Part 2 in a 10 part series of personal avalanche avoidance theories…
Most skiers are familiar with the concept of owning a quiver, or variety of skis. Quivers often include powder skis, rock skis, fatties, all-around, racing, resort, tele, twin tips, etc.. The idea is to have the correct ski for the ever changing conditions.
This same concept applies to avalanche avoidance, except instead of a quiver of skis, it is a quiver of partners for different conditions. I have some friends who I know not to call if the project du jour involves anything less than a short approach, 45+ degree skiing and a rappel. Others are into expedition skiing, long approaches and/or low odds of success. Others are content to take a few safe, fun runs and call it good. Some are all around partners.
Skiing steep lines requires partners who are comfortable with a certain amount of risk, but heading out on a considerable or high danger day with a partner who is hard-wired to only ski the steeps is a recipe for disaster. Even if you make a Scouts Honor pledge at the start of the day to be mellow, each run seems to notch it up a bit, until, voila, you trigger a slide.
Category: 07 Avalanche Avoidance