Everything to Lose and Nothing to Prove- SOAPBOX
Ive spent half of my life in the backcountry without any formal training in snow science. I got by checking the avalanche reports and developing a strong intuition based on lessons learned thru season after season of backcountry travel and paying attention to my own experience and the experience of others. Two major incidences in my early career helped shaped my decision to study snow and learn to more effectively mitigate risk when travelling in the mountains. The first incident happened on a sled mission near Revelstoke where a series of poor decisions left us exposed in avalanche terrain. A slab was triggered from above and wiped out most of the group, 1 man died, he was not wearing a beacon. The Second incident was the death of my friend Greg Todds in an avalanche near Trout Lake BC. Looking back, and knowing what I know now, I understand why these things were happening. We were not doing our due diligence out there. Some? sure. As much as we could? no. We exposed ourselves to unreasonable risk often and rolled the dice. We were young with everything to prove and nothing to lose and our luck eventually wore thin. Flash forward to today, I've made a few changes. I knew I had to slow things down, get off the sled and start walking, digging and paying closer attention. So here I am, grunting my sorry ass up school mountain, using every walk as an opportunity to learn from my mistakes and ultimately make better decisions.