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By ObviousTroll
Oct 17, 2012
SHOVELS!

Does everyone in your party carry a shovel in avi conditions? If not everybody then how do you disperse them?

I'm slowly transitioning my way from hiking to mountaineering and think I am curious to see what you people are doing.

FLAG
By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Oct 17, 2012
Bocan
You disperese them to the people that are going to dig YOU out.

All jokes aside you probably shouldn't be traveling in avi conditions without everyone having the proper equipment. Choose your routes by what doesn't have that danger if possible or stick to ridge lines that will help minimize those aspects.

Take an Avy I course and try not to kill yourself.

ED: Oh and I just saw your name...haha need more coffee.

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By ObviousTroll
Oct 17, 2012
;) Before the mods delete me I'll just say this is a serious account, I just have a sense of humor.

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By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 17, 2012
Andrew Gram
Everyone carries a beacon, shovel, and probe in avy terrain.

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By ObviousTroll
Oct 17, 2012
Andrew Gram wrote:
Everyone carries a beacon, shovel, and probe in avy terrain.


Thanks, doesn't get any plainer. And thanks for not deleting me.

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By Princess Mia
From Vail
Oct 17, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks
Everyone has all needed gear AND is properly trained!
Period!!!!!

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By "H"
From Manitou Springs
Oct 17, 2012
Axes glistening in the sun
Ditto a million times what everyone has said. Beacons, shovels, probes and the TRAINING to hopefully avoid having to use the aforementioned tools; but one never knows when traveling in avi country.

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By Brian in SLC
Oct 17, 2012
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
We used to tell folks that show up without a beacon to go ahead and leave their shovel in the car too...

Ha ha.

Yeah, everyone should have a shovel. Its part of the standard kit. At least for backcountry skiing.

I try not to climb, especially ice, in avy conditions. Rare that anyone I climb with would have a shovel with them.

On mountains, as in, a mountaineering trip? Yeah, split the shovels up. You'll have stuff to dig with if need be (ice tool, ski, etc) and most likely have a rope attached...(ugh).

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By ObviousTroll
Oct 20, 2012
Brian in SLC wrote:
We used to tell folks that show up without a beacon to go ahead and leave their shovel in the car too... Ha ha. Yeah, everyone should have a shovel. Its part of the standard kit. At least for backcountry skiing. I try not to climb, especially ice, in avy conditions. Rare that anyone I climb with would have a shovel with them. On mountains, as in, a mountaineering trip? Yeah, split the shovels up. You'll have stuff to dig with if need be (ice tool, ski, etc) and most likely have a rope attached...(ugh).


I've been waiting on somebody to elaborate on this post, but it seems nobody wants to. This guy contradicts what everyone else says by saying "Take a shovel skiing, but shovels are an option while climbing."

Is this how it works?

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By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Oct 20, 2012
ObviousTroll wrote:
I've been waiting on somebody to elaborate on this post, but it seems nobody wants to. This guy contradicts what everyone else says by saying "Take a shovel skiing, but shovels are an option while climbing." Is this how it works?


The best angle slopes for skiing also tend to be the most avalanche prone. Carving also tends to put more load on the snowpack and the track is a continuous line that can make a cut separating a slab from the rest of the snowpack. That's not to say that climbers can't have an avalanche risk, but good back country skiing pretty much necessitates some amount of avalanche risk

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By ObviousTroll
Oct 22, 2012
DannyUncanny wrote:
The best angle slopes for skiing also tend to be the most avalanche prone. Carving also tends to put more load on the snowpack and the track is a continuous line that can make a cut separating a slab from the rest of the snowpack. That's not to say that climbers can't have an avalanche risk, but good back country skiing pretty much necessitates some amount of avalanche risk


Alright, thanks- but what about climbers? Do climbers carry shovels 1 per or dispersed through packs, or situation dictates? I understand digging a bivy, but for the general peak bagging trip, are they necessary or are other options employed?

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Oct 22, 2012
Bocan
ObviousTroll wrote:
Alright, thanks- but what about climbers? Do climbers carry shovels 1 per or dispersed through packs, or situation dictates? I understand digging a bivy, but for the general peak bagging trip, are they necessary or are other options employed?


