"just a bit off-piste is like being just a bit pregnant"
We were glancing through just one page of PisteHors, a blog on skiing off-piste in the Alps, and counted 8 dead on one page. Needless to say we didn't continue to any other pages. Moral of the story? The Alps will mess you up if you're not careful.
Five killed in Alps Avalanche, 19 January 2006 - Five off-piste skiers have been killed and one injured by avalanches this afternoon in four separate incidents at les Deux Alpes, Villaroger and les Menuires. The avalanche risk was high (4 on a scale of 5) at Villaroger and les Menuires and considerable (3/5) at les Deux Alpes. Meteo France had earlier issued avalanche warnings after up to 50cm of fresh snow fell yesterday accompanied by moderate to strong winds from the south-west to north-west. More....
Off-Piste Avalanches, 16 January 2006 - Tignes piste director Jean-Louis Tuaillon was adamant, just a bit off-piste is like being just a bit pregnant. “I want to make this clear, you stray over the piste markers and you are off piste”, with all the dangers that entails. On the 18th of December students Rafe and his brother Max learned this the hard way when snowboarding just meters from the runs. More...
Ski Tourer killed by Combe du Tepey Avalanche, 01 January 2006 - A group of three ski tourers have been caught by an avalanche at 1800 meters in the east facing Combe du Tépey. The slide occured in the Pierre Barme sector. The group had initially tried to climb the western side of the col from the Breda valley. The slide, some 400 meters long, broke at 16h00 as the skiers were descending. The avalanche risk was 4 (high) on a scale of 5 at the time. The lead skier told PH “I was knocked over by the air blast from the avalanche then covered by snow, as the slide settled I was able to struggle to free my upper body, I had suffered four broken ribs”. More...
Nice. I could care less about World Cup skiing, but it's nice to see those boys know how to party. Seems Bode Millier is pissed that 60 Minutes is airing an interview where he boasts of skiing while drunk:
In written excerpts released Thursday by CBS for the segment that will be
broadcast Sunday, Miller said "there have been times when I've been in really
tough shape at the top of the course."
"Talk about a hard challenge right there. ... If you ever tried to ski when
you're wasted, it's not easy," Miller said. "Try and ski a slalom when ...
you hit a gate less than every one second, so it's risky. You're putting your
life at risk. ... It's like driving drunk, only there are no rules about it in
Asked if the risk meant he would never ski drunk again, the 28-year-old
Miller replied, "No, I'm not saying that."
Catherine Olian, who produced the segment for '60 Minutes' and said she
stands by it, told The Associated Press that Miller's comments were made in a
Maybe I should take up competitive skiing again. Booze, high speeds, gear, and mountains. A dream come true. Read the whole relese here.
How good were the Police? Before Sting became the British Michael Bolton of course. Admit it, you used to dress up in tight red leather pants with a cut-off Synchronicity tshirt and lip sync to Every Breath You Take after school every day. Right? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller? OK then, maybe it was just me. Whoops, lost my train of thought there for a minute. You know, one of the first things I learned storming the beaches of Normandy as part of the 2nd Armored Division was to not bunch up. If one of those krauts Germans threw a potato masher at your position and you were playing grab ass with one of your fellow privates behind a metal hedgehog, you were as good as dead. And I tell you, maybe I was just playing BF1942 on my PC but that lesson stuck. And it also serves me well in the backcountry. In fact, the hardcore folk at WildSnow were discussing this very fact. No not grab ass, bunching up in the backcountry. Now these boys may not have been bloodied on Utah beach like me or attainted Master Gunnery Sergeant level, but I'll defer to their intimate knowledge of avalanche safety in the backcountry. When they talk, I listen:
Yesterday’s death of two snowmobilers near Cameron Pass is particularly disturbing, as SEVEN sledders were caught at once! Reports say a few of them had transceivers. Big deal. If the snowmobilers had been exposing one person at a time to hazard, only one would have been caught. He might have been rescued quickly and lived.
It’s a pet peeve of mine regarding avalanche safety: Over and over again I observe both snowmobilers and skiers grouping up in the backcountry when they should spread out because of avalanche hazard. If there is any thread in this winter’s accidents, violating the one-at-a-time rule is it. The snowmobilers did it. The kids near Kelso Mountain did it, the snowshoers in Utah did it. What is going on here?!
Read the post and the comments here. And remember, Roxanne, you don't have to put on the red light.