Can We Learn From Others Mistakes ???

RXN

Active VIP Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Messages
4,324
Reaction score
15,264
Location
Gibbons, Alberta, Canada
Here's a mistake I learnt.
Last winter I put 4 new tires on my sled trailer.
This winter I had to add air to two tires but I didn't look too close at them.
Now we hit Edson and see one tire is flat and all of them are cracked.
So thankfully Fountain tire has a couple guys on it. And it's getting Radial tires this time.
 

~Rowdy~

Active VIP Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
Messages
3,738
Reaction score
5,040
Location
Alberta
Great thread. I'll share a close call I had with a group.

Last winter I was in Revy for 10 days in February and one day found myself without anyone to ride with, so I joined up with a group of Sask guys that I had met before, but never ridden with. We hit boulder, it was a sunny day, the hill was pretty pounded and the leader of the crew knew Boulder very well so we went exploring to find some snow. We headed past Sugar Bowl and started dropping a few benches. I was tail guide for the day, so when we came to one bench where everyone stopped and had a look over. Myself and one other guy commented that it was pretty steep and we should maybe not drop this bench. Not much discussion happened, and the leader and guy behind him dropped the bench so we decided to stay as a group and we all headed down. We found some great snow, kept dropping and had a blast. We decided to poke a bit further then started heading back up the benches to get out the way we came in. One guy in the group was struggling getting up every single bench we had dropped. By the time we got to the big pull to get out, the leader made it up, I tried to figure out an alternate route that might have potentially been easier for everyone, so I tried the pull it at a side hill, hit our trail down and lost it. At that point the group decided not to waste any time trying to make it up and decided to head back all the way down to where we turned around where we thought we could make it out another pull as long as we got there in the day light.

Well, by the time we made it close, we started loosing light fast. The leader decided to try to find an alternate route and buggered off, a couple guys were stuck and I decided to get my inReach out and get someone to check on my dog and let someone know I was going to be back late. Well my darn inReach didn't work. I wasn't concerned about spending the night, I was more concerned about my poor dog stuck in her kennel for the entire night. But, nothing I could do about it so I got out my Frankensled light, put it on my helmet and as the leader came back we re-grouped and looked at the GPS. He spotted a drainage he was pretty sure we could head out if we kept going down. So as a group we decided that was our best option to get off the hill. We started heading down and came to the entrance of the drainage and stopped, got off our sleds and walked to the front. It was pretty steep with creek holes in the middle. One guy commented that we could all make it through there sidehilling, but I disagreed. I said, "it's late, we are all tired and if anyone of us looses a sled in one of those holes we are for sure spending the night. I think we should take the extra time and just shovel the side hill out so that we all make it and no one gets sucked down." There was a bit of discussion, and a few disagreements, but I stuck to my guns and insisted that this was the route we went. So we started shoveling, it worked, everyone made it to the flatter area. From there on out, if there was a tricky section, we shoveled, if someone got bucked off the "trail" we took the time to drag the person back on. It was the right call in my opinion. We made it down not as late as I thought and everyone dry and in one piece.

Things I learned:
1.) Always plug your inReach into your computer and look for an update BEFORE every trip. Turns out my inReach failed due to an update, is what I was told anyways.
2.) Test your inReach, maybe the night before or the morning of
3.) When it's dark and everyone is tired, take your time getting out. Rushing will only cause more problems. We were rushing to get back to the spot where we thought we could climb out after failing at the big bench and caused a few guys to get stuck and piled up which in turn caused more exhaustion.

Here's a map of the drainage we dropped down to get out. It's only "kind of" the route we took, I'm going off memory.

Boulder.jpg

Here's a pic of the start of our adventure getting out, lol.

16938852_10158290091245111_540548361747414978_n.jpg
 

Scotford

Active VIP Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2007
Messages
513
Reaction score
607
Location
Grande Prairie
Great thread. I'll share a close call I had with a group.

