Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Alpine & Ice:
Avy Awareness
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Alpine & Ice

Premier Sponsor:

 


elvislegs


Oct 15, 2002, 10:41 AM
Post #1 of 10 (2040 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 24, 2002
Posts: 3148

Avy Awareness
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hi all, a question. My background is in skiing, which lead me to mountaineering /alpine climbing, and then to climbing of all sorts. Coming from a backcountry skiing viewpoint I see avalanche awareness as paramount in my winter mountain skill set. I am learning and watching constantly during the ski season, through classes and also experience, about avalanches. This has transfered to my climbing but has made me slightly more skiddish on winter alpine routes than others I know.

Ok, the question:

How trained are you in avy awareness, rescue, and avoidance? Do you practice this training? And has this affected your choice or timing of routes vs. those who have a different experience level?

Mainly interested to see if most climbers are as educated on this as most skiers I meet are. I find that most bc skiers wear beacons, carry rescue gear, and know good route finding techniques.

[ This Message was edited by: elvislegs on 2002-10-15 10:44 ]


elvislegs


Oct 15, 2002, 3:29 PM
Post #2 of 10 (2040 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 24, 2002
Posts: 3148

Avy Awareness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

...ahem... anyone...anyone at all...

*pin drops*

*tumbleweed blows across screen*

test, test, one, two, Hey is this thing on?


clmbnski


Oct 15, 2002, 3:32 PM
Post #3 of 10 (2040 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 10, 2002
Posts: 85

Avy Awareness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I am getting into backcountry skiing this year.

So Ill get back to you in about 6 months.


micronut


Oct 15, 2002, 3:37 PM
Post #4 of 10 (2040 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 11, 2002
Posts: 1760

Avy Awareness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I, like you, came from a ski/snowboard background into climbing. I learned a lot as a teenager about avalanche through books, friends, and experience. I though I was pretty cool and aware. I set an avalanche off on Mt.Baldy in So.Cal. in the Spring of '92 that really opened my eyes. I realized that the game was real. I thought I was an expert, but unfortunately, the mountain hadn't heard. Now, I would say I'm aware, have experience, but will continue to learn for the rest of my life, hopefully a long one.


aelita


Oct 15, 2002, 3:41 PM
Post #5 of 10 (2040 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 21, 2002
Posts: 123

Avy Awareness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I also come from skiing so my avy experience is from backcountry in search of fresh turns. I know a bit, not as much as I would like to (but then again, you can never konw enough about these things).

I guess judging by lack of activity on this thread in general rock climbers don't really know much about those things, but I am sure people involved in alpinism do (or they don't stay alive for too long).

I generally operate under the - peeps, shovel, probe on you or no backcountry trip happening type of rule
Hey have you seen the new - avvy-floating packs, I heard they are kind of cool!


bluesky


Oct 15, 2002, 3:47 PM
Post #6 of 10 (2040 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 13, 2002
Posts: 296

Avy Awareness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I'd consider myself moderately avy aware. I spend a fair amount of time backcountry snowboarding and skiing, but stay mostly below treeline here in Colorado during the winter. In the spring I bust out a bit more.

I've had mountaineering experience in the Cascades too. Did some winter routes and was learning as I went. Definately some stupid choices as I did winter ascents on Rainier and elsewhere without beacon, but did these only under good clear spell conditions.

Since moving to CO I'm one to carry shovel, probe and wear my beacon. My scariest experience was surviving a stormy expedition on Blackburn in AK. We set off a slab below us while traversing below the schrund. I'll be constantly learning too, but won't be pushing the luck like I have in the past.


elvislegs


Oct 15, 2002, 3:51 PM
Post #7 of 10 (2040 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 24, 2002
Posts: 3148

Avy Awareness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Yes, alpinists. I posted in Alpine/Ice hoping to hear from alpinists, but it goes to the front page anyway you know. Yeah, I've seen those packs, sounds like they even work too. I don't know if I'll ever get one though. I don't have an avalung yet either. Thanks for the responses all.


bluesky


Oct 15, 2002, 3:59 PM
Post #8 of 10 (2040 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 13, 2002
Posts: 296

Avy Awareness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Speaking of the Avalungs and floating packs - have any of you heard of documented backcountry complete burials where these have saved peoples lives? That would have to be the funkiest experiences ever - suddenly buried, breathing via a straw till your partners dig you out.


mainline


Oct 15, 2002, 4:05 PM
Post #9 of 10 (2040 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 29, 2002
Posts: 161

Avy Awareness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Good topic. I think that avie awareness is often overlooked by climbers. Especially those new to the mountain environment.

I have been surprised a few times by some of my climbing buddies when they told me they weren't planning on wearing a transceiver for climbs at the end of spring slide season. Here in Jackson I find most people are very educated in part because most of the climbers are also back country skiers. The common sports progression here is from in-bounds skier to out of bounds skier to ski mountaineer to mountaineer. That is how I learned. Two seasons ago, Jackson lost six individuals to avalanches, and since then there is a lot of public education going on by the local media in the form of radio announcements and newspaper articles. People who travel in the back country are really encouraged to take an avie course.

Personally I have taken an avie 1 course, and I practice with my transceiver regularly. I almost always carry a shovel, probe pole, slope meter and transceiver if I will be traveling in avalanche terrain. Snow conditions are always an important factor in my descision process. If avie danger is high, I won't go. When I am on a mountain and the terrain alows it, I will not hesitate to dig a pit and analyze the snow layers and stability.


[ This Message was edited by: mainline on 2002-10-15 16:15 ]


agrauch


Oct 15, 2002, 4:57 PM
Post #10 of 10 (2040 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 20, 2001
Posts: 217

Avy Awareness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Black Diamond has some accounts of Avalungs in action at www.Avalung.com. Unless they've changed it recently, there's an account of a guy surviving a full burial with an Avalung.

As far as my avy awareness goes...I've taken a course and generally travel with a beacon, a shovel, and a probe. During the season I practice with my beacon and with reading the snow by doing various pit tests. I'm definitely a bit on the cautious side.

Like many folks, my pre-climbing life included a lot of backcountry country skiing. I think I got the "this is what you do in an avalanche" talk when I was 8 or 9.

[ This Message was edited by: agrauch on 2002-10-15 17:34 ]


Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Alpine & Ice

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook