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Slope Dope: “Whumph!” — The sound of avalanche danger and how to avoid it
San Francisco Chronicle / SFGate.com ^ | Dec 16 2012 at 8:53 am | Posted By: Tom Stienstra

Posted on 12/16/2012 9:58:23 AM PST by thecodont

“Whumph!”

It sounds like somebody just dropped a sack of potatoes from 50 feet high into 3 feet of powder snow.

On instinct, you will turn to see where it came from. There are no indicators: A moonscape of fresh snow extends as far as you can see up the steep mountain slopes. If you’re not scared by now, then you don’t realize the risk: The daunting power of nature may be about to unleash its ultimate winter force, an avalanche.

The “whumph” noise is a warning sound that an avalanche may be imminent.

It occurs when a deep layer of light, fresh powder is piled high atop a dense layer of frozen ice beneath it — the whumph noise is the sound of that powder compressing, shifting or sliding a bit downhill. That’s how an avalanche often gets started.

Over the coming holidays and into January, anybody who ventures into the snow country away from resorts should use extreme caution for avalanche danger. This includes those who cross-country ski, snowshoe, telemark free-lance style or ride a snowmobile, especially into mountain bowls that feed up into steep slopes.

(Excerpt) Read more at blog.sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Outdoors; Sports; Travel; Weather
KEYWORDS: avalanche; ca; safety; snow

1 posted on 12/16/2012 9:58:27 AM PST by thecodont
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To: thecodont
This is how I do it:

I skied once. It lasted 30 seconds. I came away with a badly dislocated shoulder.

To quote Sheldon: "Gravity! Thou art a heartless b!tch!"

2 posted on 12/16/2012 10:10:01 AM PST by freedumb2003 (Here comes bama claus here comes bama claus left down bama claus lane!)
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To: freedumb2003

He was comin’ down that slope
Goin’ ninety miles an hour
When he caught an edge of his ski.
Well, his clothes, they were fast,
But the slopes, they were faster.
That’s the last of Super Skier we shall see.
Well, he hollered, “What the hell!”
As he lined ‘em parallel:
He figured there was nothing else to learn.
(Oh, no...)
And as he started on his way,
He shouted, “Andele!”,
Assuming that he’d never have to turn.
Well, he was slippin’ down that slope
doin’ ninety miles an hour
When a mogul flipped him in the air.
His jumping form was fine
Until he ran into that pine,
And two one-legged skiers left from there.


3 posted on 12/16/2012 10:23:35 AM PST by null and void (Going Galt: The won't of the people)
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