osprey wrote:From the Wild Snow critique of the avalanch deaths:
The approach trail goes through a DANGEROUS spot with OBVIOUS avalanche slope to your right and TERRAIN TRAP ( emphasis added) to your left.
So: if the avalanche 5 blatantly disregarded the backcountry equivalent of a safety railing they had no business or reasoning to approach due to their high level of experience then why are their deaths treated differently than the elderly gentleman's when he disregarded his railing?
Please do not misinterpret me - I am not critical of the avalanche 5 - I will not question the judgement of either group - the question is why we treat certain deaths with a degree of compassion vs scathing judgement of other deaths.
Point taken, but I think BC "warning signs" (no matter how apparent they might seem in hind-sight) are far more open to interpretation than an actual, tangible, steel guardrail. Avalanche 5 made a decision based on conditions presented. They were proceeding with what they thought to be the proper practice given those conditions. Obviously, in hind-sight it turned out to be the wrong choice, but I wouldn't fault them as reckless. There is no hind-sight needed to judge the poor choice of someone being swept over Vernal Falls. EDIT: In the BC there is an element of unknown and even with the best choices, you can still end up losing. With a waterfall, there is very little ambiguity in how it will behave.
If someone had witnessed the avalanche 5 marching up the slope and kicking the bottom of a cornice, yes...I would probably call them stupid or reckless. Conversely, if Mr. Stensby had been hiking along side the river and had tripped and fallen in somewhere, or a flash flood came through and caught him ANYWHERE other than where it looks like he intentionally went past a rail, I would be defending against speculating on his death.