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A Salutary tale. Video of a rescue.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A must watch, sorry it’s a Facebook link.

https://www.facebook.com/chamoniarde/videos/542423536661882/UzpfSTE2NDk4NTcyNjg5MTI2ODozMDM1MTM3MzIzMjA5NDEz/
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Gosh,
Could have been sooo much worse. Shows the worth of skiing with a bleep.
Also shows how off piste can swalllow you up in no time at all.
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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?
Bumping this to The Piste as I htink it's a cautionary tale that many will do well to heed
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@jbob, scary stuff. I was at the Avalanche Academy talk the night in January that kid's dad came along to discuss his experience. Sobering. At that point he'd not edited the video, so thanks for linking to it here.
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There’s a few takeaways for me. Some positive stuff, having avi gear on the kids and arranging a stopping place. Also some lessons from the mistakes. Don't let the kid go first, they always want to! Stay in a tight group with a strict no skiing off rule. But hats off to the guy for putting it out there.
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There’s a few takeaways for me. Some positive stuff, having avi gear on the kids and arranging a stopping place. Also some lessons from the mistakes. Don't let the kid go first, they always want to! Stay in a tight group with a strict no skiing off rule. But hats off to the guy for putting it out there.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Many thanks for highlighting this.
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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!
Thats a weird accident as well though, looked from the childs helmet cam that he skiied straight along a gully into the river and triggered the bank over on top of himself. Very possible that there was an amount of over confidence in the 11 year olds ability to steer himself down a route, coupled with the reassuring presence of the bleep. Must have been a horrendous 30 mins for the child and for the parents, brilliant that it ended well.
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See that big hole...

Don't ski into it wink
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Lucky doesn’t even begin to cover it, but yes

Whitegold wrote:
See that big hole...

Don't ski into it wink
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@ster, hi ster.....hole in one.....



http://youtube.com/v/qYR67k_gIQY
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 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.
@valais2, hello!

I don’t know how he found it on that big mountain but thats a hole alright.
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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
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
@jbob, thanks for posting. Showing this to kids tonight. Fooking hell! that is scary.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
coddlesangers wrote:
Very possible that there was an amount of over confidence in the 11 year olds ability[...].
That's the problem with kids - and, often, with us parents. Showing it to all tonight, now that snow is back we need to be reminded of danger.

Thanks for posting, a few good takeaways.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
ster wrote:
@valais2, hello!

I don’t know how he found it on that big mountain but thats a hole alright.


Target fixation. Don't look at the hole/rock Laughing

Lucky kid. That must have been a horrible chair ride back up with the dawning possibility of where his kid was in the event he wasn't at the top.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Interesting video. Main thing for me was it's an obvious stream bed so not somewhere you would ever ski into if you had a degree of nous. He may be a rad grom with a transceiver but they also need to educated on things like terrain traps and general geography.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
Gosh,
Could have been sooo much worse. Shows the worth of skiing with a bleep.


Shows it is worth employing standard safety practices when skiing.
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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?
@orange,
Quote:
they also need to educated on things like terrain traps and general geography
11 YO do not use their brains for anything useful at the best of times, so it's unlikely they will start thinking about terrain traps etc when out trying to impress dad. Besides, dad didn't think about that either, and skiing on top of what is evidently a stream is questionable at the best of times!
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Good post @jbob, and raised several good points. Really like the fact that both had transceivers on them, phew..!
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adithorp wrote:

Target fixation. Don't look at the hole/rock Laughing


You think he was looking!!!! Snow,sky,snow,sky,snow.sky,snow,why's it gone dark?
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Quote:

Main thing for me was it's an obvious stream bed so not somewhere you would ever ski into if you had a degree of nous.


