No way to Silverton Mountain - Mountain Buzz
 



Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-15-2015   #1
 
Palisade, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1
No way to Silverton Mountain

Please voice your opinion!
Thanks

Everyone, we have 3 days (August 17th) until the public Comment Period ends on the Silverton Mountain Heli Pod Swap Proposal. We are urging you all to send in your thoughts for or against. In short, we oppose this proposal due to the potential conflict it will create with backcountry tourers. All public comments should be sent in to: [email protected].

Summary of proposal: Silverton Mountain is proposing to switch their pods from the northern area around Placer Gulch area, that is mostly above treeline terrain to a more southern area located around Minnie and Maggie Gulch (East of town), which is heavily used for backcountry skiing today. These areas will technically continue to be used by backcountry users. Their permit would be the same operation guidelines as existing, but new area to operate in. This means they will have the ability to use explosives for avalanche control, as well as send clients down slopes skiing with a guide.

In summary, the proposal is as follows

• Swap of high alpine pods in northern area to alpine and below treeline terrain. This includes Minnie, Maggie, and King Solomon

• Backcountry touring will still exist in these areas, creating potential conflict with helicopter travel

• Use of explosives to mitigate avalanches possible via helicopter. Fly by inspection must be done prior, and all explosives must be reported to the BLM.

Reasons we are opposed: Backcountry touring will essentially end in these areas due conflict with the helicopters making it unsafe to travel in these areas. Primary points of concern are:

• Silverton Mountain will be required to do a fly-by inspection of the avalanche path prior to bombing, but with most of the new terrain requested being below treeline, backcountry tourers will most likely not be seen while Silverton is mitigating a slope hazard. We operate in a snowpack with high probability for deep slab instabilities, where unforeseen avalanches can occur, and have every year. For example, in 2012, there was an avalanche caused from a backcountry forecaster in the woods 50 feet from an avalanche path, which caused an avalanche a half mile away in the Irene slidepath that ran R3 D2. These types of avalanches can happen and do every year. They pose serious risk for backcountry tourers present while avalanche control is done. Second, this area receives generally the least amount of snow in the Silverton area, meaning deep slab instabilities will be more possible to trigger in these areas. Many of the slide paths in the proposed pod have ran to the ground and full path over the past few years, showing the potential in this area for large and destructive avalanches.

• Many of the runs requested in the southern pod today have significant terrain traps at the bottom (mostly steep creeks). Some years, the bottom of these runs are full of rock, and not skiable. So, if requesting for safer skiing, these slopes are still very dangerous to operate in (and even ski) and do not fit their intended use. If they are requesting safe helicopter terrain, this does not seem suitable for that use.

• Silverton Mountain guides are not required to be AMGA certified, which most touring companies that operate in the backcountry today are. While Silverton Mountain Guides are knowledgeable of their mountain and extremely well trained, they should be held to the same standard if operating in the backcountry prior to bringing clients out.

• Although Silverton has stated they have never had conflict for tourers, this does nveryone, we have 3 days (August 17th) until the public Comment Period ends on the Silverton Mountain Heli Pod Swap Proposal. We are urging you all to send in your thoughts for or against. In short, we oppose this proposal due to the potential conflict it will create with backcountry tourers. All public comments should be sent in to: [email protected].

Summary of proposal: Silverton Mountain is proposing to switch their pods from the northern area around Placer Gulch area, that is mostly above treeline terrain to a more southern area located around Minnie and Maggie Gulch (East of town), which is heavily used for backcountry skiing today. These areas will technically continue to be used by backcountry users. Their permit would be the same operation guidelines as existing, but new area to operate in. This means they will have the ability to use explosives for avalanche control, as well as send clients down slopes skiing with a guide.

In summary, the proposal is as follows

• Swap of high alpine pods in northern area to alpine and below treeline terrain. This includes Minnie, Maggie, and King Solomon

• Backcountry touring will still exist in these areas, creating potential conflict with helicopter travel

• Use of explosives to mitigate avalanches possible via helicopter. Fly by inspection must be done prior, and all explosives must be reported to the BLM.

Reasons we are opposed: Backcountry touring will essentially end in these areas due conflict with the helicopters making it unsafe to travel in these areas. Primary points of concern are:

• Silverton Mountain will be required to do a fly-by inspection of the avalanche path prior to bombing, but with most of the new terrain requested being below treeline, backcountry tourers will most likely not be seen while Silverton is mitigating a slope hazard. We operate in a snowpack with high probability for deep slab instabilities, where unforeseen avalanches can occur, and have every year. For example, in 2012, there was an avalanche caused from a backcountry forecaster in the woods 50 feet from an avalanche path, which caused an avalanche a half mile away in the Irene slidepath that ran R3 D2. These types of avalanches can happen and do every year. They pose serious risk for backcountry tourers present while avalanche control is done. Second, this area receives generally the least amount of snow in the Silverton area, meaning deep slab instabilities will be more possible to trigger in these areas. Many of the slide paths in the proposed pod have ran to the ground and full path over the past few years, showing the potential in this area for large and destructive avalanches.

• Many of the runs requested in the southern pod today have significant terrain traps at the bottom (mostly steep creeks). Some years, the bottom of these runs are full of rock, and not skiable. So, if requesting for safer skiing, these slopes are still very dangerous to operate in (and even ski) and do not fit their intended use. If they are requesting safe helicopter terrain, this does not seem suitable for that use.

• Silverton Mountain guides are not required to be AMGA certified, which most touring companies that operate in the backcountry today are. While Silverton Mountain Guides are knowledgeable of their mountain and extremely well trained, they should be held to the same standard if operating in the backcountry prior to bringing clients out.

• Although Silverton has stated they have never had conflict for tourers, this does not mean there will not be on the new terrain. The land they operate on today is at least a 5 mile snowmobile ride to get to, through multiple avalanche paths in above treeline terrain. It is commonly referred to as the Gauntlet. Very few tourers or snowmobiles travel into this terrain until late April or May when Silverton’s permit is up, so this is the primary reason there is no conflict, and misleading that Silverton claims this as a positive of their history with tourers.

We have requested the historical reports which will outline what bombs were used and how many skiers frequented their terrain to understand how much traffic we can expect in these areas potentially. This information may not be possible by August 17th.

Thanks for your help on the matter, and here's to a strong winter!ot mean there will not be on the new terrain. The land they operate on today is at least a 5 mile snowmobile ride to get to, through multiple avalanche paths in above treeline terrain. It is commonly referred to as the Gauntlet. Very few tourers or snowmobiles travel into this terrain until late April or May when Silverton’s permit is up, so this is the primary reason there is no conflict, and misleading that Silverton claims this as a positive of their history with tourers.

We have requested the historical reports which will outline what bombs were used and how many skiers frequented their terrain to understand how much traffic we can expect in these areas potentially. This information may not be possible by August 17th.

Thanks for your help on the matter, and here's to a strong winter!

Hairman81526 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mountain Weather Workshop Silverton CO Nov 2-4 Grand Turk Winter Buzz 0 10-08-2012 10:59 AM
Treasure Mountain Hut - Silverton N. Wigston Winter Buzz 5 03-31-2010 07:07 AM
Opinion on Silverton Mountain kevdog Winter Buzz 41 12-09-2009 08:38 PM
Is there less of a way out, in no way out? E-Ro Whitewater Kayaking 5 04-24-2006 01:21 AM
Silverton Update twitch Winter Buzz 0 08-08-2004 09:55 AM

» Classified Ads
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.