Peter Lev’s recounting of The East Greeley
Jerry, that video of the East Greeley avalanche is sure getting around. Here is a story for you; my first yr at Alta, back in the day when the FS Snow Rangers, Binx and me, had to personally ‘open’ each run (because Chic Morton, Alta Manager would not let the ski patrol be involved), so after shooting EG with the 75 recoilless from Albion (since removed) we go out to ski it. Me being the new kid, as we stand at top of short chute into EG, Binx says ‘Go ck it out’. Slide slip down the entry chute and I head for a tree about 60ft away. The slope fractures 30 ft above me. Am on 7ft+ Head Flexibles and I jump them around to get them facing downhill in the now moving snow. Binx claims I waved ‘Goodby’. Don’t know if true or not, but it should be. The crown length was about half of the one in your posted video. Anyway, found I could stabilize by almost sitting on my heels and outriggimg my poles. Was not too far from the skiers left edge of the slide, so managed to get to it, shoot out of the slide and stand up. Without a break I made turns next to the slide down to the bench above Glory Hole where the debris stopped. The patrol on the lift was cheering. Would never have been able to pull this off with modern short skis.
Richard & I remember when Peter Lev came to Silverton at the very beginning of the San Juan Avalanche Project as a consultant, we were awed by how he made perfect linked turns on wooden skis with probably no side cut. He made it look so easy. All the best to all of you,
Thanks Jerry for passing this on. When I was on the Alta patrol in 1964 I went out with the FS boys every opportunity I could. That was a big winter in the canyon and Albion Basin was closed much of the time. I was tagging along with the Forest Snow Rangers when they were headed to East Greely with some two and a half pound Tetrotol. eplosives for the bowl. It turned out to be largest avalanche I had seen at that time with hand thrown explosives. A great learning experience for me. In those days Alta was a superb training ground for young neophytes.