Snow is stable roughly 95% of the time, but the remaining 5% is often the most desirable time to go skiing, like right after a big phat powder dump on a bluebird day. Avalanche safety takes years of practice and as much as anything else, it is about developing avalanche eyes for what will slide, how far it will go and what are your options. Ernie Buehler, a guide at the prestigious Canadian Mountain Holidays heliskiing operation has guided thousands of clients through millions of feet of notoriously tricky terrain for over 30 years and only been caught in one slide. How? Patience, responsible terrain selection and more patience still. You have to want to avoid avalanches.
Between new safety technology and changes in attitudes, people are venturing into more committing avalanche terrain than ever before. In times past, avalanche education was as simple as telling skiers to stay out of avalanche terrain, which is still taught in parts of the world. It’s not a bad idea, but also not reality. What was once considered insane terrain is now skied before breakfast without a second thought. Skiers are becoming much more educated about avalanche danger, but at the same time they are cutting the safety margins down to the bare minimums.
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Category: 07 Avalanche Avoidance