ClubTread Community - View Single Post - A Bit Of Misadventure Near Rohr Lake Jan 05 14

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post #46 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 01:40 AM
Scaling New Heights
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Posts: 54

Hi everyone. Thank you for all the good wishes and thoughtful comments. I agree with everything said and am grateful to everyone (especially Simon) that has helped turn this into a learning experience.

Here are the lessons that I have learned (so far) and I hope I can add something useful to the debate:


1. Avalanche equipment: This was not discussed before the trip. Dorothy and I packed our avalanche equipment (we always do) but Dorothy dropped out at 6:30am on the day of the trip. Simon had no transponder, so my transponder wasn't much use.

2. Route planning: This was discussed prior to the trip however we could have chosen a route more appropriate to the conditions – Simon also suggested Mount Nutt and this would have been a better choice because I knew the SW slopes of the Marriott Basin are prone to slides.

3. Avalanche Ratings: I read the CAC bulletins every day but we didn't discuss the forecast until the morning of the trip. Also we focused more on the “moderate” rating and ignored the specifics of the forecast, namely “Snowpack testing on a NW facing slope at 2150m in the Duffey Lake area on Thursday produced easy sudden planar compression test results, and a RB2, whole block release Rutschblock result down 27cm on the late-December surface hoar, this layer now has an additional 15-25 cms since the Thursday evening storm.”


4. Cautious route selection: Once we reached the tree line the route possibilities were discussed. We noted the treed ridge to the left, however the route we actually chose was not as cautious.

5. Field observations: Temperature observations were made once we reached the alpine however the solar warming and pin-wheels (which I did observe) were not heeded. I was actually carrying a snow saw in my pack but forgot about doing a stability test.

6. Snowpack: I did not appreciate that a low snowpack does not necessarily mean a safe snowpack. Once we reached the alpine I had no problem with Simon's suggested route mainly because the slope ahead seemed to have a very shallow snowpack with lots of protruding rocks. I didn't notice any whumpfing or settlements but did notice the very powdery nature of the snowpack.

I do have AST-1 training, or rather the older RAC training (I did the course back in 2006). I now realize that I had become quite complacent and failed to follow my training. Doing the training and carrying the equipment does not mean you will make the right choices in the field. I intend to either re-take the course or at least do a refresher course.

Thanks everyone!
TimG is offline  
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