So, I know I've been ranting a lot lately so I will keep it short but I'm starting to be disturbed by this Outdoor Retailer show. Yesterday we went to Sling Shot to ski some quick powder turns and we ran into, no kidding here, over 30 people! Really, is that possible? On a Tuesday? So 2 of my favorate lines from my limited interaction with the hoards, was "... this is my Job [to ski]" and "We put in that skin track (like 3 times until I finally responded)." So first of all, if its your job to ski I see two possible options: Your a guide, or your a pro. Option two is obviously not correct because professionals are just that, professiona (at least the backcoutry kind), and the last thing they would tell you is they are pro's. In my limited and jaded experience some of the only people that seem to insist on telling me what they do are guides. So if you are one, DON"T TELL ME! Chances are I already know from your heightened level of Noise your producing and constant search for recognition. The other thing I'd like to tell you, the guide, is that you might think it, but none of us (at least that are semi-skilled at the task at hand) want to be you. Really, we actually don't want to Shepard rich people, or incompetent people who can't learn the skills on their own. In fact, we usually don't want to be within ear-shot of you! So, make a difference in the world, don't be that guy/girl. On a positive note, I have one friend who IS a guide, and I really like him, but the best part--you'd never know he was a guide.
And for the 'We put the skin track in,' with our gang of 8; I don't really care. In fact maybe instead of spending all your time making yourself the coolest you should learn to properly farm the good powder (just like everyone else is doing) instead of center punching it with your trabs, that you aren't any faster on then the rest of us. Oh and if your going to the Wasatch backcountry and you have more than say 3 or 4 friends (We've concluded 3 is the best number) would you please go to Colorado? I hear Crested Butte is way cooler, and the skiers are way more hardcore.
One more rant, thats it then I'm done.
So how about this 'O. R.' Show (cool talk for Outdoor Retailer) Could you also go to Crested Butte or like Vail or something? The people that show up on our one good powder day of the year that really don't ski, they just sell stuff, are killiing me! Seriously, I think I lose a few extra days of life ever time I see a gang of you trundling through our precious powder! And, for all that is Holy, stop making excuses for yourselves! I don't care what your doing, even if it is testing some tech new gadget in the 'real world.' The Wasatch is SO small (Tremper, Bruce. Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain) we don't have room for you too! There are better places for you to ski, like the resort! So, please, will someone move the OR show to somewhere else?
You know, I really give the Wizard of the Wasatch a hard time for being so cruel, but I am starting to see clearly through his eyes this last week or so. I really wish he would pop out of the tree's like in the old days except with hat's saying 'O.R. Free Wasatch.' Maybe even yelling and screaming... I'd buy you a six pack for it!
Ok so finally to the important stuff. Great day of snow, but pretty dicey. We skied some Northerly aspects with an average angle of less than 35 degrees, It seems the snow has settled reasonable right side up in most places unless it got sun, then we notices some sun crust about 4-6 inches down that could be rock hard or breakable with depth hoar (or maybe facets) beneath. The thickness of the crust is (of course) directly related to the amount and angle of Sun recieved. I dug one pit on a steeper (33ish degree) Northerly aspect and did a Rouch Block Test( Or however its spelled) that came out absolutely stable, no propagation, and now good fast bed layers. Then I preceeded to ski cut a few different sections of the slope and was able to free a substancial soft slab on a roll over. (http://utahavalanchecenter.org/avalanche_east_bowl_1202010) We didn't stick around to measure but just looking at it, it seemed to be a localized win loading over a convex section of slope with some rocks for the bed layer. The crown height I would estimate at about 20 inches or more and down to the ground initially running maybe 60' by 30'. The moral of the story is that Snow testing DOESN'T represent the entire aspect but changes dramatically in the local area. Key factors are steepest slope angle, wind loading, bed surface, previous history, and anchors. You should have read this before in the Avalanche forcast already. As always a good reminder to stay on your toes, ski cut (unless its a hard slab), dig pits, look behind you, don't 'gang ski', and listen to your gut when it tells you something's wrong.
For all of you who I have offended, I apologize profusely. I am but another selfish, uncaring, uneducated, ignorant, self-absorbed, ranting, blogger. Please disregard everything above as banter and ranting.