Taos Avalanche

Discussion in 'General Skiing' started by HDSkiing, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. RJS

    RJS Getting off the lift Skier

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    Does anybody know if Taos Ski Valley just took down their webpage on Kachina Peak? The last snapshot of the page from the Internet Archive was on June 28, 2018, so it's entirely possible that they took down the webpage sometime between June 28 and today.
     
  2. sparty

    sparty Putting on skis Skier

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    Fair enough. Carrying a pack doesn't bother me much—I've spent enough time doing so, between a couple of years patrolling, a bunch of years coaching, and time in the backcountry—and I know I wouldn't be happy with myself it I happened to end up nearby with only 1/3 of the tools I needed to help effectively.
     
  3. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator Team Gathermeister

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    No idea, but the Kachina camera is still working... And I wonder if the small print was always on this page (guessing that it was) :

    upload_2019-1-22_19-36-11.png

    I wonder if they'll make the incident report public? Patrol would be doing a full analysis and outbrief I'd imagine. There was one posted for the Jackson Hole slide earlier this year that was an interesting read - but the Jackson Hole slide didn't have any fatalities, so maybe this will be handled differently.
     
  4. Brock Tice

    Brock Tice Getting off the lift Skier

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    I don't know when it changed, they did spend a lot of effort on making the web site much harder to use over the summer, so this page may have moved or disappeared as part of that.
     
  5. Analisa

    Analisa Out on the slopes Skier

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    Yep, the avalanche center in Colorado collects all the fatal avalanche incident reports on behalf of the other agencies and areas like Taos where they aren't covered by a local agency.
     


  6. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Very sad. Do we know what injuries were sustained? Was it trauma or damage from lack of oxygen, both?

    On a side question, what's the current feeling on pole straps in avy zone? Bruce Tremper in his book is against.
     
  7. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    I've never met an avalanche professional that was "for" them. I suppose theoretically they might show someone where you are in just the right situation. But they create another potential trauma vector which is more likely.
     
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  8. Analisa

    Analisa Out on the slopes Skier

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    When I got caught in a small slide, they were the first thing I dropped so I could "swim" myself into a position where I wasn't sliding head first (loose wet release or small cornice failure in a couloir, so slow moving) and eventually it spit me out. Not sure if the same would apply for a faster moving slide, but agree on the trauma risk. I also think they'd get int the way for getting to an avy bag trigger.
     
  9. Noodler

    Noodler Now trading turns for swings... Skier

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    But what about the use of a pole for self-arrest? I was taught that you want/need to keep your poles so that you can easily find the grip and slide your hand down the pole to the basket to use the pole for self-arrest. Not recommended any longer? Or maybe I'm confused because we're talking avalanche here and not steeps.
     
  10. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    I dont use pole straps ever, they can cause more harm than good. Well, I use them for hanging the poles at the lodge thats it.
     
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  11. Brock Tice

    Brock Tice Getting off the lift Skier

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    I was taught early on to put my hand through the strap such that it's only wrapped around the fingers, not the wrist. It has saved me from numerous issues with the pole sticking in the ground, but still easy to let go.
     
  12. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    Two separate discussions: use of pole straps in general, and use of pole straps in potential avalanche terrain.

    You will find no AAIRE instructor and seasoned BC skier who spends time in avalanche terrain who advocates use of pole straps in those settings. You need your hands if you're in an avalanche: to swim, to create an air pocket, to pull airbag. If attached to you, they are another thing to potentially cause you trauma in the chaos and power of an avalanche. (Which is the same reason that people are suspicious of leashes on brake-less bindings in avy terrain.)

    As for self arrest: the venn diagram of avalanche-likely terrain, and something you need to self arrest on is pretty small. If something is that hard and that steep, you likely aren't in much avalanche danger. Skiing steep corn in spring that is warming too quick is the obvious exception. In those cases, you should be using an ice axe or a whippet for self arrest.
     
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  13. Noodler

    Noodler Now trading turns for swings... Skier

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    I use Leki Trigger S poles which pop off if your pole is inadvertently "grabbed" by something other than you. So if there's risk of a slide, don't snap into the Leki grips.
     
  14. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Ifind they're important. Particularly pretty tight. Not just in moguls either but that's fairly essential. I don't think you'll find any good bumper who doesn't use pole straps.

    I once spent most of a season without straps. The clips on my Goode handles had broken. I just went strapless instead of fixing them. I found that I started developing odd arm/hand movements. What the connection is would likely be pretty involved with the unconscious mind/body and is beyond my knowledge. I'm pretty convinced there's something to it though.

    Interesting. I assumed that but then I talked to someone this weekend who did an avy course some years ago. I asked him about the pole straps and he looked at me as if I had two heads. Apparently they didn't cover that or he didn't remember. Odd to me since it's one of the main things I remember from the Bruce Tremper book.

    Seems this skier is using pole straps in dangerous terrain though I'm not totally sure.
     
  15. Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Skiing the powder Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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  16. clong83

    clong83 Stauffenberg! Skier

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    ^This. Like many others, their website has been getting slowly less navigable. I think most sites try to do a single interface that will work well in both a browser and a tablet, and ends up being worse for both.

    Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I noticed that they cancelled the Rio Hondo Rando Raid scheduled for Sunday. The race traditionally has a bootpack (with a handline) straight up the K-3 chute where it slid, and generally goes all over Kachina. Probably a good call.
     
  17. RuleMiHa

    RuleMiHa Out on the slopes Skier

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  18. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Nothing really. Weird.
     
  19. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator Team Gathermeister

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    Agreed. Organ donation is wonderful, but that seems a little odd.
     
  20. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    I don’t think it weird. A young man tragically lost his life, but his decision to donate his organs has, or will, help many others. That’s something to be honored, and they did.
     

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