year I heard "I'm sure if we really needed that stuff the tour rep would have arranged it"
TO and punters both British.
latest report     
 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?
BobinCH wrote:
Itís not idiocy, itís naivety. Unless you really educate yourself of the dangers, or something happens to you or someone you know itís hardly surprising that not everyone is kitted out with bleepers, airbags etc. Killer avalanches are still relatively rare and resorts donít exactly shout about them. I skied my season back in the day without avi kit or knowledge. I was just naive. Wouldnít dream of doing it now. And I donít see any difference with locals / other nationalities.


+1 (other than by my first season I had avi kit, if not knowledge; but had unknowingly done plenty of stupid stuff on holiday beforehand)

There are different sorts of ignorance. Most seasonairres are the innocent kids: they just don't KNOW, that they should know these things. And marketing has a lot to blame for that IMO. Then there are the older locals, often 50+, often (ex) ski instructors, who really do feel they KNOW their mountains, and who really should know the heuristic trap they're falling into.

The girl in the OG article falls into the former - and no-one who's been anywhere near a TO rep course would imagine their training gets anywhere near imparting the relevant knowledge to know better. Lucky and ignorant rather than stupid IMO. You don't know that you don't or should know things, until you do.

The ski industry is most to blame. It is shocking and profoundly disappointing, that even at official events like the SIGB Ski Test, that 80+% don't bother to wear avi kit when going offpiste either testing skis or shooting for their shop's next catalog. There's no excuse there, and that's the sh_it that filters down.
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
essex wrote:
Last year I heard "I'm sure if we really needed that stuff the tour rep would have arranged it"
TO and punters both British.


People arenít born knowing this stuff so if you hear that from an inexperienced person you shouldnít be too surprised.
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
"Good decisions come from experience.

Experience comes from bad decisions."


Seems like she's quite an experienced young lady...
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
essex wrote:
Last year I heard "I'm sure if we really needed that stuff the tour rep would have arranged it"
TO and punters both British.


That's kinda what I meant by saying that if you let people do it, they will think it's OK.

We live in a world where people are so protected from their own stupidity that they will literally assume that if something doesn't have barrier tape in front of it or a 10ft barbed wire fence, then it's OK to go there without further precaution.
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Oh dear lord rolling eyes I'm watching a (not) pre-pubescent lass practicing her 'important faces' for the camera . . . there really is nowt worse than someone milking their stupidity and at the same time clearly working on what they think are suitable facial expressions to suit a bid for a 'media' career . . . a visit to Mr Teasy-Weasy* wouldn't have gone amiss either rolling eyes

*you had to have been there wink
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
[quote="clarky999"]
BobinCH wrote:

The ski industry is most to blame. It is shocking and profoundly disappointing, that even at official events like the SIGB Ski Test, that 80+% don't bother to wear avi kit when going offpiste either testing skis or shooting for their shop's next catalog. There's no excuse there, and that's the sh_it that filters down.


100% 👏

Movies too.
latest report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quote:
and no-one who's been anywhere near a TO rep course would imagine their training gets anywhere near imparting the relevant knowledge to know better. Lucky and ignorant rather than stupid IMO. You don't know that you don't or should know things, until you do.



In my first season (2010/11) we were all told in no uncertain terms that we needed correct kit to do off piste. We were also told that one of the local schools ran an avalanche kit course (half a day learning how to use the transceiver) a few times in the run up to the season and in the early part of the season. And that one of the schools would hire out safety kit

Each of the two further seasons I did with a TO after that were the same. And I'm aware that this is still a part of the training. Our resort still does half day training courses. I know one of the schools does it quite regularly and so I guess some of the others do too

But there is no accounting for people - in March someone posted on one of the FB pages something along the lines of "I've got no avalanche kit or anyone to go off piste with, so where is safe off piste that I can go and try?" Luckily, a lot of people posted that currently no where was 'safe' and it was stupid to go off piste alone and without kit

Who knows if he still did?


