I kept saying the line made me uncomfortable, that we’d find more mature snow further down the ridge. You could see that the snow in that particular gully had been less affected by solar radiation, and could therefore be less stable. What I didn’t explain was that the wind-loaded gully was the classic thing we should be avoiding right now given the history of remote triggers in similar terrain throughout the season. We were already venturing out on more risky terrain, why not ski the safest line possible given we had choices? But, somehow that never made it out of my mouth. Why? Because I was upset that my friends wanted to ski something we had previously all agreed on was unsafe. Instead, I just found myself feeling bad for being the one who was trying to change everyone’s mind.Read more
For some reason, many people feel that mountain biking is a relatively safe activity, especially compared to backcountry skiing. And perhaps it is. But, accidents on mountain bikes happen. A lot. And the injuries can be a lot more serious than people realize sometimes. When you are miles deep in the backcountry in a place where cell phones won’t work, will you know what to do to help a fallen friend and riders? That’s where Backcountry Lifeline comes in – first aid for mountain bikers, by mountain bikers.Read more
I looked down at Diamond Lake below. Then I looked ahead. Boy this snow is slippery, I thought to myself. I looked down at the snow that led almost all the way to the lake below. At least if I fall, I have a clean run-out.
One, two, three, maybe four steps later…. Woosh! One foot slipped, then the other. I tried to use my ice axe to self arrest but by the time I even had a chance to think about it I was flying down the snow on my back, with my backpack weighing me down. I could not flip over to use my ice axe to self-arrest.Read more
We decided to continue to approach them, and see if they needed help. There were two skiers, one injured and one not. They explained that they had approached from the other side and that their first skier to drop in to the line, Josh Barilar, had gotten caught up on some wet slough which had steered him into the rock wall that lined the side of the chute. He then fell into the moat, the deep gap that forms between snow and rock walls. His ski was broken and he had a severe laceration on his leg which squirted blood out every time they tried to move him. In fact I could see the splatter of blood on the rock wall.Read more