/ Avalanches in Sneachda

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wheelsucker - on 02 Feb 2013

There were two small avalanches today (2.2.13) near to the Fiacall Buttress. One was near to Fiacall Couloir which injured two climbers. They managed to walk themselves off with minor injuries.
The second occurred on the snow slope to the right of the buttress about 150 below the Fiacall ridge. Three members of a party who were all wearing helmets triggered a small avalanche which carried them 150-200 meters overs rocky terrain. All 3 sustained lower leg injuries. One had a broken leg.
All three were quickly treated by members of Strathclyde Police MRT who were training nearby. They were joined by a couple of MIC's who were working on the hill along with Cairngorm Ski Patrol, Glenmore Lodge MRT and some climbers.

All three were airlifted off th hill so all in all a great team effort from those involved.

Dave Kerr - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to wheelsucker:

Glad to hear there were no serious injuries.

I'm just back from a ski tour in the area and there are some highly localised patches of unstable windslab.

I saw some incredibly bad route choice decisions being made today. The kind of decisions that can only be explained by a complete lack of avalanche awareness or a disregard of the risks. Frightening to watch. Luckily none had consequences that I know of.

Learn to recognise windslab people!
gavmac - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: Hey folks. I was in the first avalanche, happy to get down with a few broken ribs and a few bumps and bruises.

Big thank you to the the fine gents who came over to check things were ok and walked us down to the lochain, your calming influence was much appreciated.

Typical climber but if anybody finds a fly axe and a set of quarks then I would be much appreciated to be reunited with them.

Dave- I certainly feel thats bang on in our situation- bad choices and too keen to go with plan A. Nothing to be proud of there.

Hope the other folks avalanched are ok.
blackreaver - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to wheelsucker: I helped the first set of climbers in thr first avalanche. I think both the guys were okay ish. Any news of their conditions? Also, I hope he finds his axes! I saw the other avalanche, but I was on the top of the crag. I hope they were okay as it looked pretty serious.
Dave Kerr - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to gavmac:
> (> Dave- I certainly feel thats bang on in our situation- bad choices and too keen to go with plan A. Nothing to be proud of there.


We've all been there.

mrchewy - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to gavmac: Broken ribs heal with time - good to hear you're all alive.

I'm sure many people have been guilty of going with Plan A when it was maybe unwise and have gotten away with it. Nice to hear you man up and admit you made that mistake, many of us wouldn't and hopefully people can be educated a little from this incident.

Best advice for the ribs - don't watch comedies!
blurty - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to gavmac:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr) Hey folks. I was in the first avalanche, happy to get down with a few broken ribs and a few bumps and bruises.
>
> Big thank you to the the fine gents who came over to check things were ok and walked us down to the lochain, your calming influence was much appreciated.
>
> Typical climber but if anybody finds a fly axe and a set of quarks then I would be much appreciated to be reunited with them.
>
> Dave- I certainly feel thats bang on in our situation- bad choices and too keen to go with plan A. Nothing to be proud of there.
>
> Hope the other folks avalanched are ok.

Glad to hear you walked away! Don't be too hard on yourselves, virtually everyone on here has had similar close calls
Kevin Rutherford - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to blurty: Virtually everybody?



andybrown114 - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Ecosse Mountains: very easy to recognise unstable windslab in retrospect. But if we're honest we've all assessed conditions and still tentatively negotiated our way across slightly dodgy slopes hoping not to hear a 'whumph'. All credit to those involved recognising a learning experience when they see one and knowing they were lucky!
Frank4short - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

> The kind of decisions that can only be explained by a complete lack of avalanche awareness or a disregard of the risks. Frightening to watch. Luckily none had consequences that I know of.

There is an opinion held by some in the winter climbing community that most winter climbing is done on gradients steeper than what's likely to produce avalanches. Ignoring the obvious point that most of the time, short of roadside icefalls, you're likely to either approach or descend on slopes that can be the perfect steepness for avalanches.

