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jmckay

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Everything posted by jmckay

  1. It would seem that a group from your neck of the woods had an accident on Guinness Gully in Field, B.C. late yesterday. Not a lot for details. Climbers from the Seattle rescue group what ever that means? The Park wardens received the call around 4:30 pm. To late for the standard heli-sling rescue so they hauled up a stretcher rope and what have you. Patient suffered minor injuries but of a nature that required immobilization. Patient on the way to Calgary 4:30 am and doing fine. Nobody dead if that puts minds at ease.
  2. slipstream

    written in 2002/alpine spam #6 I believe Slipstream: The route has seen some traffic the last little while. It would be reasonably safe to extrapolate (but a dumb thing to count on) the above snow pack to slipstream as they are similar elevations and aspects. Looking through binoculars it would seem that the route is in the best shape it has been in years. Objective hazards on this route are extreme to say the least. The lower part of the route is exposed to falling ice by as many as three or four gullies. I phoned up a friend ...(lets call him “Paul” just because anybody who knows me, knows I wouldn’t hang around with somebody with a stupid name like “Paul” That seems like a safe name to use)... so I phone up “Paul” and ask him if he wanted to do slipstream. “Don’t do slipstream” says Paul. No hesitation in his voice. Says he would feel pretty stupid at the Pearly Gates if he got killed. I explained to him that the reason wouldn’t be “Slip Stream” that they didn’t let him in, it would be because of all the “stupid shit” he done earlier. Slipstream was just the cherry on the sundae. I explained how good the conditions were. Had him wavering but in the end common sense prevailed. Apparently he had a cross word puzzle that was giving him some trouble and he felt he needed to get that done first. I can respect that. I also have decided that I have better things to do with my time than hang out under some ice cap soloing endless miles of grade three ice only to get slowed down by solid grade 4 pitch's. And if I did survive the quicksand and mortar shells I could count on a long, long night out on a wind swept glacier at –20 finding out that there are “worse things than dieing”. Having said that I would take a serious look at the route description. It is more of a high end mountaineering objective. Just because you don't break a sweat on the "French Maid" doesn't mean this route is for you. Be honest with yourself. Would you recognize a mid pack instability if it stared you in the face, you prepared for a open bivi on the glacier at 10,000 feet with -20 temps and some wind. If you answered yes to any of these, have good look at the things you love the most ..that nagging wife... the ugly kids with the milkman's eyes ... your goldfish...your right hand... Whatever it is that makes it worth getting up in the morning, if you want to keep that routine going you may not want to do “Slipstream”. If your doing the route to make a name for yourself you will. On the second page of the Calgary Herald. Slipstream has probably killed more climbers than all the other ice routes combined!! Written in 2002 but still applies.
  3. Mods like to play God so this is the last post to this site
  4. lets drop the Brit columbia for western canada
  5. (Hope all made it out of the storm ok. Sure that some did not. here in banff it snowed all night and we are having the best ski year that anybody can remember. Joe) Just came out from Cayoosh area today. Around 40 cm's of very moist snow at valley bottom elevation (5500ft), I imagine up to 60+ cm's at higher elevations. Tried to get some skiing in still, however as you can imagine there were not to many good turns to be had. Travel was quite difficult and the tree bombs in the Forest made tree skiing out of the question. We managed a few turns in the pillow Field at the end of the road but even this seemed to be pushing it with all the new snow and warm temps. In the few clear moments of the day we could see extensive evidence of a natural cycle going on at all elevations and aspects. I would say stability is Poor in most places. It might be best to stick to another sport for the next few days until the temps cool off. Oh, Ya. The road was very bad too! Craig McGee, Mountain Guide. __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around http://mail.yahoo.com _______________________________________________ These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field. Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.
  6. Western Canada/January

    Post deleted by jmckay
  7. Change this forum post name

    It is sort of trivial so lets rotate the province, lets do Quebec/Canada next mounth and Nanuvet/Canada Yukon and so on and so on the following. I know that the province is just above washington (I think) so it may be tha only one anybody has ever heard of.
  8. Western Canada/January