Doesn't matter how much advice/offer of training is given, there is the human element to contend with Sad Sad
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
dp wrote:
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.




He owes you a fiver for the compliment Happy
ski holidays     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Denigrate the unsnowHead.
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
[quote="Mike Pow"]
clarky999 wrote:
BobinCH wrote:

The ski industry is most to blame. It is shocking and profoundly disappointing, that even at official events like the SIGB Ski Test, that 80+% don't bother to wear avi kit when going offpiste either testing skis or shooting for their shop's next catalog. There's no excuse there, and that's the sh_it that filters down.


100% 👏

Movies too.


This probably doesnít help. Seen a few like this recently. Red Bull is probably the worst offender in terms of what it pushes itís athletes to do...
https://instagram.com/p/BiRx69FBbF7/
snow report     
 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
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
To be fair, this woman did admit to having done something stupid and then tried to use her experience to warn others. That she was also trying to use it to launch a TV career was just opportunistic and none the worse for that. You have to try and take opportunities as and when they turn up in this life!
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Covered in the Grauniad today

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/may/04/experience-buried-alive-in-avalanche
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
As usual, the Grauniad is bang up to the minute with its news coverage!
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Gordyjh wrote:
As usual, the Grauniad is bang up to the minute with its news coverage!

It isn't a news article, just a weekly feature on "stuff that happened to someone".
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
BobinCH wrote:
This probably doesnít help. Seen a few like this recently. Red Bull is probably the worst offender in terms of what it pushes itís athletes to do...
https://instagram.com/p/BiRx69FBbF7/


Well, it's not as if there was evidence of recent slides all around him or anything... oh wait... ah... Embarassed
snow report     
 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?
A couple of friends spent a fortune on "coaching" with one of the high profile British schools of Val d'.
They would do a piste session and an off -piste session. One day we all went into a Mammut transceiver training park. Shock horror, within two minutes my wife and I were horrified at the abscence of any knowledge regarding transceivers, methodology or search protocol. One of the friends transceivers was switched off when she happily believed it was sending out a signal.
Moral of this tale....instructors teach ski technique. Perhaps then a session or two with Henry!
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Rogerdodger wrote:
One of the friends transceivers was switched off when she happily believed it was sending out a signal.


I wasn't there, but I'm led to believe this happened during the transceiver test the SOPiB one year; and this contributed to why admin doesn't budge on it being compulsory to attend.
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@dp, I think the one at the bash was switched on but left on transmit when it should have been in search mode, so everyone was getting two signals.

At the PSB Steve Angus gave a group of us a very quick scenario where he was Ďburiedí and we had to go through the process. It was amazing how quickly some us went to sh*t and I think 3 out of the 5 left transceivers on Ďsendí. Those of us that stayed on send werenít actually doing the search part (getting shovels/probes ready and other stuff) but it was a key lesson learned.
snow conditions     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Milk it!
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
One aspect of this story that hasn't been commented on is the focus on the phone - notice how the phone gets mentioned a few times?

It sounds like calling rather than digging was the first reaction of the friends. And at the end she suggests that prior to this event she was not previously checking the avalanche risk factor (which is prominently displayed in most resorts) but instead relying on messages from friends. For many young people today, I get the impression that if something's not on the phone - it's not worth paying attention to.

Away from the snow, I've seen situations where someone needs medical help - but people get distracted by the need to call/text everyone about what's going on. I don't mean gawping bystanders - I mean, for example, parents with sick children focused on calling people to tell them about what's going on rather than focusing on the child.

A while back I saw a young woman involved in minor collision in her car - first thing that she attended to? Swapping insurance details? Calling police? Moving car? Clearing debris from road? Calling AA/RAC? No - calling round everyone she knows to tell them what's going on.
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@frejul, the didnít phone her rather than digging, they phoned because they didnít know where she was. Sounds like they then phoned again to help pinpoint her. Given that she didnít have a beep Iíd say that itís actually a reasonable idea.
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
It was amazing how quickly some us went to sh*t and I think 3 out of the 5 left transceivers on Ďsendí. Those of us that stayed on send werenít actually doing the search part (getting shovels/probes ready and other stuff) but it was a key lesson learned.

