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December 2004, Week 1

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Subject:
From:
"Benjamin T. Kulas" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Thu, 2 Dec 2004 11:00:07 -0500
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Matt,

I'm relieved and glad to read that you were able to save Winter.  I'll
second John Atkinson's words.  Except for your initial mistake you seem to
have done everything right.

To be honest, considering the amount you have skied in the past three
years in the environments you have been skiing, I suspect that this
incident is within the probability figure, not that that's any comfort.

If I may be so cold as to try to analyze your account, I think the it is a
superb example of the impact of our instinctual emotional reaction that
can or cannot get in the way of post-avalanche search & rescue.  It seems
like you are familiar with your avalanche gear, and that familiarity
really paid off.  If something so terrible like that happens we are bound
to panic to some degree.  You may have been lucky that this incident
occurred early season so that you could ditch your skis and run up the
slope without too much foundering throught the snow.  This report also
seems to be a great testimony to the ease of the Tracker's use and the
importance of this ease in such a situation.

Again, I'm terribly glad to read that you both survived unscathed.

Ben

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