/ The New York Times: ‘Snow Fall | The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek
There are six beautifully designed chapters in all, filled with informational graphics, videos and photos.
Tragic account, beautifully done
Will be reading this later Mick , Thank you .
It's an excellent piece of work about a very sad accident.
I agree Matt.
Tim Kemple...USA climber and photo-journalist said:
"A comprehensive looks at last years tragedy at Tunnel Creek. One of the most impressive pieces of (multimedia) journalism that I have seen in a long time. In depth, sad, informative and extremely relevant. A must read for anyone who'd ever strapped boards to their feet and pointed them downhill."
Not sure if it has been linked here before. Doesn't make for happy reading; it was written by one of the people involved and is quite personal.
Content aside, the NYT page is an amazing piece of work; really shows the potential of web-based publishing in a way that the usual text'n'video does not. I hope we see more of this sort of thing in future, though hopefully not the same subject.
Thought provoking and very poignant.
A very important lesson in group psychology, bought at considerable cost
Thanks Ken. I hadn't seen that.
This was interesting:
Q. I was riveted by this terrific narrative and the accompanying visuals. It left me wondering about the connection between the air bags deployed by Ms. Saugstad and her survival. Is there any information about their effectiveness in an avalanche. — 57pm, Philadelphia
A. Air bags are a touchy subject in the backcountry world. At the 2012 International Snow Science Workshop in Anchorage, where I was one of about 700 attendees, they were a hot topic. Although the research is thin but growing quickly, there is little doubt that air bags can help increase the odds of surviving an avalanche. You are probably safer with one than without one — or, at least, not less safe. And Elyse Saugstad is, of course, a huge believer in them. She credits hers for saving her life.
But people who spend their lives teaching avalanche safety worry that backcountry users will rely too heavily on them — that they will see them as another store-bought tool of invincibility, leading them to make bad decisions, the way (perhaps) people who wear helmets might drive motorcycles differently than they would without a helmet.
A related issue is terrain. Success rates with air bags seem to be higher in places where avalanches slide mostly above timberline, like Alaska and Europe. But in places like the continental United States and Canada, where avalanches often flow through obstacles like trees, the survival rates appear to be lower.
Trauma, after all, is responsible for about a quarter of avalanche deaths. Which brings us back to Elyse. Perhaps her air bag allowed her to ride higher in the avalanche, closer to the tops of the trees, so she missed the blunt trauma collisions that the other victims suffered. But many experts warned me: she is lucky to be alive.
As already commented, a very interesting reminder of the importance of considering the group that you ski (or climb?) with. Would those very experienced skiers have made the same decisions if they were with a small group of their friends? Several survivors state that they had reservations but did not feel able to express them in such a large, experienced group.
Hopefully (as always) lessons can be learned from the tragedy. I'll certainly be thinking of this when I'm out skiing this season.
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