Last winter I was in Revy for 10 days in February and one day found myself without anyone to ride with, so I joined up with a group of Sask guys that I had met before, but never ridden with. We hit boulder, it was a sunny day, the hill was pretty pounded and the leader of the crew knew Boulder very well so we went exploring to find some snow. We headed past Sugar Bowl and started dropping a few benches. I was tail guide for the day, so when we came to one bench where everyone stopped and had a look over. Myself and one other guy commented that it was pretty steep and we should maybe not drop this bench. Not much discussion happened, and the leader and guy behind him dropped the bench so we decided to stay as a group and we all headed down. We found some great snow, kept dropping and had a blast. We decided to poke a bit further then started heading back up the benches to get out the way we came in. One guy in the group was struggling getting up every single bench we had dropped. By the time we got to the big pull to get out, the leader made it up, I tried to figure out an alternate route that might have potentially been easier for everyone, so I tried the pull it at a side hill, hit our trail down and lost it. At that point the group decided not to waste any time trying to make it up and decided to head back all the way down to where we turned around where we thought we could make it out another pull as long as we got there in the day light.

Well, by the time we made it close, we started loosing light fast. The leader decided to try to find an alternate route and buggered off, a couple guys were stuck and I decided to get my inReach out and get someone to check on my dog and let someone know I was going to be back late. Well my darn inReach didn't work. I wasn't concerned about spending the night, I was more concerned about my poor dog stuck in her kennel for the entire night. But, nothing I could do about it so I got out my Frankensled light, put it on my helmet and as the leader came back we re-grouped and looked at the GPS. He spotted a drainage he was pretty sure we could head out if we kept going down. So as a group we decided that was our best option to get off the hill. We started heading down and came to the entrance of the drainage and stopped, got off our sleds and walked to the front. It was pretty steep with creek holes in the middle. One guy commented that we could all make it through there sidehilling, but I disagreed. I said, "it's late, we are all tired and if anyone of us looses a sled in one of those holes we are for sure spending the night. I think we should take the extra time and just shovel the side hill out so that we all make it and no one gets sucked down." There was a bit of discussion, and a few disagreements, but I stuck to my guns and insisted that this was the route we went. So we started shoveling, it worked, everyone made it to the flatter area. From there on out, if there was a tricky section, we shoveled, if someone got bucked off the "trail" we took the time to drag the person back on. It was the right call in my opinion. We made it down not as late as I thought and everyone dry and in one piece.

Things I learned:
1.) Always plug your inReach into your computer and look for an update BEFORE every trip. Turns out my inReach failed due to an update, is what I was told anyways.
2.) Test your inReach, maybe the night before or the morning of
3.) When it's dark and everyone is tired, take your time getting out. Rushing will only cause more problems. We were rushing to get back to the spot where we thought we could climb out after failing at the big bench and caused a few guys to get stuck and piled up which in turn caused more exhaustion.

Here's a map of the drainage we dropped down to get out. It's only "kind of" the route we took, I'm going off memory.

View attachment 208316

Here's a pic of the start of our adventure getting out, lol.

View attachment 208317
Great story thanks for sharing !!!

Seems pretty consitant with all the stories so far about the late day bad decisions...

Glad everybody is sharing and sharing their learning points !!!
 

teamdirt

Active VIP Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
694
Reaction score
1,075
Location
revy/sicamous
This needs to be shared here: please read. This is something I've experienced and I see all to many groups doing on a constant basis. You need a partner and you need a partner that is in contact with you and you only, not just a buddy thats apart of a bigger group. You need a partner that is within i-sight at all times- this is your only life line. If **** hits the fan you need someone! please take this to heart! RIP Les
If you are in big groups- partner up with someone to break down the group and be responsible for that person. it may save someones life

The Day after New Years...
 
Last edited:

Lund

Active VIP Member
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
3,755
Reaction score
9,269
Location
Vernon/Kelowna
It is nice to see people sharing these adventures and memorable moment's. It kinda ties in with this thread posted on here.
What do you carry that others may not have thought about?

