With big snow comes big risk

Discussion in 'General Skiing' started by Tricia, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    We've had some discussion about avalanches, treewell deaths, traffic issues, crowds and just about every other thing that we deal with during a big snow year.
    This article from OutThere is quite sobering, especially the statistics at the end.

    This is the 17th skier/snowboarder death of the season.

    Other skier/snowboarder deaths that have occurred in Colorado this season include a recent death at Winter Park, an avalanche-related death in Telluride, an 85-year-old that died following a Beaver Creek fall, two avalanche-related deaths near Crested Butte, a death at an Aspen terrain park, a backcountry touring death in Aspen, a death at Granby during night skiing, the death of a skier on Quandary Peak, the death of a 71-year-old at Breckenridge, a recent avalanche-related death, 21-year-old Daniel Giger (accident at Breckenridge), 26-year-old Bill Brockmuller (collision at Eldora), 53-year-old Daniel Mares of Arvada (cardiac event at Keystone Resort), 66-year-old Durwood Marshall of Silverthorne (cardiac event at Keystone Resort), and Bindu Sky Pomeroy (accident in Vail backcountry).
     
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  2. Eleeski

    Eleeski Out on the slopes Skier

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    Focusing on death and risk just discourages us. (I wonder how many more suicides happened this season.) Relative risks vs the sensationalized bad outcomes that make good news. Hmmm.

    47 people died from influenza this year in San Diego. I'll take my chances in the healthy outdoors.

    Eric
     
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  3. Core2

    Core2 Out on the slopes Skier

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    Why do you get so triggered when someone tells you something is dangerous? We've had a record breaking snow season, of course there are going to be more incidents. What is wrong with telling people to be safe and bringing awareness to snow safety? I feel like skiing is one of the few places fear mongering doesn't really happen enough as we have pros getting killed all the time doing stupid shit for our entertainment.
     
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  4. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator Team Gathermeister

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    That's just Colorado.

    There have been many others - way too many of course.
     
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  5. Seldomski

    Seldomski Paralysis by analysis Skier

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  6. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    So is an over abundant dining table.
     
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  7. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    Well, skiing IS a risk sport.

    I don't think that needs to be dwelled upon.

    But that doesn't mean it's not worth discussing safety now and then.
     
  8. Pat AKA mustski

    Pat AKA mustski Out on the slopes Skier

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    I see nothing wrong with reminding all of us that when there is a lot more snow, there is also more danger. Skiing is a high risk sport and this year seems to have riskier than others.
     
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  9. CalG

    CalG Out on the slopes Skier

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    When one discusses safety, are the results tangible modifications to behavior?
    I see many instances of risky behavior on the mountain, but those demonstrating such behaviors are seldom the occupants of the toboggan behind me.

    Miss- adventure seems blind to who she visits.
     
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  10. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    The dismissal of their actions as "stupid shit" isn't a useful reaction -- in fact -- it sets us back from thinking better as a community about how these deaths occur.

    We need to understand how decisions that appear "stupid" get made by people with more skills, more experience, more training then 99.5% of people who spout off about it on the internet. Learning how pros who know what they are doing still end up making what seem like obvious mistakes is how we get smarter as a community. In so many incidents this year you have highly trained, highly risk averse, highly experience individuals who made a mistake that killed them: from the people training for the Grand Traverse, to Bindu, to a father and teacher with tons of experience.

    People also need to simply accept that others have different tolerances for risk and consequences than they do. That doesn't make them "stupid." By that mentality, skiing itself is stupid because it is inherently more risky than other activities you could do.

    Victim blaming only serves to push useful discussion of near misses and involvements only further underground.

    If you want to bring awareness to snow safety -- this mentality has got to go.
     
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  11. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    Additionally I'd point out -- it's probably useful from a prevention perspective to distinguish between deaths caused by big snow, and those that have nothing to do with it and are caused by other factors (poor health, age + skiing, skiing out of control). Cardiac arrest, night skiing, the Quandary (lack of helmet), collisions, terrain parks -- none of these are really caused by big snow. None of the collision deaths this year were obviously caused by crowds.
     
