Tag: backcountry

VOC Group size: a response

Phil Tomlinson, the current president of the VOC, composed a detailed and thoughtful response to my previous post. He had some trouble getting it into the comments, so I thought I would reproduce it here. Hi Michael, As the current

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The UBC VOC and Group Sizes

This post is a bit of a rant, so please skip it if you’re not in the mood. A few years ago a friend and I travelled into the Cerise Creek area for some mountaineering. We were surprised to see

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On ski widths

Some musings on ski widths

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My First Search

On July 17th 1999 I participated in my first SAR Search. I’d volunteered for the team in the fall of the previous year, and had been formally accepted as a member-in-training in January, 1999. The cohort of 10 new members

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The Pineapple Express and Extreme Avalanche danger

A Pineapple Express is approaching the coast, and conditions have changed yet again. Everyone should take a moment to appreciate the significance of Extreme Avalanche hazard on the south coast. Take a moment to understand what extreme means: Likelihood of

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Weather observations redux

In my post yesterday I noted that it’s important to get a synopsis of weather conditions. My rationale; most weather forecasts provided by Environment Canada and other forecasters are geared toward the sea-level public, and contain wind and rain amounts,

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Weather observations and the coming storm

With reference to the post I wrote on coastal weather patterns, this weeks storm is an illustration of a winter front. However, the public forecasts and the rainfall warning are clearly geared toward the sea-level public. So where does a

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Snow patterns on the South Coast

The south coast of BC (an area encompassing the Fraser Valley, Sea to Sky and Sunshine Coast) is known for rain in the winter months, and with altitude, snow. A rule of thumb states that every 1000 feet of elevation

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Backcountry skillz

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I learned to ski in the backcountry. I’ve been doing it for almost 20 years now. When I go backcountry skiing, in even the busiest areas, I’ll see about 20 people in a day. Not

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That’s just how I slide

Looks like the 80’s, but it’s the 90’s; telemark skiing. Don’t emulate this photo for your own tele technique; I’m completely self taught and have a style that could be called unique if you’re feeling generous. For the geeks among

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