If not searching then leaving your transciever on send seems sensible to me, what if there was another avalanche, just stay away from those doing the search.
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
@frejul, the didnít phone her rather than digging, they phoned because they didnít know where she was. Sounds like they then phoned again to help pinpoint her. Given that she didnít have a beep Iíd say that itís actually a reasonable idea.


There's no mention in the story of using the phone to pin-point her. Here's what she wrote...

"Initially, the guys thought Iíd skied on and would be waiting around the corner. They rang me to check. When I didnít answer, they started to look for me."

So despite the fact that one of her friends had a collision with her (during which her skis came off) - and there had been an avalanche. They still throught she'd skied on without them.

I'm not saying that calling first significantly delayed her rescue - just wanted to point out the phone vs reality struggle than some peope have.

I've read about quite a few mountain rescue cases where phones may have caused more problems than they solved - e.g. people getting lost or falling while trying to find higher ground to get a mobile signal.
ski holidays     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@rjs, In the training Iíve done we were told to make sure everyone switches their transceiver to receive and joins in the search.
snow conditions     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
rjs wrote:
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
It was amazing how quickly some us went to sh*t and I think 3 out of the 5 left transceivers on Ďsendí. Those of us that stayed on send werenít actually doing the search part (getting shovels/probes ready and other stuff) but it was a key lesson learned.

If not searching then leaving your transciever on send seems sensible to me, what if there was another avalanche, just stay away from those doing the search.


If for any reason you are in the 'search party' but not searching (for example - some avalanche training suggests you should have a lookout person further up, to spot for secondaries) you should switch to search. Most transceivers are very quick to switch back to transmit, and some modern ones also have a facility that automatically switches back to transmit if you don't move for a set period of time (I think on my Ortovox 3+ it's 2 minutes)
latest report     
 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
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
In my first practice with a transceiver I was designated search person. The other 2 left their beeps on transmit, I kept shouting out, 2 metres away etc, until after a bit we worked out what was going on! Lesson learned int eh correct place! Yep my Ortovox also switches back to transmit after no movement.
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I have to confess that, some while ago, I bought the kit (transceiver, shovel, probe) and then started taking rather more risks as a result. Fortunately, a good friend told me I was being a bit of an idiot and persuaded me to to go and do the avalanche course (2 day version).

What was really rather shocking was realising how completely useless I was at actually using the equipment - if Iíd been involved in a real situation then Iíd probably have completely messed it up.

Iíve never done the course again - perhaps I should - but every time I go heliskiing we are required to spend a morning practising before weíre allowed in the helicopter.

I suspect that there are quite a lot of people out there who are unwittingly in the same situation as I was - unconsciously incompetent. And that, unfortunately, is not a good position to be in during a very high stress and critical juncture.

Real story; friend and girlfriend skiing offpiste. Both have all the kit. He gets caught in a small avalanche and is buried - but fortunately not deeply and there is sufficient air to breathe. She calls up another friend of mine asking what to do !!!!!! In the end, no harm done and everyone OK - but that, I fear, is the likely situation for many if it really comes down to an emergency.
latest report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Blackblade, I completely agree with you regarding both unconsciously incompetent, and high stress environment.

What I have done to prepare myself, is create an Avalanche Aide Memoire, which lives in my backpack next to my avi gear. Aide Memoire being simple and easy to digest literature that reminds you WTF you're meant to be doing. So I have an A6 wallet of clear pouches (20 pages) into which I created some simple avalanche search instruction (mainly by shamelessly stealing things off the internet), as well as a couple of pages from my transceiver's instruction manual, international emergency phone numbers, and some first aid info. It's 20 pages long with coloured tabs to help find the right bit. I made it myself, all the cards are laminated to prevent water ingress and the wallet is nice and tough. When I get around to doing V2, I'd like to make it more like a flip chart so that you can open it on page one and then follow it to the relevant cards depending on the situation.

