A few days ago a skiier filming with Meathead films out of Burlington, VT died on Mt.
Mansfield after attempting to ski a chute located inside the notch, being hit by a
wet slide, and tumbling off a cliff. Like the rest of you, my sympathy goes out to
Meathead films and the friends
and family of Alec Stall. It's an incredibly sad and horrible event when someone
dies in such a way. I would encourage everyone to send their regards to the Meathead
This sort of tragedy doesn't have to happen. I'm definitely thankful that these guys went out there and it appears as though they knew what they were doing for the most part. The article didn't do them much justice so if anyone knows anything more, please, post it. Jumping up and down on the snow with your skis on is not an adequate slide test and after reading around on the Meathead films web site it seems as though these guys knew that.
Here's a link to the
target=_blank>Burlington Free Press article. It's the longest and most content
filled one I've found.
I gotta say one thing to this and it's mostly fueled by my heavy focus on safety. I
don't mean to be at all insensitive to the pain these guys were going through. Also,
I don't mean to assume anything as we all know the best place to get the story is
from the people it happened to and NOT from the paper.
In any case, let this be a lesson to everyone that it doesn't matter how good you
are. Make sure when you go out of bounds you have the correct equipment and
training. I don't personally know any of the Meathead guys. The article listed that
they had peeps, shovels, and probes on them and they were all wearing helmets.
Anyone on the east coast knows that that's not something you typically see on the
east coast. However, for anyone who's ever taken a snow safety class read the
In the 5 days before this tragedy, Mt. Mansfield received +30'-40' of new snow fall
on a mountain that at the time was barely covered. Temperatures during these times
varied between zero and 20 degrees. The two days before this even occurred,
temperatures ranged from 25 to +35 degrees. In addition, the location of this
tragedy was near the middle of the notch. Hiking this place in the summer, I can
tell you the entire area is prone to rock slides and is not something to be taken
lighly. Moreover, the notch is known for it's high speed, circulating winds. This
drops an extra amount of snow all over center of the notch. Rock gardens that would
normally require 6 feet of snow to ski down only need a dump of about a foot to have
enough snow blown into them and be skiable.
The area they were in was dangerous to begin with. The pitch is greater than the
required 35-38 degree pitch it takes for snow to slide. The aforementioned
conditions in a chute are by far some of the most dangerous conditions to be in. If
they were in the area I'm thinking of...there is no skiier left or skiier right to
bail out to if something were to happen.
I'm not saying that this tragedy could've been avoided. I am saying that all the
signs of an extremely dangerous situation were there in bold print. I can completely
understand their urge to ski these areas, however. The east coast season is cracking
up to be crap and this may've been the only time this could've been ridden.
All I'm getting at is this and it's a general statement not directed to the Meathead
guys in anyway b/c I don't know them and they were the ones in the conditions, not
It doesn't matter if you have a shovel, a probe, or a beacon. You won't need them if
you use common knowledge. Always second guess yourself and if you're with friends,
hestitate some more. Only a shovel can help you tell snow conditions. A probe and a
beacon are finding your friend(s) and you should never have to do that. Take a class and know what you're doing and always accept everyone's opinion.
2 billion dollars...sir, I'd handle my grandpa's balls for 2 billion dollars.