Now obviously some times people just make silly mistakes though I suspect this particular naivety/ignorance can also be the cause of these types of incidents.
Jamie B - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Frank4short:

> Ignoring the obvious point that most of the time, short of roadside icefalls, you're likely to either approach or descend on slopes that can be the perfect steepness for avalanches.

Don't forget exit slopes, they can be quite good for them too. And gullies, perfect terrain traps.
Slugain Howff - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to wheelsucker:

Interestingly this is what was going on at the other side of the mountain as this happened

http://training.mountainrescuescotland.org/avalanche-2-2/avalanche-l3/

s
JohnnyW - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to gavmac:

> Dave- I certainly feel thats bang on in our situation- bad choices and too keen to go with plan A. Nothing to be proud of there.
>

I was on Fluted Buttress, and couldn't really see what was going on as I was paying attention to my climbing, but the party following us up had spoken to some involved. At the top, we watched astonished as other folks continued up the same slopes!

I have subsequently been chatting to some friends on a FB forum, and I'll warrant some are uncomfortable with my criticism of the route choices made, especially given the prevailing weather and SAIS, and indeed what had happened only hours before in the latter's case!

Reading your words makes me feel a little better. You realise your mistake, and will learn from it. Well done you for having the courage to 'own up' to it mate. Let's hope others do too.

To the poster who says we have all made mistakes, I agree, but knowledge is so much more readily available now, so the risks to our own and other's lives (and time and resource) can and should be minimised where possible.
subalpine - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to wheelsucker: are they right in the media reports that risk is highest on E to SW aspects? what are N aspects like?
Jamie B - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to JohnnyW:

We've all made mistakes or pushed our luck, but on an almost weekly basis I see folk either ignoring the forecast information or apparently unaware of it. I don't understand why people gamble with their lives in this way.
AdrianC - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B: Google "sex and drugs and the white death". That'll tell you why.
subalpine - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to AdrianC: Norrie would call them avalanche chasers..
RyanS - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to wheelsucker) are they right in the media reports that risk is highest on E to SW aspects? what are N aspects like?

http://www.sais.gov.uk/mobile/northern_cairngorms.asp
Milesy - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to JohnnyW)
>
> We've all made mistakes or pushed our luck, but on an almost weekly basis I see folk either ignoring the forecast information or apparently unaware of it. I don't understand why people gamble with their lives in this way.

I agree with this. Two weekends ago while in Sneachda there were people blatantly heading up the aspects which were solid red. This is way over what I would consider responsible. I will personally not touch an aspect with red which involves a apron or a scarp slope. I would rather be paranoid then a chancer.
In reply to Milesy: What do you mean "red"?
Gazlynn - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

I think he means the colour coding on the sais website like here :-

http://www.sais.gov.uk/page_glencoe.asp

cheers

Gaz
Dave Kerr - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to wheelsucker:

Based on what I saw yesterday I have a suspicion that a lot of folks don't understand how windslab works and assume that because it is relatively hard it is therefore safe.
subalpine - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to RyanS:
> (In reply to subalpine)
> [...]
>
> http://www.sais.gov.uk/mobile/northern_cairngorms.asp

so a bit misleading to say E to SW when equal danger to N and NE?
there have been some strong southerly winds recently?

Tony the Blade on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

If in doubt - dig a test pit... at regular intervals.

That's my 2pworth, based purely on what I do.
Denni on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Tony the Blade:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr)
>
> If in doubt - dig a test pit... at regular intervals.
>
> That's my 2pworth, based purely on what I do.


You and me both Tony. I'll dig a pit, have a look and if its crap will go somewhere else. If it ok, I'll crack on but I do get quite paranoid and I am sometimes unpopular with my mates as I stop to dig another pit!

Safe than sorry. Have seen people dig a pit just as they start out then assume all is good on the hills, better safe than sorry (and usually benighted if you're with me!)
Jamie B - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Tony the Blade:

> If in doubt - dig a test pit... at regular intervals.