I haven't entirely read the whole thread, almost though but i have in the past read these kind of threads, including the other posted thread i highlighted on here.
I'm at odd's with peoples preparation and line of thought on the other thread and on here as well. There is a very big fundamental base part of sledding i have yet to read or has yet to be mentioned. You can be prepared and have the best outdoor survival experience, but in reality it mean's nothing if no one know's where in general you are and lack the seriousness of the environment your venturing in.
I personally blame electronics and people's over confidence, combined with being content, too comfortable, lacking respect with the environment they are in. Thus making bad judgement call's.
The fundamental base i'm talking about is a "pre-trip plan", letting someone know where your going and your plan and when your expected to be out.
Also, at club riding area's such as Boulder and many other riding area's, the sign in book is not a decoration, it is part of your pre-trip and a fundamental part of the sport. When the clubs put a sign in book at the cabin...sign in and PLEASE sign out.
Some of you might dismiss my post as dumb or no need to sign in, i'm prepared. Here are some fact's about SAR rescues. One of the first step SAR members do is check cabin log book, if no one signed in, it makes the job far more difficult and a much larger area to search.
Here are more fact's with SAR's, discounting avy's and serious crashes. A very small percentage of rescues involve an injury as most sledders seem able with their group to ride out. In most cases when SAR's goes out on an injury call, a chopper is involved and in/out....simple, no real time wasted as a location is already at hand when call came in.
Lost, yet completely mobile sledder, no injury, no mechanical issues. SAR call out is extremely rare as most sledder's will at times get them selves turn around and disoriented the majority always find their way out fallowing tracks.
Well over 90% of SAR's call out are sledders that MIGHT be well prepared BUT going back to the basic's mentioned above, the electronic, over confidence, combined with being content, too comfortable, lacking respect with the environment they are in, find them self's in trouble. The majority have NO pre-trip plan and many, not even signed in. SAR's get's called out by GF or a friend via a text message from the rider or rider's, maybe sat phone if were lucky. Location, somewhere on mountain?????
Where, what and who are 90% of the rescues? Those going OFF the beaten paths, down unrideable terrain like creeks and creek beds. Steep wooded terrain with unsettled snow condition's, ravine's and back sides of mountains out of the riding areas and so on. Are they lost? NO, seldom lost, just no coming back without alot of help. But not realizing SAR has to find them first generally on SKI's because of location and with virtually no or very little info on there where about, this get very difficult.
If you ride this type of terrain, have some basic etiquette for others out there. Its no longer just about you when others have to go get you from a bad coarse.
Fact is you are not prepared unless you have the basic sledding fundamentals ingrained in you, in reality your a liability to others no matter how much experience you have and how much gear you carry.


Pilots fly the sky's with a flight plan, sailors sail large bodies of water with a plotted chart. So ride the back country with atleast the MINIMUM, let someone know your plan and stick to it.
 

Scotford

Active VIP Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2007
Messages
513
Reaction score
607
Location
Grande Prairie
It is nice to see people sharing these adventures and memorable moment's. It kinda ties in with this thread posted on here.
What do you carry that others may not have thought about?

I haven't entirely read the whole thread, almost though but i have in the past read these kind of threads, including the other posted thread i highlighted on here.
I'm at odd's with peoples preparation and line of thought on the other thread and on here as well. There is a very big fundamental base part of sledding i have yet to read or has yet to be mentioned. You can be prepared and have the best outdoor survival experience, but in reality it mean's nothing if no one know's where in general you are and lack the seriousness of the environment your venturing in.
I personally blame electronics and people's over confidence, combined with being content, too comfortable, lacking respect with the environment they are in. Thus making bad judgement call's.
The fundamental base i'm talking about is a "pre-trip plan", letting someone know where your going and your plan and when your expected to be out.
Also, at club riding area's such as Boulder and many other riding area's, the sign in book is not a decoration, it is part of your pre-trip and a fundamental part of the sport. When the clubs put a sign in book at the cabin...sign in and PLEASE sign out.
Some of you might dismiss my post as dumb or no need to sign in, i'm prepared. Here are some fact's about SAR rescues. One of the first step SAR members do is check cabin log book, if no one signed in, it makes the job far more difficult and a much larger area to search.
Here are more fact's with SAR's, discounting avy's and serious crashes. A very small percentage of rescues involve an injury as most sledders seem able with their group to ride out. In most cases when SAR's goes out on an injury call, a chopper is involved and in/out....simple, no real time wasted as a location is already at hand when call came in.
Lost, yet completely mobile sledder, no injury, no mechanical issues. SAR call out is extremely rare as most sledder's will at times get them selves turn around and disoriented the majority always find their way out fallowing tracks.
Well over 90% of SAR's call out are sledders that MIGHT be well prepared BUT going back to the basic's mentioned above, the electronic, over confidence, combined with being content, too comfortable, lacking respect with the environment they are in, find them self's in trouble. The majority have NO pre-trip plan and many, not even signed in. SAR's get's called out by GF or a friend via a text message from the rider or rider's, maybe sat phone if were lucky. Location, somewhere on mountain?????
Where, what and who are 90% of the rescues? Those going OFF the beaten paths, down unrideable terrain like creeks and creek beds. Steep wooded terrain with unsettled snow condition's, ravine's and back sides of mountains out of the riding areas and so on. Are they lost? NO, seldom lost, just no coming back without alot of help. But not realizing SAR has to find them first generally on SKI's because of location and with virtually no or very little info on there where about, this get very difficult.
If you ride this type of terrain, have some basic etiquette for others out there. Its no longer just about you when others have to go get you from a bad coarse.
Fact is you are not prepared unless you have the basic sledding fundamentals ingrained in you, in reality your a liability to others no matter how much experience you have and how much gear you carry.


