Skip to main content

Risk = Probability * Consequence

I haven't gotten too adventurous yet - yesterday afternoon I headed out to Rocky Mountain National Park and drove around in the snow. The clouds were pretty low and it was snowing heavily enough that picture-taking wasn't very good, but I did drive through a herd of about 150 elk, so my trip did have a few highlights.

I've been trying to decide what to do with my time today and tomorrow. Option one (the lower-risk option) is to rent some snowshoes and make a few more day trips to RMNP. Option two (the higher-risk option) is to attempt to climb Mt. Evans. Evans is supposed to be a "novice" winter fourteener, which is good because I'm certainly a novice at winter climbing. I have all the gear, I know what the altitude looks like, and for Evans, I've even seen the route. But I'm just not convinced that it's something I should do. If I needed to cast any more doubt on the situation, check out the latest avalanche warnings from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center:

"ZCZC DENSABCO
TTAA00 KDEN DDHHMM
COZ004-009-010-012-013—18-019-033-034-060-061-161800-

SPECIAL AVALANCHE ADVISORY
COLORADO AVALANCHE INFORMATION CENTER
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER/BOULDER CO
315 PM MST FRI MAR 15 2002

...BACKCOUNTRY SNOWPACK IN COLORADO IS EXTRAORDINARILY WEAK AND AVALANCHE PRONE...

TWO FATAL AVALANCHES ON THURSDAY IN THE BACKCOUNTRY NEAR ASPEN TESTIFY TO THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE UNSTABLE AND AVALANCHE PRONE SNOWPACK IN THE COLORADO MOUNTAINS AT THIS TIME. THIS IS A RESULT OF MANY MONTHS OF LIGHT SNOWFALL AND SHALLOW SNOW DEPTHS ... CREATING A SNOWPACK INCAPABLE OF SUPPORTING MUCH WEIGHT ... FOLLOWED BY STRONG SNOWFALL AND WINDS IN THE MONTH OF MARCH.

THE COLORADO AVALANCHE INFORMATION CENTER HAS AVALANCHE OBSERVERS IN ALL MOUNTAIN AREAS OF COLORADO. MANY OF THESE HAVE 20-30 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE ... AND NONE HAS SEEN A SNOWPACK THAT IS SO WEAK SO LATE IN THE SEASON. AND IT EXISTS IN EVERY MOUNTAIN RANGE OF COLORADO EXTENDING FROM STEAMBOAT TO TELLURIDE.

THIS IS NOT A TYPICAL MARCH SITUATION. USUALLY BY MARCH THE SNOWPACK HAS BEGUN TO WARM AND SETTLE AND STRENGTHEN. BUT NOT THIS YEAR. THIS SNOWPACK IS NOT PRODUCING LARGE NUMBERS OF NATURAL RELEASING AVALANCHES. BUT IT IS EASILY SUSCEPTIBLE TO A TRIGGER AND IT WILL BREAK TO THE GROUND. LASTLY IT WILL NOT STABILIZE ANYTIME SOON. THAT MEANS THE BACKCOUNTRY COULD BE UNSTABLE FOR WEEKS TO COME.

TRIGGERED AVALANCHES CAN BE EXPECTED ON SLOPES OF 35 DEGREES AND STEEPER AND AVALANCHES CAN BE TRIGGERED ON SHALLOW SLOPES WITH STEEPER SLOPES LYING ABOVE. EXTRA CAUTION IS MANDATORY FOR ALL BACKCOUNTRY USERS.

THIS STATEMENT IS OF PARTICULAR INTEREST TO PERSONS USING THE BACK COUNTRY OUTSIDE DEVELOPED SKI AREA BOUNDARIES. WHEN NECESSARY SKI AREAS USE AVALANCHE CONTROL METHODS WITHIN THEIR BOUNDARIES.

FOR ADDITIONAL AVALANCHE INFORMATION...IN FORT COLLINS CALL...970-482-0457 ...IN COLORADO SPRINGS...719-520-0020...IN SUMMIT COUNTY ...970-668-0600...IN DURANGO...970-247-8187...IN DENVER...303-275-5360 OR VISIT OUR WEB PAGE AT www.geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche.

WILLIAMS
COLORADO AVALANCHE INFORMATION CENTER
2001-02
"

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The 15-Year Blogoversary

15 years and 1,213 posts! My first experience with the World Wide Web came in 1995, and by 1997 I had my own web page. The first web authoring tool I remember using was Composer, an HTML editor built into the Netscape Communicator suite. That helped me learn some HTML, and later I used Microsoft Word 97 and then FrontPage 98 and later Macromedia Dreamweaver to design more elaborate pages. Some of my FrontPage-built sites are still on the web. As I learned more about HTML standards and validation I wrote more HTML by hand, but I still wanted a way to make publishing to the web easier.

By 2001 I understood that (a) sites should be updated regularly and (b) FTP'ing sites and pages from my desktop to a server was a bit of a pain. I had heard about some early blogging platforms and chose one, Blogger, to try out. As you can see, I'm still here.
My first post using Blogger came on December 8, 2001. A few months later I paid for Blogger Pro, which offered additional authoring tools, l…

Last.fm and Ten Years of Web 2.0

Ten years ago yesterday I scrobbled my first tracks to last.fm. What's scrobbling? On last.fm, scrobbling refers to automatic music track logging to the internet. For me, uploading a record of my music listening habits was my first real experience with "Web 2.0." Remember Web 2.0? It referred to websites of user-generated content that enabled virtual communities and interoperability. Now such sites are too ubiquitous on the web to warrant a special designation — they're just the web. But that wasn't true in 2006, and even though I'd been putting content on the internet since 1996, at the time it was enough to make me a little nervous. What did these strangers want with my data, and what was in it for me?

Ten years and 24,941 scrobbles later, I have my answer: I have a really cool record of all the music I've listened to the past 10 years! Well, not "all," technically: I've certainly listened to music in places and on devices that didn't …

Why Eleanor Roosevelt Would Have Liked Google+

And why Google+ won't be replacing Twitter or Facebook for most of us anytime soon
"Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people."
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

I know too much already has been written about Google+ and its place in the world of social networking, but I've recently developed a new perspective which might help some of you who are trying to decide how and when to use Google+ versus Twitter or Facebook.

Eleanor might have said "small minds discuss people," but there's more than one way to discuss people and none of us are consistently small-minded. People are important, and the people who are most important to us are those with which we have mutual friendships or family relationships. This is why Facebook is best at people: it enforces (if we ignore fan pages) a symmetric follower model, ensuring that we are connected to people who want to also be connected to us. Those connections, often with people who we don&…