>Birthday Stash

> Heather didn’t have school today (MLK Day) so we headed up to West Pine Creek to do some exploration to the west of Girls Camp Bowl. We weren’t sure about snow conditions and thought there would be a good chance that the snow wouldn’t be that good, but i’ll let the photos tell the story on that.

We skinned along the ridge and skied several good stashes on the northeast side of the ridge. You can see our tracks dropping off to the right.

Pretty good snow, eh?? Pretty steep too! This was our second lap, two humps west of Girls Camp Bowl.

We spent some time evaluating snow conditions. Video below. The snow depth at 7200 feet measured 42 inches.

Then we skied some more.

Heather and the Tetons


Take a look at the video and let me know your thoughts. I originally cut it for my length of skis, but in the end i had Heather jump on it. I’m not sure if the oversize will skew the results or not, and we miss counted. I forgot 1 and 2 in the count test, so i believe the block failed on #11. I’m still learning, so if you have suggestions or comments, please let me know. The slope angle was about 25 degrees, not 22. I looked at it again after the video.

All in all, not a bad way to spend my 20th birthday!!!


6 responses to “>Birthday Stash

  1. >Dean,It looks like the ‘pack’ in that area has reasonable stability.The questions I don’t know the answers to: how does Heather’s relatively light weight and her size compared to the size of the block you cut impact the test?

  2. >Thanks Scott. Rick and I talked last night also and i brought up the idea that we are only about 10lbs difference in weight. I ski 175’s and Heather skis 155’s. So there is the distribution effect with longer skis. Rick seems to also question the size of the block compared to Heather and her ski length. I think the overall effectiveness of our pit is in relation to our similar weight and its effect on the slope we thought about skiing. Obviously a heavier person will impact the slope differently. At least this is my understanding of this sort of test. We both felt comfortable skiing the slope after our assesment tests, but instead of skiing the gut of the bowl we skied a nice ridge to the left of it in trying to utilize the terrain to our safety advantage. I’m very open to any and all thoughts or interprative comments on this particular block test. I feel the more feedback i can get from others the more it will allow me to asses results with a broader specturm of thoughts.I would imagine some folks might get feel insecure with others suggesting something other than what their conclusion was, but i’m pretty much shameless when it comes to this and welcome constructive adjustments in my understanding of the situation!

  3. >Knowing that you and Heather are similar in weight, I would assume that, with similar skiing styles, you would impact the slope about the same. As a matter of fact, I would guess that her shorter skis would actually result in her generating a greater impact force on the test block than your longer skis giving a more accurate test result.What layer did that block eventually slide on?

  4. >Eric – the slope faced northeast.Scott – it failed on a very thin facet layer (1mm??) about 12 inches from the surface. My guess it this facet layer formed in the lull between the two big dumps the Big Holes have received. Just a guess on that though. Thanks for the feed back fella’s. It fun to hear other thoughts, this one inparticular as the block was a bit larger than i have been cutting for other tests.

  5. >Dean-I love your enthusiasm and effort with this new site. It’s great you’re getting out so much! As for Rustchblock Test (as well as Compression Test, Extended Column Test, etc.), there is a standard criteria for the size of the block and the rating system. This way, folks can compare data without a whole lot of variables. Granted, skier weight differences and ski/board lengths vary, but the blocks themselves should always be the same. According to SWAG (snow, weather and avalanche guidelines) standards, the test should be performed on at least a 30 degree slope and the block should be 2 m wide x 1.5 m deep. The sides and back are cut out, preferably with a snow saw attached to a ski pole, or a piece of cord. You can use your ski, but it’s never a clean cut (especially with twin tips!) and the sloppiness may effect your results. Grading is as follows:RB1 – Fails when cutting the back or shortly after; the weight of the block alone.RB2 – Fails when stepped on with skis within 35cm of upper wall.RB3 – Fails when making a rapid knee bend.RB4 – Fails on first jump (poles are useful for balance).RB5 – Fails on second jump in the same spot.RB6 – Fails on third jump in the same spot.RB7 – No failure in previous 6 steps.That’s it. You can continue jumping after 7 just to get it to fail, but to record it, use the number 7.I’ve read that if it is a hard or deep slab, then the person jumps on the block without skis. But, I have not tried this, nor have I seen it done and I’m not sure how that effects the grading of the test.Thanks again Dean, hope you find this useful! I’m off to the Williams Yurt for 5 days! New snow and cold temps; Old Man Winter is stirring!!!Cheers, Marc.

Comments are closed.