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2nd Chance.

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Sobering

Read it all.

http://www.lawrencejones.eu/chapter1
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
gosh
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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?
"After a serious briefing we put on our avalanche detectors"
Haha, avalanche detectors. Idiot! You're so fckd!

"we had a helicopter for the return trip"
"We could still barely see anything as the snow and wind forced our eyes closer together."
Sounds like a no-fly day to me: yeah you're fckd dude!

"we were warned not to speak and to traverse one at a time to limit the possibility of the mountain collapsing on us."
If it's too bad to speak, you're already totally fckd!

"the last in the group was behind me on skis, caught me up and as he went past gave me a friendly dig knocking me off my board."
Idiot fcked you over dude!
"I detached my snowboard and started to walk"
Idiot! You fcked yrslf over!

That any one of these dudes is alive now flies in the face of Darwinism.
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@Charliebigpotatoes, yeah, I was kinda thinking the same thing.
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Headline, "Man survives avalanche"

not great news is it?
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@Charliebigpotatoes, yep. Maybe we were asked to read it to admire the stupidity
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Quote:
Time was ticking away and Danny Rob consoled Dan, explaining; "after this much time without oxygen, even if we were able to resuscitate Loz he will never be the same. He will have serious brain damage and he will not be able to speak or walk."


That's consoling, is it?!

I do think we as a community should be careful to remain open and constructive when others come forward with avalanche stories, as they're a great learning opportunity for all and most of us done stupid things and got away with it before... But you'd think this guy would've had the sense and respect to actually do some learning after the incident before blurting it out online.
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Read the homepage and blog. I sometimes worry that I am just full of bull####. Now I feel better about myself, maybe not as much of an back bottom as I feared- relative to Mr Jones, which isn't saying much of course.
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Quote:
Charliebigpotatoes wrote,

"I detached my snowboard and started to walk"
Idiot! You fcked yrslf over!



How the F*** else is he going to get back to his group and the guide?, nothing like an being a armchair quarterback rolling eyes
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Is this a week early and an April Fool surely right?
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Quote:

But you'd think this guy would've had the sense and respect to actually do some learning after the incident before blurting it out online.


He wrote that blog 8 years after the events. As far as I can see, he isn't offering any critiques or insight into back-country techniques, other than to pick his tale apart for the bones of the heuristic traps he and his party tripped along the way.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
geeo wrote:
Quote:
Charliebigpotatoes wrote,

"I detached my snowboard and started to walk"
Idiot! You fcked yrslf over!



How the F*** else is he going to get back to his group and the guide?, nothing like an being a armchair quarterback rolling eyes
Ha ha. You know shit. Better stick to Scottish blue runs for your own good. Armchair twat!
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Sure thing CharlietheinternetheroQBcreampuff, if you know so much enlighten me to his other options, i expect i wont hear back from you which is good as it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I can't help but think there is a bit of an ulterior motive to this blog. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it somehow smacks of self-promotion. I bet he regales others with his tales of his "extreme" lifestyle in some sort of motivational speaking way.

A remarkably ignorant piece of writing though!

I might pop down and ask him - his office is about 5 mins from my house wink


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Tue 28-03-17 9:49; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I always find it interesting when a story about an avalanche event appears on the web. You can be sure that within minutes you have a bunch of experts telling you how these guys need to get some knowledge of the mountain, are too dumb to deserve to be alive, that Darwin was right etc etc. All cowdoo. I found the story interesting. Sure the group fell into a bunch of traps. Have I been there? Sure I have. Do experts who spend their lives in the mountains guiding fall into these traps? Yup, sure do.
The truth is that nobody, absolutely nobody, can predict when and where avalanches are going to happen, so all you can do is try to be conservative about your choice of lines and hope that by weighting the odds in your favour you are not going to get hit (i.e use the Munter method). But it is, and probably always will be, a game of chance. This guy lost, but he obviously knows that he and his group made mistakes that day, so I admire his courage for telling his story without trying to apportion blame to anyone other than himself.
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WTF is a digital entrepreneur? I'm guessing it's not anything to do with writing, because that story is hardly a sparkling piece of prose. Shame as there's probably a good warning about not getting carried away in the moment (and ignoring all the very obvious, very alarming warning signs) on powder days. Instead he just sounds like a tosser
or what we'd call in my industry "a bit of a c**t"
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

i.e use the Munter method

Is that the one that involves 2 paper bags?
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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?
@musher, must have missed the bit about the paper bags.
http://mountainacademy.salomon.com/en/demo/95/do-this-right-and-only-1-percent-of-the-original-risk-will-remain
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Following the Grizzly Gulch avalanche in 2013, in which several pro skiers and a well-known photographer made a poor terrain choice, Bruce Tremper gave the following interview: http://sportgevity.com/article/changing-culture-shame-0

There's a difference between learning from an incident and pointing fingers and saying "I'd never do that". The latter course of action is likely to inappropriately reinforce your faith in your own judgement and increase your own chances of screwing up.

