Santa Fe & Nambe

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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby jpurcellrd » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:20 pm

I don't believe that it's the ski area's responsibility either, but a large majority of people access avalanche terrain from the area. There is also a large population that "start out" backcountry skiing by skinning up the ski hill. This would be the population that you want to capture. Experienced backcountry skiers know what they are getting into...typically. I have seen many ski areas have signage on the boundary warning of "avalanche terrain" beyond ski boundaries.


You can put as many signs as you want, where you want. It's not going to hurt anything. If anything it could help the ski area out. If people are learning to backcountry ski and skinning up to deception via the ski hill, then dropping into Nambe, and rip an avalanche. The ski hill could potentially get wrapped up in legal troubles. I think it's in everyone's best interest to do as much as we can to avoid this scenario so no one gets hurt and we can continue to have an uphill capability.


I might be wasting my breath here so I diagress as this may have all been thought through and won't happen.
I just want to help out my community any way I can. It's been a scary week.


Regardless I think there should be some sort of avalanche symposium, talk, movie, whatever just to get folks together.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby Bob » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:32 pm

One thing about signage at the ski area: I’ve been told that the ski area has an agreement (idk if it’s formal or informal) with the forest service and/or the pueblos not to promote backcountry skiing from the area. I’ll try to find out the details, but there used to be a sign on the road to the towers for Big T skiers telling them they were on their own, but some outside pressure got it taken away. You won’t find much acknowledgement on the part of the ski area about bc skiing...unless things change. The ski area feels they have no legal responsibility for bc skiers.

I look at it as part of the charm here.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby jpurcellrd » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:34 pm

Land of Manana!! One of the biggest reasons I like this place! There is a lot of charm!!


I hear you!!


If there is interest in some type of avalanche symposium, awareness, talk, etc let me know I can start a seperate thread in general talk so we don't muddle up this one. It could be a pretty cool to have an informal get together at a brewery in town or something along those lines.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby sody » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:48 pm

Bob wrote:The ski area feels they have no legal responsibility for bc skiers.


From the Ski area website:

Avalanche danger and other hazards exist both inside and outside ski area boundaries. KEEP OUT OF AREA NORTH OF THE TESUQUE PEAK TRIPLE CHAIRLIFT WHEN THERE IS NEW SNOW, as these areas may have Ski Patrol in them engaged in avalanche mitigation. Entering these areas puts you and the Ski Patrol at risk. Skiing outside the ski area boundary is in a wild area where no avalanche mitigation measures have been taken. AVALANCHE DANGER, CLIFFS, AND OTHER NATURAL HAZARDS EXIST. THESE AREAS ARE NOT PATROLLED.
You are responsible for your own safety both inside and outside the ski area boundary. Ski Patrol service is not available outside normal operating hours (9:00am to 4:00pm), or outside the ski area boundaries at any time.


Also to access the out of bounds area, one has to go over a fence or a rope (except I believe where Aspen Vista road joins the area. So it is clearly marked where one leaves the area hence SF area should not assume any responsibility past those ropes.

Now would a sign have mitigated the accidents that happened? Probably not! All of them are experienced bc skiers that know the area pretty well. I think a promoting avalanche awareness within the local ski community would be more effective (talks, newpapers, social media...).
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby jpurcellrd » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:48 pm

Signage idea had nothing to do with this last weeks events. For the future, pure awareness.

Once Bob explained it it made a lot more sense or their stance. I was merely making the observation that there is not much awareness/acknowledgement of avalanche safety. Yes, media, newspaper is good way to get the message out, but who is going to do that? There is no organized avalanche center/ persons. I was just thinking that the ski hill/national forest is an obvious established entity where you could make an impactful presence for relatively no investment...with signage but once again I digress. It's tough to put together an "avalanche awareness" talk when there is no established professional/orgaization in the community taking the lead.


In Anchorage there was an avalanche exchange at the beginning of each year. Professionals would meet, and there would be speakers. Obviously Santa Fe wouldn't support something like this, but there could be something where peers exchange with a talk....or hell even a ski movie where it gets everyone together.

Anyone that is interested in an "exchange, talk, class" or whatever you want to call it I will start a thread in general talk.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby lobojasper » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:58 am

Seems like the NW face of lake peak slides like that in a similar manner every year. Glad every is okay!
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby JohnS » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:19 pm

:D
Last edited by JohnS on Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:08 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby sody » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:32 am

Thank you, John, for the detailed experience report. I know what you mean that eventually all of us make mistakes. I think the biggest takeaways from my accidents I had is that I will make mistakes. I just try not to make the same mistake twice.

From your write up, I have some questions for clarifications. Internet is great on misinterpreting statements and some of your writing may lead to this. That's why I am asking for my own understanding:

You said "I knew we weren't in a terrain trap and I had my airbag". Are you trying to say that because you were not in a terrain trap and that you you had an airbag with you, gave you an additional sense of ease/safety/security to go up that slope? Or the other way around, if you would have been in a terrain trap and wouldn't have your airbag you wouldn't have gone up the slope?

With your decision making, what cognitive biases/human factors were playing a role/weren't recognized that lead your group taking the risk you did from your point of view?
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby Bob » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:41 am

Great post JohnS!
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby JohnS » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:16 am

:D
Last edited by JohnS on Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby lobojasper » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:40 pm

JohnS wrote:You can wait until very late spring/summer when conditions really stabilize but you aren’t getting that nice powder you love to be in.


I disagree with this. April-May I have skied some of the best powder in my life here, in what I would consider to be much more stable conditions to ski on steep slopes when compared to early January. I know it is considered faux pas to criticize anyone that is kind enough to share an avy experience, and I don't mean it like that, but saying that you can't get "nice powder" with out the risk you took IMO is bad advice.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby sody » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:47 pm

lobojasper wrote:I disagree with this. April-May I have skied some of the best powder in my life here, in what I would consider to be much more stable conditions to ski on steep slopes when compared to early January.


The secret of New Mexico and Colorado skiing.... you had to share it, Jasper, damn you :twisted: :lol: :wink:

Jasper, also telling him that he may have gotten some bad advise is not a "faux pas" here. I would say it will help people learn.

JohnS,

I think everyone really appreciates that you are sharing your experience, the lessons learned and thought process. You may want to share it with more people and discuss the accident with others in person so you can draw even more conclusions out of it and apply to your future backcountry experience.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby Jasper » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:59 pm

I am Jasper. And I agree with lobo jasper. Skiing in April and May in New Mexico is badder than fuck. It's OK if people know. They will still prefer the classic ski destinations.
Go when the going is good.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby Bob » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:12 pm

The ski area is putting these signs out as I type.
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DFE99CF6-F202-4A5A-A547-66DC356B5607.jpeg (52.81 KiB) Viewed 532 times
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby Kerry » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:25 pm

What type of forum and what topics do those interested in an avalanche discussion wish for, presumably in a meeting at Santa Fe? As an AIARE avalanche instructor, I'm interested in participating and could deliver the Know Before You Go awareness lesson. I'd like to caution people who have not taken an avalanche course that this is not a topic you gain mastery in with just an evening talk, or even in single class.
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