The British Army has the TAMs system (Tactical Aide Memoires) which commanders carry around in a folder. Even the best trained guys aren't expected to remember everything and it's fully accepted that in the high pressure environment of military operations you will forget stuff, so this book is a simple quick reference guide to everything you can't remember. The medical one is issued to every soldier though, and you are trained that when you come across a casualty on the battlefield, your FIRST move is to get your aide memoire out, and follow the instructions. The army has realised that seeing one of your mates turned into flesh confetti and redistributed around a wide area is enough to fold most peoples' brains in half, and that it's actually beneficial to survival rates that the standard practice is to slow down, take a breath, get your book out and follow the instructions. It gets much better responses from people, than trying to make them remember everything by heart.

I can't really upload mine here because it's full of copyrighted information that I've not really got permission to publish. But I'm happy for other people to nick my idea and make their own - the wallet is like this ( https://www.odintactical.co.uk/a6-nirex-folder-20-page-black ) and then you just need a printer and a laminator.
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@dp, splendid idea, well done.
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
dp wrote:
What I have done to prepare myself, is create an Avalanche Aide Memoire, which lives in my backpack next to my avi ...

Most heli operators provide something which I suspect is similar. Below is a link to the ACMG one.

http://www.acmg.ca/03public/resources/avicard.asp

The steps precisely mirror the standard training.

Step 4 is where you yell at anyone not yet on receive.
snow report     
 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?
dp wrote:
@Blackblade, I completely agree with you regarding both unconsciously incompetent, and high stress environment.

What I have done to prepare myself, is create an Avalanche Aide Memoire, which lives in my backpack next to my avi gear. Aide Memoire being simple and easy to digest literature that reminds you WTF you're meant to be doing. So I have an A6 wallet of clear pouches (20 pages) into which I created some simple avalanche search instruction (mainly by shamelessly stealing things off the internet), as well as a couple of pages from my transceiver's instruction manual, international emergency phone numbers, and some first aid info. It's 20 pages long with coloured tabs to help find the right bit. I made it myself, all the cards are laminated to prevent water ingress and the wallet is nice and tough. When I get around to doing V2, I'd like to make it more like a flip chart so that you can open it on page one and then follow it to the relevant cards depending on the situation.

The British Army has the TAMs system (Tactical Aide Memoires) which commanders carry around in a folder. Even the best trained guys aren't expected to remember everything and it's fully accepted that in the high pressure environment of military operations you will forget stuff, so this book is a simple quick reference guide to everything you can't remember. The medical one is issued to every soldier though, and you are trained that when you come across a casualty on the battlefield, your FIRST move is to get your aide memoire out, and follow the instructions. The army has realised that seeing one of your mates turned into flesh confetti and redistributed around a wide area is enough to fold most peoples' brains in half, and that it's actually beneficial to survival rates that the standard practice is to slow down, take a breath, get your book out and follow the instructions. It gets much better responses from people, than trying to make them remember everything by heart.

I can't really upload mine here because it's full of copyrighted information that I've not really got permission to publish. But I'm happy for other people to nick my idea and make their own - the wallet is like this ( https://www.odintactical.co.uk/a6-nirex-folder-20-page-black ) and then you just need a printer and a laminator.


Excellent
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Like all things, regular practice makes it routine and there is less likelihood of making mistakes - but honestly, how many of us ever run a timed search for a buried transceiver? And how often are you under stress when doing it, and tired after a long morning of first tracks? I suspect that the answer for most is not at all, and even for those who do, it is once per season at most. Also, define "regular" - once per month, once per week, or what? How regular does it have to be to become routine? Anything is better than nothing, but you'll find that some rescue teams are probably doing this weekly through the season.

