So this past week Jackson Hole has been a very different place. I never thought when I moved out here that someone would die at the place I was going to work, but it has really been a wake up call.
Working in an environment where people are so happy to be is great…it really makes working that much more enjoyable. Sometimes however, we all get so caught up in the pleasures of skiing and boarding, and its really easy to forget that there is real danger in this sport we all have so much passion for. I read on someones blog where a person commented that it was ski patrol’s fault we had a fatality in the recent avalanche at the resort. This really bothered me…ski patrol does so much for the resort and takes on a huge burden to protect our safety. They work diligently to provide us with a place to ski that is incredibly safe compared to the back country. The truth is accidents happen and when we are up in the mountains, nature is in control, not us. That being said I think we should look at the recent conditions and events and think about why we are all here.
The mountains set us free. I know for me personally when I get on my skis and hit the slopes the rest of the world just disappears. It is my happy place, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I feel like most of the locals here in Jackson are on the same page. We all know there is a risk in what we do, but the payoff is well worth it. But we can’t receive it blindly…it’s important to remember that there is underlying risk, and we need to do our best to be prepared for it. So everyone learn about avalanche safety, follow the rules, and buy/wear your beacons!
I have done a lot of thinking about skiing and the danger it brings lately, I will leave you with this quote, which kind of sums up my feelings:
”The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” – Leo F. Buscaglia