I don't know. I certainly hope my clients go to dinner parties and boast of fat lines they did on their AK trip. I guess its ok if its a "tie and coat" affair.
yes,,,TPMC is a one-person operation. That sets TPMC aside. I may be guiding during the day, doing linen at night, changing oil in the snowgo, shoveling roofs, waxing skiis, trip plannning, wx forecasting. . Not much help here, so you pretty much have to make do with what ya got. I do as much or more than a heliguide that's for sure in the BC in regards to avy assessment, and much more on my off ski-time in regards to safety and comfort for clients. Its pretty much a 24 hour a day job duing the peak season. Heck just putting together a decent WX forecast can take hours of a day.
My objective opinion from what I've read of both arguments:
Rudy made mistakes by:
- taking the group up the gully when a safer alternative was possible
- having one group travelling directly above the other
- sound like he had not explored this area sufficiently during that season - dug pits, ski cut, etc. to make a trully informed opinion.
My judgment is he lapsed in diligent guiding skills and could be held accountable.
did I hurt your little feelings?
you must be one of the pussies who buys adventures so he can sound like a big adventurous mountaineer at dinner parties, impress the chicks with your well-traveled mountaineering prowess
when you've written more Avy Science articles for Couloir magazine than I have, then you can tell me to crawl in a hole and I might be impressed
So did you write to the editor about your hemorrhoids too.
Get real. Your ideals will do nothing to support the sport that you write about. "If you are not good enough don't play the game" that sounds like a good mantra. While I agree with you to a point, if you plan to contribute positively to the sport you better find a bright side to your doom philosophy.
Here are a few more from other posts....I see a trend...Your doing more harm than good.
People who shut down their own brains to follow either tracks for free or guides for fee get what ever befalls them.
It is called NATURAL SELECTION.
As noted above, let the buyer beware.
To that I add: I am still rather amazed that people "buy" an opportunity to hand their life and health over to someone else's judgement for recreational purpose ....
Joined: 09 Dec 2004 Posts: 3572 Location: on the wings of a pig
Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:57 am Post subject:
I mostly agree with dave about guides, but I would really like to ski with matt. That's my type of guide/host. Not too many folks I'd pay to take me out to play fast and danger. I'll take responsibility for my own life, thank you.
dave - I'm not trying to bag on frank, really.
But this whole thing has made me uncomfortable from the start. I was very sad when I heard about the accident, because I knew pete and annie and another woman who was there. But something about the approach that pete and frank have taken bothers me. I guess I just don't know what good any of this will ever really do. Lawsuit or not, I just wonder what good is going to come out of any of this. I think there are better ways to change things.
I won't argue that Reudi did not guide that group the way that I would ski with a group of friends. That was the biggest mistake. You cannot control the weather or the snowpack - they are what they are. But you can control what you decide to climb and ski. Bad mistake to climb that slope that day.
Joined: 06 Dec 2004 Posts: 324 Location: Nederland
Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 8:10 am Post subject:
Never, ever, in a million copulating years would a I put my ass on a helicopter and fly deep into an entirely unfamilar terrrain and just totally put my life in someone else's hands trusting that their judgement is 100% spot on.
Anyone who skis beyond their familiarity in their home terrain or who pays money to be picked up and dropped down in someplace entirely new and hands their welfare over to someone else is asking to be a statistic.
I have ZERO sympathy for someone who dies by stepping beyond their true capacity while trying to BUY an experience that is beyond their skills.
That's a pretty strong statement. So you never ever step into an airline, totally putting your life in the hands of a pilot? And you have ZERO sympathy for the passengers of the burned out skimetro in Kaprun, because they were stepping beyond their true capacity of traveling in the mountains. Yeah, sure, they should have walked in, slowly and deliberately!
I think you missed why the human race evolved to where we are now, through specialisation. If we were still doing everything on our own, we would still be hunting around in the tundra (not a bad life probably).
This doesn't mean that I don't agree somewhat with you. I would sure like to see that guides would encourage their clients learn and think for themselves. And I would absolutely like to see clients with respect for the bc, instead of shopping for thrill and adventure.
Joined: 09 Dec 2004 Posts: 1313 Location: Anchorage
Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 6:33 pm Post subject:
(db) to say that everyone killed in an avalanche is a idiot, is a bit extreme. If you are only going to ski and climb on slopes and terrain that have absolutely no possibility of avalanching you would be skiing and climbing in some very limited terrain. Some very good climbers/skiers have died in avalanches (Alex Lowe and Dougal Haston come to mind). Backcountry skiing and climbing have risks and I would venture to say that the only way to truly eliminate that risk would be to stay at home. Which is not an option for most of us.
db you speak of writing to Couloir and take very hard stances on guides in general. Sounds like you have a bone to pick with some one. Why discourage the use of guides, this seems odd as guides help keep people out of danger. The danger of avalanches, loosing your way, getting hurt etc... You seem to be discouraging people from trying the sport if they are not an expert.