Pilots fly the sky's with a flight plan, sailors sail large bodies of water with a plotted chart. So ride the back country with atleast the MINIMUM, let someone know your plan and stick to it.
Well put sir and some great points !!!
 

teamdirt

Active VIP Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
694
Reaction score
1,075
Location
revy/sicamous
lots of great points touched on. thx. Lund. especially the log book. For the last 20 years SAR goes straight to that book when someone is lost on boulder to figure out there plan, which you are supposed to sign into and lay out your plans to so they have a starting point....

One thing I have configured since our freak incident, with numerous discussions with friends and collagues of mine which are ski-guides at heli ops, certified mountain guides with there own agenda, experienced backcountry users, resort patrolers , and general well respected badasses of the land is that sledders/skier/ snowboarders/ backcountry enthusiasts and all users could simply benefit from a tailgate meeting before they set out from the parking lot. Discuss what the plan is, who's partners with who, what the risks are, terrain and all out general plan if something were to happen. This should become standard practice and definitely needs to be apart of avalanche courses and beyond. When all these guys are asking what you have in your backpack incase something goes wrong let them know, step one we need a plan.
 
Last edited:

Barry Barton

Active VIP Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
636
Reaction score
433
Location
Edmonton AB
Did a trip years ago with a father and son at renshaw I didn't no the area that well but he claimed he did. Their was a total of 7 guys in the group we were riding in 3 to 4 ' of snow with no vizability . We dropped of a steep ridge into a valley I asked before we went in because we had some 700 with us he said no problem. Rode to late and when we tried to get out it was dark with just our sled lights to climb with not good. Tried to find a different way out but this guy said this was the only way out, I'll make a long story short we got out at 11 that night and left 3 sleds behind and had to come back the next day to get them. When we went back the next day we could see we were climbing a avalanche shut and all we had to do is ride along the ridge a little farther and it was a bunny hill to climb out. I do carry all the gear to stay over night if needed plus now I carry spot because my wife was sick from worring. Now I still ride with my son and a couple of young guys but I now hit mid day and tired I just have the boys take me to the trail and they jump back into the trees. Plus some days of hard riding the boys just try to keep on riding and that's when they get in trouble, but the best thing we got was the garmin 650 and what a life saver when u can talk to your group and some times we do get separated and we can track each down in minutes.
 