I'd also suggest that the article is a touch overwritten and as such, it is quite difficult to judge how much risk was really being taken by the guide. How many people commenting are familiar with the back of the Pic Blanc?
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@Steilhang,
Sorry, I wasn't being serious, I was thinking about the horny gorilla
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If I wanted to write a melodramatic over emotional piece that I intended to use as my "origin story" on why I'd become such a people focused successful entrepreneur then I guess it would do. But I might do some basic research to get some terminology right and maybe not make my companions sound like such douchebags - pushing someone on a traverse - what a cockwomble.
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geeo wrote:
Sure thing CharlietheinternetheroQBcreampuff, if you know so much enlighten me to his other options, i expect i wont hear back from you which is good as it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

I'll answer for him but with out swearing and giving some logic.
Walking in very sketch avi terrain takes longer than skiing putting him in danger for a lot longer. His weight is spread over a bigger surface area on 2 skis giving more chance of not triggering a slab.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
geeo wrote:
Sure thing CharlietheinternetheroQBcreampuff, if you know so much enlighten me to his other options, i expect i wont hear back from you which is good as it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

I'll answer for him but with out swearing and giving some logic.
Walking in very sketch avi terrain takes longer than skiing putting him in danger for a lot longer. His weight is spread over a bigger surface area on 2 skis giving more chance of not triggering a slab.
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@Mother hucker, thats right, but the guy was on a board not skis. Not that easy to traverse on a board, less so once you've stopped.
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Mother hucker wrote:
geeo wrote:
Sure thing CharlietheinternetheroQBcreampuff, if you know so much enlighten me to his other options, i expect i wont hear back from you which is good as it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

I'll answer for him but with out swearing and giving some logic.
Walking in very sketch avi terrain takes longer than skiing putting him in danger for a lot longer. His weight is spread over a bigger surface area on 2 skis giving more chance of not triggering a slab.


great answer, did you bother to read the thread at all?

All these know it all's clearly ski off piste a lot
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Steilhang wrote:
I always find it interesting when a story about an avalanche event appears on the web. You can be sure that within minutes you have a bunch of experts telling you how these guys need to get some knowledge of the mountain, are too dumb to deserve to be alive, that Darwin was right etc etc. All cowdoo. I found the story interesting. Sure the group fell into a bunch of traps. Have I been there? Sure I have. Do experts who spend their lives in the mountains guiding fall into these traps? Yup, sure do.
The truth is that nobody, absolutely nobody, can predict when and where avalanches are going to happen, so all you can do is try to be conservative about your choice of lines and hope that by weighting the odds in your favour you are not going to get hit (i.e use the Munter method). But it is, and probably always will be, a game of chance. This guy lost, but he obviously knows that he and his group made mistakes that day, so I admire his courage for telling his story without trying to apportion blame to anyone other than himself.


This is all true - but all the talk of "avalanche detectors" and needing to be quiet in case the noise of speaking set off a slide pretty clearly demonstrates the guy didn't do any learning or research after the incident whatsoever.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
geeo wrote:
Mother hucker wrote:
geeo wrote:
Sure thing <b>CharlietheinternetheroQBcreampuff</b>, if you know so much enlighten me to his other options, i expect i wont hear back from you which is good as it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

I'll answer for him but with out swearing and giving some logic.
Walking in very sketch avi terrain takes longer than skiing putting him in danger for a lot longer. His weight is spread over a bigger surface area on 2 skis giving more chance of not triggering a slab.


great answer, did you bother to read the thread at all?

All these know it all's clearly ski off piste a lot
While the terminology may leave something to be desired, I broadly agree with @Charliebigpotatoes's assessment of the piece.

1) if the weather is so bad that the lifts aren't running, expecting to get a heli home seems a tad more than optimistic.
2) when the guide had told them "One at a time" because of avalanche risk on a particular slope, the skier should have waited till the boarder was clear however long it took him.
3) Shoving the boarder was utterly irresponsible under those circumstances
We all love to shove a boarder, of course, as it reminds them of the inadequacy of their chosen medium but there's a time and a place.
.
4) Removing your board (or skis) in that situation is highly inadvisable as, apart from the increased time it takes to leave the risk zone, feet are likely to pierce the upper layers of snow potentially destabilising the snowpack (identified as a key factor in the Tignes avalanche earlier this season). The more steps you take, the worse the risk becomes. In the scenario described in the story, the boarder would have been wise to simply take a lower traverse in order to exit the risk zone as quickly as possible, without adding extra stress to the snowpack. It's fair to say that what he did was far from the best approach.

