Here’s the Thumper story.
How are you doing?
Best wishes – Don
A brief narrative of an alternative method of avalanche release which may have been the genesis of the GazEx avalanche exploder principle. (Don Bachman – 09/09/09)
Ed LaChapelle was a principal consultant to the San Juan Avalanche Project in Silverton, Colorado (1971 – 76) which was managed by the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado. He also conceived a project on the assessment of alternate methods for artificial avalanche release which was funded by Colorado, WashingtonState and Federal Departments of Transportation. The bulk of this investigation was done during the latter part of the overall project.
Don Bachman working a snow pit with his chainsaw….
One of the methods assessed was a “thumper” device consisting of a circular steel chamber approximately two feet by two feet (12.5 cubic feet capacity) with a spring loaded lid buried to the starting zone slope level, into which an oxygen/acetylene mixture was injected. This installation was on the Willow Swamp avalanche path which ran about 600’ onto the highway (US 550) switchbacks. The path itself consisted of two distinct starting zones of which the south c. 1 acre zone was selected for the installation while the north c. 6 acre zone remained a target area for the 75mm pack howitzer artillery control which was in affect at the time.
The gas bottles were hauled to an area just above the starting zone and secured to a tree. Hose was buried downhill to the canister. The canister would be filled and ignited, which in turn propelled the lid upward to disturb (“thump”) the basal snow layers, initiating the fracture propagation which could produce an avalanche. The steel lid was arrested at the end of the spring extension and fell back in place by its own weight; in theory, ready to go again.
As we were completing the installation, we tested the ignition system. Rather than commit the steel chamber to mixture adjustment and ignition, I attached my paper lunch sack to the initial run of hose, turned on the mixture and popped it off. The detonation of the gas was accompanied a noisy bang and a perceptible shock wave. The next day we brought up a bunch of bags and tweaked our mixture and volume with this method based on our perception of the maximum shock produced. Then we hooked up the system to the “Thumper” and it worked – lifting the lid up to the spring extension, then falling back in place, ready for the next detonation. Our main concern was that the buried chamber would be displaced out of the ground, but fortunately that didn’t happen.
The following winter’s results were inconclusive as I recall. One test failed due to the rubber lines being chewed by animals; requiring that we slip coiled armoring over the hose. Another test produced the desired detonation, but no avalanche. When I went down to dig a pit at the chamber location the whole slope whumphed and I retreated without any further information. I believe there were one or two successful avalanche releases. This device was deemed over engineered and later replaced by a more simple radial truck tire configuration which produced the same theoretical results with much less installation work. I left the project that spring, but some experimentation continued the following winter.
The linkage to GazEx development came discussions which compared the use of exploding lunch sack potential to stress the snow pack over a broad surface area, versus a basal explosion in the “thumper” that was intended to replicate the penetration and detonation of an artillery round. Ed and I and others on the project felt that an explosion above the snow surface was preferable, which lead to the development of aerial tram delivery/lowering of hand charge explosives, and suspended gas filled sewer pipe (tested on Steven’s Pass, I believe). Further adaptation saw use of expendable plastic kiddy sleds to lower explosives down the surface of avalanche starting zones (maybe first utilized on Rendezvous Bowl at Jackson), and the placement of hand charges on bamboo poles stuck (suspended) above the snow surface at many areas including Bridger Bowl. Ultimately, the GazEx device refined the unintentional but useful consequence of the exploding lunch sack test.
Here are the totals from our last storm.
___________new snow/H20 24 hours_____storm total snow/H20___
Monument 3”/.25” 9”/.75”
RMP 7”/.7” 14”/1.35”
Molas 9.5”/1.1” 18.5”/1.9”
Coal Bank 7.5”/.75” 16”/1.6”
New snow is highly wind effected and slabby.
Southerly winds Saturday and overnight were rowdy- alpine averages 20-30+ with gusts 50-70+. The north side of the range had especially fierce conditions with winds averaging 30-40 mph and a peak gust of 103 on Mt Abrams.
A good number of slides likely ran during the storm, but evidence was raked away by the wind.
