Big thanks to Backcountry Access for sponsoring this avalanche education content. Check out the additional plethora of avalanche safety resources on their website.
Back from backcountry skiing today here in central Colorado. We looked for corn snow, found a few silky turns, but mostly found difficult variable conditions. We rated overall avy danger as considerable because of heat, so didn’t get much done. Snow everywhere is what you’d call “transitional,” meaning it’s trying to switch from a winter to spring pack — but it’s having trouble doing so because it’s a bit early in the season for that to happen.
Aspen Times published an excellent article about Aron Ralston this morning. Check it out.
Interesting and amusing backcountry skiing blog comments have been flying in over the transom, reproduced verbatim (typos included) below:
“I laughed at the ‘losing a few’ comment.” — AR
“In regards to your article about the Mt. Superior avalanche ‘You’re an idiot'” — MB
“The quote from the TGR forum really is right. Many ski movies, more so the ones from the last 10-15 years, glory in the danger of dropping the cornice and outpacing the “sloughs” or dropping ridiculous cliffs and then doing figure elevens at crazy speeds for miles on Alaskan slopes that have never seen skis. We’re propagating disaster with the film culture that shows five seconds of post-avalanche introspection and then heads right back into the jaws of the trap.” MW
“Ya just can’t tele when your heel is locked. All the other performance of a rando binding is absolutely enviable. But so is the tele turn in crud, mush and pow. I want it ALL. Why not?” CD
“Apparently his practice is to smoke bowl after bowl on the boot up to the start zone. He is legendary on this point.” — DG
“Good work Lou. Keep that high horse saddled.” -SC
“Your thoughts are always appreciated. I totally agree. I think the GenX factor and all the ski porn we see these days has produced a boldness that I have not seen in these parts. And it hurts because someone did get killed and yes, I agree, it could have been our kid or even us out there with the â€œexpertsâ€?. Uggg.” -MM
Sorry, but I had to. Telecross sounds cool, but where’s the tele? Can’t find it in this photo: http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20050121/SPORTS/101210007. ” -MW
Amazing website. Just read the article about the Norwegian avalanche survivor, makes you feel like grabbing a cup of tea rather than AT skis…check my weblog” – J
People have asked me why I’m not publishing an “interactive” blog, meaning a backcountry skiing weblog with a reader comments function. I considered doing that, but experts told me that rude and profane comments would take vast amounts of time to manage, and receiving comments via email would make things much easier. So that’s the way we’re doing it. Feel free to send email — but please refrain from profanity as my spam filter will probably crunch your comment before I even see it, ditto for email without something on the subject line, spam filter hates that as well. Keep comments brief, and try to avoid stating the obvious, such as “you’re an idiot.” After some of my backcountry mistakes, I already know I’m capable of adequate idiocy.
We’re off for a backcountry skiing adventure today, more later.
Hunter Thompson Update: Aron Ralston knocked him off the front page of the Aspen Times. Message to Aspen Times and other Aspen tabloids: Hunter Thompson is deceased. Celebrate life.