    Rupert Wedgwood and I spent the last 4 days (Jan 16-19) with a Warden School in Roger's Pass skiing off Mt. Fidelity. The snowpack in the area is approximately 250cm-300cm and very well settled with no significant layers in the lower snowpack. On January 16th the surface hoar was buried by about 15 cm of very low density (20-30 kg/m3) cold dendrites that mixed right into the predominately needle shaped surface hoar crystals. This surface was sluffing fast and far but not slabbing at all except on ridgecrests in the alpine where a thin wind slab formed on the immediate lee features only. About 20cm of denser (70-100 kg/m3) fell on the night of the 18th and morning of the 19th creating an unstable upside down thin soft slab. The denser snow was failing naturally on all steep rolls and banks but was only failing at the dense/less dense interface and not digging down to the Jan 16 layer. As the storm snow settles some more, the Jan 16 layer will likely become the active layer, but due to the nature of the surface hoar and the way it was buried, it will probably not be a long-term persistent weakness. It will definitely require some watching in the short term, however. With the forecast for a couple of low intensity storms and warming temperatures, conditions will be ripe for a skier triggerable slab condition. Brad White Mountain Guide _______________________________________________ These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field. Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information. Pass
  9. Snow Cave question

    Here is some thing that you do not see everyday. The last couple days the park wardens have been digging out a couple bodies from a collapsed snow shelter. Personally this is a first for me though Lisa say's ? she has heard of this before. I have woken up with the roof being 3 inches away from my perfect roman nose. The night before it was 18 inches away. This is the first time that I have heard of anyone dieing in a collapsed snow cave been there done that Mckay
  10. Western Canada/January

    Matt Mueller and I enjoyed a slog-alicious day on the Wapta (Jan 16). We did the so-called "mini" Wapta from Bow Lake to Peyto Lake. Weather at Bow Lake at 8:15am was -14 C with broken skies and light west wind. On the Wapta itself the wind was moderate to strong also from the west. Most of the track to Bow Hut was blown over but trail breaking was easy on stiff wind crust. Above Bow Hut on the glacier, 1 cm of snow over a stiff crust made for easy travel. Ski quality down the Peyto Glacier was variable with a combination of half-decent dust-on-crust turns interspersed with difficult breakable crust. The Peyto Glacier has good snow coverage down the middle. The crevasse sections are obvious and easy to avoid. Once off the glacier, we boot packed up wind scoured moraine past the glaciology station then were able to ski crusty snow down the moraines to the lake. Good travel on Peyto Lake with 5cm of snow over the ice but once in the trees we floundered in bottomless facets back up to the highway. All in all, a fine day of touring but not the place to go if good pow turns are what you desire. Sean Isaac Assistant Alpine Guide
  11. Thhe Kid Rock Show Next week Master Beta hosts lets bash a newbie. Five minutes dedicated to bashing a newbie.
  12. Western Canada/January

    WTF!!! Kid Rock takes over posting
  13. Western Canada/January

    Took a mid day jaunt up and down Evening ridge, above the access road to Whitewater ski area. Nice and sunny and temperatures steady near -12 C. I dug a pit in an open area below treeline at 1580m (5200'), facing SW. Some easy compression test results down 10cm above and below a thin (2mm) crust were not a big concern, being shallow and underlying only loose powder snow. The surface hoar buried on new year's day was found 55cm below the surface, not reactive to my first 2 column tests, and shearing reluctantly in the hard range on the third try. Ski penetration was 15-20cm, Ski quality and snow stability was good, all in all a sweet little tour. Joel McBurney Ski Guide _________________________________________________________________ Share your opinion and enter to win! Please complete this survey to enter into a draw for a grand prize of $500 or one of twenty $50 cash prizes. http://www.youthographyinsiders.com/R.aspx?a=116 _______________________________________________ These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field. Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.
  14. Western Canada/January

    Louise Falls Jan 12th: Very cold and brittle. The left side of the pillar was well hooked out. Jeff Relph tried the right side the same day, and found the ice to be extremely hard...and noted it was steeper than the left as well. The last pitch was quite wet. Weeping Wall Jan 13th: Very fragile surface conditions. Lots of hacking through eggshell like surface to get placements. We came down after starting up pitch 3. Went up Sniveling Gulley afterwards. Waste deep trail breaking between ice pitches (low density snow). The last pitch had similar qualities to Left Hand....lots of chopping through ice layers for placements. Guiness Gulley Jan 14th: Heavy trail breaking up to the climb through low density snow. Once again the ice quality was very poor, and very similar to the weeping wall. Quality of pitch 3 is unknown (probably poor) as the first 2 pitches were quite time consuming. Temperatures were warming to -17 on Guinness Gulley today. Aaron Beardmore Mountain Guide ---------------------------------------------------------------- This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program. _______________________________________________ These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field. Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.
  15. Western Canada/January

