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TrogdortheBurninator

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About TrogdortheBurninator

  • Rank
    Pooh-Bah
  • Birthday 01/18/1980

Converted

  • Homepage
    http://zclipped.com
  • Occupation
    SCIENCE
  • Location
    no longer between Ricks and the Vu
  1. Dan Helmstadter TRs - Photo restoration

    So much sickness!
  2. Applauding risk acceptance beyond your own limits

    Gets back to that frequency argument though. A smaller risk at a higher frequency can give a shorter expectancy than a larger risk with lower frequency.
  3. Applauding risk acceptance beyond your own limits

    I'm not sure it's quite that black and white. Luck is a benefit for both the subjective risks and the objective risks. In the case of something like freerider, you still have risks like rock fall and broken holds. The likelihood of those is perhaps less than encountered in alpine envions, but the consequence is pretty absolute. Also, dont forget that Honnold has practiced his craft in patagonia and other alpine environs. A quick look at the fate of a number of pure-rock soloists still reveals that it is a risky endeavor. Were Bachar or Hersey unlucky on the days they passed away?
  4. Applauding risk acceptance beyond your own limits

    I'm happy to accept that Rad's calculator was oversimplified for fatal events. Do you know if it is even suitable for ball park estimates? I tried to dig deeper, but couldn't really come up with a good formula/method. For comparison, I did a bit of googling on base jumping. Apparently, base jumping has a death rate on the order of 1 death / 2000 jumps (contrast with the 1 death / 100,000 ski tours targeted by R=1 in the link from above: http://arc.lib.montana.edu/snow-science/objects/issw-2012-501-505.pdf). This provides a bit more context for the unacceptability of a 0.1 % failure rate in fatal-outcome activities. I would not climb/rappel if I thought rappelling was twice as deadly as base jumping on a per rappel basis. I tried to find complete statistics for rappel deaths/failures, but came up a bit short. On Steph's website (http://www.stephabegg.com/home/projects/accidentstats) she says that rappelling accounts for ~3 % of mountaineering accidents, but doesnt differentiate injuries/deaths. Another point of contrast, mountaineering on denali has a fatality rate of 0.063/1000 hrs of performance - how many hours are in 2000 base jumps? I bring up risk assessment because I feel that it is poorly understood at the true upper levels of mountain sport (e.g. throw out guided parties on 8000m peaks etc). The further we get from typical/average behavior, the less accurate our understanding of risk becomes. I think it is extremely difficult to compare the risk exposure of Honnold versus Marc, versus ColinH, versus Loren. Its a combination of frequency of exposure and specific hazards of each objective. If somebody came to you and said that your particular approach gives you a mean predicted life span of a couple years, would you change behavior? Taking it a step further, is there a level of risk where instead of applauding, we should just stay quiet? Is there a level where friends/family should intervene?
  5. Applauding risk acceptance beyond your own limits

    I’d consider a risky activity to be anything where your choices influence the likelihood of death or bodily harm. You could just as easily consider broader outcomes like financial consequence etc. I do pay some attention to risk in these activities as a benchmark to compare higher risk activities to. I’m comfortable with the risk of driving. I always wear a seatbelt and I prefer cars with airbags to mitigate risk. If I came to a realization that my skiing or climbing risks were 100 or 1000x higher than my driving risk, I would absolutely change things up in my behavior. A factor of a couple seems like a reasonable price though for these experiences.
  6. Applauding risk acceptance beyond your own limits

    Avalanche forecasting correlates quite well with the probability of triggering an avalanche - this is proven. If it were 100% accurate, backcountry travel would be trivial. It is really difficult to discuss or assess risk without accepting that it is a game of probabilities and uncertainties. If you start weighting anecdotal evidence (e.g. I saw an avalanche once where somebody said there shouldn’t be one), while ignoring all the times that you didn’t see an avalanche when there shouldn’t be one, you lose sight of the problem. That makes risk assessment impossible. The value of statistics, is that even in the presence of imprecise data, you can draw valid conclusions. I also hate to break it to you that every time you engage in a risky activity you are staking your life on an equation. It is up to you whether you want to go into it with some idea of what that the equation predicts, or even which variables affect it.
  7. Applauding risk acceptance beyond your own limits

    Really glad to hear you’ve been able to battle the cancer. The conundrum it sets up between taking accepted risks while climbing versus beating the uncontrollable risk of illness is really tough to comprehend.
  8. Applauding risk acceptance beyond your own limits

