Mountain Lessons: Helping an Injured Skier on Fletcher Mountain

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.

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Dumb Things Done Part 3 of 3

“Dumb things” is probably a little bit of a strong statement for what I hope these blog posts will be. Perhaps “Avalanche mistakes I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned from them” would have been a more appropriate title, but missing the eye-catching alliterative aspects of this one. Part 1 can be found here, and part 2 is here. It is my hope that these posts will at the very least offer something to the reader to learn from, since near misses are less talked about…

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Avalanche Awareness

Heuristic traps are something that every backcountry skier needs to know about, and be very aware of when making decisions in the backcountry. Frank and I have both admittedly fallen prey to these at times, and any backcountry skier who denies that they haven’t would be a liar. However, you can minimize their impacts, and being aware of HOW you think and make decisions (metacognition) can help reduce heuristic traps. In my mind, it’s a topic we can’t talk enough about, because these heuristic traps are always there and the brain works in ways that keep making them happen.

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Return of Snow Safety Sundays

We are bringing back “Snow Safety Sundays”! Every Sunday evening at 6 pm, we will feature an article or video related to snow safety that we find useful, to be posted through our Facebook and Twitter social media platforms, using the hashtag #snowsafetysunday. These articles will range from the basics to more complex decision making problems. But, we will post things that EVERYONE can learn from.

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