No Fall Zone

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers!
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Re: No Fall Zone

Postby strongmelon » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:26 pm

ALL angles are no fall zones:

Falling at high angles results in long, dangerous tumbles.

Falling at low angles results in looking like a dork.
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Re: No Fall Zone

Postby ajkagy » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:31 pm

depends on snow...hard pack/ice obviously will make conditions that much more treacherous. A 40-45 degree slope in powder can feel easy compared with a 40-45 degree slope on hard/icy snow.

micro terrain features such as cliffs, rocks, dog legs, and the like can make an easier line into a "no fall" zone. To me, anything 50+ degrees and it becomes freakin hard to stop yourself in a fall which becomes dangerous depending on the runout zone.
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Re: No Fall Zone

Postby Carl » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:53 pm

I think anything above 35 to 40 degrees could be difficult to stop on, depending on the conditions like Adam says. Above 50 degrees you better catch yourself real fast. Some steep lines mellow quickly though, like Snowmass, so you may come out unscathed if you take a tumble. I tend to think of no fall zones more in terms of objective hazards...

whether it be a bunch of small rocks,

or a few couple hundred foot cliffs,

or a lake with a thin layer of ice...
(I'll need to dig through my ski pics for an example of this one)
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Re: No Fall Zone

Postby climbing_rob » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:22 pm

jason.wichman wrote: As for say Quandary, I have heard the slopes are around 30 degrees on the East ridge. Would that be accurate?
I would say no to that; I doubt if it gets much above low/mid-20's, except in a very localized spot or two. Cristo Couloir (the much-steeper south side of Quandary) is only mid-30's (a bit steeper right near the top). I don't have a TOPO handy to check this (roughly), just going by memory having climbed these routes multiple times. Slope angles are generally way-overestimated.
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Re: No Fall Zone

Postby RobertPetrowsky » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:53 pm

If you want an idea of how hard it is to stop on super icy slopes head to Vail. the lift line under chair 5 was the iciest I have ever skied anywhere today. It doesn't go very steep compared to a lot of things I've skied but I'm sure a slip would have resulted in a slide into a tree. On the other hand I've fallen on some pretty steep stuff with powder, at least 45 degrees, and never had a problem stopping.
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Re: No Fall Zone

Postby Jim Davies » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:46 am

Even the Angel of Shavano can be a no-fall zone under the wrong conditions.
Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall — it's great when you stop. -- Chris Darwin
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Re: No Fall Zone

Postby Brian C » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:08 am

I was on Lamb's Slide last fall when it was alpine ice. Pretty attention getting to know that arresting would be impossible even on moderate slopes.
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