    Skiing in the Fernie ski area "near country" for the last week. When I left there was still a fair amount of wind effect on all aspects due to the southerly winds during the storm and northerly winds when the arctic air moved in. These variable winds formed atypical loading patterns, leaving bits of hard wind slab all over the place. However, these slabs never seemed very reactive to skis and only large loads such as cornice falls were triggering them earlier in the week. That said, there were large cornices looming over most NE slopes. When I left on Saturday the thinking was that the wind slabs were weakening with the cold temperatures and that they are less likely to propagate as a result. In some north aspect areas there was also a surface hoar layer buried about 70cm down that was generally unreactive to tests. South slopes had plenty of buried crusts. The November crust was not widespread in Fernie and as a result the area was not included in the recent CAA avalanche warning. We were avoiding areas with large cornices above, thinner snowpack areas, and unsupported terrain. Mark Klassen Mountain Guide _______________________________________________ These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field. Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.
  16. Western Canada/January

    Skied to the upper end of Hospital Bowl today to do a profile to ground. Temperatures were -18 at 2540 meters, with light wind, and sunshine. Of note, there is an easy shear down 25cm within the storm snow (sudden collapse), however the surface slab does not yet seem cohesive enough to propagate - yet. The mid-pack was very strong, however the rain crust from November is still persisting. Although shears are hard, they are clean and fast when they do fail. Heavy loads such as cornice fall might be enough to propagate large avalanches on this layer still. The snowpack has settled considerably, from nearly hip deep last week, to boot top today. Syl Forest Mountain Guide. _______________________________________________ These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field. Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.
  17. Western Canada/January

    From Dec 30 to Jan 13 Icefall lodge received 186 cm mainly in 20 cm intervals. The snow quality was amazing though made for difficult travel at times. The Snowpack upon arrival was found to be well settled and stable. There were some instabilities in storm snow interfaces earlier in the week that were subsequently strengthened through settling and bonding. Throughout the 2 week period we only saw evidence of climax avalanche activity during storm and shortly after with a few Skier controlled soft slab size 1 to 1.5 on steep unsupported and cross loaded feature that later in second week was no longer reactive. Two wind events created surprisingly very little isolated alpine soft slabs which many are now diffused by a week of cool temps and continued settling. Coverage from Treeline to Alpine was 240cm to 3Meters. Crevasse well bridged and filled in. The Arctic high has caused some faceting 15-20 cm down especially in shallow and wind exposed affected, though it seemed to be a fairly good bond. Conclusion: Very stable snowpack from alpine to below treeline, some isolated soft slabs lurking in heavily lee and crossloaded zones. The major hazard at this point I suspect will be from the fact that the snowpack is so well settled as a single unit that a very large trigger such as a cornice or high explosive could trigger a major event down to ground on steep unsupported features or where the ground cover is ice for example. There are large cornices which held in the cold snap and will become I suspect an important hazard to note when the forecasted temperatures begin to rise early this week. Totally amazing skiing, pow and terrain, YO! Eric Dumerac ACMG Assis. Ski Guide/Assis. Alpine Guide
  18. Western Canada/January

    Very strong winds from the west in the alpine today quickly loaded lee slopes. We cut several small avalanches in steep rolls above 1400 m. It was only -9 at 1400 m, but -13 at the lodge and 1000 m. There are now numerous windslabs lurking in lee features. Skiing quality is still very good in the trees, but wind affected in the alpine. -- Christoph Dietzfelbinger Mountain Guide IFMGA Bear Mountaineering and the Burnie Glacier Chalet Box 4222 Smithers, B.C. Canada V0J 2N0 tel. 250-847-3351 fax 250-847-2854 info@bearmountaineering.ca www.bearmountaineering.ca
  19. Western Canada/January

    Skied a loop through the E col/Circle Lk/Spearhead Gl area with Jia today. Yesterdays 100+ km winds made the snow surface pretty variable (wind slabs) but we did find good skiing high on a W aspect of Spearhead Gl. Temps are getting cool < -15. Saw 1 natural avalanche off the N aspect of Spearhead Pk. Blackcomb patrol's explosives had released a few unsupported slabs above the Blackcomb Glacier in the AM. Dug a pit in a W aspect slope on the Spearhead Glacier - found easy and moderate mostly planar results in the upper 50cm of storm snow. Skiing was quite good low in Husume. I'm thinking the Hazard/Stability in the Alpine is Considerable/Fair for the area we skied in. Dave Sarkany, Ski Guide
  20. Western Canada/January

