Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Europe and Asia, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:36 am

Admin wrote:I noticed that the OP still deliberately ignores my questions. That speaks for itself. Blissful ignorance.

Heh, Admin is gnawing on several pounds of flesh after Tony's relentless LCC armchair quarterbacking from Glendale. :lol:
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:35 am

Another travel day yesterday, I'm in Canada now.

Liz and I both have complete avy gear. Once or twice a year I'm doing a rescue drill at a cat or heli lodge. Mustang's is quite comprehensive, includes probing, shoveling and the search is for two buried transceiver backpacks at the same time. I could be wrong, but I suspect this is as much as admin and company practice in Utah, though I know admin has taken an Avy1 course. Liz has done 4 transceiver practices that I know about. Ice Axe did quite a bit of instruction in Ushuaia before the Antarctic cruise.

In Europe the guides provide transceivers and often harnesses but I have not seen any search drills and have noted comments about this online. I remember a practice with Extremely Canadian in Las Lenas; there probably was one in La Grave though I don't recall it specifically.

Most of the powder skiing was with Liz on intermediate pitched terrain, next to or between pistes similar to james' descriptions. The steeper sectors were nearly all on or adjacent to the yellow marked ungroomed ski routes. The big exception (which Liz did not ski) was the bowl below Plateau Rosa on Tuesday. Admin can tell us whether he would have declined to ski this:
Image

The avy report was moderate until wind loading raised it to considerable on Wednesday. And as noted there was an avalanche on Stockhorn Wednesday. One of the guided Diamond Dogs' groups saw it happen, and kingslug's group was in the area about 15 minutes before.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9773
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby Admin » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:02 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Liz and both have complete avy gear.


But neither of you were using it. What good is owning it if you're not using it? It was in delayed luggage, yet that didn't dissuade you from jumping in. And the whole point of having avalanche gear on you is that you never want to have to use it. Smart decision making should make a beacon, shovel and probe irrelevant, but I've heard nothing to convince me that there was even a single iota of informed decision making involved.

Tony Crocker wrote:Most of the powder skiing was with Liz on intermediate pitched terrain, next to or between pistes similar to james' descriptions.


And what was above it? Do you remember? Did you even look to assess it? What was required on the exit? Any convex rollovers? Any windloading? Any embedded rocks below the surface to heat the snowpack? Unless you've seen it in summer, you'd have no way to know.

Tony Crocker wrote:The steeper sectors were nearly all on or adjacent to the yellow marked ungroomed ski routes. The big exception (which Liz did not ski) was the bowl below Plateau Rosa on Tuesday.


So, not only were you lacking gear for that "big exception", but you were lacking a partner, too.

Tony Crocker wrote:Admin can tell us whether he would have declined to ski this:
Image


I seriously hope that you're not asking me to judge the safety of your route from a photograph. That requires in-person situational analysis. And frankly, what you're insinuating here is even more disturbing than that. Be aware that I don't make my decisions on what to ski and what to back away from from the "powder fever" of how it looks, and I hope that you don't either, but everything you're posting is convincing me otherwise. As Socal posted at viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11349&start=15#p71335, "I'd guess that there wasn't much in the way of risk assessment."

The most important piece of avalanche safety gear that you own is your head, but you have yet to explain the decision making process that you went through before deciding to dive in. What was above? And frankly, you had no idea what was below -- a terrain trap, or perhaps worse. I can't see it in that photograph because the slope to the right increases in pitch and disappears out of view, so from where you were standing you couldn't see it either. You had no idea whether or not you'd have to traverse below avi-prone slopes to get out of there. If it was a dangerous spot, anything that might happen to you would also unnecessarily put potential rescuers at risk. Honestly, you had no clue what you were doing.

From your conspicuous silence in response to my requests to explain your decision making process, I'd guess that you jumped in blindly, blissfully ignorant to the risks involved. That's hardly novel, for I've witnessed you do that on the few occasions that I've brought you out in Patsy Marley. I've asked you to cross certain slopes one at a time and subsequently watched you push off on the traverse 15 feet behind another member of the party, completely ignoring my instruction. I've asked you to stand there and focus on your partner in case something went awry, but you didn't even bother to turn around. Honestly, you've not done anything to convince me that you'd recognize a wind-loaded slope if it fell on you, but unfortunately you're not alone -- some of even my regular ski posse have frustrated me in the same way.

The second most important piece of gear is your partner, but you had none. It's one thing to unnecessarily put yourself at risk, it's another thing altogether to subject someone else to an error in judgment. That's about the only good thing to come of you going it alone in this case -- the only lives that could have been lost would have been your own and perhaps those of some responders. The downside, of course, is that if you were buried you'd be long dead by the time they found your frigid corpse.

Lowest on the list of importance is a beacon, shovel and probe. The best plan is to not need it. Furthermore, it's useless without your brain and a partner, and owning it isn't sufficient -- you have to use it. When you were here a few weeks ago you were chomping at the bit to head out of bounds, but you didn't bother even bringing your beacon along because you wanted to "travel light," as if a beacon weighs more than a few ounces and takes more than a few cubic inches of luggage space.