Were as, I think your point is not follow the guide with blinders on, and I agree, however guides serve a valuable function. Discouraging the use of guides is not the correct stance IMO. Convincing the client its ok to ask questions and second guess the guide, would be a better stance.
While using a guide, the client must be aware of the surrounding danger and be a part of the groups decisions or listen to why the decision is made AND ACCEPT THE RISK.
I do agree that keeping the groups small is very important.
Surely even you, silas, can acknowledge two things:
if you cut your life short in an avalanche in the name of fun, then you are
1. an idiot
2 at fault.
I agree with you db, but I am not a idiot in my own eyes. I made a calculated risk and lost, oops, my mistake, my fault. You or others may call me an idiot, but I don't care. This is a sport I love. If my time is cut short by an avalanche, I hope it's blue sky powder day, perfect turns and please don't second guess my decision to ski that day.
And db skiing/outdoors is my lifestyle or mental illness, its way beyond a hobby at this point.
Last edited by silas on Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
silas - <<(db)>> wrote an article about avalanche transcievers that was published by Couloir, not about guides
My reference to db and guides only stem from what I have read from him on this board. <<(db)>> PM'd me saying that he wrote in Couloir and he would not go back to his hole until I was published too, whatever.
This is a rare case and a total accident in my opinion. My hart goes out to the families and friends but this should be a learning experience of how to avoid this type disaster in the future. It should not be a time to drag people thru the mud and sue there pants off.
Last edited by silas on Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
Joined: 07 Dec 2004 Posts: 419 Location: Bellingham, WA
Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 11:51 pm Post subject:
this is a simple little concept.
Don't be there with a guide if you wouldn't there without a guide.
[b]Use a guide to make an experience better.
But don't depend on a guide to make an experience possible.
Interesting perspective. I am widely known as a questioning, dubious sort of guy, yet I use guides a lot in my life (although never yet professional ski guides). For example, I scuba dive guided by divemasters from time to time; worse yet, I often rent equipment from the company that provides the guide. I've never been diving on my own, and at the rate I'm going I probably never will. I've also rockclimbed with a guide, and I twice did alpine climbs with guides; in all of these cases, they helped me go places I'd not have gone on my own, and I trusted their judgement and abilities. This is bad? I'm an idiot? Or only if I die...in which case I start the day ok, but in the instant of death I become an idiot? There are a few pieces missing from this equation.
db, your input is interesting and often valuable, but I find your manner needlessly arrogant and insulting. This makes it difficult to listen (this is not the first time you've heard this, I trust). If exercise of your right to be arrogant and insulting is more valuable to you than the opportunity to be heard, you're probably on the right track. On the other hand, if you're hoping to convey your thoughts, feelings and beliefs to a variety of other posters, you might want to think about toning it down.
Joined: 06 Dec 2004 Posts: 791 Location: Ask Heisenberg
Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 1:27 am Post subject:
One thing about going to court is that in the end it usually exposes people and positions for what they are.
Here are a few excerpts from the Baysteet decision. And remember that I didn't write these, a judge did. So disagreements or conspiracy theories that the court is in bed with industry, the coroner, the ACMG and everyone else can be addressed to the court and not to me.
48 Mr. Penniman, an expert for the plaintiff, caused me some concern by both the content and style of his evidence. He appeared to me to be an advocate for a particular point of view that is, he was dogmatically, but unconvincingly critical of elements of the CMH system for avalanche forecasting and of the judgments made by the guides based on that system. He was rarely inhibited by his own lack of experience in heli-ski guiding or any kind of guiding in terrain like that in the Bugaboos. He occasionally used intemperate and emotive language which served to further undermine my confidence in the soundness of many of his opinions.
I have no difficulty in preferring the evidence of either Dr. McClung or Mr. Stethem over that of Mr. Penniman or Mr. Boiselle. The range of experience in both mountaineering and avalanche forecasting generally, and specifically, in relation to a mountain range like the Bugaboos and heli-ski industry standards, was far greater for the defence experts.
The preponderance of credible evidence on the advisability of requiring a test pit to be dug before taking guests onto a slope like Bay Street, was overwhelmingly against it. I find there can be no basis for a finding of negligence on the basis that a test pit was not done on Bay Street on March 12 or any other time.
Of course in the end everyone was well paid. And while the court found in favor of CHM they did limit the plaintiff costs to 50%. The first paragraph of that decision is also interesting as it sums up the case:
 Judgment in this matter was handed down on
September 25, 1996. The action against the defendants was dismissed. The claim advanced by the plaintiff involved three issues relating to liability: l) that the individual defendants were criminally negligent; 2) that the defendants were negligent in failing to meet the standard of care in the avalanche forecasting industry, and if they met the standard of care then that the standard of care was negligent; and 3) that the waiver of liability signed by the plaintiff's deceased husband was not binding in the
circumstances. All three issues were resolved in favor of the
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