Catrider16

Active member
Joined
Dec 9, 2016
Messages
65
Reaction score
195
Location
Kelowna
I just want to note about Lund, I have not been in this sport for as long as many on here and consider my self more of a newish rider.
But I have known Lund for well almost 35 years, in those 35 years I had the honor to serve with this guy over seas and there is no one else I would want more then him as a riding partner or if SHTF in the hills or otherwise. He's the calm collected one, never excited, even when the bullets were flying LOL. I have seen him take some of those skills he acquired in the forces and bring it to the sport he dearly loves by applying them out there as a member of the local search and rescue team. He ran his own back country guiding business a few year's back and loves to show people simple survival tricks.
All I can say is I heed his advise, I did in Bosnia and do sledding in the hill's.
 

bobsledder

Active VIP Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
2,092
Reaction score
3,737
Location
Sicamous
Lots of experience and words of wisdom in these posts. I am new to riding in managed areas and not used to having a log book to sign in and out. All my life was in areas without that and groomed roads etc. I don't follow how this book is used. We often ride into the alpine going past the cabin on a planned route that brings us out and back down with out going near the cabin again so I figured signing in would only confuse things.
I look forward to an education from Lund as he sounds like on of the most experienced on here and also an ambassador that volunteers his expertise to rescue others.
 
Last edited:

bayman

Active VIP Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
917
Reaction score
730
Location
Calgary
This needs to be shared here: please read. This is something I've experienced and I see all to many groups doing on a constant basis. You need a partner and you need a partner that is in contact with you and you only, not just a buddy thats apart of a bigger group. You need a partner that is within i-sight at all times- this is your only life line. If **** hits the fan you need someone! please take this to heart! RIP Les
If you are in big groups- partner up with someone to break down the group and be responsible for that person. it may save someones life

The Day after New Years...

For us, we ride in a group where there are 4-6 guys/girls. We all ride with radios, there are a couple of spots and an in reach or two, a satellite radio, etc. e follow the rule that the guy in your truck has your 6, solo guys team up with one of the others. Works well for us. I'm lucky enough to have found such and experienced and safety conscious group to ride with. Not to mention thy know all the honey holes!
 

Caper11

Active VIP Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
7,889
Reaction score
14,394
Location
Edson,Alberta
Look at all the rescues lately on Boulder, I know its tough especially riding in the trees, but when a guy on the group says squirrel and buggers off or doesn't notice that the guy behind him has fallen behind, its extremely easy to get caught alone. I will never ride without a radio, and now I want everyone in my group to have a good one, I have a BCA for a backup radio but the radio RGM sold me is mint.
 

snochuk

Active VIP Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2006
Messages
5,366
Reaction score
15,423
Location
Edmonton
Look at all the rescues lately on Boulder, I know its tough especially riding in the trees, but when a guy on the group says squirrel and buggers off or doesn't notice that the guy behind him has fallen behind, its extremely easy to get caught alone. I will never ride without a radio, and now I want everyone in my group to have a good one, I have a BCA for a backup radio but the radio RGM sold me is mint.

Used to ride without one for many years now always have a radio.
Actually have 3 BCA (bought for riding with the kids) maybe not the best or latest features but are they ever handy.
Use them for hunting when there is no cell service.
Worth every penny.
 

LUCKY 7

Active VIP Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
3,959
Reaction score
5,397
Location
Sparwood
I was out with a large group last year and I was the only one without a radio. This year I bought 2 BCA radios and won't ride without them.
 

Toro

Active member
Joined
Dec 31, 2012
Messages
90
Reaction score
112
Location
Sherwood Park, Alberta
Rode Frisby first week of Dec, I'm not usually lucky enough to ride with a group so there's usually just two of us, I always sign in and sign out at the cabin but I noticed this year many simply don't bother.
 

Lund

Active VIP Member
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
3,755
Reaction score
9,269
Location
Vernon/Kelowna
Lots of experience and words of wisdom in these posts. I am new to riding in managed areas and not used to having a log book to sign in and out. All my life was in areas without that and groomed roads etc. I don't follow how this book is used. We often ride into the alpine going past the cabin on a planned route that brings us out and back down with out going near the cabin again so I figured signing in would only confuse things.
I look forward to an education from Lund as he sounds like on of the most experienced on here and also an ambassador that volunteers his expertise to rescue others.

Signing in and out is a form of communication for SAR should they be needed.
If you plan on bypassing the cabin and sign in book then correct, it is best to not sign in to prevent confusion as you mentioned. But we alway encourage every one to sign in and out...alway's.
Communication is the key.
If one sign's in but never signed out, we suspect they are still on the mountain and not off. If one signed in and out yet never made it out we now have a basis and idea of direction to start a search.
Crew's have been sent out in the past where sledder's signed in but never signed out and never communicated to friends and family. Hour's later and many resources put out we find out they are at a down town bar......not cool.

