JROSKA wrote:seems comparable to an F-5 tornado or a Category 5 hurricane. Extremely unlikely, and probably not survivable if you get caught in it.
If you get "caught" in a Cat5 hurricane, you've been not only blissfully ignoring the media for days, but also the sky rolling in.
F-5 tornadoes are quite survivable provided 1. you're not sleeping soundly (even then the sound of a freight train...) and most important 2. you have appropriate shelter nearby (e.g. basement). Most killed are in trailer homes or places sans cellars. Conditions ripe for twisters don't occur in the snap of a finger.
The Loveland Pass avalanche reminds me more of Tunnel Creek for one. http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/http://www.greenm3.com/gdcblog/2012/2/23/group-think-most-likely-big-contributor-of-stevens-pass-aval.htmlhttp://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/20/avalanche-killed-experienced-backcountry-skiers/
Anyone ever do Egg(s)-in-Basket Countermeasures
? (Maybe "Boarders-in-Bowl" c.m.?) Like having a couple radios in the back country, first goes down and then stops at a safe point (e.g. high island out of zone), radios up for next, and one by one across until the sweep guy comes down. No radios? Go by line of sight, and zig-zag the zone with each turn (a stop point) being on the highest safest edge reachable, and no clustering on turns (unless needed to maintain visual chain, limit 2) rather one person advances at a time like 3rd going homeplate, THEN 2nd base going to 3rd, THEN 1st can go to 2nd, THEN batter to 1st. Fewer people and less weight on snow, and more first responders should an avy occur. Seems a driving factor is if you get together as a group, and you hike up as a group, you want to ski/board down as a group versus having one guy at a time cross the rickety-bridge sections.
I've seen similar things happen with motorcycle groups where they get caught up in being and riding like a group and either domino or get taken out like bowling pins because they aren't each maintaining their own safety cushion ("oh, a car could merge into our formation..."). I know MANY who absolutely avoid charity rides just for these reasons, like some unknown idiot who thinks it's his right to ride right next to you, can't ride below 5mph without hanging both feet out like training wheels, all while others crowd your 6:00.
Put another way, if you say you're heading down and a friend or the rest of the group says "Cool! I'm coming too!" should your response be any different whether you're on an avy path or atop the Hourglass? Granted, it's a lot harder for "multiple people to rap on the SAME rope" in the 'glass. Who was acting as the Safety, the Anchor, the Belay, the Backup, the Sweeper in this group? After WWI, do troops still try advancing under fire or through mine fields en mass? Or is it one-at-a-time while the rest lend support/cover/observation/etc.? Avy could still rip, but it'd a fraction of the people caught and both 1st response and call-for-backup times would plummet. Yeah, yeah, "safe" doesn't sound "fun" so maybe they need cool bro' terms like "Hey, who's gonna Hawk
this while K-bro goes on Point
? Everyone make sure to stop and GoPro him." Enthusiasts are going to continue setting off and getting caught in avalanches, so what's the best way groups can cut their losses?