In most situations, boards do not hold a traverse as well as skis and being so much less versatile generally, a guide must make allowance for having a boarder in the group. If, for any reason, the option for the boarder to take a lower traverse safely did not exist then the guide was at fault - seriously so - for taking a mixed group into that situation.
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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
@admin,
agree with all of that
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
admin wrote:
In most situations, boards do not hold a traverse as well as skis and being so much less versatile generally, a guide must make allowance for having a boarder in the group. If, for any reason, the option for the boarder to take a lower traverse safely did not exist then the guide was at fault - seriously so - for taking a mixed group into that situation.


Yep, although if the rest of the story is accurate then it sounds like the guide took a few gambles...of course I have no experience and wasn't there, so my opinion doesn't hold much weight.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
admin wrote:
geeo wrote:
Mother hucker wrote:
geeo wrote:
Sure thing CharlietheinternetheroQBcreampuff, if you know so much enlighten me to his other options, i expect i wont hear back from you which is good as it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

I'll answer for him but with out swearing and giving some logic.
Walking in very sketch avi terrain takes longer than skiing putting him in danger for a lot longer. His weight is spread over a bigger surface area on 2 skis giving more chance of not triggering a slab.


great answer, did you bother to read the thread at all?

All these know it all's clearly ski off piste a lot
While the terminology may leave something to be desired, I broadly agree with @Charliebigpotatoes's assessment of the piece.

1) if the weather is so bad that the lifts aren't running, expecting to get a heli home seems a tad more than optimistic.
2) when the guide had told them "One at a time" because of avalanche risk on a particular slope, the skier should have waited till the boarder was clear however long it took him.
3) Shoving the boarder was utterly irresponsible under those circumstances
We all love to shove a boarder, of course, as it reminds them of the inadequacy of their chosen medium but there's a time and a place.
.
4) Removing your board (or skis) in that situation is highly inadvisable as, apart from the increased time it takes to leave the risk zone, feet are likely to pierce the upper layers of snow potentially destabilising the snowpack (identified as a key factor in the Tignes avalanche earlier this season). The more steps you take, the worse the risk becomes. In the scenario described in the story, the boarder would have been wise to simply take a lower traverse in order to exit the risk zone as quickly as possible, without adding extra stress to the snowpack. It's fair to say that what he did was far from the best approach.

In most situations, boards do not hold a traverse as well as skis and being so much less versatile generally, a guide must make allowance for having a boarder in the group. If, for any reason, the option for the boarder to take a lower traverse safely did not exist then the guide was at fault - seriously so - for taking a mixed group into that situation.


All fine points but none of them answer what this guy should have done to get back to his group and the guide, so the guide wasn't great, excellent, what should the boarder have done again to get back to his group? call a heli for a lift, traverse down into the unknown (none of us know what predicament he was in or if it was even possible to achieve this), for all you know the guide said Don't go lower than this traverse line it's too dangerous and you will surely die!! wait till summer arrived, drink red bull and grow wings, please please let me know his alternatives as there's none in your points above.
I guess some of you were there watching as you seem to know a lot about his situation and how what he done was wrong, and before the pointless replies come in, i'm not defending his actions merely pointing out might not have had any choice in the matter, and was clearly pinning his life on the guide's choices Confused
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geeo wrote:
for all you know the guide said Don't go lower than this traverse line it's too dangerous and you will surely die!!
Now you're just being silly.
For all you know the guide said, "Here's the bit where we do the Macarena" but I think it's reasonable to assume he didn't.
What we can do is discuss the story as it was told: what would be silly would be to add extra bits from our own imaginations cos then it'll be all monsters and aliens and vampires and werewolves before U know it... and that's if we're lucky!
geeo wrote:

what should the boarder have done again to get back to his group?
To paraphrase you: great question, did you bother to read the thread at all?
I wrote:
In the scenario described in the story, the boarder would have been wise to simply take a lower traverse in order to exit the risk zone as quickly as possible, without adding extra stress to the snowpack.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
admin wrote:
geeo wrote:
for all you know the guide said Don't go lower than this traverse line it's too dangerous and you will surely die!!
Now you're just being silly.


Oh the irony
admin wrote:

For all you know the guide said, "Here's the bit where we do the Macarena" but I think it's reasonable to assume he didn't.

Well of course you do as it fits your POV, but just like CharliebigQB you have no idea

admin wrote:
What we can do is discuss the story as it was told: what would be silly would be to add extra bits from our own imaginations cos then it'll be all monsters and aliens and vampires and werewolves before U know it... and that's if we're lucky!

Shocked
geeo wrote:

what should the boarder have done again to get back to his group?
admin wrote:
To paraphrase you: great question, did you bother to read the thread at all?
In the scenario described in the story, the boarder would have been wise to simply take a lower traverse in order to exit the risk zone as quickly as possible, without adding extra stress to the snowpack.


