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Chris Hopkins

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Everything posted by Chris Hopkins

  1. Washington Pass conditions report

    And here is a email response from nwac to that observation poster concerning the observation that I'm talking about in the above posts. While I never found this policy statement on their web site concerning the recreational observation page, I think it should clarify what the intent of the page is. I'm also happy to see that nwac is open to " debate and criticism when it's offered in a civil manor". That is after all the intent behind my writing. To have an open, honest discussion free from personal attack on how the system can better serve Public Safety and become inclusive of all points of view. "This page is> intended for the sharing of snowpack, weather, and avalanche observations,> and not for use as a forum regarding NWAC, its staff, its industry> partnerships, or its products.>> That said, we welcome debate and criticism when it is offered in a civil> manner. Although we don't currently have a dedicated forum for public input...."
  2. Article: Complexity Decreases Situation Awareness, Increases Human Error

    Here is my pm to another member here discussing the linked article above. I edited for clarification. Warning contains adult content. Check your Prejudice at the door. This post is in no way meant to be a vendetta against mr. Scruggs or NWAC. The Scruggs article was a puff piece, which included two significant errors. The first one is that he reported rain crusts as being weak layers and become buried pwls. Raincrusts are not weak layers or considered PWLs. Raincrusts are actually very strong layers, so much so that they become bed surfaces, sliding surfaces. It is the snow layer directly above and below those crusts, depending upon Crystal type, bond strength and metamorphism factors that favor facet growth, that are considered to be pwls ( persistent weak layers). The second error in that article is the picture of the skier standing on top of a large cornice feature. While it's true that the skier is standing back from the cornice, cornices can break further back then one might expect. Maybe someone should have proof read that article for him. In the Scruggs article, nwac does make a valid point when asking the question of why people don't heed Avalanche warnings. One factor that your brother and I have discussed is nwac's downplaying of the risk hazard by including such phrases as low-probability High consequence Avy triggers when discussing deep slab instability. I'd like to see them actually put a number to that low-probability, if that's their claim. Another Factor would be the fact that nwac does not report accurately. The phrase "skier trigger"and "near Washington Pass" as described in one of their forecast discussions is not accurate for the incident that was reported to nwac and "generically" described in their forecast discussion. nwac had the factual information on hand for that near-miss Avalanche incident and relayed that fact to a friend of mine in an email. The facts are that the nwac reported on their forcast "skier trigger" which was actually a guide partial burial.That is different from a skier trigger. That is a near-miss Avalanche incident. That near-miss Avalanche incident occurred at Harts pass, not near Washington Pass as reported by nwac. The exact location of that incident should be included in a full analysis report that would meet the standard of professionalism for reporting a near-miss Avalanche incident. that incident should also have been included in the annual Avalanche summary, it was not. Why is that not being done? Also Nwac needs to focus on why most people don't post observations. Note that specific facts for the above discussed near-miss Avalanche incident are available upon request.
  3. Washington Pass conditions report

    Jon, I reread my posts and no where do I see anything that could be construed as a vendetta against TAY or nwac. I quoted that TAY thread because it was actually very complementary of my TAY thread writing and pointed to a fact, by the Tay owner himself, that NWAC members were pressuring Tay concerning my writing. All I see is factual informational reporting concerning observations from the Washington Pass area. I also threw in a situational awareness tip, like keeping an eye out for other people in the backcountry when they aren't keeping an eye out for each other. Perhaps those that see Vendetta in my writing are coming to my threads with prejudice?
  4. Washington Pass conditions report

    I'm new here Jon, should I have placed this factual information that concerns Public Safety in the "spray" Zone instead. But I am interested in your argument on how you believe that what I'm talking about is as you say "conjecture". Could you be more specific? Because it seems like when you accuse someone of a continued Vendetta, that sounds like conjecture and leans towards a personal attack. Maybe it would have been better to contact me via a personal message concerning this? I'm very open to civil discussions and debate, however that doesn't seem to be the norm at these types of sites when it concerns controversial Public Safety issues. I was pretty specific when I first started posting here that cc would be harboring a Divergent point of view. For some reason I thought your site was different and was open to intelligent debate. Am I wrong? From the TAY site owner. "Many of his posts contain valuable discussions, even if sometimes extremely controversial."
  5. Washington Pass conditions report

