I’ve been a Garmont man for a long time and have enjoyed the beef of four different models (Adrenaline orange, Adrenaline red, Endorphin and tech-compatible Axon). I had hopes that the Cosmos was the worthy heir apparent and friend Mike told me they ski well (but what doesn’t on his feet). When Lou offered a pair of 27.5 Scott Cosmos boots to try, I jumped at the chance. Read more backcountry skiing
Calling all WildSnowers. This sounds so excellent, thought we’d get the word out here for the few of you that don’t get the invite. If Lisa and I can attend we’ll let you all know so we can meet some of our readers.
Following from press release
“Voilé and the Wasatch Powder Keg are excited to announce that not only will they be hosting this year’s North American Ski Mountaineering Championships, but will also be partnering with the Utah Avalanche Center and Outdoor Research to bring the Vertfest to Utah for 2014. Read more backcountry skiing
Before we begin, I’d like to extend heartfelt condolences to those involved in this accident, especially the loved ones of those deceased. The pair of friends who died sounded like vital young men who were most surely taken before their time.
It is always difficult to write about our fatal avalanche accidents. I get nasty-grams from those involved, and indeed am uncomfortable about focusing on tragedies that so horribly impact the extended circle of those involved. That said, I can make a long list of the dead who were friends, sometimes almost family. It’s personal. Thus, I continue to be motivated to share and analyze avalanche accidents with the goal of helping us all — including myself — improve our safety and count less tragedy.
That’s why we went to the trouble of analyzing last season’s Sheep Creek tragedy, the worst backcountry skiing avalanche accident to ever occur in Colorado. Avalanche professionals didn’t like my take that “the avalanche education system is broken.” Those close to the Sheep Creek event just plain didn’t like my writing an opinion about what was done wrong and caused five deaths. But I wrote it anyway and stand by the purpose of those efforts, as well as my take. If you read those reports, you’ll see they constantly bring the focus back to us, you and me, and how we behave in avalanche terrain. That’s the idea.
Unfortunately, an event eerily similar to Sheep Creek occurred this past February 15th on Star Mountain, just over the mountains east from here in Colorado. Star Mountain again involved a number of tragic mistakes that I assume have to be the result at least in part from our avalanche education and forecasting system simply not getting the point across — as well as individuals not correctly practicing what safety techniques they may have learned. In a word, many individuals have called Sheep Creek “baffling,” and the same is being said about Star Mountain. Both are “baffling” because it appears so many critical mistakes were made that fly in the face of everything taught these days in avalanche safety — as well as what’s become basic conventional wisdom. Human nature? Human factors? Yes. Worth examining? In our view, yes.
After our initial taste of Japan in the town of Narita, we were very eager to explore the island of Hokkaido. The first logistic to tackle after landing in Sapporo was that of the rental car. The language barrier was ever present as we ambled from desk to desk inquiring about car availability, eventually receiving the same “no car open” response.
The woman at one rental option did not speak any English but typed into a translator app on her phone and allowed us to read the output which, when we asked about other locations having cars open, read “They will not rent you a convertible. It is too cold.” I guess typing ‘cars and open’ translated into asking for a convertible! Thanks to a few more exchanges between phone translators she arranged a shuttle to take us to another office that had small cars with ski racks and 4WD. We were psyched! Read more backcountry skiing