Big thanks to Backcountry Access for sponsoring this avalanche education content. Check out the additional plethora of avalanche safety resources on their website.
Ever wondered if, through the power of super computing, an avalanche could be modeled to the extent that an AI system could gulp data gigs then spit out the chances of the slope you’re on ‘lanching you? One of the steps in this becoming reality is perhaps developing an algo that’ll truly simulate an avy. See the video below. Apparently you can check out these guys’ work in the movie _Frozen_. I suppose I have to watch that now. The previews horrified me so I never partook. Full reporting here.
The big news is of course K2 being skied by 30-year-old Polish alpinist Andrzej Bargiel. According to reports he made an impressively continuous descent. He began at the summit, only rappelled about 50 meters out of the entire enormous drop, and occasionally utilized the fixed ropes as a hand line. Looked legit to me.
I got scolded for not shouting about Bergiel, which I probably should have done. As penance for my transgression I compiled a link list of the better articles about the descent. Red Bull has good stuff, but remember they’re known for hyperbole. Planet Mountain is more level headed and journalistic. Enjoy, discuss.
Red Bull interview with Andrzej Bargiel, a bit vapid but interesting.
Planet Mountain story is short and to the point.
Rock and Ice Magazine summary of K2 climbing season holds interest to those of us in the mountaineering sphere. Apparently Bargiel’s brother used their filming drone to locate a climber needing a rescue, whose life was subsequently saved. Our local SAR team here in Colorado is big on drones, I’m told by the SAR guys they’re incredibly effective for search and rescue work.
The video below has rather gripping footie, as well as shots of the fixed rope spider web that adds an element of imperfection to mountaineering on the 8,000 meter peaks. Overall, “enjoy” a drone’s view of top level extreme skiing. Athletics of the variety most of us will never experience.
Okaaaay, to broaden our outlook past big mountains check this out — how you should really ski Salbach!:
The bitcoin detriment to the entire world’s energy economy is ludicrous. What’s this have to do with skiing? Simple, no matter how you cut it, increased electrical demand releases more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, which in turn probably eliminates winter somewhere, at some elevation. Worst is coal produced electricity, but don’t make the mistake of thinking hydro or even solar is guilt free. Building and maintaining any kind of electrical generation is an industrial process that does not come free. According to this article in Wired, the bitcoin miners of the world now collectively use the same kilowatts as the entire country of Austria! And we worry about running LED light bulbs…
Ever wondered why you feel better drinking black tea than you do after a few espresso? Could be simply because you’re not dosing on excessive caffeine. But tea contains wonderful chemicals. More here.
For those of you who use Marker Kingpin bindings: don’t forget the recall. I’ll leave it at that, rather than regurgitating their content.
The Kootenay nimbies are restless. More here.
More Canadian: In 1985, Ruedi Beglinger founded Selkirk Mountain Experience, which became legendary among the North American ski touring cognoscenti. It could be said he set the standard for dozens of “full catered” huts that now comprise the Canadian ski touring lodge industry. Read as he waxes retrospective.
Ski touring is taking over the world. You know that’s true when a formerly mechanized skiing operation caves to the demand of its customers for a human powered experience. Though $675 a day for two people must be a typo.