Not that there is anything wrong with asking questions, but from the sounds of it you should take an avy class and get those basic awareness skills.

Avalanche prone areas aren't really a place to learn on the fly as you can not only kill yourself, but the others in your group. It sounds like you would really benefit from the education.

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By Andy Librande
From Denver, CO
Oct 22, 2012
Me in the Buddha Cave at crumblewood a while ago.
ObviousTroll wrote:
Alright, thanks- but what about climbers? Do climbers carry shovels 1 per or dispersed through packs, or situation dictates? I understand digging a bivy, but for the general peak bagging trip, are they necessary or are other options employed?


First off if you are near any angled terrain there is a possibility for an avalanche. The only time to not bring one is if you will not be in or near an avalanche slope. There are plenty of peak-bagging options out there that are not in avalanche zones.

The reality is that if you don't have a shovel and the three friends behind you do and they get buried, pretty much expect all three to die. You cannot hand-dig out someone that is under 3-6ft of snow that has avalanched as it will be like concrete.

Avalanches can happen on terrain that a normal person would never expect. Below is a photo from a death in Colorado in Jan 2012 from a small gulley that avalanched. The victim would have survived if he was wearing a beacon and his friends had the proper equipment (avalanche.state.co.us/acc/acc_... ):



Get yourself educated and you will understand why you always need to be prepared.

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By ObviousTroll
Oct 22, 2012
Andy Librande wrote:
First off if you are near any angled terrain there is a possibility for an avalanche. The only time to not bring one is if you will not be in or near an avalanche slope. There are plenty of peak-bagging options out there that are not in avalanche zones. The reality is that if you don't have a shovel and the three friends behind you do and they get buried, pretty much expect all three to die. You cannot hand-dig out someone that is under 3-6ft of snow that has avalanched as it will be like concrete. Avalanches can happen on terrain that a normal person would never expect. Below is a photo from a death in Colorado in Jan 2012 from a small gulley that avalanched. The victim would have survived if he was wearing a beacon and his friends had the proper equipment (avalanche.state.co.us/acc/acc_... ): Get yourself educated and you will understand why you always need to be prepared.


Yeah, don't be insulted when I tell you guys that your words are no good to me. I just want to know what the internet standard is for carrying shovels. I fully intend on booking a class, but as it is, no harm in asking. Thanks for the replies, any more info is still welcome.

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By Walt Barker
From Reno NV
Oct 22, 2012
Self portrait on the summit of Gray's Peak, CO
evryone carries shovel, beacon, probe. Another important point if you are transitioning from hiking to mountaineering; Summer hiking trails are not necessarily safe terrain in winter.

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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Oct 22, 2012
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3
depends what youre doing, and where you are climbing really.

And what type of mountaineering you are tlaking about.

ie. climbing technical peaks..or hikes that are wlakups but now covered in snow.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Oct 22, 2012
Bocan
ObviousTroll wrote:
I just want to know what the internet standard is for carrying shovels.


The internet doesn't carry shovels. There you go...

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By Sir Wanksalot
From County Jail
Oct 22, 2012
ObviousTroll wrote:
Yeah, don't be insulted when I tell you guys that your words are no good to me. I just want to know what the internet standard is for carrying shovels.


Seriously???? This is why every year more wankers die unnecessarily in the backcountry! If you'd rather troll the internet and not even do your own research your a god damn fool!

Oh, and the internet is Standardless. Wanker!

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Oct 22, 2012
Bocan
Randy W. wrote:
Seriously???? This is why every year more wankers die unnecessarily in the backcountry! If you'd rather troll the internet and not even do your own research your a god damn fool! Oh, and the internet is Standardless. Wanker!


I couldn't find a nice way to say this. +1000

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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
Oct 22, 2012
ObviousTroll wrote:
Yeah, don't be insulted when I tell you guys that your words are no good to me. I just want to know what the internet standard is for carrying shovels. I fully intend on booking a class, but as it is, no harm in asking. Thanks for the replies, any more info is still welcome.


