Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Avalanche


This morning they reported that over forty people have been trapped in avalanches in Colorado this year even with the lack of snow in some places. Fortunately most have lived to ski another day. Over the weekend two people were caught in an avalanche on Loveland Pass and fortunately were rescued. One of the rescuers was a member of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center who was driving over the pass and just happened to be in the right place at the right time. After spending a lot of my life digging out and removing dead bodies from avalanche chutes I still do not understand why back country skiers take the risk. Most of the deaths are people who are very experienced skiers who should know better. They woke up that morning hearing the warnings on the local radio and TV stations about what to avoid to stay out of trouble. Then they go right to the place where avalanches are most likely. This past weekend there was a death where skiers were skiing below other skiers and were trapped when the snow above them broke loose and slid down on them. It is almost as if they are tempting fate knowing that there was a high probability that the snow would give way and kill them. As Mark Twain once said. "If common sense were so common there would be more of it." Stupid is as stupid does.

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