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Gothics???
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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 20, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
Any wooooord on the conditions of the NF? What about the SF? Hoping to do the NF this Saturday but the recent snow combined with the lack of sunlight to consolidate it this upcoming week is a little disconcerting.

Thanks !

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 21, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
noooo updates from any locals?

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Mar 21, 2013
Topo - Cliffs in Green
Jay peak got 35" of snow this week...

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 21, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
Normally I'd be stoked for all this snow (I heard Whiteface got like a foot the other day...) but the combination of being too broke to ski, no partner to go into the backcountry with to ski, and the desire to do the NF of Gothics this year makes the snow a big pain in the rear

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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Mar 21, 2013
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3
id say its prob pretty avalanchy right now...

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 21, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
yeah that's what I'm thinking too, unfortunately

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Mar 21, 2013
Topo - Cliffs in Green
superkick wrote:
id say its prob pretty avalanchy right now...


Now we all know there's no such thing as avy's in the north east ;-)

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Mar 21, 2013
Rumney
Stop being a puss and get out there.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 21, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
Kevin Heckeler wrote:
Stop being a puss and get out there.


I am not too keen on getting stuck in an avalanche...a little different than sucking it up when there is a little snow on the rock at the gunks!

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By Miike
From MA/CT border
Mar 21, 2013
my foot
avy terrain and the NE is an oxymoron right? you could board about 95-99% of the NE without any worries I BET unless you are worried about your knees getting buried in cement while boarding short low angle shwag

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Mar 21, 2013
Rumney
Ben Brotelho wrote:
I am not too keen on getting stuck in an avalanche...a little different than sucking it up when there is a little snow on the rock at the gunks!


Excuses excuses... :-)

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By Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Mar 21, 2013
Fall Guy wrote:
avy terrain and the NE is an oxymoron right? you could board about 95-99% of the NE without any worries I BET unless you are worried about your knees getting buried in cement while boarding short low angle shwag


Gothics is a 1000' face that's 40-45 degrees. It slides every year. The danger is quite real, but thanks for the advice.

In general, the NE is quite safe. But the isolated danger areas (Whites ravines, Daks slides) are full-scale avy terrain, and people often disregard the danger because most other terrain is fine. 95% of the NE is safe, but NF of Gothics is most certainly part of the 5%.

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Mar 22, 2013
Topo - Cliffs in Green
Auto-X Fil wrote:
Gothics is a 1000' face that's 40-45 degrees. It slides every year. The danger is quite real, but thanks for the advice. In general, the NE is quite safe. But the isolated danger areas (Whites ravines, Daks slides) are full-scale avy terrain, and people often disregard the danger because most other terrain is fine. 95% of the NE is safe, but NF of Gothics is most certainly part of the 5%.


I'd say get up there with ur beacons probes and shovels dig your pits and have some fun... plenty of solar radiation out there today that should help stabilize the pack. Run your ski cuts and if you really are sketched do ur cuts with a rope... now pull the string and get out there safely. You could ski shit that's slid already as another option or stick to the woods...

mountwashingtonavalanchecenter...

If tux is moderate today you can expect to be able to navigate the hazards enough in the Daks or elsewhere to have good time with minimal risk (though identifying the risks is integral). If you haven't taken your Avy 1 course then maybe you should consider educating yourself this weekend rather then playing in the goods.

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By Eric G.
From Saratoga Springs, NY
Mar 22, 2013
Auto-X Fil wrote:
Gothics is a 1000' face that's 40-45 degrees. It slides every year.


This.

Maybe I'm too conservative, but I was once partially buried back when I used to work at Squaw Valley and it left quite a lasting impression. In general, I believe folks in the NE are a bit reckless when it comes to avy danger. Experience tells me that, almost all of the time up here, you can get away with being reckless, but just because you didn't trigger a slide, doesn't mean you made a smart decision. YMMV, and I recognize that I have a lot to learn.

Found this partial burial pic of someone in TD:

adkbcski.com/ai1ec_event/avala...

That could have ended badly.

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Mar 22, 2013
Rumney
Eric G. wrote:
...you can get away with being reckless, but just because you didn't trigger a slide, doesn't mean you made a smart decision.


That describes 90% of the climbing community regarding any adverse condition.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 22, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
Kevin Heckeler wrote:
That describes 90% of the climbing community regarding any adverse condition.


not 90% of the people I climb with. Not even 1%! There is a big difference between adverse conditions such as wind, cold, and small amounts of snow that make your experience more mentally and physically trying versus objective dangers like avalanche conditions, rockfall, brittle daggers above the belay...etc.

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Mar 22, 2013
Topo - Cliffs in Green
Eric G. wrote:
This. Maybe I'm too conservative, but I was once partially buried back when I used to work at Squaw Valley and it left quite a lasting impression. In general, I believe folks in the NE are a bit reckless when it comes to avy danger. Experience tells me that, almost all of the time up here, you can get away with being reckless, but just because you didn't trigger a slide, doesn't mean you made a smart decision. YMMV, and I recognize that I have a lot to learn. Found this partial burial pic of someone in TD: adkbcski.com/ai1ec_event/avala... That could have ended badly.



It's quite clearly states in the description the individuals were Avy 1 certified and neglected to use their training... so ya boneheads.

