>Date:         Mon, 5 Feb 2001 13:22:42 -0500
 From:         Stewart Kriss <[log in to unmask]>
 Subject:      Re: Calif. Ramblin', Part 2 - Powder at Mammoth & June

 explain something to me-from this adventure and other similar ones
reported in
 the past, what happened to the idea of not skiing in woods
alone,especially in
 new areas? it that hard to understand how folks get caught in
 avalanches,lost,etc with this same type of attitude?<

Every situation in life is a judgement call and you must be willing to
live with the consequences.  I rather enjoy this aspect of skiing.  If you
had been there you would probably have accepted the risk too.  At least
you would know whereof you speak.  As stated in the original post the
swath of trees was between blue cruising runs and never more than 200
yards wide.  Translation, getting lost is not a possibility and avalanche
risk is about as low as it gets.  It is inbounds and controlled, and never
more than 25 degrees and probably more like 20 in most of the area.  If
those trees were outside the area boundary, had steeper uncontrolled
terrain above, or if it put me out of shouting distance, I would not have
done it alone.  There was no steeper terrain above.  The one risk that I
did think about in advance was sunken obstacles.  For that reason I went
quite slowly on the first few runs and memorized and avoided the places
that were tight or had obvious sunken logs.  I decided to accept the
remaining risk and in fact dealt with it when I had to.  I rather enjoy
this aspect of skiing.  I would compare the risk to that of skiing Quacky
Woods alone at MRG or the "fusion zone" to skier's right of Northstar at
Killington.  The pitch and the distance from help in those areas is
comparable to what I did.  Going alone in those areas is something that
most of my list friends would do and knowing their skills and experience I
would consider it a reasoned, responsible acceptance of risk in pursuit of
their sport.

That said, everyone should be responsible for themself and make their own
decision.  BTW I am happy to respond to this question and hope it will do
some good or provoke useful reflection.

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