Must admit, when I read about this story before seeing the video, I thought it was hard to criticise the parent but having seen the vid, I can't understand how he decided to ski down that stream/terrain trap. Where I ski there are quite a few bits of offpiste that require an exit across steep-sided gullies we are always conscious that they are the risky bit to be crossed quickly on powder days not skied down!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
nbt wrote:
Bumping this to The Piste as I htink it's a cautionary tale that many will do well to heed


Thanks.
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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!
30minute burial...wow, maybe sluff in a hole than cement like bonding of an avalanche or stream or something, but I'm sure lesson learnt...much more so than having to learn from pompous know it alls.....
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prometheus wrote:
adithorp wrote:

Target fixation. Don't look at the hole/rock Laughing


You think he was looking!!!! Snow,sky,snow,sky,snow.sky,snow,why's it gone dark?


OK to be fair I had a cllue what might happen, but I was watching the headcam vid and saw the hole just before he went into it. Not sure I'd have been able to avoid it either
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orange wrote:
Interesting video. Main thing for me was it's an obvious stream bed so not somewhere you would ever ski into if you had a degree of nous. He may be a rad grom with a transceiver but they also need to educated on things like terrain traps and general geography.



You can see in the video the dood was not a particularly good skier.

The father has let his child who can't ski very well rip into a riverbed without supervision and then scooted off down the valley and left him behind in a deep hole without a care in the world.

Reckless parenting.

Surprised the feds have not pressed charges for child neglect.
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Super Steezy wrote:
30minute burial...wow, maybe sluff in a hole than cement like bonding of an avalanche or stream or something, but I'm sure lesson learnt...much more so than having to learn from pompous know it alls.....


I don't read any pomposity or knowallenry here but I do see people who are experienced, like me, and I'm amazed that the child wasn't actually educated on the way terrain works and that there are some bloody obvious visual cues to avoid. If you've had to dig dead people out of avalanches like I have done over the years you see stuff like this and shake your head. Sorry, i know that's experience but there is plenty of education available which means you don't need to use your transceiver, shovel and probe much if ever. I hope the lesson has been learnt, that of looking at what you are skiing into.
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 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.
prometheus wrote:
adithorp wrote:

Target fixation. Don't look at the hole/rock Laughing


You think he was looking!!!! Snow,sky,snow,sky,snow.sky,snow,why's it gone dark?


They say if you look at the hole you'll go in it. He went in. Clearly logic dictates from that: He must have looked at it... wink
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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
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
orange wrote:
Super Steezy wrote:
30minute burial...wow, maybe sluff in a hole than cement like bonding of an avalanche or stream or something, but I'm sure lesson learnt...much more so than having to learn from pompous know it alls.....


and I'm amazed that the child wasn't actually educated on the way terrain works and that there are some bloody obvious visual cues to avoid.


I got the impression that the Dad didn't have a scoobies about what they were getting into. So it's no surprise the 11 year old didn't, he was just following his Dad.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
What where the parents thinking, and the mother is just as responsible as far as I'm concerned. You know you have a duty of care to kids, it is totally outrageous, people should think about these things before just blundering into them, there should really be a law against it....















To call a child Fox! WTF!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@davidof, Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@davidof,

Laughing

So it was a fox hole?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Back to the video.

The child isn't a bad skier for his age, he seems a little on the back seat on piste with stiff legs, not that dynamic. I wonder if having to lug an avalanche backpack around is hurting his stance a bit?

at 48s they see a powder field. It is low angle terrain at first with fresh tracks, looks good. However at the end of the field it rolls over and steepens and there is a terrain trap (the gulley). If for some reason the slope above the gulley went it wouldn't be an ABS or avalanche beacon that would save you as you'd be buried pretty deep. It would ring alarm bells for me and I wouldn't ski with kids into this section. Someone locally could maybe add more intelligent commentary about the terrain, I don't know it.

There is clearly a group management issue with two children of different abilities. It happens, guides and instructors deal with this all the time with bigger groups and sometimes make the same mistake of splitting groups up, or letting groups split, as a professional you'd face a manslaughter charge and be found guilty if someone was killed doing this. For a father, losing a child would be enough punishment. Anyway golden rule of off piste skiing is to keep everyone in sight and preferably within communicating distance even if this is by hand signals. Still stuff happens, especially with kids.

