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okay... great post here. Lots of great information! [:D]
 

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Discussion Starter #4
sorry for some reason i can't upload pics right now. i'll try to get them on here as soon as possiable. i have a '99 600 summit that if you were to tip it on it's side it smiles at you it's a little bent in the middle. it can to a stop by wraping around a 6 inch tree after getting push down a mountain 3 or 400 yards.
 

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Don't ride in the mountains with people who are unprepared. I won't ride with people who don't have the gear to dig me out if I do something stupid.
Not that any of this gear would have helped you if you still would have been on your sled. A bent sled is bad, but since your posting can we assume you came through OK. Hope so. Did your riding buddies have to dig you out?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yeah there was digging involved no bad injuries though. there was 7 people involved 4 buried deepest was 3 feet so we got off lucky. the slide was about half mile across traveled about 400 yards.
 

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Wow. I'd love to try mountain riding, but that avalanche stuff scares the crap outa me!
 

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Here is my two cents....Having a becon and shovel isn't always going to save your life. The biggest killer is people riding in areas at certain times when the shouldn't be. The best thing you can buy (or get for free sometimes) is avalanche courses. When I used to live in Washington I was a avid backcountry snowboarder(still am) me and a few friends took some courses and IMHO there worth there weight in gold... I'm not saying becons and such aren't worth a sh!t but consider these classes before or after you get the gear cuz people still die every year wearing becons, but the smart ones are the people who don't ride those areas cuz they know better.......but definetly get all the gear and take a class or two! Oh and sorry to hear of your misfortune, glad you are still here to talk about it !
 

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Discussion Starter #10
yeah the courses are the best knowledge and are a must to take. i take them every year well worth the time for sure. we had a bad year this last season due to the rain we got half way threw the season. lots of slides all over even on slopes that short tracks have no problems with normally.
 

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Good point AK Gold, I took the one day classroom and 3 day field class back a couple of years. and your right it could still be to late if you actually need the gear. Still rednecks group got lucky and it did them some good.
There has been more than one occaision since I took the class that I looked and a hill and said not today!
 

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And that is exactly the point, I have seen time and time again people who think there invicible because they have becons, probes, and shovels... I would rather not use them at all(except to practice), which is another good point, get out and practice with the damn things a couple times a year(with your whole group) there would be nothing worse than having an avy and then being like: "[email protected], how does this thing work again??!!" Sorry to rant, I just think people are so nieve to think that just cuz they have the gear there ok, personaly I would rather have taken the classes and go out with no gear then to have all the gear but no clue on what to look for.....
 

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With out having to go into major detail, how do you know by looking at a slope/valley/what ever, that its not safe? I'm assuming it would have to do with what the weather has been over the last week, how much snow and what type of snow etc.

But what are the general criteria for making the go/no go decission?
 

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Alaskan Gold is hitting the nail on the head.... If you have to use you're Beacons and probes you've allready blowin it... and if you don't practice....then they're only carcass finders.
 

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Originally posted by Tfin70
[br]With out having to go into major detail, how do you know by looking at a slope/valley/what ever, that its not safe? I'm assuming it would have to do with what the weather has been over the last week, how much snow and what type of snow etc.

But what are the general criteria for making the go/no go decission?
If AKGold sets a highmark and nothing slides, I'm next! LOL!
 

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Originally posted by Flange
[br]If AKGold sets a highmark and nothing slides, I'm next! LOL!
ROTFLMFAO !!! Isn't that about the truth! Really though Tfin, pretty much all of which you mentioned. The majors are: angle of slope, and the weather & snow conditions over the last week or two.... for example anything over a 45 degree slope is kind of dangerous, lets say there was hard pack snow for a week or two. Then you get two to three feet of new snow, this mix equals a lot of slides, there is nothing for the new snow to adhere to plus the weight of the new snow and the slick layer of old snow means bad luck if you ride on it! You could go on and on with variables that will trigger slides, these are just examples....overhangs and cornices are another high risk place to trigger avys..
 

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Here the basics to look for:

Slope... Most avalanches occur on slopes between 25 and 60 degrees... with the most on 30-45 degrees. On slopes >60 the snow usually sluffs off due to the steepness, and on slopes <25 degrees you usually just see Wet slides.

Slope Aspect... North facing slopes are the most dangerous.... Due to less sun in the winter months, the snow tends to consolidate really slowly, so it take longer for the slope to stabilize.... and then if it snows again, and again, and the snow doesn’t consolidate between storms it leads to layering.... which leads to more instability. But quite the opposite in the spring.... When the South facing slopes get soft and wet slide all over the place... it'll always be nice and solid on the north facing slopes. On the south facing they'll consolidate sooner in mid-winter, and tend to release avalanches shortly after a storm or during one.

Then the Wind direction... Slopes facing into the wind tend to be safer than slopes on the leeward wind side because the wind compacts and blows allot of the fresh stuff off of it. Leeward slopes are particularly dangerous since they get heavy wind loading of snow. (All that snow being blown off the windward side comes to a rest on the leeward side... and it accumulates really fast in a good windy storm) You'll see those cornices overhanging the leeward slopes.

Then there’s the slope topography. Is it smooth.... covered in grasses, rock slabs?? Then it's not going to hold the snow that well... But say it's chock full of trees, large boulders, etc. more holding power... But after things are completely buried (12-14 ft), it comes down to weak layers in the snow.

So by just looking at the slopes you can get a good general idea (All of what I said is "generally Speaking" and there are always exceptions when dealing with nature, and there are many more very important factor like type of snow that just fell, previous types of snow (by type I mean heavy and wet or dry and light), temperatures between storms, time between storms,.... it's really a long list.. but ya get the point )....So When You go out after a fresh snow fall.... Take a look at the open slopes... see what has slid naturally... Look at the trees... are they all bent over and missing branches on the up hillside??? It's probably an Avy path.... On r of the easiest things to do though is to get on the ole Internet at www.avalanche.org and get your local avy warning.

Hope that was informative..

HS
 

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Another thing that you see far too often is more than one rider on a hill at one time. It is very common for an unstable hill to hold one rider and machine, but when multiple riders are on a hill at once, the formation can't hold that much weight and down it goes. Even if someone gets stuck up there, if the conditions are questionable, nobody should risk going up to help them out. Sucks to be up there all by yourself, but it is safer.
 

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Both great posts, and great link High Sierra. Like Flange said, I'll go to fist a cuffs if someone ever highmarked me while I was digging out on a hill!
 
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