*
 
 
Whitney Portal Store Message Board
Mount Whitney Reports
                 
Page 2 of 2 < 1 2
Topic Options
#82284 - 01/17/11 10:50 PM Re: Baldy avalanche 1-16-2011 [Re: Doug Sr]
GigaMike Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 488
Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.
Originally Posted By: Doug Sr
Read the surface if it looks like an egg shell or open cracks it has moved and will move again.

I remember seeing this on a climb with 2 other crazy climbers crazy

Originally Posted By: Doug Sr
Always forget 90% of avalanches are caused by what?

Snow? grin
_________________________
http://www.digitalalpine.smugmug.com

Top
#82287 - 01/18/11 11:08 AM Re: Baldy avalanche 1-16-2011 [Re: graham]
EMan Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/09
Posts: 10
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Went up the main chute on MLK Day. Ran into So. Bay Mark early on and he said it was 39 degrees at the coldest on West Baldy where he had spent the night.
I found the conditions to be quite deceptive and potentially dangerous. When I first summited, I was pining away that I jettisoned my 3 pins at 3AM. But by the time we returned to the east bowl near the Harwood saddle, I had no regrets. The snow was balling up as we plunged stepped down through the glop, and it got progressively worse as we approached the hut.
The descent was far from a walk on the beach, although it sure felt warm enough to be! Some snowshoers were really struggling flinging cement off of them...
Cheryl was kind enough to offer me a wonderful home baked Scone. Sure did the trick since Mark had no cookies to share!
_________________________
Hang on St. Christopher with a barrel house dog,
Kick me up Mt. Baldy throw me out in the fog -- Tom Waits

Top
#82289 - 01/18/11 03:42 PM Re: Baldy avalanche 1-16-2011 [Re: graham]
romanandrey Offline
Member

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 175
Loc: SoCal
Graham,

Could you give (as close as possible) time of day when this photo sequence was taken?

Andy
_________________________
SierraDescents

Top
#82290 - 01/18/11 05:16 PM Whitney Wilderness Permit [Re: graham]
passion2explore Offline
Member

Registered: 01/17/11
Posts: 2
Loc: delaware
I'm planning on participating in the lottery in February to climb Mt. Whitney for the first time. Obviously, I'm excited, but would like to know what the likelihood is of getting a permit for the weeks of June 19-31? Hiking by myself. Also, if possible, how could I join up with a group if available?

Top
#82291 - 01/18/11 05:33 PM Re: Whitney Wilderness Permit [Re: passion2explore]
graham Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 320
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: romanandrey
Graham,
Could you give (as close as possible) time of day when this photo sequence was taken?
Andy
If you check the ‘photo info’ on each pic in SmugMug it gives the time taken. The only problem is that I forgot to change the clock back during daylight saving.

Anyhow, to answer your question the correct times between the first and last photo of the avy slide are; 11:31am to 11:33am

Top
#82295 - 01/18/11 07:42 PM Re: Whitney Wilderness Permit [Re: graham]
romanandrey Offline
Member

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 175
Loc: SoCal
Interesting. I've got a photo of the slide from Harwood taken at 11:38. I didn't realize it had just happened.

Thanks for the info!


Edited by romanandrey (01/18/11 07:44 PM)
_________________________
SierraDescents

Top
#82296 - 01/18/11 08:47 PM Re: Baldy avalanche 1-16-2011 [Re: graham]
baercave Offline
Member

Registered: 01/21/10
Posts: 70
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
i'm curious how many people carry avy beacons on baldy this time of year? anyone?
_________________________
www.baercave.com

Top
#82304 - 01/19/11 10:12 AM Re: Baldy avalanche 1-16-2011 [Re: baercave]
romanandrey Offline
Member

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 175
Loc: SoCal
I was carrying a beacon and shovel.
_________________________
SierraDescents

Top
#82305 - 01/19/11 10:28 AM Re: Baldy avalanche 1-16-2011 [Re: romanandrey]
Mark Irving Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 138
Loc: Redondo Beach


Quote:
I was carrying a beacon and shovel.

I'll bet you were the only one...
I wonder if we'll get more slides this week or not, I'm probably going up Sat and will see...


Top
#82306 - 01/19/11 02:21 PM Re: Baldy avalanche 1-16-2011 [Re: baercave]
luciano137 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/09/10
Posts: 129
Loc: OC, CA
Originally Posted By: baercave
i'm curious how many people carry avy beacons on baldy this time of year? anyone?


Not many I'm sure.

Top
#82308 - 01/19/11 03:14 PM Re: Baldy avalanche 1-16-2011 [Re: Mark Irving]
baercave Offline
Member

Registered: 01/21/10
Posts: 70
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
good practice to carry one...but useless if you get buried an nobody else has one, ha
_________________________
www.baercave.com

Top
#82311 - 01/20/11 09:59 AM Re: Baldy avalanche 1-16-2011 [Re: graham]
robk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 11
Loc: California
Lots of good discussion and people have hit on some key points. Baldy is often underestimated - people have died in avalanches there.

One of the biggest gaps is around awareness. Assessing risk (avalanche or anything else) is a continuous process and learning what to look for is important.

The fact that there was an earlier naturally triggered (rock(s)) avalanche is a red flag that conditions may not be stable. The fact that it was on the same general slope angle and aspect as the area that the climbers descended should've added to the warning bells. A rock trigger is not all that different from a human trigger.

