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Avalanche onto the piste takes out skiers in Fiss

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
https://fb.watch/bUeI-Hb3xJ/

Shocked Shocked Shocked


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Mon 21-03-22 19:38; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Eek. Was that someone caught at the edge?
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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?
A bit sobering all round. Could have been so much worse. Can't pick the location myself?
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Confused


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Mon 21-03-22 20:33; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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Fiss

https://www.tt.com/artikel/30815676/wohl-keine-verschuetteten-suche-nach-lawinenabgang-in-fiss-abgebrochen?fbclid=IwAR07XEcv1qAvZX6bnKBwQ0M28Ui6wn3Lw6c6zttkbO8davj4TV4GN-zfJYs
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In 40 years of skiing, I've (thankfully) never seen a live avalanche. A few debris fields yes, but I've always assumed they were the result of the piste patrol bombing them. So that leads me to the following question....

Assume I don't have a tranceiver, pole or shovel with me (coz I'm skiing on piste). If I did witness such an event, and assuming someone notifies the piste patrol rapidly (by phone/at the nearest lift station) what should I do?

Do I ski down to the site and do whatever seems best to me at the time (and risk becoming another casualty)?

Do I keep a safe distance back and wait for the rescue services to arrive and then offer to do what they ask/tell me to do?

Or something else?
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@Judwin, The chance of being there when this happens is so slim that you don't need to worry overly about the best thing to do, but when the pisteurs are looking for someone who may be buried, or just checking that no-one is in the event of an on piste avalanche, they do sometimes appear to hand our probes to people and everyone forms a line like police search parties to methodically probe the area so you probably are best off hanging around but so that it is obvious that you are not a casualty
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I'd say the best approach as an unequipped person is to observe closely and try to track at least one person who looks like they are being caught up then ensure they get out or you can provide a definitive last location and starting point for a search. Mark it with whatever you have available.

In such circumstances videoing is far from stupid as you can replay to see how many victims it looks like there may be and obviously share with the pros rather than buggering off and posting OMG on social meeja (not that I'm suggesting that happened here)
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I'd say the best approach as an unequipped person is to observe closely and try to track at least one person who looks like they are being caught up then ensure they get out or you can provide a definitive last location and starting point for a search. Mark it with whatever you have available.

In such circumstances videoing is far from stupid as you can replay to see how many victims it looks like there may be and obviously share with the pros rather than buggering off and posting OMG on social meeja (not that I'm suggesting that happened here)
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Wow. Looks like two got caught but neither buried? Scary stuff.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, I agree…Videoing a very good idea…once close to a debris field your sense of what’s where can evaporate…prompt rescue in off piste burial incidents when big mountain filming can be helped greatly by reviewing the film…watched one recently where the skier’s beacon was ripped off by tree strikes when being carried, and the video was essential to very rapid rescue…lifesaving….

That’s a big flow.

These incidents of flow onto pistes do seem to be on the rise? The slopes that ‘let go’ seem to be changing, so long-accumulated knowledge (which often determined where pistes went in the first place) is shifting. We had an early season horrible incident pre Lockdown in Saas Fee where a six year old local was killed, while her instructor survived partial burial - all from an avalanche reaching and flowing onto the piste. Then the big one at Crans Montana - rockfall from a big pinnacle collapsed onto a high slope, weighting it and triggering a big release onto the Tubang piste. We were over in Grimentz that day with family, but it fell onto a section of piste we travel a lot…
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@valais2, I understand rockfall triggering slides is an increasing problem. The mountains are becoming brittle due to thaw of permafrost. Especially problematic in the higher alpine regions in Switzerland
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
A bit sobering all round. Could have been so much worse. Can't pick the location myself?


It’s in Fiss, not the Arlberg (just filmed or posted by an Arlberg-based guide), but not sure which piste
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
rambotion wrote:
The chance of being there when this happens is so slim that you don't need to worry overly about the best thing to do


I wonder how slim that chance really is though?

An avalanche ran onto a piste in Meribel (I think) once when I was on a chairlift overhead. Came from a steep slope to skier's right and went across about 60% of the piste. Someone on the piste was able to get far enough left onto the other 40%, and I was able to see that no-one was buried. The avalanche wasn't as big as the one in the video, but it was certainly big / high enough to bury someone if they'd been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

(Obviously I am just one data point - I'm not suggesting that proves it is a common occurrence!)
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
According to the reports the slide happened off piste adjacent to the Kamikaze ski route (if so not sure why it would have snow cannons) and blew over onto the (supposedly) secured area. Despite extensive searching no victims were found. The skiers on the ski route or piste were pretty lucky to have escaped with a few bruises.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
clarky999 wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
A bit sobering all round. Could have been so much worse. Can't pick the location myself?


It’s in Fiss, not the Arlberg (just filmed or posted by an Arlberg-based guide), but not sure which piste


As it's not in St.Anton perhaps BobinCH could edit his thread title?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:
I wonder how slim that chance really is though?
Less slim than you might think. Have personally been involved in three on piste avalanches with one of them being a very close call on the Schindler in St.Anton (yes I know it's a ski route), where I missed the slide by a few seconds and only by the grace of God was nobody behind me. I've taken to always wearing my beacon even if I am just mostly pounding pistes.
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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?
Alastair Pink wrote:
clarky999 wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
A bit sobering all round. Could have been so much worse. Can't pick the location myself?