    Not to beat a dead horse, but 0.1 % failure rate rappelling is no where near acceptable. That would give you a 65 % chance of failure over a relatively modest 1000 rappels. That seems like a typical 1-5 years for an avid climber. Maybe less for some folks.
  9. Applauding risk acceptance beyond your own limits

    The basic idea is that for avalanche risk, you have a hazard rating (H = 1-5 = Low-Extreme). That rating sets a base line hazard for the day. Then you can take steps to reduce your exposure to that hazard (lower angle slopes, avoiding N aspects / problem aspects, controlling group size and travel habits). The steps are given a corresponding reduction factor RF. The equation is risk R=2^H/(product(RF)). At R=1, you get to the 1/100,000 likelihood of dying on that tour. At R=2, 1/50,000, and so on. The table in your link does a good job of distilling those daily odds into lifetime likelihood based on ski days / year. So, if you like the idea of having a 99/100 chance of not dying in an avalanche in your life, and you ski 20 days a year, and you plan to ski for 50 years, you need to average R=1. If you think you have a 99/100 chance of not dying in an avalanche, but you run some quick calcs and see that you are averaging say R=3, it might be time to revisit your basic big picture behaviors. I like the simplicity of the tool for pointing out how a rather trivial decision can quantitatively affect the risk you expose your self to. For example, how much more dangerous is it to always ski 37 deg terrain vs 33 deg terrain - turns out its a factor of 2. What does group size do to risk? I don't calculate a munter risk for every tour, but I do think a lot about how it is the accumulation of risky behavior that catches up with us, not a single risky decision. I try to be honest about the risk I expose myself to, and I try to honestly assess what risk I am willing to accept. In skiing, most of the time you will get away with bad decisions, so having a statistical framework around decision making, rather than waiting on bad consequences from your bad decisions can be helpful. I think rock climbing is quite a bit different. For R/X trad or free solo we generally go into it with a strong sense of technical ability and likelihood of success based on well protected climbs performed in the past. For example, what's the likelihood I'll fail on a 5.4, 5.6, 5.8, etc. Am I comfortable soloing or running it out given what I think those odds are? What if I'm off by a factor of 10, is that still acceptable risk to me? In contrast, if I tried to solo 5.14, there would be a 100 % risk of failure. Alpine climbing gets more complicated. There is no simple avy report for alpine climbing. And as I complained above, there isn't really great data that breaks down the risk factors (beyond say 8000 m peaks vs not). So instead, you get the gut feelings about risk exposure described above.
  10. Applauding risk acceptance beyond your own limits

    Life is unpredictable for a single individual, but quite predictable for a sub-pupulation (e.g. excessive risk takers). Reardon lived a very high risk life, and passed away unfortunately early. Leclerc even more so. I saw this discussion, and thought of the exact same paper (and just the general 3x3 risk reduction concept). It is striking how absent (or at least unknown) these concepts and data are in climbing compared to backcountry skiing. Perhaps because in skiing, so much emphasis is placed on a single hazard (avalanches), it makes it easier to distill the root cause and look at objective statistics. The equivalent in alpine climbing would be to control for things like team size, roped/unroped, weather conditions, avalanche forecast, terrain type (ice, mixed, rock, glaciated), elevation. It would be a worthy objective to investigate risk in climbing, but I dont think a google survey is the correct approach. Rather, vigorous mining of international climbing accident and participation data is probably the only way to come up with something objectively equivalent.
  11. This place is like Monte Cristo

    I wrote an extension in chrome that replaces real facebook names with cc.com avatars. It's like nothing has changed, except Alpinfox never posts anything. Wish I could spend more time cascade-climbing so I could spend more time on cascadeclimbers.com.
  12. Rad! Can't believe we walked away from the base of that one thinking it was a choss pile. Blake was questioning his ability to spot lines after our go. Guess his intuition was right and we just didn't act enough like we were having fun!
  13. [TR] Mount Rainier - Sunrise 6/28/2015

    Huge sendfestz!!
  14. I'm making the switch

    Is NDrake Nick Drake? I snowboarded a bit with a Nick Drake in the late 90s or so (probably at snoqualmie and alpental IIRC). Coincidentally, I made the snowboard to ski switch a few years back myself. For me, as my interests focused more on combining climbing and sliding on snow, it just made more sense. Some minor regrets, but not many...
  15. Chris Greyell

    Oh no Chris was an amazing source of inspiration for Darrington stoke. Sincere condolences to his family and all those who knew him well.
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