Tony, you're a good friend, and I'd like to be able to continue to enjoy the company of your friendship for many years to come. May I suggest an Avalanche Level I course while you're here next month?
http://utahavalanchecenter.org/provider/level-1-3
If Tyson is teaching that course (and I presume that he is) you'll learn a ton. I'll even go so far as to take it with you, for reinforcement is a good thing. How serious are you about acquiring some mountain awareness? The ball's in your court.
Image

Image
User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9969
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:22 pm

I'm convinced that this whole Zermatt narrative is a masterfully executed troll from Tony to inflate the view count on his threads. :^o
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby Admin » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:26 pm

And he found time in the past day to reply to other threads and even post an extensive new one, but he's conveniently ignoring this one again.
Image

Image
User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9969
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:07 pm

No, I'm saying that Tony posting photos that are inflammatory to those who know the ropes about avalanche danger and then feigning ignorance (you're maintaining that he isn't feigning) is to you what Gpaul asking for ski-trip advice and then ignoring it is to him.
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby Admin » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:11 pm

How true!
Image

Image
User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9969
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby Marc_C » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:18 pm

We've seen this before. When he get's backed into a corner and his arguments or rationale are demonstrably proven false, Tony tends to go dark instead of gracefully admitting he was wrong. The infamous "Snowbird has more north facing terrain than Alta" falsehood he touted a few seasons ago comes to mind.
-marc
User avatar
Marc_C
 
Posts: 3172
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:32 am
Location: A Sandy place south of a Great Lake

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby Admin » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:44 pm

Marc_C wrote:We've seen this before. When he get's backed into a corner and his arguments or rationale are demonstrably proven false, Tony tends to go dark instead of gracefully admitting he was wrong.


Or just change the subject or the point of reference. You forgot about that tactic.
Image

Image
User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9969
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:05 am

Marc_C wrote:Tony tends to go dark
Admin wrote:Or just change the subject or the point of reference.

"a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma" :lol:
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:37 pm

MarcC wrote:We've seen this before. When he get's backed into a corner and his arguments or rationale are demonstrably proven false, Tony tends to go dark instead of gracefully admitting he was wrong.

Uhh, no. Fairly recently I admitted I was wrong to egieszl about the opening of the Bear Peak chair and produced personal documentation of that error. Which is more than can be can of MarcC (and perhaps admin) with respect to the mountains of evidence refuting the supposed uniqueness of a mid-January dry spell in Utah.

I have read Knox Williams' avalanche book, attended an ISSW convention and done numerous rescue drills with avalanche gear, but I make no claims whatsoever to expertise in avalanche risk analysis in the field. My European ski experience is limited. I was with guides full time in Chamonix and La Grave and 3 of 6 days in the Arlberg. At Davos and Zermatt I was more on my own and I made powder skiing decisions that appeared to be similar to those jamesdeluxe made at Ischgl and Portes de Soleil. Were my decisions reckless on an absolute scale and/or more reckless than james' decisions? That is certainly possible and I concede the point.

I think it would be useful to get input from those with more experience in the Alps with regard to decision making. When do you need to confine yourself to the pistes? When do you need to hire guides? It seems obvious with respect to glaciated terrain like La Grave and the Schwarztor and probably with unfamiliar terrain far away from pistes as I skied at St. Anton. There are gray areas such as those being discussed here. I welcome constructive input.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9773
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby socal » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:55 am

Tony Crocker wrote:
I think it would be useful to get input from those with more experience in the Alps with regard to decision making. When do you need to confine yourself to the pistes? When do you need to hire guides? It seems obvious with respect to glaciated terrain like La Grave and the Schwarztor and probably with unfamiliar terrain far away from pistes as I skied at St. Anton. There are gray areas such as those being discussed here. I welcome constructive input.


Im kinda interested in this myself. I mean if you truly can't ski offtrail safely in Europe without avalanche gea, knowledge, and/or a guide its basically of no interest to me.

Maybe that's why all the Europeans stick to on piste skiing?

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
socal
 
Posts: 682
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:27 pm
Location: LA

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby Admin » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:19 am

Admin wrote:May I suggest an Avalanche Level I course while you're here next month?
http://utahavalanchecenter.org/provider/level-1-3
If Tyson is teaching that course (and I presume that he is) you'll learn a ton. I'll even go so far as to take it with you, for reinforcement is a good thing. How serious are you about acquiring some mountain awareness? The ball's in your court.
Image

Image
User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9969
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:44 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:I made powder skiing decisions that appeared to be similar to those jamesdeluxe made at Ischgl and Portes de Soleil. Were my decisions reckless on an absolute scale and/or more reckless than james' decisions?

I sent Admin photos and topographic maps of the lines/terrain I was about to ski. He reviewed and approved them in real time.
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Zermatt, Switz., Feb. 9, 2014

Postby Admin » Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:25 pm

Rather than respond to my questions (and to my invitation), Tony instead chose to hone in on one comment of Marc_C's and ignore everything else. I wish that I could say that I'm surprised. :roll:

Some things are predictable. Some things never change. Sad.
Image

Image
User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9969
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

PreviousNext

Return to Europe & Asia

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use

cron