6 caught in avy on Torreys (6/6)

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DeTour
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Re: 6 caught in avy on Torreys (6/6)

Post by DeTour »

I'm in no position to judge the wisdom of decisions made, but I know this: Britt Jones has contributed a tremendous amount to this community and to the CO mountain community in general. Maybe he made a bad call on Sunday, don't know, but even if he did it really doesn't matter now. Fact is it sounds like he's in a bad way and could use support - emotionally, spiritually and if you can, financially.

For the critics, how about you search Globreal's 1800+ posts and see how many times he's criticized or second-guessed. He certainly has the knowledge base to do that, but I suspect you'll find few if any. And I'd suggest that's the appropriate attitude here.

For those who didn't hit the link, part of the description: "One rock hit Britt on the forehead and nose. His helmet saved his life, but the impact was so great that he suffered neck and spinal cord trauma. He had to go to the ER to receive a through medical exam with lots of tests. There will be months of follow up medical visits to insure Britt heals properly and does not have any permanent damage …"

This strikes a chord with me as I watched my brother go through months of agony from a head injury. Please, let's drop the second-guessing and support a longtime member and top contributor to the mountaineering community in a time of need.
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Re: 6 caught in avy on Torreys (6/6)

Post by Monster5 »

It's possible to both support Britt and recognize the factors that went into an accident.
This isn't an either/or type of thing and Britt's humble enough where pride won't conflict with accident discourse.

It's impossible to eliminate all risk in mountaineering, but we sure as hell can reduce it.
Simply put, they should not have been running belays midway up an east-facing couloir with notorious rock fall at that time of day and in those conditions. I can think of two other couloirs in that same basin that would've been wiser choices.
I'm also surprised this isn't a more common occurrence in DD based on the parties I've seen soggy-ass deep on the thing in late morning.

I also was not surprised whatsoever it was a CMC trip, which is somewhat telling in itself. I respect aspects of the CMC, volunteer with the CMC, and have good friends involved with them. But it still isn't surprising.
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Re: 6 caught in avy on Torreys (6/6)

Post by Rainier_Wolfcastle »

Get well Britt!

I’m guessing this was a CMC class like HAMS or something that followed an annual schedule with a progression that included DD on or about the weekend after Memorial Day...probably a schedule that had worked without incident for years. I’m sure the group leaders and local CMC leadership folks realize that the group should have aborted or gone to plan B at this point...a little late, but if you’ve never been stubborn and made a mistake with your climbing plans, then pat yourself on the back...congratulations, you’re commemorative signed Dr. Jon Mount Everest Summit Flag is in the mail!

VOLUNTEER CMC Course Leaders sometimes f’up, sometimes CMC folks are involved in accidents, many times CMC students are doing something at a level they’ve never done before, and they are in your way, they are slower than people that have done it a hundred times...go figure! Sorry Dave Hahn, Melissa Arnot, and Bean aren’t volunteering to spend a month and a half of their weekends to try to train newbs and then take them up Rainier! In the big picture, are the few CMC group accidents more or less than if the thousands of CMC courses/climbs weren’t available and many of those folks just tried the good old trial and error method on their own?

I was too cool, smart, and fast to sign up for CMC courses when I was learning. I bought some pons and an axe...did lots of stuff way above my skill level...only to then realize how stupid I really was. Then, as a total internet lurking stranger, asked Steve G if I could join him on some winter stuff, maybe learn something...I was greeted with open arms...guess who was there on our first hike, Britt Jones. Read Britt’s Phoenix TR from February 2012..it was only a 19 hour day because of my slow ass...and that is despite them going in the night before and putting in the first few miles of trench. I got nothing but love from those two...and I was a stranger. I saw them do stupid sh!t, we all do stupid sh!t. Steve is gone, and Britt and I vowed to help others the way he helped us...well that lasted about a weekend for my selfish ass...but good old Britt kept his word!

I learned how to rock and ice climb with the CMC and have nothing but positive things to say about that. Their climbing outings aren’t for me, and my time with them has past, but I am thankful. I’m a low end rock climber, without much advanced leading ambition, but a few folks I’ve been on trad climbs or glacier travel with over the years don’t even know what an auto-block is or would be f’d if they had to prusik self-rescue. I’m positive those courses have saved some people’s lives...maybe my own some day in the future.
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Re: 6 caught in avy on Torreys (6/6)

Post by DArcyS »

Wait, this was a CMC led climb? Choosing to practice running belays at 9a around 13k on an east facing cooler after a weak freeze?
We can see it was 9am since we're sitting in front of the computer with our 20/20 hindsight glasses on, but when you're teaching a class, it might be easy to lose track of time. I can see how that could easily happen. And since no good deed goes unpunished...