I'm increasingly starting to think that if you're feeling the need to dig pits you're already operating too close to the margin.
IainRUK - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B: Maybe.. but digging of pits is great to help you build up your understanding of how prior weather can affect the snow pack..
Denni on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

I do it because that is what I was taught years ago on my winter ML in the forces and it has worked fine for me.
Tony the Blade on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Denni:

Whenever I take first-timers out, it's on my list of things to absolutely drive home... an extra 10/15 minutes now is far far preferable to the possible alternative!

I usually make it a fun event, having them jumping on slabs to prove a point.

I have been known to dig 5 pits on one route - but I'm still here and I still get to call them QMDs!
Tony the Blade on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Jamie B) Maybe.. but digging of pits is great to help you build up your understanding of how prior weather can affect the snow pack..

Agreed - and that knowledge is really useful to build a picture of the recent history of a gully/slab area.
AdrianC - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B: In some ways you're right. If you're going from pit to pit, deciding each time whether you think it's safe to continue or not then you might want to rethink your approach. But that's not why we should dig pits. We dig them to gather data (albeit a very small amount of data which may or may not be representative) about the snowpack.

Digging a pit should have nothing to do with "feeling the need" and everything to do with a careful process of gathering information before and throughout your trip. Looking at avalanche & weather forecasts, observing avalanche activity, wind direction, snow depth etc. are other parts of that process.
Jamie B - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to AdrianC:

I'm not knocking pits, but I see them working better as an educational tool than a means of staying alive. Some people do seem to treat them as a magic talisman, when in fact, as you say they are a small and very localised part of the overall picture that you're trying to form.
IainRUK - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to AdrianC)
>
> I'm not knocking pits, but I see them working better as an educational tool than a means of staying alive. Some people do seem to treat them as a magic talisman, when in fact, as you say they are a small and very localised part of the overall picture that you're trying to form.

That is also true.. the old STRAW.. Above.. it can be safe where you are.. but what also matters is what it is like 200m up the slope...
James Edwards - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to
It's all very well to dig a hasty pit, but really the important bit is can you make a call on the information it tells you. Do you know what an easy/ moderate/ etc failure looks like?
This more in depth level of info takes quite a while to develop and, unfortunately, you never know if you have made the 'right' call if you turn back... But you sure as shit know if you have made the wrong call on the info you gained from digging a snow pit.
Anyway, I'm preaching to the converted.

Here is a good idea though - I remember seeing some you tube video of some models (glamor?) doing a run through the basics of CPR whilst in their underwear. This brought general understanding of basic CPR up in the 18 to 30 male demographic, the same demographic which is very overly represented in the avalanche statistics. How about some Scottish Exec funding for this. I'll volunteer to hold their coat whilst they talk to the camera at the bottom of the goat track.

James e

JIB - on 03 Feb 2013
It would seem that the knowledge of spatial variability within snowpacks requires greater publicity.

Propagation is either initiated and/or sustained by spatial variability or, as noted here by Blair Fyffe http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=533822&v=1#x7173647
propagation is arrested by spatial variability.

This means that you cannot safely rely on stability tests for a go/no-go decision in avalanche terrain.

From a discussion elsewhere, there was a feeling that stability tests and snowpack assessments have been used within mountaineering courses and awards to provide a neat package of information that can taught to a client and they go away with the sense that they have learned 'something'.

Instead, the focus should be on the use of terrain and focusing on where the hazard is likely to be...and avoiding any suspect slopes.
Withnail - on 03 Feb 2013


Instead, the focus should be on the use of terrain and focusing on where the hazard is likely to be...and avoiding any suspect slopes.