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By Eric G.
From Saratoga Springs, NY
Mar 22, 2013
CaptainMo wrote:
It's quite clearly states in the description the individuals were Avy 1 certified and neglected to use their training... so ya boneheads.


That's true, but I imagine its hard to forecast for avalanches in the TD from below. I think it'd be difficult to discern snow conditions before entering the dike itself, nevermind the slabs above.

But I have no formal training, so perhaps I should ask someone more knowledgable--beyond being generally aware of conditions in the Park, how would you make an assesment of the conditions in and above the TD?

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Mar 22, 2013
Topo - Cliffs in Green
Eric G. wrote:
That's true, but I imagine its hard to forecast for avalanches in the TD from below. I think it'd be difficult to discern snow conditions before entering the dike itself, nevermind the slabs above. But I have no formal training, so perhaps I should ask someone more knowledgable--beyond being generally aware of conditions in the Park, how would you make an assesment of the conditions in and above the TD?


There are many many aspects to consider which is why folks should aty a minimum take Avy 1 but, generally speaking you look for clues on similar slopes with similar aspects and use your head. Just because someone went in front of you doesnt mean conditions aren't rapidly changing. If there were high winds and wind loading it would be important to know wind directions and be able to identify slopes or areas where loading would occur... Digging snow pits and testing the snow on those aspects would be critical. Also being aware of changing conditions on the hike up and having escape routes planned. Now I've never climbed TD but I've seen lots of images and clearly there little options to escape so given any knowledge of windloaded slabs I likely wouldn't mess around in the TD. It's blatantly obvious in the image on that site that there was a wind slab which was triggered, probably 5-6" thick. Anyone with basic skills would likely have been able to identify the hazard. Then again sometime you just get unlucky...

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By Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Mar 22, 2013
The Trap Dike builds up huge amounts of snow that blows off the slides above. It's usually at least slightly wind-affected. But, it's usually very easy to avoid. I've been up there (in the winter) at least 6 times in the last three years, so I've seen it in most conditions, pre- and post-Irene. I posted this on NEICE, but I'll post it here again.

In summary - the Trap Dike is super-popular because it's a classic line that's strongly defined by the terrain. There's not much routefinding to get to the summit. But, there is significant routefinding to stay safe from avy danger, which lurks in three places. The pre-Irene dike was not avalanche-immune, but it was much safer than the current one. The lack of vegetation and the steeper slide dumping into the top are huge hazards.

Down low, there are steep snow ramps between the cruxes. These are usually safe because they see a lot of traffic and are packed down. They are also small and concave. However, they are steep, and could slide. Keep an eye out for any slab formed on top, and don't just trudge up the middle of something loose. Don't have a belayer stand at the bottom of one of these while you hike up it. There's always room to the sides.

Up higher in the dike, for most of the snow slog to the exit, there's a groove on the right that fills in with snow, and higher terrain on the (climber's) left that is usually rocky, icy, and has bits of shrubbery sticking out. The terrain on the left in easier travel and much safer. But, every time I visit the Dike, there's a boot pack heading right up the avalanche-prone snow chute. Avoid it! The left path is faster, easier, sunnier - and almost totally avalanche-safe. The slot on the right is very avy prone.

The new slide is steep, and the bottom is 38 degrees and convex. It's usually been blown bare this year, which is great for safety. If there's a slab on it, that slope can be death on a stick. If possible, stay on icy terrain (rope up if you're not comfortable soloing that kind of angle). When there's any doubt, just suck it up and stay in the trees on the edge.

Be mindful of other parties up there. If a bunch of gumbies cut a big slide loose up on the slab, it could clean out the whole Dike. Given that the Dike sees massive traffic every weekend all year long, I'm afraid this might only be a matter of time.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 22, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
How did this thread about Gothics devolve into a thread about avy conditions in the 'Dike?

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By Eric G.
From Saratoga Springs, NY
Mar 22, 2013
CaptainMo wrote:
generally speaking you look for clues on similar slopes with similar aspects and use your head . . . If there were high winds and wind loading it would be important to know wind directions and be able to identify slopes or areas where loading would occur... Digging snow pits and testing the snow on those aspects would be critical. Also being aware of changing conditions on the hike up and having escape routes planned....


Thank for the response (not sarcasm! I mean it), but I don't think this stock answer doesn't address the TD all that much. I don't think any proper aspect for a snow pit would be available without extraordinary efforts, simply knowing wind direction and speed isn't gonna satisfy me that loading did or did not occur from snow blown into the TD from other locations, no escape routes, etc.

It's simply a tough call to make. I once saw a 4 foot crown in there, and the snow levels everywhere else were minimal! I'm not trying to say TD is super dangerous or anything, I'm just saying that I think it's hard to really discern the conditions on this unique line beforehand (although I'm sure there are those who can, these are the observations and opinions of someone with some experience but no formal training).

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By Eric G.
From Saratoga Springs, NY
Mar 22, 2013
Ben Brotelho wrote:
How did this thread about Gothics devolve into a thread about avy conditions in the 'Dike?


my bad.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 22, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
no worries...we can just blame it on Kevin anyway. ha ha

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By Tparis
From Pottersville,New York
Mar 22, 2013
fall foliage 5.7+ slab
what Kevin said. If you want safe, go climb at the edge.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 22, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
I would, but I don't have a beanie at the moment, so I'm not sure how safe it would really be.

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