The point is "communicate" Pre-trip plan, communicate, stick to ride plan, communicate at the end of the day "on time", if late communicate.
Very simple, communication keeps people alive, lack of communication people get hurt and can die.
 
Last edited:

CatRpillar

Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2011
Messages
15
Reaction score
33
Location
Alberta
I started sledding in the mountains in 1991 and had to quit a few years ago due to back and knee problems but I do miss it. That said, I took a read through this thread and have to thank the OP for putting his situation down and others for their excellent input and suggestions. The mods should think of putting a thread like this on a sticky. Great to see the good sense put down in writing, which is something I thought was going the way of the dodo bird when I quit doing the mountains. When I first started I was a flat lander and just happened to hook up with a couple of guys who had experience and taught us some good safety precautions on our first weekend. Safe and fun sledding.
 

Tchetek

Active VIP Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
Messages
1,981
Reaction score
4,596
Location
Alberta
Lots of experience and words of wisdom in these posts. I am new to riding in managed areas and not used to having a log book to sign in and out. All my life was in areas without that and groomed roads etc. I don't follow how this book is used. We often ride into the alpine going past the cabin on a planned route that brings us out and back down with out going near the cabin again so I figured signing in would only confuse things.
I look forward to an education from Lund as he sounds like on of the most experienced on here and also an ambassador that volunteers his expertise to rescue others.

I also rarely saw cabins, then when I did I even more rarely went in them. So really didn’t know the sign in book existed for a while.

Would the collection booth be a better location for sign in/out, radio channel, beacon check record book?

Have a secret ballast box for the zipper lip people.



As for technology, and for a place like boulder (5 SARS successful recoveries this week alone) , somebody should design a wrist band, or poker chip, or cattle tag through the ear. The User must pick up when they pay, and deposit in a drop box after. Chip would have gps locating/tracking for SARS, maybe a help button with a fee for use. Chopper rescue then: sleds held hostage, or sold for rescue expenses, if the sled is worthless sell their truck too. Sign it over at the booth. Don’t like it, just don’t push the button and your day will be no different than now!


Obviously there are a great deal of expenses to get something automated up and going, But there currently is also a great deal of expenses and risks involved in the current rescue situations.


Having a pile of rescue expenses on the governments books is also not a great argument in our favour in this ongoing battle to keep our riding areas open.
 

bobsledder

Active VIP Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
2,092
Reaction score
3,737
Location
Sicamous
I wentn8nbthe Owlhead today. I could not find a sign in book and I dont think I have seen one in Quest or Blue Lake so I don't think eagle valley uses this system.
 

tex78

Active VIP Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2010
Messages
17,228
Reaction score
15,814
Location
DA Moose B.C
Signing in and out is a form of communication for SAR should they be needed.
If you plan on bypassing the cabin and sign in book then correct, it is best to not sign in to prevent confusion as you mentioned. But we alway encourage every one to sign in and out...alway's.
Communication is the key.
If one sign's in but never signed out, we suspect they are still on the mountain and not off. If one signed in and out yet never made it out we now have a basis and idea of direction to start a search.
Crew's have been sent out in the past where sledder's signed in but never signed out and never communicated to friends and family. Hour's later and many resources put out we find out they are at a down town bar......not cool.

The point is "communicate" Pre-trip plan, communicate, stick to ride plan, communicate at the end of the day "on time", if late communicate.
Very simple, communication keeps people alive, lack of communication people get hurt and can die.
Lots of experience and words of wisdom in these posts. I am new to riding in managed areas and not used to having a log book to sign in and out. All my life was in areas without that and groomed roads etc. I don't follow how this book is used. We often ride into the alpine going past the cabin on a planned route that brings us out and back down with out going near the cabin again so I figured signing in would only confuse things.
I look forward to an education from Lund as he sounds like on of the most experienced on here and also an ambassador that volunteers his expertise to rescue others.
After Travis death 2 years ago I talked eagle valley snow club to put In sign in book


Unfortunately frigging limited people think the paper is to start the fires, and not the news paper supplied
 
Top Bottom