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Avalanche Gear

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  • Avalanche Gear

    Planning on doing multiple slide climbs in the High Peaks this winter. I believe avalanche gear is necessary on the slides in the Adirondaks, though some people I have talked to do not. What is the general consensus for bringing avalanche gear when climbing slides in the winter?
    Catskill 3.5K: 35/35
    Adirondack 4K: 30/46
    White Mountains 4K: 34/48
    Colorado 14K: 16/54

    Appalachian Trail thru-hike
    Sherwin NOBO 2013

  • #2
    In real winter (significant "slidable" snow accumulation) the slides are absolutely avalanche terrain. (I ski slides, but usually only in spring corn conditions.) There has been one avalanche death, and several near misses, on Adirondack slides in recent years. Due to almost no snow last year, if we get snow this year, it will be the first time the many new "Irene" slides will be tested for winter travel.

    Without getting into any detail, of course the most important avy gear is training, knowledge and experience. Second is a clear head and a willingness to adjust plans. All the hardware comes after those two.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by C29368 View Post
      Planning on doing multiple slide climbs in the High Peaks this winter. I believe avalanche gear is necessary on the slides in the Adirondaks, though some people I have talked to do not. What is the general consensus for bringing avalanche gear when climbing slides in the winter?
      I agree with TCD that knowledge and training should come first. There are several local options for avalanche courses.

      The Mountaineer offers avalanche courses at the annual Mountainfest and Skifest.

      EMS offers courses in NY and NH.

      Other avalanche courses in the Northeast.


      Here are some links that provide historical info on Adirondack avalanches:

      http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/20...valanches.html

      http://adirondackexplorer.org/out-ta...-in-avalanche/

      http://web.archive.org/web/200612060...aavalanche.htm

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      • #4
        None of these answers actually answered the question asked. He asked about which gear not about classes. We just want to know what people's opinions are about gear.
        Catkills: 24/35, 4/4 Winter
        ADK'S: 32/46
        Whites: 7/48

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        • #5
          I have brought gear before, but never needed it. It would suck to need it and not have it. The rational person would say carry it on all trips where you will be exposed to possible slides, and if you have it, and your partners have it, why not carry it.
          set the gear shift for the high gear of your soul...T.A.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by occamsrazor32 View Post
            None of these answers actually answered the question asked. He asked about which gear not about classes. We just want to know what people's opinions are about gear.
            Actually, I *don't* think he asked *which* gear to bring. I think he asked whether to bring gear or not to bring it. Maybe the OP can clarify the question, but the responses about knowledge were appropriate to the original question as written. Hillman has also answered the orignial question more directly, now.

            To the new question of *which gear*, there is pretty much a standard set of gear: transceiver, probe, shovel. Of course lots of brand and model choices there!

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            • #7
              I understand that knowledge is the most important tool one can have in dealing with avalanche safety. Thank you for the links. The objective of my question is to find out if the slide climbers of this forum bring avalanche gear with them on the slides of the Adirondaks. A simple yes or no is ok, or if one has preference to what avalanche gear they actually bring on what slides. Any other information in this thread, although very helpful, is secondary.
              Catskill 3.5K: 35/35
              Adirondack 4K: 30/46
              White Mountains 4K: 34/48
              Colorado 14K: 16/54

              Appalachian Trail thru-hike
              Sherwin NOBO 2013

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks. In my case, the answer is No, I generally do not bring that gear. That's because I stay off the slides until spring corn conditions come around. (Packed corn can slide, but it's far less likely.) If I were to go onto a slide when there was significant avy risk, then the answer would be Yes, I would bring that gear.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by C29368 View Post
                  I understand that knowledge is the most important tool one can have in dealing with avalanche safety. Thank you for the links. The objective of my question is to find out if the slide climbers of this forum bring avalanche gear with them on the slides of the Adirondaks. A simple yes or no is ok, or if one has preference to what avalanche gear they actually bring on what slides. Any other information in this thread, although very helpful, is secondary.
                  Yes, I'd want to bring what gear I had if the risk was high. If I knew conditions were more icy then, no.
                  May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

                  http://www.mackenziefamily.com/46/46r.html

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                  • #10
                    Avalanche gear

                    If you're going to travel in any terrain that has the potential to avalanche then you should be bringing a beacon, probe and shovel, preferably a metal bladed one. In addition you should be traveling with at least 3 in your party and know how to self rescue and seek out a avy course that meets the american avalanche associations guidelines.

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                    • #11
                      Peakbagr: Thanks so much for sharing that!! It was really well done and compelling. I'm interested in the backcountry but moreso low pitch glade stuff and some ski touring. Reading this gets me very interested in avalanche safety education.
                      Crepuscular Rays: Dissolve into evergreens

                      There's always gonna be another mountain
                      I'm always gonna wanna make it move
                      Always gonna be an uphill battle
                      Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
                      Ain't about how fast I get there
                      Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side...
                      It's the climb
                      -Miley Cyrus

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