pkerr wrote:I wish i could delete this thread.
No pkerr, what you did with Eric was safe. He wouldn't have taken you out there is it wasn't safe. It hadn't snowed that much and if you check the avalanche centers web page for that day you will see that danger was "low". You weren't anywhere with a pitch over 35 degrees anyway. That's side country anyways, it not really back country, people are there on a daily basis after a little snowfall.
I was ducking the ropes and riding back to the cabin on many days like you had that day.
The avi report for the 14th was moderate, and it was considerable the day before. Slopes as low as 30 degrees are prone to sliding, and even on low angle slopes slides can occur from above. I don't know what terrain they actually skiing, but alot of the escarpment that makes up the Face is well above 30 degrees. Side country is in no way safer then back country, some would argue it is less safe for these vary reason that it is so accessible to the under equipped. Just because you did the same or similar runs 99 times, doesn't mean it can't slide on the 100th run. While mature, unflagged trees are a good sign, there have been plenty of slides on just such terrain.
I am not saving it wasn't safe, or that the patroller did not know anything about avi conditions, I am just saying taking a group of people out without basic back country gear is not real smart in anything but the most bomb proof conditions (which this day was not.). I might ski that same area under similar conditions, but probably not solo, or with out basic gear.