Monday, December 29, 2008

r. ede you ok?

i read about the tragedy in fernie. you ok? family ok? dogs ok?
please be ok.

canadian avalanche center

Canadian avalanche warning scale

Danger level Colour Probability and trigger Recommended action

Low Green Natural avalanches very unlikely. Human triggered avalanches very unlikely.

Travel is generally safe. Normal caution advised.
Moderate Yellow Natural avalanches unlikely. Human triggered avalanches possible.

Use caution in steeper terrain on certain aspects.
Considerable Amber Natural avalanches possible. Human triggered avalanches probable.

Be increasingly cautious in steeper terrain.
High Red Natural and human triggered avalanches likely.

Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended
Extreme Deep red Widespread natural or human triggered avalanches certain.

Travel in avalanche terrain should be avoided and confined to low angle terrain, well away from avalanche path runouts.


Anonymous said...

Hello Chick,

Fernie and Sparwood are about 2 hours down the road from us. The towns are located in the Elk Valley, in coal country. The people there work hard in the mines. They are small towns with a growing tourist industry. The tourists are drawn by the natural beauty of the wild area, that seems in endless supply outside every door.

People that work in mining or logging also love to be in the bush on days off. Hunting, skiing, fishing, snowmobiling, or cruising the backroads. It’s a love.

You may read that the people caught in the avalanche were reckless for being out in the mountains. We have had a lot of snow and the temperature has risen from very cold to about minus 5. It makes for bad snow conditions and it can happen fast.

I doubt if these men were doing anything that they had not done many times before. It is a tragedy and I can’t even begin to know how their families and friends must feel.

I love the mountains and the bush. To me there is nothing greater. To be part of it is a gift. I’m sure, many of the men caught in the avalanche felt the same. That does not make it better or easier or right.

Thank you for your concern. We are all okay. Steam up some of that yellow and red chard for your next meal. At this time of year, I swear, your chickens are eating better than I am!

Take care and stay cool!

zippy said...

I am as fine as one can be when 8 men in a small community are killed in one accident. rough couple of weeks. a very close friend was killed in an avi on aspen mountain two weeks ago. then this.

in 30 years in the mountains, most of those years in colorado and much of it in avi work, i have never seen the snow this unstable. never. a skier in utah was buried for several minutes in a low angle avi on a slope none of the party had seen go in all their years of touring. little slopes here are going that have never gone. major slopes go in ways they never believed possible. everyone even remotely associated with avi work is terrified. literally terrified.

jackson buried the mid mountain restaurant yesterday and closed the main mtn until they can assure the safety.

fernie is a long time coal mining community and this is being compared to a mine disaster in the effect on the people. that's the best comparison.

i'm writing a couple pieces on avalanches and when they are up/published, i'll send the url's.

in 1986-7 we had 11 people, all locals, killed in Summit County. 4 in one avi just out of bounds at Breckenridge and the rest one's and two's over the season. cory (aspen patroller who was killed) and i were two of three team leaders in the breck rescue. this is setting up to be a winter of that sort.

all my friends have said no touring, no out of bounds skiing. and we are all wearing avi transceivers when we ski in bounds at the ski area.

shellywoman said...

my clumsy language will not suffice. my heart goes out to you and the towns who do not deserve such sacrificial claiming. truly terrified men are strong but to be put in such a state? may the gods release their hold to steady the snows.

please be careful. your unusual caution plays deep into the soul.
be safe be safe be safe please be safe