What? It's 2am? I should get some sleep.
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Re: 6 caught in avy on Torreys (6/6)

Post by d_baker »

Heuristic Traps.
Yeah, I'm not surprised either, that a group of people fell victim to those traps and there was an accident.
CMC, a group from this site or otherwise, people make those mistakes.
Everyone lived and will hopefully recover and hike and climb again, with another tough humility lesson to move forward with. (Get well Britt.)

Remember the group of skiers that died on Loveland Pass 10+ years ago? Who was surprised by that one?
The earlier death mentioned in the avy 2 class, surprised?
The deaths this past winter avalanches?
Humans f**k up. You have, I have.
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Re: 6 caught in avy on Torreys (6/6)

Post by Dave B »

.
Last edited by Dave B on Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 6 caught in avy on Torreys (6/6)

Post by DArcyS »

Dave B wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:09 am
DArcyS wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:14 am
Wait, this was a CMC led climb? Choosing to practice running belays at 9a around 13k on an east facing cooler after a weak freeze?
We can see it was 9am since we're sitting in front of the computer with our 20/20 hindsight glasses on, but when you're teaching a class, it might be easy to lose track of time. I can see how that could easily happen. And since no good deed goes unpunished...

What? It's 2am? I should get some sleep.
Promoting the benefit of hindsight and the ability to lose track of time is an awfully dangerous approach for an organization to take when teaching mountain skills. Especially on an obvious red flag day in obvious red flag situations. But, if my memory serves me, you've been involved with CMC (?) and are probably defensive about it's reputation. I took a class with CMC (HAMS) many years ago, and experience absolutely nothing worth defending, so I am equally biased.
Shades of grey here. Not intending to defend, as mistakes were made, but pointing out how it might be easy for a human to make a mistake.

When I first heard of this accident online, it made me think of the accident on the Bells on a June day back in the early 90s (that's when you know you're getting old, you recall accidents about 30 years ago). Coincidentally, also a CMC trip.

"absolutely nothing worth defending..." Well, par for the course in today's polarizing society where people can only manage to see one thing from one side due to a bias. But at least you admit your bias. And perhaps I shouldn't take your statement so literally.
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Re: 6 caught in avy on Torreys (6/6)

Post by Aphelion »

Looking at the CMC calendar, this was a HAMS class. These people paid hundreds of dollars to be taken out by an expert and learn the right way to do things, and the CMC took their money and gave them an easily avoidable boondoggle of bad decisions and incompetence that endangered the whole group. And now the CMC member response in this thread is best summed up as... "you're not allowed to criticize us."

If you're trying to make your organization look better, this may not be the best approach.
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Re: 6 caught in avy on Torreys (6/6)

Post by DArcyS »

Aphelion wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 8:50 am Looking at the CMC calendar, this was a HAMS class. These people paid hundreds of dollars to be taken out by an expert and learn the right way to do things, and the CMC took their money and gave them an easily avoidable boondoggle of bad decisions and incompetence that endangered the whole group. And now the CMC member response in this thread is best summed up as... "you're not allowed to criticize us."

If you're trying to make your organization look better, this may not be the best approach.
Are you talking to me?
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Re: 6 caught in avy on Torreys (6/6)

Post by SamWerner »

DArcyS wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:14 am
Aphelion wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 8:50 am Looking at the CMC calendar, this was a HAMS class. These people paid hundreds of dollars to be taken out by an expert and learn the right way to do things, and the CMC took their money and gave them an easily avoidable boondoggle of bad decisions and incompetence that endangered the whole group. And now the CMC member response in this thread is best summed up as... "you're not allowed to criticize us."

If you're trying to make your organization look better, this may not be the best approach.
Are you talking to me?
Seems like it was directed at uwe, but I could be wrong
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Re: 6 caught in avy on Torreys (6/6)

Post by Aphelion »

DArcyS wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:14 am
Are you talking to me?
Not you specifically, but the general line of defense here from the CMC.
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Re: 6 caught in avy on Torreys (6/6)

Post by DArcyS »

horn.PNG
horn.PNG (286.62 KiB) Viewed 1244 times
My comment from last year's avy on Horn, and this was mentioned in the final CAIC report.

https://www.avalanche.state.co.us/accidents/colorado/

Same deal this year, here's the snotel graph last week for the nearby Grizzly Pk. snotel station, and Loveland isn't much better. The temps are so warm, the read 32 degree line isn't even on the graph.
snotel.PNG
snotel.PNG (42.03 KiB) Viewed 1244 times
So, there is info out there to be considered.
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