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Brilliant article in NYT on Tunnel Creek/Stevens Pass Avalan

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Brilliant article in NYT on Tunnel Creek/Stevens Pass Avalan

Postby gdurkee » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:10 pm

An excellent multi-media article in the New York Times on last year's Tunnel Creek avalanche: ... nnel-creek

Several comments from later interviews of some of the skiers struck me:

“I’ve been riding Stevens Pass since I was 3 years old,” Dessert said. “I can tell circumstances, and I just felt like something besides myself was in charge. They’re all so professional and intelligent and driven and powerful and riding with athletic prowess, yet everything in my mind was going off, wanting to tell them to stop.”

“I could see the others when I cut over,” Wangen said. “I thought: Oh yeah, that’s a bad place to be. That’s a bad place to be with that many people. But I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to be the jerk.”

This is the classic post-accident type of comment during an interview. Opposing the group-think is the hardest -- and bravest --- thing a person can do. This seems a classic case where maybe we ought to be talking about integrating something along the lines of the Coast Guard GAR model into the recreation level of users. Maybe start out with the more extreme sports: climbing, backcountry skiing, but then roll out into average trips. ... RM-GAR.pdf

The Coast Guard started using this maybe 10 years ago after a series of rescuer accidents. Many were traced to a gung-ho (and understandable) "gotta get there" attitude where, really, a few minutes taking a deep breath and examining the crews training, experience, equipment and conditions. Agencies have started doing this for SAR and other emergency response, but perhaps it can be adapted to recreation pre-trip or pre-gnarly-route travel.

In addition, the NYT article is great because it's a brilliant use of text and multi media to recreate the incident. Note also 3D animation of mountain with relative routes of skiers. A long article, but well worth settling in with a cup of coffee and viewing.

Oh. Also worth reading is: Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty by Karl E. Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe.


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Re: Brilliant article in NYT on Tunnel Creek/Stevens Pass Avalan

Postby oldranger » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:45 pm

This is too bizarre. I read the link last saturday the 22nd at a B&B near Lake Chelan while waiting for my daughter, son in law, and two grandkids to drive over----Stevens Pass. But the Pass was reported to be closed due to trees across the road. This had been happening the past few days while we were spending some time in Leavenworth. Just as I was finishing the article my daughter and her family arrived safely and the next day we headed up to Holden village, located at only 3200 feet of elevation but nonetheless with over 6 feet of snow on the ground. It was a great Christmas!

Happy New Year!


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