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Thread: Wet Weather And Avalanch Danger.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Default Wet Weather And Avalanch Danger.

    Stay safe all, this rain is going to leave a layer of ice and when the next snow comes it will be really unstable.

    By the time Arctic Man comes around there could be a few feet of snow on top of this ice sheild and it won't take much to break it loose.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reminder, Rock.

    Yessir, when the snows finally return the avalanche danger is going to remain high, and not just in the hills either. With the ice layer you speak of even places like creek bottoms and small ravines could become death traps.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Next snow? You mean in November?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_skipper View Post
    Stay safe all, this rain is going to leave a layer of ice and when the next snow comes it will be really unstable.

    By the time Arctic Man comes around there could be a few feet of snow on top of this ice sheild and it won't take much to break it loose.
    I suggest you take an avalanche course...this is not an educational site or comment.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aksnowmo View Post
    I suggest you take an avalanche course...this is not an educational site or comment.
    Not sure what you are refering to sir?

    I see you are in Girdwood and seem to know about such things.

    But as far as calling me an idiot on snow and ice, I would like you to kinda explain yourself.

    And for your information, this is a edcuational site.

    I have over 50 years of living in Alaska, but I am always ready to learn something new.

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    Member icb12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_skipper View Post
    Not sure what you are refering to sir?

    I see you are in Girdwood and seem to know about such things.

    But as far as calling me an idiot on snow and ice, I would like you to kinda explain yourself.

    And for your information, this is a edcuational site.

    I have over 50 years of living in Alaska, but I am always ready to learn something new.
    No comment on the pissing match.

    However your original post isn't necessarily true. With continuing cold weather the snowpack will only keep increasing its strength. Already it's become a LOT stronger than it was a couple weeks ago.
    Sure there is a deep slab problem in higher elevations- but even that is trending toward lower risk/higher consequence. You could trigger a slide in the shallower spots, but for the most part things are getting better.

    The ice doesn't make for fun sledding or skiing, and it is awfully hard to self arrest on if you fall- IE You're going for a ride if you fall.

    Avalanche conditions if/when new snows falls on top of this stuff will depend on how well the new snow bonds to what we have now.
    In all actuality- if any new snow bonds well with what we have now, we could be looking towards a fairly skookum snowpack going into the late season. This frozen base is getting deeper and stronger every day it stays cold.

    Basically- your original statement; while it most certainly could prove to be true (the frozen layer could indeed be a nice bed surface for any new snow to slide on) that isn't necessarily the case. It's a little premature to be predicting avalanche conditions. Any avalanche hazard needs to be evaluated on a specific time and location basis; taking into account the snowpack, the weather, the terrain and all the human factors involved.

    P.S.- You spelled "educational" incorrectly... Which I thought was pretty funny.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    First of all thanks for correcting my spelling, ( like I could give a sh@t about that,)

    So lets get this straight, the 50 degree weather that occured over the Hoo-doo hills is a good thing?

    There will be probably be another 2 feet of snow or more before the race, and the surrounding hills will be a playground for people that have no idea of what they are getting into.

    Do you want to sit here and tell them that there is no danger?

    A little caution is a good thing, you can take your last ride because you did'nt think twice.

    http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/air-gu...z/-/index.html

    This was'nt due to a Avalanche, but I would guess ( I don't know ) it had to do with ice.

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    Member alaskankid13's Avatar
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    Want to know how I can tell we don't have much snow for snowmachining?

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    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    I work with the guys brother who got hurt. The injury was a result of the snow conditions. After he fell off his sled his legs broke through the hard snow crust and his body kept moving forward. Snapped both lower leg bones in half and busted up his knee. If the snow hadn't been setup so hard he would have just got back on his sled and kept riding.

    The troopers put the entire groups lives in danger. Two hours after making the call for help the troopers notified them that they did not have any resources to help them and there was nothing they could do. They then called the Air National Guard directly and got help on the way. By this time it was dark and the temperatures were dropping. He is going to give me the direct number to the National Guard for future reference.

    It sounds like the Guard went out of their way using parachute flares and spotlights to land on the glacier in the dark and then coordinated a mid air refueling to get the guy back to Anchorage.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    Member icb12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_skipper View Post
    First of all thanks for correcting my spelling, ( like I could give a sh@t about that,)

    So lets get this straight, the 50 degree weather that occured over the Hoo-doo hills is a good thing?

    There will be probably be another 2 feet of snow or more before the race, and the surrounding hills will be a playground for people that have no idea of what they are getting into.

    Do you want to sit here and tell them that there is no danger?

    A little caution is a good thing, you can take your last ride because you did'nt think twice.

    http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/air-gu...z/-/index.html

    This was'nt due to a Avalanche, but I would guess ( I don't know ) it had to do with ice.
    First of all- You're welcome. BTW; I wasn't being a dick, I just thought the Irony there was funny.

    NO-50 Degree temps are not a good thing. Tempature increases bring about a significant amount of instability with them. As does rain.
    What I am saying is that a snowpack that wams up and becomes saturated with rain/water; and then re-freezes is actually quite strong. This is straight out of the book Snow Sense (and excellent read for anyone who plays in avalanche country).
    So the base we have now is a solid crust of saturated refrozen snow in spots over 2' thick. This base is a pretty stable snowpack in and of itself.
    I am also saying that any avalanche hazard associated with new snow on top of the crust is related to how well the new snow bonds to the crust. IF it bonds well-the avalanche hazard could remain fairly low. If it doesn't, then your original scenario could be valid.

    I am also saying that it is innappropriate to predict an avalanche hazard for a scenario that doesn't exist yet. You wont know for sure what kind of hazard there is until you are there, on site, on that day, evaluating the terrain, the weather, the snowpack, and the human factors.

    Also- Anybody who plays in Avalanche country SHOULD have an idea of what they are getting into. Playing in avalanche country in ignorance is dangerous. I recommend any and all snowmachiners/skiers/snow boarders who ride in the mountains take the time and money to educate themselves. Read the books, take the classes, ride with experienced folks. Knowledge won't keep you safe, but it helps you make the decisions that will.

    Another thing- I would never say that there is no danger. Any slope over 25 can slide; and therefore carries a certain amount of inherent risk.

    I would agree a little caution IS a good thing. It's healthy. Caution and respect for mother nature are called for during ANY adventure in the mountains. Mother Nature can be a cruel unforgiving *****.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    icb12, after you pointed it out, I kinda found it funny myself.

    The point of this topic was just to have the people think twice about where the route will take them.

    Graylingslayer, hope the guy heals up fine, it can happen to anyone.

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