‘ Stax Records was an international sensation, putting out hits like Sam and Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Coming,” “Green Onions” by Booker T. and the MGs and Otis Redding‘s “Try a Little Tenderness.” But behind the music, Stax’s story features racial harmony in a city with a troubled history. There are tragedies, lost opportunities and legal disputes, but also some of the most soulful music you’ll ever hear.
It’s fitting, then, that Memphis is a main character in Robert Gordon’s book Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion. The late ’50s and early ’60s was an era of institutionalized segregation that filtered down to everything, including music clubs. But while white kids listening to late-night R&B on the radio could hit up a black venue, it was never the reverse unless you were in the band playing the stage. Even then, there was a separate door.
“Everything in Memphis comes down to race,” Gordon tells NPR’s Don Gonyea. “It certainly did then, and I think it still does now.”
In this interview, Gordon shares the story of the white, country-loving brother and sister from rural Tennessee who started Stax Records and “wound up making some of the most soulful, swinging music that we still listen to today.”
On Booker T and The MGs’ ‘Green Onions’
“I hear it in a way I hear the future foretold. I hear that sense of menace that underlies the city. That’s Booker’s organ there, and you can hear him kind of furtively looking around the corner — ‘Is everything OK?’ It’s a great groove here, but there’s a wariness. There’s a cultural comment going on. You can hear in [Steve Cropper's] stinging guitar licks, the tanks that are going to roll down the streets of Memphis in 1968 when Dr. King was assassinated.
“It’s also a dance tune. That’s the great thing about it. It’s this cultural comment and you dance to it, too.”
On Stax Records as an oasis
“Stax is picking up the sound of the street and embracing it. Even though these are white people and black people making the record, there’s none of the strife that’s outside the door. Everybody I interviewed talked about Stax as an oasis. That word just recurred and recurred.”
On keeping up with Otis Redding
“I think you can get the sense from Otis Redding’s records what it was like to be around him. You get the sense that his personality was in constant conflict with his skin trying to bust out even bigger. I think about the horn players who had been accustomed to playing whole notes for a full measure at a time and Otis is leaning into their faces: ‘No, no, no! Do it like this!’ And they’re scrambling with their horns and everything. When you’re with Otis Redding, it’s all about trying to keep up with Otis Redding.”
This storm took a while to leave the north side of RMP, leaving a few more inches. The next chance for snow happens on Sunday.
HN24/H20 2 day total
Monument 6.5”/0.35” 8″/0.5″
RMP 3”/0.3” 7″/0.65″
Molas 0.5”/.05” 4.5″/0.35″
Coal Bank 1.75”/0.15” 12.25″/0.6″
To be governor of Colorado right now is to think a lot about wildfire. For Governor John Hickenlooper, it’s meant traveling to the scene of these disasters and reviewing fire policy. He joins Ryan Warner for CPR’s regular conversation.
Just out of the womb.
1st ski trip to the mountains.
Billy (on left) with local homeboys.
The domestique after a hard day.
Commiserating with The Orange Welfare
In the late 19th century, scores of celebrated, valorous explorers attempted to reach the North Pole. Groups of explorers from the U.S., Europe and Scandinavia invented clever new equipment, raised money, stirred national pride and enthralled the world by attempting to march, sail or sled to the most cold, remote and unseen place on Earth.
But it was a perilous business: Of the 1,000 people who tried to reach the North Pole in the late 1800s, 751 died during their attempt, author Alec Wilkinson tells NPR’s Scott Simon.
One Swedish man named S.A. Andree decided to try to fly above all that. In 1897, Andree and his crew of two — Nils Strindberg and Knut Fraenkel — set out for the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon. The story of their journey and that age of Arctic exploration is told in Wilkinson’s new book, The Ice Balloon.
The current “Dry Slot” 09:30/10-5-2011
The upper level closed low on our doorstep will be upon us this afternoon. Currently we’re in a dry slot that will soon move east as the Pacific storm begins to affect southwest Colorado. This storm has brought a NWS “Winter Storm Warning” and will affect the area Wednesday evening through Friday morning.
