Hey guys, I was just dreaming about powder and going out west and things, when I thought: when do you actually need avalanche gear and training? Do you need it for the forests beside the resort, where no one patrols, but there's quite a few people? Or only for when you're going onto the backcountry?
Where you thinking of going? I moved out from Hamilton to Calgary this year, and after years of riding blue mountain with the occasional trip to Jay, Tremblant, Fernie, etc. I was a little worried about riding the rockies every weekend.
I've taken pictures almost every day I've been out this year, and one of the first things that caught my attention was how active the patrol is at avy control. I've been riding at Fernie while they've been bombing the bowls from a chopper, same with Sunshine and Lake Louise. There are signs all over the place in bounds showing you where to stay the hell away from, and I listen to those signs.
After hearing about all the avy deaths every year, I'd want to either have the training myself, or be with a highly skilled guide (as snowolf suggested) for any backcountry adventures I might do one day. For now I'll stay in bounds and hope that the patrollers have made the hill relatively safe, and I'll try to stay away from the tree wells and other scarey shit inbounds. Although the scarey shit is some of the best stuff on the mountains!