I'll hold my hand up - I don't have avi kit because I don't ski off-piste except for ski routes and designated "intro" areas which are marked, controlled and patrolled, but if I did I would attend a training course every 4-5 years and be practicing this at least once per season, just like I practice self-arrest techniques on my first trip each year. One of the commonly ignored heuristic traps is "I did a classroom course on this 10 years ago, so I know what to do if it becomes necessary"... just like people who passed their driving test in the 80s, so must be safe now.
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I have this in my rucsac - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Avalanche-Pocket-Guide-Field-Reference/dp/1594857199/ref=la_B001KMDS4M_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1525770561&sr=1-3&tag=amz07b-21
Basically it is Bruce Tremper's equivalent of what dp has created for himself (although it is a fold out and has a bit more information on it).
latest report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Quote:

in March someone posted on one of the FB pages something along the lines of "I've got no avalanche kit or anyone to go off piste with, so where is safe off piste that I can go and try?" Luckily, a lot of people posted that currently no where was 'safe' and it was stupid to go off piste alone and without kit


Just on this:
a) ski instructors take clients off piste without avalanche gear - they do so because they know that there ARE safe places to ski
b) however if you have to ask the question "where is safe?" you are proving that you don't have the knowledge to ski safely off piste.
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@dp, That's a really good idea.

As I'm sure you'll agree from your own training, having a response drilled until it is automatic takes a lot of repetition preferable over a short period of time and I think works better for short scenarios. For instance, someone asked me the other day if I could remember how to self-rescue from an upturned kayak Ė the answer was yes, even though I haven't been in one for ten years, I'm confident I can do that as it is now an automatic response. Similarly for CPR, I have drilled that sequence over and over and over, where as if I was dealing with someone having a heart attack I'd be looking for a book like yours if it was getting beyond a phone call Confused

Unless you are part of a rescue team, nobody gets that quantity or regularity of practice in avi scenarios, so it is harder to get to the level where the response is automatic. Though that doesn't mean you shouldn't try, a reminder in your pocket is a good plan.
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
jedster wrote:

...
a) ski instructors take clients off piste without avalanche gear - they do so because they know that there ARE safe places to ski...


No they don't, they often do it because it's "easier and less hassle" and because it's a SAFER place.
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Scarlet, I agree to make something 'automatic' takes a lot of repetition over a short period of time, but also to make something 'automatic' I think it helps to have as few variables as possible. That's why making your avalanche response automatic would be so hard... you can practice and practice the drill, but then the incident happens on different terrain, or with different people... and it's more difficult because you're also dealing with the lack of familiarity. The other thing about avalanches (also true with military drills) is that when you do your drills, you're not in any actual danger... but in the real situation, you're deliberately walking into an area that now has a recent history of avalanches. That'll make anyone's heart beat faster than normal, and the opportunity to miss critical details or skip over something is much increased.

Part of the benefit of referring to a book / aide memoire etc, is the reassurance and affirmation that you're doing the right thing. Being aware of the skill fade and natural panic described above, leads people to question their own actions when attempting to act from memory. Getting the book out and working from the book gives you the confidence that what you're doing is the right stuff, in the right order; leading to less anxiety and stress that you're not. Basically, not only does it directly prevent cock ups by telling you what to do, but it also contributes to a more positive mental headspace that helps you to work more efficiently.
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
betterinblack wrote:
jedster wrote:

...
a) ski instructors take clients off piste without avalanche gear - they do so because they know that there ARE safe places to ski...


No they don't, they often do it because it's "easier and less hassle" and because it's a SAFER place.


I'm inclined to agree with you actually.

I was in Chamonix in January when it snowed like mad, and was sharing a chalet with a number of people who were having lessons. The majority of them were taken off piste for their lessons, because there was tons of snow available. But they were not given avalanche training, or equipment. I met some of the instructors as we were getting transfers to the lifts together, I felt that some/most of them were young and keen and just dying to go ski the powder; and that on the whole, due diligence was not really being paid to the safety of the students, in favour of the instructors getting more powder time.

Every guide I've ever had has said that there's no such thing as 'a little off piste' and that you either go suited and booted for the whole affair or you ski pistes, there's no magic safe place where the snow is able to defy physics and assure safety.
latest report     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy