Its starting to feel like that time of the year outside. My mind is starting to wander from the river, to the mountains. (even though fishing never stops;) The feeling of smearing a turn through a blanket of snow, entering the white room and being choked by the cold smoke. Sliding on the snow is a feeling that everyone should experience. You should probably try it if you haven’t….;) It comes highly recommended from the chef…..
Backcountry skiing has been a passion since my first excursion when I was 15. The effort of the up, to earn your turns on the way down is an amazingly satisfying feeling. In our younger years we were not educated in backcountry safety and etiquette. we would wait till the snowpack’s were stable, and ride. no beacons or avy gear. I think we had luck with us through our journeys and close calls. But as time passed, we slowly started to educate ourselves in snowpack, avy gear (and how to use it), weather, scouting lines, skiing lines and still loving the full circle that is encompassed.
what if?…. There are risks in everything. education and experience can lower the risks. but there is always the unknown. mother nature can be harsh sometimes. A lot of skiing icons that I have admired and aspired to over the years, have been lost in avalanches or related accidents. No matter your experience and education, taking the risks, weighing the risks, you must have respect. Respect in the conditions, the mountain and your own abilities. knowing when to say when is a hard choice to make. But we all love to ride as close to the line as possible. push the limits. and respect the consequences that may follow. There is always something to learn or to brush up on. there is many resources for backcountry and avalanche education. get educated, stay educated. and make every turn like it was your last.
For our outings we like to pack light and smart. but also have room in the pack for a few “wants” next to the have to’s. We broke down the list to our top ten needs for our packs. with few extras to make a good day out….
- Avy gear (Beacon, Probe, Shovel)
- Snow study gear, Topo Map
- Extra clothing layers
- First aid kit (With or without bivy sack)
- Snacks, water (and extra snacks for emergency)
- Leatherman Tool (with fire starter)
- Cell phone/ Radio
- Duck Tape (wrap some around the tops of your poles)
This has been a pretty solid list for us, for just planning on a day trip. It can vary upon the location. But expecting the worst scenario and having just a few of those extra items can make all the difference in the end. For multi day excursions we have another list…. and a possible blog post;) But do your homework and find out what works for you. A few items that we don’t have to have, but make it onto the other list almost all the time are….
- A. Gopro camera (plus accessories) 😉
- B. Portable Charger
- C. UV Buff
- 4. T.P. (“blue bag”…. this actually is part of the first aid kit… )
- D. Flask… (Your choice of contents;)
Saving your life or making your experience more enjoyable… your gear can make all the difference. Get to know your local avalanche forecast, weather, and your gear. There is always something to learn. Your never done learning….
Slow down, think it through. Enjoy the ride. Stop and look at where you are sometimes…. You might actually see something outside of your box of life…. And if you do… your doing it right.
Thanks for coming by. Hope to see you out there.