Originally Posted by wildshoetwt
just an aside, i was at mammoth the other day near chair 9 riding some mellow off-trail fairly well-tracked/ridden trees, decided to carve up a ledge hoping to ride it for awhile and drop in on a steep slope on the other side...
rode it for about a minute, suddenly i see my buddy below me giving me the slit-throat/stop hand motion desperately. i screech to a halt and realized that the pow-drop i was heading for was actually a deceptively large and jagged (15ft) cliff drop with no real landing besides jagged rocks...
giving me even more shudders was the idea that i would have seen the rocks at the landing, tried to skid to a stop, and probably ended up skidding down a 15 foot rock face on my back only to land on rocks below.
this was not only semi-on-trail but the cliff was marked by TWO signs that i missed. this (and tree wells) is why all off-trail riding should be rated double black and treated as such even if the terrain seems friendly. i was treating that ride like a green or easy blue, and it could have been deadly.
i also thought it'd be wise to slide down a powdery 7' chute with my board detached and in hand ...to get back on trail instead of following the age old adage of always hiking out of hairy spots rather than hiking down them...it ended in a good amount of blood coming out of my hand and that is all i'll say. some serious lessons re-learned that day.
Good point actually, where stickz is talking about is definitely double black now that I really think about it. Like he said not because of the steepness or tightness of the trees, but because it is out of bounds, there are unmarked obstacles abound, including open running creek holes, some cliffs and lots of tree wells. If you know where you are going its easy to pick a good line but it is also easy to get yourself into trouble if you don't.