Totally agree

AlH - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to JIB:
>
> From a discussion elsewhere, there was a feeling that stability tests and snowpack assessments have been used within mountaineering courses and awards to provide a neat package of information that can taught to a client and they go away with the sense that they have learned 'something'.
>
That's a pretty big brush to tar the Instructional community. Personally its been some years since I preached any kind of reliance on such tests and most of my friends are of a similar mind- although it always takes time for changes in thinking to percolate to everyone who holds a bit of paper or who takes an interest in such things.
There is a bigger danger with pits too. The sense that we can gather enough information from a pit to over-rule other sources (such as our understanding from knowledge of the wind, temperature and precipitation of where might well be avalanche prone) is one of the traps that its easy to fall into. Toss in the fact that pits only a metre or so apart can give very different results in stability tests and I'm even less keen to let them sway me. The oft quoted 'the avalanche doesn't know your an expert' is very true. Many people (including me) get avalanched despite their knowledge/training/experience.
Like Jamie B I'll use them to educate people about what is going on in the snowpack or to look for or confirm layers in a 'big picture' way. I personally no longer rely on them to help me decide whether its safe to cross the next piece of snow. If in doubt there is no doubt, I'll go back, or go around and in Scotland that's rarely going to be end of the world in terms of how much time it will add to my day.
Dave Kerr - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to JIB:
> > Instead, the focus should be on the use of terrain and focusing on where the hazard is likely to be...and avoiding any suspect slopes.

This is the primary strategy I use rather than digging pits and such like. Winds from the east? Then I would be very wary of or avoid entirely westerly aspects.

I feel like I've learned a lot about avalanche risk in the last few weeks from threads like this. It has made me realise how lucky I was in the early days of my climbing career.

James Edwards - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:
Looking at it historically (I know that you have been climbing longer so this doesn't apply to you) there have been many winters where snow was quite lean and safe travel was easy to do. If you started climbing in these winters you might not have had to think much, until those winters a few years ago where crag aprons were blooted. And I wonder if when its really snowy poodles are unable to get to the venues because the roads are bad
Hmmm
James
JIB - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to AlH: Thanks Alan. I thought long and hard about that comment, especially the phrasing of 'have been used' (past tense) as opposed to 'are being used'(present tense). It's based on experiences and conversations with avalanche professionals and instructors on UK recreational and professional winter courses from the mid-90s onwards.

I agree totally with your comments about heuristic traps too - the expert halo is often cited in incidents.

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alkira - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to wheelsucker:
Hopefully young climbers become less focused on the vertical ascent and more about mountain travel skills ......the getting to the climb,exiting the top and returning to the sack safely.
Unfortunately i've lost pals to the white dragon and myself and close friends with many close calls. Learning backcountry ski savvy was a big survival ticket. hey ho
Cuthbert on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to alkira:

Agreed. I often think that "climbers" are fine on the crag itself but actually not that up to speed on the general mountaineering aspects of a day in the hills.

It appears to me sometimes that being a climber is seen as a ticket to bypass some of the fundamentals such as walking with crampons, navigation and so on. Being seen to be competent makes people want to bypass the learning phase.
Andy Nisbet - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to AlH:

It's just curiosity but I wonder why 10 days ago when the wind had been blowing snow from the SE that climbers kept away from Mess of Pottage, but this time when the wind had been blowing from the west, that some climbers didn't keep away from Fiacaill Buttress. Was some information that they were given different, or was it something else?
drunken monkey - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet: People are maybe attracted (rightly or wrongly) to ground that appears to have the best snow coverage, and not necessarily the best snow conditions.

To a lot of people, the apperance of more snow, may = better route condition.
In reply to drunken monkey:

> To a lot of people, the apperance of more snow, may = better route condition.

Really?! Who thinks like that? It would seem that if that is the case 20+ years of avalanche awareness and education activity has completely failed.
dmhigg - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet: I was in the coire last Sunday, and looking at the snow cover, the Mess of Pottage apron seemed much larger and scarier than the Fiacaill buttress one. Was it just a comfortingly smaller snow slope?
drunken monkey - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA: I've been guilty of it before. Walking into a crag, may have not looked at an avalanche report, and automatically been drawn to the area/gullies with the most snow.

Its what you do from that point that matters.
ccmm on 04 Feb 2013 - 194.82.141.222 whois?
In reply to dmhigg:
> (In reply to Andy Nisbet) Was it just a comfortingly smaller snow slope?

Sounds like it was only comfortingly smaller until folk stood on the windslab and triggered their slide down to the poor run out.

It doesn't have to be a large volume of snow, just a patch deeper than you can penetrate with your boots. If it's lying on neve off you go.