    So nwac contacted the. 4-4 observation poster quoted above and told that person that they were going to edit the observation because they did not have a pro observer in the area. The following phrase was edited out of observation. "Pro Observer spotted at Blue pk cornice and exposed 35 deg. + open snowfield approach under cornice on 4-3 , no report filed ? For me it begs the question on why nwac did not contact me when they deleted my observation that was posted on March 2nd concerning two significant Avalanches that I observed on March 1st. Those two natural release avalanches that I observed were an indication of weak bonding strength between the new snow and the old snow, one of which had a start Zone on a wind loaded Ridge and ran 800 vert feet. I had also reported that we came across fresh skier tracks in the vicinity of the very fresh debris pile and did a quick transceiver search just to be sure. Two days after my observation was posted and then pulled from the nwac site (I believe on March 3rd) we suffered our very first BC skier Avalanche related fatality in my home area on the east side of the North Cascade crest.(east of rainy pass) Although I contacted nwac for an explanation on why they deleted my observation, I never received an email back from them. My observation included my email address and my phone number. And remember the reason why my posts and threads over the last 7 years at TAY were deleted was because of nwac member pressure. http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=40285.25 Posts: 227 WWW Re: helli ski info « Reply #38 on: 03/24/18, 04:09 PM » I’ll try adding some more detail than I did i my last post. Marcus messaged me privately about HFNC / Freeski on March 8th. I asked him about deleting topics and posts as a simple question and he just went ahead and did it point blank. I realize that Marcus should not have been involved in the first place, but it seems that NWAC members reached out to him rather than Micah or myself. This is not putting blame on Marcus, Freeski should have just been banned temporarily or permanently. Many of his posts contain valuable discussions, even if sometimes extremely controversial. Nwac remains silent on this issue.
  6. [TR] Goat Mountain - SW route 03/31/2018

    That's a cool feature with the photos. Beautiful Terrain. The dude in the Healey Hansen jacket and his partner look familiar to me. Have you been up to the east side North Cascades along hwy 20 and met a guy that looks like an old curmudgeonly, homeless crack addict? That would be me.
  7. Washington Pass conditions report

    observation from the nwac site for yesterday .posted here in case nwac decides to delete another significant observation. note, this is not my nwac obs. I did observe the two gentleman on 4-3 picking up helicopter landing stakes from the area and climbing under the top cornice and off to the lookers left wall side where one of the gentlemen fell into a hole, at the rock wall snow interface, up to his waist after taking off skis to Boot the rest of the pitch. When the lead climber reached the top it appeared that he no longer had eyes on his partner while his partner was climbing the last critical step. He was however under continual observation by me and my partner and we did not leave the area while that climber was exposed. "Recreational Observation Liberty Bowl , N.face. Climbed LaCHAPELL avy cord safe rt. Decended "Carpetbaggers Cash" run. Pro Observer spotted at Blue pk cornice and exposed 35 deg. + open snowfield approach under cornice on 4-3 , no report filed ? April 4, 2018, 3:33 p.m. PST Weather: Snowing , lt .wind 34 deg. increasing snow. Snowpack: 8" soft warm snow over crust and wind affected surface . No pit diggers present. Area Description: Hwy 20 , NCH , Washington Pass. Avalanches: Natural release off E. face above Blue lake creek . D2 / D3 / R1 and many falling blocks of cornice chunks and ice reaching road from all L.B. chutes and some Cuthroat Chutes. Observation by Huggin ,Munnin and Yehl Latitude: 48.508276 Longitude: -120.658421 Did you see any avalanches?Yes Did you trigger any avalanches? No Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? No
  8. Article: Complexity Decreases Situation Awareness, Increases Human Error

    Here is a test "on the wrong picture of what's going on" Consider the following quote from a recent online article. Is the information correct? https://crosscut.com/2018/04/avalanche-forecasters-grapple-deadly-season "Thin lines running horizontally indicated rain storms over the last few months of winter weather that were buried in the snowpack. On the surface, skiers might know these as rain crusts that make for bad skiing. Once buried, these so-called “weak layers” might not hold when skiers or a snowmobile glide on top of them, causing the entire snowpack above to slide."
  9. Article: Complexity Decreases Situation Awareness, Increases Human Error

    Yea, seems Elementary. Yet, How many times have we heard after a near miss or fatal avalanche accident that group did not see any signs of instability and the group though that they did everything right including digging a pit, and yet something was obviously missed. Or one of the members of a bc skier group was hit by an avalanche triggered by the second skier or so skier, because they had not found an island of safety (or didn't think there was a need) in avalanche Terrain while waiting for the rest of the group to descend. Situational awareness is a skill that needs to be practiced and good habits formed. That would include practicing best safety protocols even while away from the mountains such as putting the phone down in the car and focusing on the critical task at hand. "When we look at where people screw up....., they’re often doing the right decision for what they think is happening, but they have the wrong picture of what’s going on."
  10. Washington Pass conditions report

