Europe ski deaths to hit record high
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johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
March 3, 2006
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,938 posts
Here's an interesting article about the rising number of off-piste deaths in Europe:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4767668.stm
Crush
March 3, 2006
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
... yup the world is just full of dumba$$es... the Inspector Clouseaus are out in force ....
Denis - DCSki Supporter
March 4, 2006
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,228 posts
Europeans are very cavalier about avalanches.

Also I am not sure of the protection offered by wearing a beacon, although I wear one at western areas. When I took a guided trip at Rogers Pass 5 yrs. ago my guide asked me how many live victims have been recovered by search and rescue teams outside ski areas in Canada - in history. Answer - zero.

The best way to not be in avalanches is to not be in places where they happen. Low angle powder is wonderful stuff. Save the steeps and high risk skiing for in bounds in controlled areas. In the backcountry, you, or your buddies are responsible for getting you out of any situation.
Swimmer
March 5, 2006
Member since 02/3/2005 🔗
143 posts
Quote:

Also I am not sure of the protection offered by wearing a beacon, although I wear one at western areas. When I took a guided trip at Rogers Pass 5 yrs. ago my guide asked me how many live victims have been recovered by search and rescue teams outside ski areas in Canada - in history. Answer - zero.

The best way to not be in avalanches is to not be in places where they happen. Low angle powder is wonderful stuff. Save the steeps and high risk skiing for in bounds in controlled areas. In the backcountry, you, or your buddies are responsible for getting you out of any situation.




One of the European accidents was in bounds. Last year a Las Vegas resort had an inbound slide that plucked a kid from the chair (killing him). Making the assumption that it's ok to engage in high risk/steep skiing whie in bounds is safe while out of bounds is not is a silly assumption (in my opinion)

I find that statement ssssooooooooooo missleading. Perhaps I am reading it wrong but it appears you are saying that there have been no out of bounds saves of avy victims from search and rescue groups in Canada. You follow up that statement with suggesting that wearing an avy beacon is not really neccessary because it just may not help.

I am not saying the statement is false though. One, I have never researched it and I have no idea who Denis is, he may be a SAR leader. In the same breath I would like to add that the Swiftwater Rescue team of the Potomac river has never made a save of a near drowning victim who was truly trapped and in distress....

buddies have made all the saves. Buddies have dug out their ski friends, buddies have unpinned and rescued their boating friends. SAR teams have shown up and helped with evac or "rescued" someone who was not in a life threatening situation. I mean really..if someone's life was truly being threatened by an avy or swiftwater, the victim doesn't have time for a team to be assembled and deployed.

I am not saying that SAR teams are not needed..they save lost, hypothermic and injuried people all the time. I am keeping the SAR focus just on buried avy victims.

If you doubt the effectivness or neccesity of an avy beacon I suggest you read www.telemarktips.com during the winter. If the first hand accounts of people being saved because of their beacon doesn't persuade you otherwise then I don't think you can ever be reached.

Just like the helmet argument...we all have our opinions.

Sorry to get on the soap box..I'll step down now

Steve
Denis - DCSki Supporter
March 5, 2006
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,228 posts
Please read carefully. Normally I don't reply to internet posts like the above, but this is a serious subject, so I will clarify the original remarks.

>You follow up that statement with suggesting that wearing an avy beacon is not really neccessary because it just may not help.<

Never said that. If you read the post you will see that I wear a beacon out west. I also wear it at times in the east when there has been a big dump or heavy windloading and I am outside area boundaries. Wear a beacon, but don't be complacent or change your behavior because of it. Beacons are good for recovering bodies. Whether alive or dead is up to you, the mountain, your companions, and luck.

Perhaps the words could have been chosen better, but I also said that it is wise to be more conservative when you are far from help. What I didn't say is that one can never be stupid, anywhere.

That is all I will have to say.
Crush
March 5, 2006
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
Well a beeper can help, but I reckon I'll be dead anyway but at least they can recover me. Most people die in big slides due to massive trauma while the slide is going. Like when they find you your sort of like a trash bag filled with jello ... gross but that is what I hear.

And in fact I was at Snowbird at the end of last season in June ... I was skiing in-bounds off the tram over where the Gadzoom lift unloads and saw a little avalanche roll about 100 yards away from me ... probably might have busted a leg in that one but they can happen! All you need is a 35 degree slope and some sun!
Swimmer
March 5, 2006
Member since 02/3/2005 🔗
143 posts
So Crush, I suppose even mentioning the idea of an avylung probably wouldn't fly very far?

Denis, I'm sorry if you felt my reply to your post was inflammatory or otherwise mean spirited. I just posted how I received your post. I re read my writing today and see that I did get off track and ramble but I definately didn't mean to get under anyone's skin.

I felt that some of your comments could be misleading. I failed to make my counter point very clear. I understand your lack of desire to further communicate about this. I hope you accept my apology. My post wasn't meant to be a flame, simply a point of view.

Steve
Denis - DCSki Supporter
March 5, 2006
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,228 posts
Swimmer, apology not necessary but accepted. I too apologize for being too quick tempered. I did not mean to be mean spirited either, it's just that I have learned that when a thread gets contentious it almost never comes back and everybody just gets aggravated, so I don't reply. I appreciate and respect that you brought this thread back.

This is a very serious subject that deserves to be discussed on DCSki. The fact is that I am a classic profile of most avalanche victims, good skier - inexperienced mountaineer. I really should take an avalanche course but never have. They are offered by at least 2 outfits in the Mt. Washington, NH area*, but when I am there I always want to ski so I haven't done it yet.

I hope we get to ski together. Ask for me when you are at Whitegrass. More often than not I'm there, although next weekend I'll be at Mad River for the NATO Telemark Festival and the 2 following weekends I'll be at Red Mountain and Whitewater, BC with my son. We'll definitely be wearing our beacons.

* IME and REI in North Conway. Chauvin guides may offer it as well. There are levels of Avalanche certification, 1, 2, and 3, just like PSIA, and to be a guide you must be L2 at least. My guide at Rogers Pass had been guiding since college, 20 years, and he holds the highest level certs in avalanche, winter mountaineering, climbing, and skiing, with Canadian, Swiss, New Zealand, and International associations. We spent a couple hours doing buried beacon searches before he'd even consider taking me out. I asked for one day of my trip to be devoted to mountaineering and survival skills so he taught me how to build a snow cave, prusik up a rope to get out of a crevasse, how to make pulley systems out of carabiners to haul victims out, use of ice axe & crampons, etc.
Swimmer
March 5, 2006
Member since 02/3/2005 🔗
143 posts
The mountains are a magical, spiritual place for me. The joy that can be found there is almost impossible to find elsewhere. I take safety in my travels there very serious and hope to instill the same feeling in others, even if they want it or not :-)

take it easy amigo, we'll see each other out there, I'm sure

Steve
rwglas
March 6, 2006
Member since 02/24/2006 🔗
3 posts
Actually I was watching the History channel and according to them only 1/4 of avalanche deaths are caused by trauma, the rest are caused by asphixiation (sp?).The deaths occured within 15 minutes so you'd still have to get rescued fast.
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