Glad folk got off reletavely lightly.

wupert on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to gavmac:
Alright glad to hear you guys made it back ok, and hope the ribs heal quick. Thats maybe the fisrt time we have been refered to as gents! I got my poles back ok from the ranger station, on the Sunday hope they hepled.

We ended up helping out the guys in the second avalanche, hope you all make a speedy recovery. I managed to get some pics of you guys getting lifted out, send me a message if you want a copy.

If it adds to the discusion the first avalanche was from a very small snow patch less than 10m across, and has given me a greater awareness of how little snow is needed to ruin your day.
wheelsucker - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to wheelsucker:

I was in the corrie on Sunday after the two avalanches and was surprised to see 4 parties on the Fiacall Buttress despite the increased temperature and consequently greater avalanche risk on the approach slope. One of the groups appeared to be led by a guide as she short roped her two clients toward the bottom of the buttress. No one was caught out that day but luck might have played a big part in that.
dmhigg - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Craig Mc:
> (In reply to dmhigg)
> [...]
>
> Sounds like it was only comfortingly smaller until folk stood on the windslab and triggered their slide down to the poor run out.
>
That was rather my point!
ccmm on 04 Feb 2013 - 194.82.141.222 whois?
In reply to dmhigg:

Aye, I wasn't disagreeing with you, just emphisising the point that it doesn't have to be humungous snow to release.
summo on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to wheelsucker:
> (In reply to wheelsucker)
One of the groups appeared to be led by a guide as she short roped her two clients toward the bottom of the buttress. No one was caught out that day but luck might have played a big part in that.

They could have made reasonable decision depending on what they saw actually on the ground, straight lining up a short distance, or picking a line where the snow was thinner and following a line via some rocks, where the snow may have been more stable.

Or, just been lucky!

It's a lottery sometimes, with big stakes, so it's better to try and put more odds in your favour. As someone once explained their reasoning to me, even a moderately poor outcome of say a broken or arm, is that specific route choice or climbing that route really worth the risk of not being able to climb or the next 3-6mths? If not, pick another route or another day.

Corries by their very nature often have faces that point to 3 different aspects, so some will always be much safer than others and if you haven't worked out which one is probably best by the time you have walked into corrie, then perhaps you shouldn't be there.(or at least not without some instruction) ;)
NottsRich on 04 Feb 2013
Does anyone have any photos of what the slides looked like afterwards? i.e. size, shape, area etc.
PeteA - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to wheelsucker: I don't climb as much these days but over the past ten years have become a fanatical off piste skier. We spend a lot of time carrying out drills on searches, slope assessment etc and I've still been involved in three small slides over three years. No matter how much you research the subject the mountain can still catch you out, and often it's that nagging doubt in the back of your mind that is alerting you to possible danger.
jonnie3430 - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to summo:
> (In reply to wheelsucker)
>
> It's a lottery sometimes, with big stakes,

I spoke to a couple of climbers who finished Invernookie that day who seemed to have the same opinion. The forecast had said that "human triggered avalanches are likely," on that slope, so I would not class it as "a lottery," that two avalanches happened but "likely," if humans were on them!

A good message from this weekend is that "even though the Northern Corries mainly face north, the horns on either side have easterly and westerly aspects."
blackreaver - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to NottsRich: I have some pictures if you want.

BR
niallk on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to AlH:
> (In reply to JIB)
> [...]
> Like Jamie B I'll use them to educate people about what is going on in the snowpack or to look for or confirm layers in a 'big picture' way. I personally no longer rely on them to help me decide whether its safe to cross the next piece of snow.

I don't think that approach is even that new. I did a PYB Winter mountaineering course in 2005 or so and back then they very much emphasised that pit digging was no wholly reliable indication beyond for where you were actually digging the pit. It was used more as an instructional aid to demonstrate snow-pack and so on with reference to limited use in an overall picture way as Alan says (I hope my memory has not just done PYB a dis-service).
tom.m - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to wheelsucker: I remember hearing something from Reme Lecluse, a man who had more experience than most of us on here. He said that the problem with avalanches is that they provide very little negative feedback. Unless you are actually caught in one you actually only ever receive positive feedback, which may be reinforcing some very poor decision making. It may be that you decided to ski a line or approach a route and the only reason the slope doesn't rip is because you turned 20cm sooner or because you weigh 3kg less. However because it doesn't rip you look back upon that experience and file it in your mind as a positive experience and more than likely attribute it to a correct decision making process.

