The fun is over when someone gets hurt. That adage came home to photographer Dan Pattituci and his friends during a ski tour in Europe on the first day of May. They chose to backcountry ski in the Dolomites on a day with significant avalanche danger, made good decisions, and were completing their decent in good style when other nearby alpinists were not so blessed. A large avalanche fell and killed several. Dan’s blog post made me think more about how we’re not only responsible for our own group’s safety when we’re out there, but due to the social contract and basic morality we may be called to help others. That’s something most of us probably take for granted, but is worth thinking about since things such as gear choice and first aid training could come into play in ways different than in your own tight backcountry skiing group.
Back here in Colorado: For the second year running, this coming Saturday at 7:00 AM a group of speedy ski montaineers are doing the “Sopris Sprint.” It’s sort of a race, or perhaps better called a rally. Meet at the summer trailhead for Mount Sopris, Thomas Lakes. Keep it informal so the Forest Service doesn’t get involved. Also near here, if you’re in the area don’t forget 5-Point film festival for some springtime diversion. The fest starts this evening with an open party where you can rub shoulders with the giltterati. Recommended.
Let’s head back east. Or perhaps, after watching this circus, I’ll stay away. That said, check out the link to learn why alpha angle is something you should consider while beer drinking below avalanche slopes.
That’s it for today’s bloggin’. It’s a beautiful spring day here in Carbondale. Mount Sopris glows white above town, but the dreaded dirt layer from the winter’s dust storms is creeping up her flanks like some kind of tropical skin disease otherwise known as “snirt,” (snow/dirt) Thus, unlike last year we’re headed for a rather short season of quality spring backcountry skiing. We’ll see how it progresses. By for now.