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More avalanche deaths in BC


kimmy

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Government warnings are very often (though not always) overly cautious. It's a little like the whole "boy who cried wolf" scenario. Often they specify things like high fire risk and tell you you can't have a fire anywhere in the back country, when, for example, if you are in the middle of a huge stone field, it would clearly be safe to do so. Sometimes they put out avalanche warnings in the same way, canvassing a whole area with warnings when it is one specific slope that is of concern.

None the less they are warnings, not everyone has the same experience as you do,or the benifit of say growing up in the area. I've done alot of camping and outdoor recreational activities, even in high fire risk areas and have been visted by rangers or park wardens and never been given a ticket , if they see your responsable taken the precautions etc etc ...they normally leave you alone...i say normally...because there pricks in every crowd....

Apparently not. It is still, however, the responsibility of each individual that went to have been aware of the risks. Of course, if the organizers of the event misrepresented the risks to the people who attended then that should definitely be looked into.

You and i both know how these things get started someone heres about it and asks another buddy are you going bring the beer...the last question that gets asked is "IS it going to be dangerous"...One would think a responsiable event organizer would have explained the dangers of atending to the crowd before the event, and maybe explained the emergance proceedures of what to do in case of avalanche....or min equipment required to attend...Maybe your right someone should be checking into this line of thinking...

No it is not my responsibility to consider what someone else will do "whether I like it or not" in this case. Let's look at another example to better illustrate this.

But you've already stated you've already mimimized the risk,using common sense, judgement, experience and proper equipment....these guys did not...

Reading the article it doesn't sound like they were specifically out to trigger avalanches,

But the area was chosen because of the high risk, and like someone said in the story, it is'nt extreme unless there is a high risk of avalanche ...So they it sounds like they went out of thier way to chose a spot where the risk was the highest, it's part of there sport or event....

SO is it an honest mistake....we both know if you don't show mother nature the proper respect, it will take a chunk out of your ass....

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None the less they are warnings, not everyone has the same experience as you do,or the benifit of say growing up in the area. I've done alot of camping and outdoor recreational activities, even in high fire risk areas and have been visted by rangers or park wardens and never been given a ticket , if they see your responsable taken the precautions etc etc ...they normally leave you alone...i say normally...because there pricks in every crowd....

it's something people think they can do just because they're Canadian , many people are woefully unprepared when they venture out into the bush...this an educational issue..
You and i both know how these things get started someone heres about it and asks another buddy are you going bring the beer...the last question that gets asked is "IS it going to be dangerous"...One would think a responsiable event organizer would have explained the dangers of atending to the crowd before the event, and maybe explained the emergance proceedures of what to do in case of avalanche....or min equipment required to attend...Maybe your right someone should be checking into this line of thinking...
I've bailed out of situations where I thought "these guys have no idea what they're getting into" and I excused myself from joining...
But the area was chosen because of the high risk, and like someone said in the story, it is'nt extreme unless there is a high risk of avalanche ...So they it sounds like they went out of thier way to chose a spot where the risk was the highest, it's part of there sport or event....

SO is it an honest mistake....we both know if you don't show mother nature the proper respect, it will take a chunk out of your ass....

I was under the impression it wasn't because of the risk of avalanche they chose that spot it was because when the risk is high that also means snow conditions are at their best...i could be wrong here but that's what it sounded like to me...
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The only people who are affected by the actions of people going on an outdoor expedition are that of the other party members, since the group can be very reliant on each other, and their family members, who may worry about them. Everything else is up to government, society, politics... things that I don't give a damn about while on a trip. Guess we'll just have to disagree since we obviously hold incompatible views on this topic.

Do you leave an itinerary behind when you go on an expedition? If you do it is obviously because you want someone to look for you if you go missing. If you don't, I think that would be rather foolish.

I'm not saying you are irresponsible but the fact is, emergency services personnel cannot refuse to act, they are legally bound to do so whether you give a damn or not. If someone gets into trouble and they refuse their services, if nothing else they will get their asses sued off by the next of kin.

I don't think charging people the cost of their rescue is practical or desirable but there should be penalties like large fines when someone deliberately ignores things like avalanche warnings, trail closed and out of bounds signs, then has to be rescued because they got into trouble. That is nothing but irresponsible selfishness.

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Guest American Woman

I don't think charging people the cost of their rescue is practical or desirable but there should be penalties like large fines when someone deliberately ignores things like avalanche warnings, trail closed and out of bounds signs, then has to be rescued because they got into trouble. That is nothing but irresponsible selfishness.

When I was in Alaska, a resident told me that they do charge people for rescues there in some instances because it makes more sense than charging the tax payers when it's their stupidity that got them in hot water in the first place. However, money can never replace a life lost, so it's still only a partial solution to people's thoughtlessness/carelessness. But at least it's a beginning, and may cause some people to think twice before doing something stupid.