This makes accurate learning very difficult.

I fully appreciate that there are many things we can do to reduce the level of risk and many sources of information. However I think its all too easy for people on here to criticise others choices and imply it wouldn't ever happen to them. Far better and far more experienced mountaineers than I'll ever be have been caught, and killed in them and will continue to do so. I make my judgements with all the information at my disposal but I am very aware that the only way to eliminate the risk is to stay at home.

Hope the injured parties recover quickly, stay safe.
Andy Nisbet - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to tom.m:
> (In reply to wheelsucker) I remember hearing something from Reme Lecluse, a man who had more experience than most of us on here. He said that the problem with avalanches is that they provide very little negative feedback. Unless you are actually caught in one you actually only ever receive positive feedback, which may be reinforcing some very poor decision making. It may be that you decided to ski a line or approach a route and the only reason the slope doesn't rip is because you turned 20cm sooner or because you weigh 3kg less. However because it doesn't rip you look back upon that experience and file it in your mind as a positive experience and more than likely attribute it to a correct decision making process.
>
> This makes accurate learning very difficult.

That's a very interesting point. Some of us have been in a few over the years but not enough to stop it ever happening again (if that's what accurate learning is).
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Nigel Thomson - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to AdrianC)
>
> I'm not knocking pits, but I see them working better as an educational tool than a means of staying alive. Some people do seem to treat them as a magic talisman, when in fact, as you say they are a small and very localised part of the overall picture that you're trying to form.

I with you on this Jamie, if you're digging pits, you're digging in the zone for them to be accurate. The first thing they tell you on the Glenmore Avalanche course is...being on an avalanche course increases your chances of being in one!

AlH - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to niallk: No I think you are right. I was trying to quantify my own 'some years' just now and suddenly realised how old I am! Interesting that despite the concept being around and in common acceptance that it still takes a long time to trickle around to everyone. I can be as guilty of holding on to the ideas I first learnt as anyone else.
AlH - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to tom.m: Yes that's another of the key traps to avoid. The fact that you've gotten away with it for years makes you think you have been doing the 'right thing' when in fact you may have just been lucky.
Its a bit like the 'Turkey Trap' described here: www.outdoor-learning.org/Portals/0/.../hs_H46_h_and_s_belay.pdf
AlH - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet: Interesting idea... the area under the Pottage looks like a big area of snow waiting to go.... I think issues like familiarity (having been there numerous times before).... the sheer number of people in Coire an t Sneachda wandering around not getting avalanched... the apparent size of the snowy area and the proximity of rocky ground may all have contributed.
There is no significant difference in the number of times that the opposing aspects are avalanche prone is there?
kyle1 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to gavmac: hi I was also in the first avalanche I wood like to thank every one who help Gav and me
niallk on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to AlH:
> (In reply to niallk) No I think you are right. I was trying to quantify my own 'some years' just now and suddenly realised how old I am!

Ha ha! I had to think about which year it was I did the course and had a bit of a shock too once I worked it out! In fact, I think it may even have been 2004...

Kevin Rutherford - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to andybrown114: Nothing to do with "unstable windslab in retrospect", its helps to read and understand the avalanche forecast and then maybe recognise on the hill whats been said in the forecast and the observed forecast. Play wi fire, you ll get burnt...
James91 - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to wheelsucker: If I am unsure of the stability of a slope I don't go onto it, and if I can't find an appropriate way to where i want to be I turn back for some earlier than expected tea/beer/sofa. Works quite well so far and the mountains haven't run off and cut off my chances of having another go at whichever route i've missed out on yet! I think a lot of people get very hooked up on getting to their objective especially if on a weekend trip.. I know I used to be the same but luckily my dad had a much better sense of self preservation.

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