The cold front will enter Colorado by sunrise Thursday supported by a strong jet pushing good orographic lift on southwest flow. It will bring decent snow to the San Juans favoring RMP and south with up to a foot of snow.
Snow levels should start around 9,000′ tomorrow morning then may drop to 6-7000′ by evening along with a probable killing freeze for our beautiful summer gardens, but shouldn’t stick with stored warmth in the ground. As the closed low exits on Friday we’ll see trailing energy and possible wraparound precipitation on our side (N.) of the mountains. By Sunday the storm energy will have passed, replaced with drying conditions.
In 1998, a deep freeze devastated the orange crop in California’s large, flat Central Valley and, according to photographer Matt Black, 10,000 people lost their jobs — many of them migrant workers. It was while photographing the aftermath that he came across something unexpected: the sound of Mixtec, a pre-Columbian indigenous dialect from Mexico.
Intrigued by this obscure language and culture, Black traveled to the source in Mexico — more than 10 times — to better understand who the Mixteca are and what they are doing in California. In his words:
Named the “Place of the Cloud People” by the Aztecs and home to one of the oldest pre-Columbian cultures in the Americas, the Mixteca have lost over a quarter-million people to migration, leaving scores of villages little more than ghost towns.
His project explores the many complex socioeconomic questions surrounding migration and leaves one wondering: Can small, isolated communities continue to exist in our modern world? Can identity live on in a ghost town? Can a culture itself emigrate?
Isabel Allende’s appeal as a novelist hasn’t just been her fascinating background — she grew up in Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Lebanon and was the cousin of deposed Chilean President Salvador Allende — but also her lyrical, enchanting narrative style, at times a kind of Day-Glo version of magical realism. Her latest novel, Island Beneath the Sea, is a sprawling, multifaceted historical epic, like her 1982 best-seller, The House of Spirits, and her underrated Ines of My Soul. Island Beneath the Sea follows a young woman born into slavery, Tete, and her master, Toulouse Valmorain, through Haiti and New Orleans, over several years. While Allende has always been comfortable chronicling grand passion and deep love, she’s at her best here when she’s angry — her descriptions of the treatment of Valmorain’s slaves, particularly the sexual assault of Tete, are shocking. At its best, Island Beneath the Seais elegant, moving and infused with a real sense of loss.
TOP GROOMING RE’POR MAY (yes) MAY11, 2011
Otis Redding‘s 1966 recording of “Try a Little Tenderness” is an American classic, but not just because of Redding’s spirited vocals. Backing him up on that song are Booker T. and the MGs, who produced countless soul hits in 1960s Memphis as the house band for Stax Records. Decades later, bandleader Booker T. Jones still has Memphis on the brain.
“Memphis is one of those unique places on the planet where certain amazing energies accumulate,” Jones tells NPR’s Linda Wertheimer. “People are born there who have extraordinary musical talent.”
Jones’ new solo album, The Road From Memphis, assembles talent from all over the country. Sharon Jones, Lou Reed, Yim Yames of My Morning Jacket and Matt Berninger of The National all contribute guest vocals; members of The Roots, perhaps this generation’s biggest house band, provide instrumental muscle. The songs, however, are firmly situated in the time and place of Jones’ upbringing, often calling out landmarks by name.
Robyn Hasty has a notion to travel the country “documenting the collapse of the American economy,” as she writes on her website. For that sort of endeavor, you need two obvious things: a car and a camera. She has the car part down. But there are two minor setbacks: She actually doesn’t consider herself a photographer.
Posting resumes today. Jerry
“This is very important — to take leisure time. Pace is the essence. Without stopping entirely and doing nothing at all for great periods, you’re gonna lose everything…just to do nothing at all, very, very important. And how many people do this in modern society? Very few. That’s why they’re all totally mad, frustrated, angry and hateful.”
— Charles Bukowski
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rgKAOdPx58&feature=related Movie trailer, ‘Bar Fly’ . A biopic of Mr. Bukowski’s life.