We often get people commenting – “Oh rescuing another #$^&* out of bounds?” Only 3% of our calls are actually “out-of-bounds” skiers or snowboarders, the rest are using the backcountry responsibly, but just make a mistake or get injured. So what’s the difference?
- No trip planning – planned to ski at the ski hill but figured that a few turns outside the boundary is fine.
- No avalanche training.
- No avalanche equipment.
- Definitely didn’t check the avalanche forecast.
- Didn’t tell anyone where they are going.
- Decided to duck a rope to get some sweet pow at the last minute.
- Followed some tracks down a gully figuring those people knew what they were doing.
- Wearing only their downhill gear. No ability to go uphill.
- Quite often alone.
- Has taken an avalanche course, maybe even more than one.
- Has avalanche gear – beacon, probe, shovel.
- Has the proper gear – backpack, extra clothes, map, compass, GPS, satellite device, water, food.
- Has touring equipment including backcountry skis, skins, split board, or snowshoes.
- Planned the day including mapping out the route, elevation gain, loss, trip time, turn around time.
- Left that trip plan with someone responsible.
- Checked the weather.
- Checked the avalanche forecast.
- Is ready to change the plan if weather, avi danger, or group dynamics dictate it.
- Travels with a partner or group.
- Knows that skiing/riding some sweet lines is optional, but getting back to the parking lot is not.
Hope that helps clear up some of the confusion, have fun out there and be safe.