    Yesterday at blue peak area, north face. 6" new at 6500' previous night. snow and sun showers with wind gusts contributing to Crossload wind slab formation and drifts in places. Since I was solo' I avoided "Good2Go" bowl that day but still managed to find myself in one spot I didn't like. Fortunately I was able to ski a bit of steeper wind scour to avoid skiing the adjacent wind transported snow slope.
  11. Lots of hikers

    A friend of mine estimated that 600 people were on the Maple Pass Loop one day (hwy20 rainy pass) during the fall larch color change. He based his estimate on the number of parked cars. The lot was full with cars parked along the exit road shoulder, and a quarter mile. along hwy 20 in each direction. I know a lot of people, including myself, are heading off trail as a result of the over crowding. A lot of us have been around long enough to witness the times before the spiderwork of social and climber trails developed, some of which I have contributed to reinforcing. Of course the result is poorly executed steep trails that erode and pass through sensitive areas. Is the solution more developed trails, or take a number and queue up for your start time?
  12. US Government bans Dru

    When I saw the movie 'Minority Report', with all its Iris scanning on the streets and by nano bots and targeted advertisements , I thought yeah that's where we're heading in some shape or form. Let's enjoy what we have while we have it. You never know when your entire 7-year history is going to get censored and deleted from a website, because you upset the status quo. Will that site's action keep me from entering Canada at somepoint? Will I have to explain the circumstances at the border? It would be like " yeah I was talking about Public Safety and...". The following pic is from the movie "Brazil".
  13. Grant Money to police climbers+

    Peace out.
  14. Skiiers vs snowboarders

    That looks like a old video and attitudes have changed, except at Alta of course. I think there's little doubt that snowboarding had revitalized cash flow to ski areas. (I'm not a snowboarder by the way.) With the invention of the splitboard, opinions in the backcountry also have changed because skier skin tracks getting post holed by snowshoes or boots is less common these days. I remember back in the early 80s when I first got into leather boots and skinny Telemark skis, a few alpine skiers would approach me to tell me my turns were too wide and that maybe I should stay out of the ski areas and head off-piste. It's not the snowboards or even the Telemark skis that were the problem. Attitude is everything.
  15. Music at your Memorial Service

    Don't desire a service, but I'm kind of partial to Brian Eno's, 'an ending (ascent)'. If I die in the mountains by avalanche (not my plan btw), i would hope there would be a lessons learned discussion concerning the f-up I made by my peers on line. Don't hold back on my account. I would also hope that nwac would respect my wishes and let my Bro's do any formal analysis in feet and inches so any report could be understood, you know, in this country . Irishmen typically go out with a party. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo:_Atmospheres_and_Soundtracks "This music was originally recorded in 1983 for a feature-length documentary movie called "Apollo" later retitled For All Mankind, directed by Al Reinert." you all have some interesting threads here.
  16. Applauding risk acceptance beyond your own limits

    Agree. Understanding the basic science of stable-unstable systems and the variables that affect that system are helpful in performing risk analysis. Snow, (complex natural system)stability-instability is an energy equation with many variables to consider. I find it useful to know what those variables are within the system, how they interact, and keep track of those variables as consistently as possible. Pits can not and should not be considered a short cut to what really needs to be learned and the time needed to observe the mountains. I wonder how many people give pits alot of weight in risk analysis, even though all the material on the subject warns against that practice? For a simple read at k-12 level (my level) https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://ngss.sdcoe.net/Disciplinary-Core-Ideas/DCI-Physical-Sciences/PS2C-Stability-and-Instability-in-Physical-Systems&ved=2ahUKEwjAqZ3m8oraAhUDzmMKHWhuAn8QFjAAegQICBAB&usg=AOvVaw297Ih2hWtyCP2zm6REpEZG Story to convey just a few variables. A friend of mine, years ago, dug a pit at the top of south side Blue Peak, Wa Pass, after the group skied and skinned back up. He cracked the supporting crust, most likely at the weakest point on that slope and the whole slope avalanched to the ground and ran it's historical path down to Copper Creek. Based upon consistant observation of the variables at the time, that slope was off my "to do list". I was skiing same south aspects at lower altitutudes, less steep, more anchors, Same basel weak layer typical of early snow followed by extended artic air mass.