Wow. That’s a sobering post. Glad you guys made it down safely.
Just few tense moments…trying to get back on the horse now.
Good work coming down in one piece. Sometimes it feels like it’s a roll of the dice… HAd you forecasted wet slides to be a hazard for the days tour? South facing terrain, warming, newish snow and lots of evidence of wet slides, I think my spidey senses would have tingling! I was surprised to see Reed clipped into the anchor without a locker, especially since you knew there was a rappel coming up!
Keep it safe!
The forecast was for cloudy skies with snow in the afternoon on Friday. Yeah, there were signs of wet slides from previous days, but this was the first warm-up after some fresh snow and we thought the forecasted clouds would keep things cool enough. It snowed little bit up high…but not enough clouds to keep things cool I guess. Yes, probably a bad decision to ski a south facing line where we would be held up in the line of fire I guess, considering the skies were much clearer than predicted….at least were we were.
Reed was clipped into the anchor with a locking carabiner. The biner you see in the video is for the rope.
Reed mentioned this on Saturday and as usual he made it sound much more mellow than it really was. Great video. Glad you had luck on your side!
when you were up on whister last week i skied this line solo. under clear skies the snow softened fast and though the couliours were still solid, the open snow field was quite soft and the snow at the anchor was fully saturated. sensing the need to get down to the canyon floor, i clipped in to the one anchor point with out backing it up…i’m pretty glad i decided to go with speed rather than extra protection after seeing this video
Damn, that thing was going for a bit! Glad you guys weren’t in the line of fire when it was sliding.
Yea, I understand how it can be tricky forecasting for a day in the alpine! I’m not being judgmental, just voicing an opinion. I can see now that the rap line is clipped into the non-locker, rather than Reed’s tether. A great way to back up a non-locker at the anchor, (without leaving a locker or a second non-locker) is to tie an overhand knot into the anchor material – webbing or cordalette – near the end of the loop, creating a “master point”. Then clip the non-locker into the top shelf (above the overhand knot), and thread the rope through the biner and the master point loop created by the overhand. You’ll want a big enough loop for the master point so that the tension of the rap line is on the biner, not the anchor material, but that way if the non-locker were to ever open or fail somehow, you are still into the master point. And, when you pull your rope, you are not wearing out the anchor material as if there were no biner at all.
Good luck and be safe!
What most people don’t realize is that cloud cover does not mean you are safe from a slope warming up. In fact it can warm it faster! Same way you can get sun burned when there is cloud cover. Glad to see you made it down alive
Thanks for the Tech-Tip Marc!
Glad to know you had luck on your side with the timing of that. That slide just kept coming! Great lesson about islands and illustrated very well. Thanks, and glad you both are allright.
Thank you for a more sobering view of your adventures. I am glad you are both safe and here to tell the story!
I think this article should be called “The importance of being in the right place at the right time”. You just got lucky. Having a safe zone underneath a shedding slope isn’t something that you can plan…
thanks for the interesting video.
does that ever fill in enough to point ’em and jump through the gap? looks feasible–from the armchair, of course…
this from above:”A great way to back up a non-locker at the anchor, (without leaving a locker or a second non-locker) is to tie an overhand knot into the anchor material – webbing or cordalette – near the end of the loop, creating a “master point”. Then clip the non-locker into the top shelf (above the overhand knot), and thread the rope through the biner and the master point loop created by the overhand. You’ll want a big enough loop for the master point so that the tension of the rap line is on the biner, not the anchor material, but that way if the non-locker were to ever open or fail somehow, you are still into the master point”
sound like a recipe for a cluster. you could also just tape the ‘biner shut, and avoid abrading the nylon left in place.
edub, after staring at “the nugget” from across the canyon numerous times, i thought it might be feasible to point-it through the choke…until i skied it. not feasible for me at least. you might be able to do an icy downclimb if you had to.
WOW.Sobering video. It shows you need more than gear to keep in one piece. Experience and a little luck goes along way. This might slow down the posers who get geared up and go out without a clue.
That brings back fond memories of chute skiing in New Zealand a few years ago.
That’s exactly what I was thinking Andrew. Though refrigerator sized boulders coming flying at my head aren’t exactly what I would call “fond” memories.
This was one of the first few posts on TetonAT.com. Sorry…someday I’ll go back and buff out all the pics.
Amen to the last sentence of your narration. “…lucky to be alive.” Everyday we wake up breathing is a day we are lucky to be alive, but an adventure -or a close call- like this one is a good reminder that this life is precious, but is also for living. Time is so short here, best to make the most of your life…and that includes both having grand experiences…and coming back alive for more. Way to go, guys.
steve, nice video glad to hear you are okay. i wanted to share with you and the viewers a similar situation, where this same thing happened to me on this south facing shot in the spring time in little cottonwood canyon on the monte cristo col. we decided it would be fun to rappel instead of doing the ski around so we ancored into a small tree before the choke and i went down first while my friend was standing in an island of saftey. while on rappel my partners yelled avalanche, so i looked up saw it comming and found an island of saftey an ducked out of the way to almost get pulled into the thing with my rope ends getting tugged and almost swinging me back into the slide. we shouldnt have hung out at the top so long because that sun heats the new snow up quick. another learning experience that we were lucky to learn from while making it out alive.
Thanks for having the humility to post the vid. Spring in the Tetons, or anywhere for that matter, can obviously get a person spanked pretty easily.
We’ve all been there.
Thanks for visiting y’all! And thanks for sharing Todd.
Respect thy mountains!!
edub, its definitely a possibility to send it but make sure is later in the season. when i skied it last week, the apron below the funnel on the skiers right was so tall the vertical drop down to is was only about 20 feet…the problem is that the funnel is so narrow you’d need to point it from about 40 feet above the take off point…the resulting air would be much bigger, but possible. I would be a fun challenge at the vill, but not something i’m interested in up in the park after a 4 hour climb.
Your comment from above regarding Marc Hanselman’s tech tip:
"sound like a recipe for a cluster. you could also just tape the ‘biner shut, and avoid abrading the nylon left in place."
I know it can be difficult to visualize the verbal description of tying knots, but if you understand how to tie the "master point" anchor and utilize the "top shelf" it is not a cluster at all. It provides a quick and easy way to create a redundant anchor system w/o using a more expensive locking biner, or if a non-locker is all you have.
While taping the biner shut might provide some security, it does not provide the redundancy in the anchor system described by Hanselman. When pulling, there will be no abrasion b/c the rope is running through the biner as the primary anchor point. The thread through the "master point" provides the redundant back-up.
Fun meter was on high!
Glad everyone is okay!
Late season with good fitness makes you want to charge!
Hurry up and wait,live to ski anouther day!
Thanks for sharing.
Nick…Don’t forget about the icy landing (since you had to wait until late in the season to hit the line)…filled with avalanche debris (remember the video).
Dude, that narration is a bit over the top. Cut back on the dramatic narration next time. I mean come on, this isn’t a national geographic explorer documentary. Also, what’s up with the Simpsons comic book guy voice in the narration?
That’s right Tim…it’s not National Geographic…so lighten up!
And by the way…it was supposed to be dramatic…DOOD!
Great footage! Glad to see that timing was on your side as you seemed to ‘hit’ the chockstone just right and were able to let the flow go by. Things are always a bit precarious, but you had a sense, whether subconscious or conscious, that allowed you and Reed to pass unscathed. Well done, and I hope the same result for future followers.
thanks for the video, theres nothing like sking