It’s in Fiss, not the Arlberg (just filmed or posted by an Arlberg-based guide), but not sure which piste


As it's not in St.Anton perhaps BobinCH could edit his thread title?


Done
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Munich_Irish..fwiw there aren't any snow cannons on the Kamikaze ski route...I was on it a few times with a mate about a month ago & on a repeat visit with another instructor mate last Thursday we decided against it...due to avalanche risk...looks like that was the right decision..
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..iirc there are, however, snow cannons on the piste which meets the bottom of the Kamikaze from the left..presumably they are the ones visible on the video..
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..to be precise.."which meets the Kamikaze from the skier's left"..
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My reading of the German original of the report is that the Avalanche began outside the controlled area (ie presumably on the unmarked slope to the skier's right of the Kamikaze route) and that parts of it/or the tail end of it (= Ausläufer in this context) reached the route itself and even spilled onto the adjacent piste..
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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!
..on the assumption the author of the report isn't conflating the Kamikaze with the "gesicherter Piste" to the skier's left...tbh a confusion which anyone who is familiar with the Kamikaze would not make!!
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Fwiw I have a video of me skiing the first couple of turns on the Kamikaze - extremely cautiously & respectfully - due to the 70degree drop and crap broken up icy moguls everywhere..can't get my head round how to upload it on here...
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@Bergsteiger278, Upload to you tube and post link here?
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http://youtube.com/v/jSFyzU8pu9s
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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.

http://youtube.com/v/jSFyzU8pu9s
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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
You have the video as private, you need to edit the info in Youtube to make it public

https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/157177?hl=en-GB&co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
next to direct route black run which is easy.

Not steep but faces the PM sun
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:

http://youtube.com/v/K7g2oN0Z7Qw
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Bergsteiger278, I thought that odd as ski routes would not usually have snow cannons. However the TT article definitely says that the avalanche took place outside the secured area but spilled over onto the Kamikaze ski route. From the video that would be what looks like a piste with black objects (I assume snow cannons) on the right hand side.
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The piste with snow cannons is indeed the Black 56 to the skier's left of the Kamikaze (Route 57)...
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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?
...the avalanche presumably came from the non-controlled area under the Oberer Sattelkopf to the skier's right of the Kamikaze...
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Is red 60 running left to right in that video.? Right in the path of the slide?
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Yep..
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My final contribution to this thread - the red 60 actually runs from skier's right to skier's left towards the Kamikaze and all three (black 56, Kamikaze no 57 & red 60) sort of meet together halfway towards the Möseralm Lift..
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[quote="Steilhang"]
Quote:
I've taken to always wearing my beacon even if I am just mostly pounding pistes.


I'd always wondered what the point of Recco was. I'm less skeptical now.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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OK, does this suggest that the North American approach to avi "control" should be considered? (Meaning, with brevity, control of the entire in-bounds area, not just pistes) Maybe I have this particular one wrong; slides can happen anywhere no matter what we do or don't do. But if this one could've been triggered by patrol if only it had been included in their scope then the answer would seem to be definitely maybe.
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Steilhang wrote:
Quote:
I wonder how slim that chance really is though?
Less slim than you might think. Have personally been involved in three on piste avalanches with one of them being a very close call on the Schindler in St.Anton (yes I know it's a ski route), where I missed the slide by a few seconds and only by the grace of God was nobody behind me. I've taken to always wearing my beacon even if I am just mostly pounding pistes.


That is a bit concerning, some of the ski routes are only a line of poles delineating a way down an unpisted area of mountain but Schindler is, in effect, a wide piste, clearly protected with fencing & piste bashed the entire way.
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@Scooter in Seattle, ...it’s not the case that slides can happen anywhere...avalanche science (eg the work of the Swiss Institute) has been developed to understand the locations and conditions which give rise to slides. This combines with accumulated local knowledge - for example, the houses at Les Granges under Les Arcs live on a broad fan of land - which looks innocuous until you see the broken trees and the way the top valley hangs above the fan. All the ancient farmhouses have earth banks at their uphill ends, to deal with the enormous slides which sweep down the 2kms from the cliffs. Areas which are renowned are one thing. The complexity of the way in which snow is laid down in a given area in a season, combined with land profile, combined with weather conditions, combined with loading, contributes to the complexity of whether a slide is likely, or not. Avalanches don’t just happen anywhere, they occur in specific contexts, when complex factors combine. I know guides who have an extraordinary sense of judgement about risk, built on accumulated knowledge, and are extremely observant, wise and careful. The problem is that climate change seems to be at work. Permafrost just isn’t there any more in many places in the Alps - vital glue which stabilises slopes. The hot temps (10 deg at 3000m at Christmas) melts and glazes the top surface, giving an unstable layer deep in the snow pack.

And wearing a beacon is of no use if no one around has another one and knows how to use it - and has a decent shovel. Waiting the 15 mins for a team to arrive is too long a wait time. Recco is well recognised as a body recovery system...the detectors are heavy, not all resorts have them, and they are probably at the bottom of a box in the workshop with a dead battery.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 22-03-22 9:42; edited 1 time in total
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