    The arctic air has arrived and temperatures have dropped to -18 degrees in the alpine. Winds were light from the E today. Today we ski cut a size 1 and a size 1.5 slab in a steep wind affected moraine slope. Our profiles show a consistent easy shear about 20 cm down and another harder shear about 30-40 cm down. We saw no new natural activity, but the visibility was not great yet. Older activity would have been covered and blown in by the strong winds and snowfalls of the last few days. We saw some older slabs from under cornices. There seem to be no deep instabilities. We recommend to be cautious in steep windloaded slopes. Skiing quality is excellent. Mark Bender and Christoph Dietzfelbinger -- Christoph Dietzfelbinger Mountain Guide IFMGA Bear Mountaineering and the Burnie Glacier Chalet Box 4222 Smithers, B.C. Canada V0J 2N0 tel. 250-847-3351 fax 250-847-2854 info@bearmountaineering.ca www.bearmountaineering.ca _______________________________________________ These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field. Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.
  21. Western Canada/January

    The Crew from the Canada/New Zealand Semester and I spent the last 3 days in the Healy Creek area (Jan 8-10). We skied in before the storm and noticed a large natural size 2 avalanche that had run well into the trees of the second major slide path. During our stay we measured 50 cm of storm snow, moderate to strong winds at tree line and heard numerous natural avalanches through out the storm. This new snow brought the total snow depth to close to 2 meters at tree line...not bad for this area at this time of year. We saw boot top to knee deep trail breaking in lots of wind effected snow. On our ski out today we avoided the two major slide paths by going lower than the regular summer trail. Be careful in the next few days! Jesse de Montigny Assistant Ski guide Assistant Alpine Guide
  22. times must be a changin, I can remember driving out with my wife who is a donut eatin coffee suckin do nothin and placing notes on all the vehicles at rampart the night before. Of course if they had americain plates we didn't bother. I guess they stay the same in some ways. ]
  23. Western Canada/January

    Post deleted by jmckay
  24. Western Canada/January

    For better or for worse, there is now internet access at the Burnie Glacier Chalet. When we arrived, there were 200 cm of snow on the ground and amazing mushrooms had formed on the buildings. We received 22 cm in the last 24 hours and snowfall is continuing. The temperature is steady around -5 degrees. There is a lot of wind transport from the NW. We are hearing numerous avalanches from the steep north facing hut cliffs. Ski cutting at the top of a 37 degree moraine slope yielded a size 1.5 soft slab than ran fast and far. About 25 m wide and 5 to 15 cm deep. In less wind exposed areas, there was only sluffing. The foot penetration was 90 cm. We saw evidence of past avalanches that surprised me by their size. I have not dug a pit yet, but suspect that we are mostly looking at instability in the storm snow. That is getting to the point of being a concern. Skiing quality was excellent. Alders and creeks are entirely filled in. No observations in the alpine so far. -- Christoph Dietzfelbinger Mountain Guide IFMGA Bear Mountaineering and the Burnie Glacier Chalet Box 4222 Smithers, B.C. Canada V0J 2N0 tel. 250-847-3351 fax 250-847-2854 info@bearmountaineering.ca www.bearmountaineering.ca _______________________________________________ These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field. Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.
  25. Snow Cave question

    Been quite awhile since I have done any of that kind of camping but i can remeber a few things fom the distant past. Most of which matt has pointed out to you. 1 Gor-tex and down- I had a winter bag that had such an outer shell but what I found was rather then the moisture getting in from the top it stayed in from bottom. Course some of these trips were a week or longer and you accumulate a lot of water in your clothing. the moisture seemed to recrystalze just below the gor membrane. these were a lot dryer climates then what you west coast newfies are used to. In the end I switched to a two bag syatem with a outer over bag collecting the moisture which I found easier to dry. The inner was stil down. i think the outer was that real light chiounard thingy.lighter down bag as my main bag. 2 curved roof on a snow cave but i was always so soaked by the end of digging one that I took up igloo building, They are not as hard as they look but then I am a Canadian half/breed so it may be in the jeans. 3 The cave seemed to get claustraphobic as most roofs seemed to sag after a few days (sometimes less). I accounted this to moisture gathering in the ceiling. 4 poor mans snow cave- If i was in a hurry and had a reasonable quarry i would dig a trench wide enough for two then wedge blocks in a triangle as a ceiling then shovel snow back over the ceiling. If yeh got no igloo jeans these might be easier. 5 Digging into the leaside- this has been mentioned but worth repeating. stay a bit drier. didn't do this on baffin once and found that the wind decided it wanted my to relocate my cave to Greenland 6 shovel the cieling into a nice smooth dome shape- Nothing more annoying them having water dripping down in the middle of the night. This when it seemed to happen to me, guess it took awhile for te ceiling to become saturated.
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