Videos for backcountry recreationists
The videos posted to this channel since ~2015 are by Bruce Jamieson (snowline.ca) and colleagues. Some of the earlier videos on this channel are links to videos made by Bruce Jamieson and ASARC colleagues (UCalgary.ca/asarc). The links to all these videos can be shared freely and the videos used for any purpose, including commercially, provided the content and authorship are not altered.
Videos for backcountry recreationists
A more visual method for rating avalanche size on the D-scale
A video to start discussion about whether visualization will help us rate avalanche size on the D-scale. By Bruce Jamieson, Montse Bacardit, Ethan Greene and Ian Tomm. May 2020. Catalan and Spanish subtitles by Montse Bacardit. German subtitles by Thomas Exner. CC BY-ND.
Ski Cutting in the Backcountry: 9 Ways to Reduce the Obvious Risk
Powder Cloud is honored to have Bruce Jamieson present 9 ways to reduce the obvious risk when ski cutting in the backcountry. Jamieson is clear that these 9 essentials are for those backcountry users who choose to ski cut for the purpose of slope testing or controlling small slopes, and are willing to accept the obvious risk. Powder Cloud and Jamieson encourage learning from a very experienced mentor and—if you are going to do it—select a combination of predictable conditions and terrain that present less surprise and less risk.
Common snowpack tests
A brief how-to for common snowpack tests to locate and assess instabilities within the snowpack, presented by Mike Conlan. Start times of tests in this video are as follows: 1:32 Compression Test 5:06 Deep Tap Test 7:28 Extended Column Test 10:54 Rutschblock Test 14:48 Propagation Saw Test 18:48 Shovel Shear Test 20:49 Hand Shear Test 22:11 Concluding remarks on initiation, propagation, and limitations. Fracture character video: http://vimeo.com/30996756
Avalanche decision aids - the good, the bad and the disruptive
This video outlines some general advantages and disadvantages of avalanche decision aids. The advantages and disadvantages are general enough that – I hope – both backcountry recreationists and avalanche practitioners find something useful in this video. This video does not explain how to use any decision aids but does show four decision aids and identify where to find more information on them.
Fracture character in compression tests
This presentation video for advanced recreationists and practitioners identifies the five types of fracture character and shows the frequency of skier triggering on slopes that exhibited each type of fracture character in compression tests. Sound improved in January 2018.
Field observations vs snowpack tests: Which is best when?
In this study in recent winters, simple field observations correlated with the local avalanche danger better than snowpack tests. However, when Persistent Slabs dominate the Public Bulletin, snowpack tests may be helpful to supplement the field observations (they are better indicators of instability than stability). In spite of their limitations for selecting low risk terrain on the current day, snowpack tests may - over time - help recreationists become better at interpreting the bulletin and making low risk decisions.
SWarm - Forecasting daytime warming of the upper snowpack
This presentation explains the basics of daytime snowpack warming over terrain and introduces SWarm. SWarm is a free spreadsheet that uses the maximum solar radiation to estimate daytime warming 10 cm below the surface over idealized terrain. You can select the date, latitude, expected cloud cover, and days since snowfall to see how these factors can influence the daytime snowpack warming down 10 cm. For more on SWarm, see http://www.ucalgary.ca/asarc/system/files/SWarm_Issw08_Bakermans.pdf
Considerable avalanche danger: How much riskier is it?
Based on an ISSW 2009 paper by Bruce Jamieson, Juerg Schweizer and Cora Shea, the presentation uses an event tree, an expert survey of triggering odds, Canadian Accident data and some large assumptions to calculate the risk of death for a day of backcountry skiing at each of the levels of regional avalanche danger. The backcountry skiing risks are compared with the risks for a day of kayaking, a day of rock climbing and a day of mountaineering. During Considerable avalanche danger, backcountry skiing risk is about 10 times higher than when the avalanche danger is Moderate. The paper is posted at http://www.ucalgary.ca/asarc/system/files/RiskCalc_Issw09_Jamieson.pdf