Sunday, December 25, 2005

Snowshoeing and Avalanches

I just came across some news about a young Colorado man who died in an avalanche near Grays and Torreys peaks while snowshoeing with his friend.

Tragically, the pair had already realized the dangerous snow conditions and was leaving the area when they triggered the avalanche.

He and his friend (who was only partially and able to free himself) did not wear avalanche beacons.

However, the incident got me thinking. Especielly since I’m a former member of a Mountain Rescue Service and rescue dog trainer and know a thing or two about winter mountaineering, avalanches etc.

Why do people hike in the winter without proper preparation?

Why did the young men not wear avalanche beacons?

Is it because snowshoeing is so easy and nearly everybody can do it?

Of course, without knowing these folks, the details and circumstances, one can only guess what really happened.

An Austrian proverb brings it to the point: “It’s easy to become a good mountaineer, but it’s much harder to become an old one.” How true.

Clicke here for some related literature.

Here’s the link to the news report.