Not sure if anyone noticed, but WildSnow.com is now an “SSL” website, meaning the address should show in your internet browser as “httpS.” Why? The data encryption invoked by SSL is really not all that important for the public side of content sites such as WildSnow — but Google has a new agenda to inspire the whole internet to convert over to SSL, and since Google is a deity we obey their commandments. Main benefit to you readers is that SSL does prevent certain forms of advertising fakery (bad banner substituted for a good one, in your browser), so all good.
Point here is that it’s been quite a bit of work getting everything functional when forced to SSL. One of the last challenges was our Avalanche Safety Evaluation Quiz. Hopefully, it now works. If you try the quiz, please fill out all answers thoughtfully as we do have an anonymous database of the answers and would like to keep it real.
The quiz results database contains about 9,500 results after filtering for most incomplete sessions and tests. I stuck the numbers in a spreadsheet and calced the average numerical score as 1,731 and the median at >< 900. Bear in mind that lower numbers are better, and these are good scores. Basically, the numerical scoring works like this, though it could be changed: - 0 - 1000 "Very little risk of dying in an avalanche." Somewhat difficult to achieve this score if you're honest about your answers. About 3,000 quiz results in this range. Due to flaw in quiz software I might have included some incomplete quizzes in these results. - 1001-2700 "Moderate risk level, keep working on safety." About 6,000 results in this range, we feel most backcountry skiers are in this category. - 2701-4399 "Red zone, take note and modify agenda." About 300 results in this range (3%). - 4400-5000 "Extreme risk level, complete stop of backcountry skiing recommended until changes are made." We only have about 20 results in this range, some could have been software tests.
To keep the library of associated blog comments intact, I re-dated this blog entry as today (original publication of quiz and this post was September 20, 2006).
Without more blabber from me, check it out and let us know what you think — and if you’re safe enough to ski with (grin). (Please complete all questions.)
Please leave feedback here and we’ll continue to change and improve the quiz.
If you link to the backcountry skiing avalanche risk quiz directly, please use the following URL:
original 2006 blog post below
We’ve been wanting to create an avalanche risk self evaluation quiz for quite a while, more as a learning tool than anything else, but also for fun. The idea is to stimulate thought and improvements in how we go about staying alive in avalanche country. We decided to go public but it’s still a work in progress, so your comments are highly appreciated.
The thrust of the project is to get away from gear issues as a measurement of personal safety. Ditto for book learning. Instead, the quiz weighs your answers in a variety of ways and tries to come up with an evaluation of your personal safety style. We use gear and knowledge questions, but mix those up with “human factor” questions and some goofy stuff just for fun.