Anyone who ignores warnings/signs such as the ones you mentioned should, imo, be sentenced to community service along with hefty fines.

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Reading the article it doesn't sound like they were specifically out to trigger avalanches, so your comparisons aren't exactly ideal.

They weren't "deliberately" trying to trigger avalanches, perhaps, but short of firing cannons and fireworks, what more could they have done to increase the potential?

That being said, it does sound like their evaluation of the risk was flawed, that is, they made a mistake.

They did not "make a mistake". In their own words, they were well aware of the risks and chose to do so anyway because "this is when the snow is most bitchen, dudez!"

Unless someone has evidence to show otherwise, it is nothing more sinister than that. Obviously, if it can be shown that the organizers purposefully misrepresented the risks and brought a bunch of inexperienced people (spectators and family) to a location where they knew these people would likely get killed by avalanches, that would be a serious charge. But unless there is evidence to suggest that is the case, then it was simply an honest mistake and an unfortunate day for these guys.

There's nothing that indicates any of these people were inexperienced, from the sound of it they are serious enthusiasts. And they say they were well aware of the avalanche warnings.

I'm just perplexed at the choice of language here. "honest mistake"? "unfortunate"? "their evaluation of the risk was flawed"?

If someone keeps poking a bee hive with a stick and ends up getting stung, was that an "honest mistake"? No, it was a foolish decision.

I can't buy into language that excuses these guys. You're trying to make it sound like they were acting responsibly and something unexpected happened. The truth is, they were acting incredibly foolishly, and something entirely predictable happened.

-k

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Less than a week after a large avalanche plowed into 200 snowmobilers and left two men dead in southeastern B.C., an even bigger snowslide hit the area yesterday, killing one person, injuring another and leaving the grim possibility that others may still be buried.

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The RCMP say it was human-triggered, with two snowmobilers riding on a hillside and a group gathered below when the avalanche struck.

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Solicitor General Kash Heed said he was "disappointed" sledders went out into the area when the avalanche risk was still high, calling it "another tragedy that could have been prevented if people had been exercising caution."

Heed said backcountry enthusiasts need to pay more attention to avalanche warnings because when they take those risks they put the lives of the rescuers in danger every time they have to go and help.

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Another+deadly+avalanche+hits+Revelstoke+area/2706345/story.html

We have a saying in French "Jamais deux sans trois". "Never twice without a third". When will that third one come?

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After it passed, Mr. MacDonald found himself beneath his own machine, buried up to his chest. "The first thing I remember is there was not one person standing. Here you're standing with 200 people. And when it was finished not one person was standing," he said, shrugging off the earlier warning signs.

"We decided to go play in the powder, threw caution to the wind because we had a fairly dry year. And [then] you get so much snow."

Mr. MacDonald then called RCMP and activated a personal locator beacon. Two minutes later, a search and rescue official from Winnipeg called back. Help was on its way."

(Globe and Mail)

So, uh, so much for the claim that these rugged individualists have no expectation of people coming to rescue them when they undertake these activities.

Other bits of comedy sprinkled in there as well. I liked the part where Mr McDonald is blaming the Revelstoke Snowmobile Society (which manages the parking lot and groomed trails), even though he himself later explains that they got the warnings and ignored them.

-k

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Why should they want to quit their jobs? For the most part people who work in SAR have a passion for their work and love what they do. If they didn't like those jobs and didn't accept the risks that go with them they wouldn't be in that line of work. They make the same choice about doing something with a given level of risk as do the people who go out into the back country. In fact very many SAR people are outdoor/back country enthusiasts themselves, they need to be to have the skills needed to work in SAR.

Sorry but you just sound like someone that is totally disconnected from the whole issue. Have you ever even been on a mountain with snow on it, besides a ski resort?

But Wilber's point (with which you seem to roughly agree) is that those putting themselves at risk know --know absolutely--that there will be a search-and-rescue effort for them if something goes wrong. It makes no difference if they don't expect it.

Because, in fact, they do expect it; because they are aware that it will occur.

Edited by bloodyminded
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Guest American Woman

But Wilber's point (with which you seem to roughly agree) is that those putting themselves at risk know --know absolutely--that there will be a search-and-rescue effort for them if something goes wrong. It makes no difference if they don't expect it.

Because, in fact, they do expect it; because they are aware that it will occur.

No one will convince me that they don't expect it. Can you just imagine no one coming after a group of people in such a situation and the reaction from the survivors if half the group died as a direct result? I'm sure they'd calmly go on record defending those who chose not to look for them/rescue them. <_<

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