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#198001 - 03/14/10 05:10 PM Massive avalanche kills 3, injures 30
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2719
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Snowmobiles and avalanches. Again. Recovery is underway, and more fatalities are expected.

Avalanche warnings of "extreme" had been issued. An unofficial, unsanctioned high-marking event went ahead anyway. The avalanche took out riders and spectators.

Looks like a massive climax avalanche to me. Very common at this time of year. The snow deposited was 6-12 metres deep, i.e., up to 40 feet deep.

Very sad for the families, but d@mmit, how do you get through to these people?


http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/least+dead+after+major+avalanche/2682042/story.html

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nati...article1500053/


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#198002 - 03/14/10 05:20 PM Re: Massive avalanche kills 3, injures 30 [Re: dougwalkabout]
NobodySpecial Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 197
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
Snowmobiles and avalanches. Again.

Canadian Avalnche center is trying to explain it as - snowmobiling is a new sport and they don't have the 100years of experience of skiers.

Bull***t - snowmobilers like concave slopes to see how far up they can get. Avalanches like concave slopes because of physics.
Add in a few cans of beer and bingo - the perfect avalanche trigger.

* yes I know there are snowmobilers who only ever go at reasonable speed on marked trails and enjoy the sport as way of communing with nature - but none of them live in Alberta.

Whats worse is that every year they come to BC and as a result we get perfectly safe trails closed to snowshoes because of avalanche risk. The only risk being that if some idiot drove a snowmobiler up it there might be an avalanche.


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#198003 - 03/14/10 05:32 PM Re: Massive avalanche kills 3, injures 30 [Re: dougwalkabout]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1382
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
Snowmobiles and avalanches. Again. Recovery is underway, and more fatalities are expected.

Avalanche warnings of "extreme" had been issued. An unofficial, unsanctioned high-marking event went ahead anyway. The avalanche took out riders and spectators.


I watched a lot of the news coverage earlier this am. Every year we see snowmobiliers killed in avalanches like this even after the media blitz from the CAC (Canadian Avalanche Centre) the last few days warning of extreme conditions and to stay out of the back country all over BC.

We were to go hiking/snowshoeing this weekend into the back country, however we heeded the warnings that even our area has extreme avalanche conditions and decided to stay home.

This quote (from globeandmail.com) perhaps sums it up:

Mr. Burke said he chose not to go, because of the dangerous conditions in the mountains this weekend.

“It was high risk and just the other day it was extreme,” he said Saturday by telephone.

“I told everyone to shut the mountain down. ... Just how I've been riding and I've noticed a lot of slab avalanches and I've caused a lot of little stuff over the season and it's just progressively gotten worse.

“I told my mom to shut it down and don't have anything to do with this event because it's going to kick you in the ass.”
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#198019 - 03/14/10 10:46 PM Re: Massive avalanche kills 3, injures 30 [Re: dougwalkabout]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
...but d@mmit, how do you get through to these people?...


Yup, every winter it seems to be Darwin's rules in play.

I am sorry to say it, but there is a point where I lose sympathy with the people who place themselves in harm's way.

I don't think a case can even be made for them being unaware of the hazards involved.
Something like this strikes me as less accidental than suicidal.
_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#198058 - 03/15/10 02:37 PM Re: Massive avalanche kills 3, injures 30 [Re: NobodySpecial]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1059
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Originally Posted By: NobodySpecial
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
Snowmobiles and avalanches. Again.



Bull***t - snowmobilers like concave slopes to see how far up they can get. Avalanches like concave slopes because of physics.
Add in a few cans of beer and bingo - the perfect avalanche trigger.





You got it backwards. Convex slopes are less stable.

http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/encyclopedia/convex_slope.htm

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#198063 - 03/15/10 03:22 PM Re: Massive avalanche kills 3, injures 30 [Re: clearwater]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2719
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Here's a photo link showing the actual site. Geez, could anyone not look at that after a major snowfall and not think "avalanche?" eek

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/2682489.bin?size=620x400


Edited by dougwalkabout (03/15/10 03:23 PM)

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#198065 - 03/15/10 03:57 PM Re: Massive avalanche kills 3, injures 30 [Re: dougwalkabout]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1382
Here is a photo of some of the sleds (snowmobiles) that were tossed and pushed down the mountain by the avalanche.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#198082 - 03/15/10 07:24 PM Re: Massive avalanche kills 3, injures 30 [Re: Teslinhiker]
jay2 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 35
Loc: idaho
As a back country snowmobiler myself, I feel the need to reply. We're not all this oblivious. There are some back country rules that may have helped in this situation, and a lot of the spectators were probably unaware of the unwritten rules of back country snowmobiling. They are: 1. one at a time on the hill 2. watch from a safe viewing area.* (obviously not followed) 3. pay attention to the hill. 4. check out the avalanche advisory for the day and ride accordingly.
There are more, but the obvious conclusion is that the veiwing spectators missed 2 to 4 of the above precautions. Group think, nice weather, an event that was anticipated with relish, and lack of common sense seemed to have ruled the day, again... All of us who recreate in the out doors have to establish our own set of precautions that they live by, or NOT. Some will try to regulate our activities, and I always am against the Nanny state trying to legislate my safety. Dying is just one of the many fates that await us all, and it should be up to each individual, (or his or her parent/guardian) to determine the amount of risk they are willing to accept.
I do pray for the victims of the accident and their families.

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#198157 - 03/16/10 08:59 PM Re: Massive avalanche kills 3, injures 30 [Re: jay2]
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
I don't believe you really can. Experience is the best teacher.

I believe that we're also getting a "crying wolf" effect from warnings that claim "dangerous" conditions, but they either never come about, or individuals do not see the conditions first hand.

For example, with the local windstorm in the Northeast United States, plenty of warnings about "stay home" because of the risk of falling trees. More people out than you would expect, most driving way to fast (then again, the faster you go, the less time you spend in one place, thus hopefully reducing your chance of being hit by a falling object, but increasing your chance of hitting a stationary object. Oh, risks...) to be able to see downed power lines.

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