Cornice cutting videos

For some reason I got the urge to watch some cornice cutting videos, mostly because I’ve never done a backcountry cornice cut to test for stability or to intentionally get a slope to release outside of avy 1. These aren’t how-tos or whys, these are merely vids to simple admire the results.

Castle Peak, CA. Note the sympathetic release to the viewers left. Given their reactions I’m assuming they weren’t expecting quite what they got.

Jackson Hole, WY. Seems like an odd technique to get it to release IMO, especially since it ended up fracturing two or three feet behind the skier.

This one runs a bit

8 comments to Cornice cutting videos

  • Check out the snow cornice cutting videos using the BackcountryBomb tool – a NEW snow study tool made to cut icy, dense, old cornices…

  • Justin

    meh, i’m not usually one for spam/unpaid advertisements, and really thought hard about severely modifying your post, but for some reason i’m feeling nice this morning and will leave your comments for the moment.

  • Justin
    Thanks for the link. Typically I’m not much of a blammer, but I thought you might want to know how the cornice in the third video was cut. If you give me a shout I’ll send you one and you can check it out. It’s a great stability test, and is fun in itself. Cornices can weigh 600lbs. per cubic meter and doesn’t take much to get a two cubic meter chunk moving. The cornice test is a valuable assessment tool when the conditions are vicious.

  • Justin

    hey clark, no worries, i guess i didn’t notice that 3rd video was from your youtube site. i definitely think cornice cuts can be a good tool in the arsenal on the right days.

    how does your product compare to just a rope with knots? i’m assuming it’s stronger as it looks like cable, is it lighter? looks like it takes up less pack space, but curious what you’d consider the main benefits. also give us a little about your background, etc. – what should we know about you and your product?

  • Justin

    Clark, saw the write up by Lou today, congrats

  • Hey Justin, thanks for the questions, I commented on Lou’s blog about lots of stuff this morning, you can check that out too if you want. Rope (even p-cord) is quite strong. The cable has a breaking limit of 400 lb. But, the key here is that the cable is thinner than the rope and therefore provides less resistance when cutting making for a faster cut. Main benefits of the Backcountry Bomb tool include: quicker cornice cutting of dense and old cornices, the handles provide much more pulling power than other methods (rope, loop cable), it’s light (250 grams), stowable and durable, it’s long enough to lasso very large cornices. I’m an avid backcountry skier who grew up in and currently lives in Montana. I have been skiing in the backcountry for over 25 years and have an engineering degree. I created the BackcountryBomb because I thought there should be a faster way to cut old dense cornices. I think cutting cornices is a great way to test slope stability. Most people I’ve skied with just weren’t doing it that much because of the time and effort it takes to do it with a rope/cord. The Backcountry Bomb is made in Montana, I am trying to keep it as affordable as possible because I think it’s a great thing to have in your quiver of avalanche assessment gear. Making products locally is something I support.

    PS – My given name is Joe, but, people call me Clark Steed, long strange story.

  • Justin

    Right on Joe/Clark, appreciate the response and the additional info and will check out your comments on Lou’s. I’ll take your responses and whip up a post about your product later into the winter, maybe mid- to late December as I think there’s definitely value in the product, especially as the G3 rutschblock cord costs about the same but is significantly shorter. Personally I’d rather be further from the edge, and the bc bomb allows that.

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