I think it was briefly mentioned earlier this season before we had any snow but it's more relevant now than ever - CAIC's recent study about the experience level of who is involved in avalanche incidents is telling. It's a bell curve.Carl_Healy wrote: ↑Thu Feb 04, 2021 12:06 pmI just took AIARE I and thought that would help in the chance myself or my companions were to be buried, but those photos are a bit eye opening.
Even if there were 5 companions carrying probes and shovels I don't think they'd be able to get to anyone buried that deep in time to save them...
Beginners tend to either avoid avalanche terrain entirely or defer to a more experienced person. They're often extremely paranoid and question every slope on every aspect as suspect.
With a little experience and an avy course or two, backcountry users build confidence. They can manage terrain and make judgement calls. But that growing confidence leads to reduced margins and positive feedback loops that contribute to increased confidence and affirm decision making even if those positive outcomes have as much to do with luck as skill. Intermediate-advanced users think if something does go wrong, they can manage it with companion rescue skills.
True avalanche experts understand the law of averages. And the destructive power of avalanches. They realize that even if they could ski a slope 999 times out of 1000 without it sliding, that is not sufficient for reaching old age while skiing 100+ backcountry days every winter. They are not lulled into complacency and overconfidence by positive feedback loops. And they realize they cannot outsmart the snowpack and terrain so they leave wider margins knowing their snowpack assessments lack 100% certainty. Even with justified confidence that a slope will not slide, they still consider what layer would fail, how deeply it would break, and what terrain traps exist if it did.
I'm not an authority on human behavior. This is just my educated guess.
https://www.avalanche.state.co.us/educa ... he-season/