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2 Brits Killed on their last day in Tignes

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
D G Orf

If I offended you, I am sorry but look at what you had posted. You stated that "you will realise that sensible skiers only go off piste when the risk is either 1 or 2 and at 2 they may avoid the steepest of the slopes". This is rubbish. Even if we remove professionals from the discussion, which you didn't in your initial post, this is quite simply wrong. I know people who aren't professionals whose knowledge and skill is up there with any pro.

You further state that "unfortunately it is just such an attitude that results in so many deaths......................but what about the people who follow your tracks an hour or two later". Why is it any different just because my goup is with a guide?

Bottom line is you made sweeping generalisations which, although they seem to be on the side of caution, just spread misinformation. I believe that your comments are no better than scaremongering and that many see them as crying wolf. So many people see the mountain get skied out after a snowfall that they feel anybody making comments like yours are not to be listened to. This is why education is so important. For instance, when you go to Henry's Avalanche Talk you won't hear him say "don't ski when conditiobns are unstable". In fact, he says the opposite! He always clearly says that the best skiing is to be had when the hazard rating is high. What he then does is show people what happens when it goes wrong and gives them an insight into the knowledge needed to stay safe.

Finally, just a small point. You state "many live in the areas in which they guide so know (hopefully) where it is and isn't safe to ski". While I am sure this is so, a properly trained, qualified and competent mountain guide could be dropped into strange terrain and still work out a safe route through avalanche risk teritory. If skiing unfamiliar teritory I would always trust a guide who I have skied with for years and has a proven track record and reputation more than I would a local guide of unknown reputation and skill. This is one reason that some people I know take their favorate and trusted European Guide Helisking in N. America rather than just rely on Heliski guides.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
SimonN wrote:
This is one reason that some people I know take their favorate and trusted European Guide Helisking in N. America rather than just rely on Heliski guides.


SimonN you must know some seriously wedged people!
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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?
SimonN, I agree with you re DG Orf's comments.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Kramer wrote:
SimonN wrote:
This is one reason that some people I know take their favorate and trusted European Guide Helisking in N. America rather than just rely on Heliski guides.


SimonN you must know some seriously wedged people!
I guess they are! I hadn't really thought about it like that. I just view Heliskiing in N. America as an unacceptable risk so I would only do it with soembody I trust. These people have also taken their favorite guide to the Himalayas and the Atlas mountains.

It comes down to a comment I have made before and that is I wouldn't just ski with any guide. There are good ones and bad ones. It's why I always return to the same resorts because I know the guides and can make sure I ski with ones I trust. If I want to go to a new ski area (in Europe) I would take a guide I know. For instance, we are organising a trip to Chamonix to ski some of the "classic" couloirs and we will be skiing with a guide from Val D'Isere. Sure, there are some great guides in Chamonix but I don't know them and standing in an extreme couloir with unstable snow all around isn't the time to test a guides knowledge or ski ability!!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
SimonN, well I suppose if you have either the cash or the friends with the cash to do that sort of thing regularly that's fine but the vast majority of people do not, the problem does not seem to be with guides (or very rarely with them) it's with individuals who are not as mountain aware as yourself, a generic statement will always offend someone, but surely it is better for us to highlight the dangers of skiing off piste at the higher levels of risk and encouraging people to go and use guides at those levels than it is for us to simply say, ski at your own risk, I'd suggest that probably over 90% of the skiing and boarding populace in the UK are completely unaware of how the avalanche warning system works, one of the objects of snowHeads is to try and ensure that people are better informed about such things, by giving out information to people we are all helping to increase everyones general snow knowledge which can only be a good thing Little Angel
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
D G Orf,
Quote:

I'd suggest that probably over 90% of the skiing and boarding populace in the UK are completely unaware of how the avalanche warning system works


I would say that 90% of the skiing and boarding populace in the UK treat the whole experience as a Winter Holiday and stay on the piste in bounds and just enjoy the experience.They dont go off piste as they dont know how to ski the ungroomed condtions.

I think were talking here about the remaining 10% or less who venture off-piste & are serious winter sports fanatics (like me) who get there kicks away from the groomers Smile
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
D G Orf

I am not sure we will agree on this subject but I do believe that we have common ground, and that is to keep people safe. I personally totally disagree with your aproach which seems to says that if the risk is 1 you can ski anywhere without a guide. If it is 2, you can ski on less severe slopes without a guide and if it is over 2, you need a guide. While I can understand your reasoning, I believe that it is the wrong message. This abdicates responsibility to those who post the avalanche hazard ratings and to guides. Eeverybody should be responsible for their own actions and education is the way forward. I don't think it is a coincidence that there has been a reduction in British sesoniere deaths in Val D'Isere since Henry restarted his talks. Knowledge is power and we should be encouraging people to learn more about the mountains and the risks we take. I believe that part of the problem is the consumer society of today where people expect instant gratification and expect their thrills handed on a plate. I believe that many "guided" off piste incidents are the result of this. People are prepared to pay to abdicate their personal responsibilty.
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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!
One thing I have always felt is that the scale 1-5 is far too generic, in any given day, over a typical mountain range, depending on the amount of wind/snow/sun & direction in the previous X hours one slope may be a 5, one may be a 1, it's this that people fail to realise.

We skied off piste without a guide last week around Courcheval when it was 3, we were careful, studied signs, didn't ski that steep a slope and stopped when the temp increased. We skied later in the week when it was 2 and still played it safe.

However I'd love to do one of the avalanche awareness courses, I am always asking guides for signs etc, and have had many a good tip from guides in gressoney, including standing up to my thighs in snow, digging around various areas whilst the guide pointed out a few things!
regards,

Greg
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 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.
SimonN, yes you are probably correct, I'm not really trying to suggest that guides and those people who post the avalanche warnings should be held responsible (though in these days of increased litigation ......) rather that more should be done to educate people as to both the risks, dangers and delights of skiing off piste, on that we both agree.

By the way I'm not necessairily suggesting that no one should ski off piste if the risks are higher than 2 without a guide, rather that those who are uncertain about the risks or the safety of going off piste should seek advice or guidance, those people who have sufficient knowledge and training may well procede off piste with no significant extra risk
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I there is a slight case of crossed wires here. I was referring more to Brits than to natives in my post - the 'famous 5' mentioned in my post were all from the UK(ish).

As you say their existance could easily be described as a 'bubble' but then again isn't that what all 'ski-bums' live in?! Smile

Of course true locals are the post valuable source of accurate info on conditions etc. I speak French and worked in a bar, which allowed me ample opportunity to speak to (and ski with) pisteurs, instructors and assorted others - so I definately didn't miss out.


Ditto your apologies for drifting...
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Bootsy,
Quote:

As you say their existance could easily be described as a 'bubble' but then again isn't that what all 'ski-bums' live in?!


Err No.
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