Basically, I look at the conditions surrounding the climb. If I'm on a couloir that might still have a cornice, everybody has beacon, probe, and shovel. If I'm on a route that isn't anywhere near a slide path, I only bring the climbing gear. Unlike backcountry skiing, where the avy gear is the heavy shit in your pack, with climbing its a definite risk/benefit calculation, and you can mitigate that a lot by picking a route that isn't threatened by avy terrain.

By and large, I don't carry avy gear while I'm climbing, and I only pack the shovel if I plan on digging a snow cave.

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By ObviousTroll
Oct 22, 2012
Randy W. wrote:
Seriously???? This is why every year more wankers die unnecessarily in the backcountry! If you'd rather troll the internet and not even do your own research your a god damn fool! Oh, and the internet is Standardless. Wanker!


Hey friend. Calm down. What I meant was even though I'll provoke answers to my questions, I won't take it as stone advice. But thank you for calling me a god damn fool, and a wanker. I was worried I wouldn't be treated as I deserve. ;)

EDIT: So I just reread my post expecting to find that I said something that sounded really naive, but it looks like the naivety lies on you and ScottMcMahon (+1000 eh?)

Did you even read the part where I said "I fully intend on booking a class, but as it is, no harm in asking. Thanks for the replies, any more info is still welcome."

Guess not, why don't you go troll RC.com instead of violating rule number one.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Oct 22, 2012
Bocan
ObviousTroll wrote:
Hey friend. Calm down. What I meant was even though I'll provoke answers to my questions, I won't take it as stone advice. But thank you for calling me a god damn fool, and a wanker. I was worried I wouldn't be treated as I deserve. ;) EDIT: So I just reread my post expecting to find that I said something that sounded really naive, but it looks like the naivety lies on you and ScottMcMahon (+1000 eh?) Did you even read the part where I said "I fully intend on booking a class, but as it is, no harm in asking. Thanks for the replies, any more info is still welcome." Guess not, why don't you go troll RC.com instead of violating rule number one.


We must have just caught the part where you said "Yeah, don't be insulted when I tell you guys that your words are no good to me".

Asking for advice and then telling the same group you are soliciting that they've wasted their words is pretty naive. Avalanche terrain in the backcountry is a life and death scenario. The majority of the climbers on this site take this very seriously and would not leave their lives up to an internet poll. Both your question and response are naive, and you obviously don't really want advice.

I sincerely hope you get around to taking your class before you get yourself in a dangerous situation.

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By Drew_n
From Park City, UT
Oct 22, 2012
Dolomites
Hey everyone, one thing that I get bothered by regarding snow safety is the matter of prevention.

While I would never tour with persons who do not have a shovel/transceiver/probe (and know how to use them!), I worry that many persons think these tools are magical devices that create a 'force field' against the mind-boggling forces of tons of moving snow.

My main goal is skiing awesome terrain, for numerous years, and never having to use these tools. Just my $.02.

Be patient, find mentors, and Think Snow (both east and west!).

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By doligo
Oct 22, 2012
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style
ObviousTroll wrote:
I've been waiting on somebody to elaborate on this post, but it seems nobody wants to. This guy contradicts what everyone else says by saying "Take a shovel skiing, but shovels are an option while climbing." Is this how it works?


In climbing, you either stay home when avy conditions are elevated, seek safer climbs, or climb very early in a day or very late. You don't want to slow yourself down by carrying avy gear on climbs and thus putting yourself in danger. Climb very early in the season or very late. Seek advice from locals. Travel fast. Normally in mountaineering, routes follow ridges that are generally have low avalanche danger.

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By Nick Stayner
From Billings, MT
Oct 22, 2012
Nick Stayner near the crux. Ryan Minton photo.
Time for the mandatory "Did you do a forum search before asking your question?" moment! Seriously... try it! It works!

Here's two recent threads the OP might find useful:

mountainproject.com/v/avalanch...

mountainproject.com/v/airbags-...

But like others have said, no internet forum will be a substitute for professional avalanche education and you sound like you need it. Also, a number of good books are listed on the threads I referenced. Check them out too.

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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Oct 23, 2012
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3
I do find it funny that he asked about climbing/mountaineering and half of the responses are about touring/back-country skiing.

reading comprehension fail.

Doligio is pretty spot on though.

FLAG


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