The dad has a lot of "I thought this", "I thought that", clearly there needs to be much better control and a bit more knowing than thinking. It is a bit like he's at Disneyland and even there he should be much more aware what his kids are doing and have arrangements for waiting etc. The fact that he thought his boy may have skied off with his wife shows a general lack of clear communication in the family.

At 2m40 we get a better view of the gulley. Sides are steep enough to slide. There is some wind action on the sides. It seems he must have skied over his buried son the first time but this isn't clear. The sluff on top of the boy wasn't too serious at first (although he was stuck, and cold) but with people skiing over, compressing the snow and dislodging more snow it would rapidly become fatal. Again, normally the "leader" skis first, especially as they didn't seem to have taken this route already but that was a big hole and dad would possibly have been buried.

It was more like a tree well incident than a traditional avalanche. Holes, streams etc are a danger off piste and there are fatalities in France every season and the risk is clearly more serious for children. I didn't like the terrain choice.

The avalanche gear was increasing their risk, especially with the group dynamic. The Young Riders Crew probably need to set up an Old Riders Crew for the parents.

We've probably all had scares with kids and the dad was very shaken and courageous to post the video for us to comment on. There but for the grace of god and all that.

I know I've repeated some of the stuff already commented on and I did read what people said above in the thread carefully.
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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?
@davidof, your comments are spot on.
I’ve skied all over LT but never fancied that particular gully! For the same reasons you raise.
The chap readily accepts he stuffed up and has made this public as a warning to others, which I admire him for.
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@DB, Laughing
@davidof, great informative post, as always. I wish I could have taken up your offer, many years ago, of skiing off-piste with you. Sadly, no more off-piste for me, I was still too useless at it before I got old. Sad
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I'm very sympathetic to the dad. It was a really big scare for him and I wouldn't want to go through that.

As commented above, given they were where they were than without the beacon the pisteurs would have to have brought in rescue dogs with all that delay. He clearly didn't cede to panic, retraced his steps and searched with his beacon where it mattered.
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Thank you for posting. I felt quite emotional hearing the boy’s voice on being dug out. How frightening.
I have children of similar age, who skis the steeps well (with a guide), like many Snowheads children, and I’m aware that my children’s ski ability can exceed their ability to make a ‘good’ judgement (albeit age appropriate) where mountain safety education and experience is key. At half term I saw several groups of early teens messing around in areas where our guide had to shout to them to stay back/away. Developing brains and all that.
This post will make me concentrate on mountain safety education even more with my children. Although they know never to be ahead and to stop above the adult etc. I worry. Wise experienced words posted already.
It’s also a reminder for me that playing off piste on holiday, even in sight of a piste in sunshine, can occasionally draw me into a false sense of security and a complacency in risk assessment I would not contemplate in my professional life.
Poor Dad.
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davidof wrote:
I'm very sympathetic to the dad. It was a really big scare for him and I wouldn't want to go through that.

As commented above, given they were where they were than without the beacon the pisteurs would have to have brought in rescue dogs with all that delay. He clearly didn't cede to panic, retraced his steps and searched with his beacon where it mattered.


This ^^^
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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!
Kids can make fools of us sometimes*. One of mine was grabbing for icicles at the Roche De Mio cable car station and fell into the "snow hole" at the edge of the building.

You can tell them all you like sometimes they just don't listen. Showing them this video might help mind.

* To be fair, even as adult, I can make a fool of myself sometimes.
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adithorp wrote:
.....

They say if you look at the hole you'll go in it. He went in. Clearly logic dictates from that: He must have looked at it... wink


Actually, not quite correct. The only conclusion you can draw from the first statement is that if he didn’t go in the hole then he could not have been looking at it. But you can’t draw the conclusion that you have. He could have been skiing with his eyes closed and still gone in to the hole.
Sorry to be a logic pedant!

Otherwise, I agree very much with Davidof’s comments.
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Wouldn't wish it on anyone.

But the father was like Forrest Gump.

Whistling off downhill while the unsupervised kid drowned in a hole.

Very lucky not to endup in front of a judge.
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