I'm sorry, did i miss the pictures this guy posted showing that was possible, some cheek saying i should discuss the story as it was told lol.
How the heck do you know he could even do that, are you suggesting with all your off piste experience you can always traverse down/across safely from a stopped position?, what if there was a big rock band right in front making this impossible , how do you know he wasn't stopped at a couloir, How on earth can some of you draw these certain conclusions.. unless you are trying to show your super experience over everyone else who takes to a mountain.

Did he make some bad choices.. maybe, probably, can we say for certain he did it all wrong and wasn't just unlucky, hell no, bunch of sanctimonious .......
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
So how big a bung does it take to get the lifts opened just for you when the weather is bad enough to close a resort?
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@adithorp, Smile Smile Smile
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Groupthink is of course well-researched in avalanche safety research

E.g.
http://www.sportgevity.com/article/goal-setting-and-risk-perception-accident-analysis-tunnel-creek-avalanche

But I was wondering what kind of guide 'stephane' actually was. Uiagm? Would be struck off - the qualified guides I know and ski with would never have contemplated meeting a groups needs under these circumstances - they would know that without question this scenario broke many rules of sound behaviour.

I would like to hear Stephane's side of the story, in fact I'd like corroboration of a number of things including minutes deprived of oxygen - the figures suggest the duration here is unusual in the extreme


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Tue 28-03-17 23:29; edited 1 time in total
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Is there a possibility the whole episode is fiction based on some rather basic research? So many things don't quite ring true
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geeo wrote:
I'm sorry, did i miss the pictures this guy posted showing that was possible, some cheek saying i should discuss the story as it was told lol.
Oh dear...
You know in school, in English, when we had to read passages and then answer questions about what happened? 'Comprehension' it was called. Did you ever do that? Or did you just complain that there weren't enough pictures?
Quote:

How the heck do you know he could even do that, (see below) are you suggesting with all your off piste experience you can always traverse down/across safely from a stopped position?
You are being very silly, really.
Quote:
, what if there was a big rock band
Like U2?
Quote:
right in front making this <i><b>impossible</i></b>
Impossible, why, because he was on The Edge? Wink
Quote:
, how do you know he wasn't stopped at a couloir, How on earth can some of you draw these certain conclusions..

The article wrote:
We reached another high-risk avalanche area. This time though it was about a 1km in length to safety on the other side.
That's how we know he wasn't stopped in a couloir - unless it was a 1000m wide one.

geeo wrote:
How the heck do you know he could even do that,
The article wrote:
The aim was to keep as high as possible
So from this you can see that they wished to keep as high as possible. The thing you appear to have missed though is that it also carries the implication that varying degrees of height were attainable, even if less desirable.

Alternative expressions could have been:
"We needed to keep as high as possible"
"We needed to keep all our height"
"We couldn't afford to lose any height"
"Losing height meant certain death"

Each of these implies a reduced degree of choice that the original did not.
Quote:
unless you are trying to show your super experience over everyone else who takes to a mountain.
No, that would be foolish. I just read the article that we're discussing here.
Quote:


Did he make some bad choices.. maybe, probably,
No... DEFINITELY. That is, in fact, the main message of the piece. (have you actually read it? I'm starting to suspect otherwise)
Quote:
can we say for certain he did it all wrong and wasn't just unlucky, hell no,
Well, actually, yes. Again, that is really the point of the piece isn't it? The writer, to his credit, is risking looking like a bit of a twit as he documents the long list of errors he made that led to a near death experience. I trust this is in the hope of offering some lesson to the benefit of somebody else.
Quote:
bunch of sanctimonious .......
OK, you seem rather angry. Somewhat more so than one would expect from a typically dispassionate observer. I fear it may clouding your judgement. Are you related to the writer in some way or perhaps just to Haggis Trap?
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@On the rocks, I wondered that too. So many things, when added up together, don't ring true Confused .
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@maggi, hmmm ... although it was a long time ago, some corroboration would be interesting. For example, I think most UIAGM guides would be aware that 'whispering' is a myth:

http://www.wsl.ch/info/mitarbeitende/schweizj/publications/Reuter_Schweizer_Sound_triggering_ISSW09.pdf

There are many odd points about the description. Does anyone know a guide who would take someone onto those slopes in those conditions? I don't. But then maybe he wasn't a guide. Pisteurs would be equally wary of the conditions.
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It'd have to be a life changing size bung wouldn't it. Then you get up there realise it's a bit silly AND they won't fecking shut up ...So you tell a bit of Porkie about whispering... Or you tell them that to try and impress on them just how dangerous a situation this is (or both) And still there's so much bravado and they start arsing about shoving "there mates" over.

Of course there's a lot of reading between the lines there.
There were just two mistakes here that matter. A) they're mates. B) the resort is shut but your mates think it's safe to go off-piste. After that your screwed.
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