Snowpacks do not generally like rapid or extreme changes - heavy loading from new snowfall, rapid temperature rises, wind loading, etc. These tend to contribute to instability.

The mountain and snowpack can give you lots of clues if you know what to look for. Only you can interpret what those clues mean. Kudos to many of you who noted those clues and made decisions to change routes, etc. People on Baldy are at a high risk of falling into heuristic traps (see second link below) and need to be aware of that as well.

Taking an level 1 avy or even awareness course is worthwhile. There are some good online references people should consider checking out including: Avalanche.org
Avalanche News
USFS National Avalanche Center (also click on the section (left hand side) titled "Red Flags")

Be safe!


Edited by robk (01/20/11 10:06 AM)

Top
#82324 - 01/21/11 02:03 PM Re: Baldy avalanche 1-16-2011 [Re: baercave]
AsABat Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 354
Loc: www.4jeffrey.net
Originally Posted By: baercave
i'm curious how many people carry avy beacons on baldy this time of year? anyone?


When I went with the WPS group a couple February's ago I think we all had them. It was easier because Kurt had brought some along for those that didn't have one.

But I think of the solo trips I've done where I'm wearing a beacon. If no other groups are around I'm gone. But I would hope if an avy did happen another group would see it, they'd have a beacon, AND they'd at least check receive to see that I did in fact have one. (Don't let my wife read this!)

Top
#82366 - 01/24/11 09:45 AM Re: Baldy avalanche 1-16-2011 [Re: AsABat]
Srface Hoar Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
I am very happy everyone involved is OK. The lack of a melt freeze cycle certainly has an effect on the upper layers of the snowpack in Baldy Bowl. With the warm January temps we have had, a wet slide in Baldy Bowl should have been expected. 11:30 am is early, yet without frezzing not unexpected.

I have noticed a number of people suggesting to other to take a Level I Avalanche course. I wanted to throw this out there and I hope I am not breaking any form rules. I am teaching a Level I Avalanche course March 15 and 17th for the Classroom sessions and March 19th and 20th for the field sessions. Classroom sessions will be in Claremont, CA and the fields sessions will be at either Mt. Baldy or Mt Waterman depending upon snow conditions. Feel free to email me for more details at pierce_group@msn.com.

Level I Avalanche Class ___________________________________

Where: Claremont, CA (Classroom Session) Mt Baldy (Field Session)

Address: 650 W. Harrison Ave., Claremont, CA 91730 (Classroom sessions will be from 6-10pm)

When: Tues March 15th (Class), Thur March 17th (Class), Sat March 19 (Field), Sun March 20 (Field)

Cost: $125.00 per person

The Level I Avalanche course is oriented toward the person who enters the backcountry primarily for recreation. It focuses on the knowledge, skills, and the decisions one must be able to make while traveling safely in avalanche terrain.

This course teaches students how terrain, weather, and snowpack contribute to avalanche hazards. This knowledge is used during decision-making exercises in the classroom and in the field session. Students also become acquainted with human factors, which skew effective decision making. The course covers movement through avalanche terrain, route selection/hazard identification, and stability assessments in the field environment. Also focuses heavily on the fundamentals of self, group, and organized rescue. Students complete a written exam and practical evaluation during field exercises.


Prerequisite: Excellent physical condition, since the course requires strenuous physical exertion. Students are generally expected to perform in a variety of snow conditions (including deep snow), hike moderate distances, climb moderate to steep slopes, and traverse steep slopes
.

Course topics will include:

Topic 1 Avalanche Fundamentals
Topic 2 The Avalanche Triangle
Weather
Snowpack
Terrain
Topic 3 Snow Mechanics/Avalanche Dynamics
Topic 4 Stability Assessment
Topic 5 Human Factors
Topic 6 Personal Safety
Principles of Route Selection and Travel
Backcountry Travel Planning
Decision Making
Self-Rescue and Survival
Topic 7 Companion/ Group Rescue
Principles of Immediate Search
Avalanche Transceivers
Probing
Strategic Shoveling
Special Medical Considerations
Safety in Rescue Operations
Avalanche Rescue Plans
Equipment Required for
Level I Avalanche Class

This course will be taught in both a classroom setting as well as out in the field. Each participant should be ready to brave the elements within a winter environment. We will be riding a chair lift at the Mt Baldy Ski resort and spending at least 8 hrs on the snow each day.

• Waterproof boots with enough insulation to keep feet warm in the snow
• Waterproof jacket – please layer to ensure enough insulation for warmth and ability to shed.
• Good pair of warm winter gloves
• Snow Shovel
• Probe Poles
• Avalanche Beacon
• Lunch and snacks
• Skis or snow shoes for light travel to training site at the top of Mt. Baldy ski resort.
• Waterproof pants or ski pants (please do not wear jeans or any pants made of cotton)



Top
#82370 - 01/24/11 02:57 PM Re: Baldy avalanche 1-16-2011 [Re: Srface Hoar]
CindyAbbott Offline
Member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 191
Loc: Irvine, California
Anyone do Baldy this weekend? How's it looking?
_________________________
Keep Dreaming.
www.reachingbeyondtheclouds.com

Top
#82376 - 01/24/11 06:42 PM Re: Baldy avalanche 1-16-2011 [Re: GigaMike]
Mike Condron Offline
Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 125
Loc: Manteca, CA
I was thinking gravity. Snow certainly helps though.
_________________________
Mike

Top
Page 2 of 2 < 1 2

Moderator:  Bob R, Doug Sr