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  12. scott43

    scott43 Making fresh tracks Skier

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    Meh..try riding a motorcycle..cops here call them murdercycles..or donorcycles.. :huh:
     
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  13. Core2

    Core2 Out on the slopes Skier

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    I wonder how many pros would dial it back if it didn't mean their jobs?
     
  14. Primoz

    Primoz Making fresh tracks Skier

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    In my mind, this is not really so alarming. Sure every dead person is too much, but realistically, there's some 200 deaths in avalanches world wide. Not really the biggest issue we need to worry about. There's far more dead people by heart attack on slopes every year then there's dead people in avalanches in decade. And considering how many people ski, hike or climb in backcountry in winter, 200 deaths is not really that huge number.
    On the other side, of course it's stupid to relay on this statistics and just walk out in backcountry like nothing is going to happen. I mean if someone wishes to do this feel free, but personally I know what I do every single time I go out there, even if I go 2 days one after another into same place, and I know statistics doesn't mean anything if you are caught in avalanche.
    As for "stupid shit"... it's just perspective. For someone who never was skiing, hiking or climbing in middle of winter far in backcountry, everything is stupid shit. I can see that in comments of news articles after every skiing accident, regardless if in resort or in backcountry. For someone who spends whole bunch of time out there, this "stupid shit" might be actually perfectly normal and safe thing to do. Around here (Southern, eastern and central Alps in Europe) I have never seen so many avi reports with level 5 as I have seen this winter, yet I have been skiing pretty much all this time.... safely even if avi reports were at 5. Is this stupid shit? Maybe for some, but realistically it was perfectly safe decision with perfectly safe conditions. So "stupid shit" is really just point of perspective and doesn't tell anything.
     
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  15. Coach13

    Coach13 Out on the slopes Skier

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    Worry about vs be aware? 2 entirely different topics. One should always be aware and educated of the inherent risks/dangers of any sport imo. Conversations about these risks is a necessary component of that education.
     
  16. Core2

    Core2 Out on the slopes Skier

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    Going into avi terrain and getting yourself killed is stupid shit. Convince me otherwise? Convince those people's families otherwise.
     
  17. Core2

    Core2 Out on the slopes Skier

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  18. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    Hope you never ski terrain over 30 degrees ever then. Because that is avy terrain. Convince me otherwise.

    "huge" avalanche is bullshit reporting. It was a D2 on a D5 scale. Large enough to kill yes, huge, no.
     
  19. Primoz

    Primoz Making fresh tracks Skier

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    I doubt anyone goes out there to get him/herself killed. We all, at least those that go skiing in backcountry, or even inbounds in US, go out into avi terrain, but still, I doubt anyone with intention to get killed. But things happen, and you never can be 100% safe. Yet, there's far more deaths in car accidents, and we still all sit in car and do stupid shit like driving to work ;) If you want to be 100% safe, you stay at home, and even there, stay out of stupid shit like going to bed, as statistics says, majority of people die in bed ;)
    Sorry it's joke, but really.... as soon as you go on skis and out of groomers (sometimes not even that helps), you are in avi terrain, and you do have chance to get killed. With proper preparation and mitigation, these chances are small(er), but unfortunately still there, which basically equates all skiing with stupid shit. Maybe some look at this that way, personally I don't.
     
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  20. Core2

    Core2 Out on the slopes Skier

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    I love the "well I could die in a car wreck" so I should do stupid shit analogy. For me, a life changing powder day isn't worth going into bc and potentially dying. Simple as that. Maybe for other people the risk is worth the reward, good for them, I hope their family feels that way too. We've lost all respect for mountains and the danger they present. If your life is so pathetic you have to ski potentially deadly terrain find meaning you are just as bad as a junkie with a needle in your arm and you should be treated as such.
     

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