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Old 02-03-2011, 02:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Things that just make you shake your head...

So, I've started my first dabbling into backcountry riding this season. I got all of my equipment (shovel, beacon, and probe) over the summer, read up on how to use it, did some practicing, attended the FREE Friends of Berthoud Pass seminar, did as much reading as I could (Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain and Backcountry Skiing Berthoud Pass), and went out with killclimbz and his crew a couple of times to pick the brains of far more experienced BC riders.

Now my buddies want to get into BC riding. Now these guys aren't stupid and they're not poor. They have good jobs and college degrees. They're legitimately smart cats. However, they JUST DON'T GET IT. They're very hesitant to buy a beacon due to the cost. They've all bought new boards and other gear this season, but just don't seem willing to part with the $300 to get a decent beacon. They've attended the free intro clinic at REI with me and that wasn't enough to scare them into getting any real training or get equipment.

I just got this text from one of my buddies... "Alright, I picked up some snowshoes and a collapsible shovel. Kinda want to go somewhere backcountry and build a kicker to practice hucking spins into pow."

Facepalm. I've told these guys plenty of times that I'm not riding BC with them until they get equipment and make an effort to educate themselves. They still just don't get it. Any suggestions? I'm out of ideas.

They're not going with me until they do, but I also don't want to read about a BC rider going missing and find out it was one of them.
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There's a difference between ridin' in the bc and finding some place to build a kicker. Sounds like he's "stoked" on checking out his new gear. Go hit a kicker, dig a pit and hang out awhile and keep talkin' about it.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linvillegorge View Post
So, I've started my first dabbling into backcountry riding this season. I got all of my equipment (shovel, beacon, and probe) over the summer, read up on how to use it, did some practicing, attended the FREE Friends of Berthoud Pass seminar, did as much reading as I could (Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain and Backcountry Skiing Berthoud Pass), and went out with killclimbz and his crew a couple of times to pick the brains of far more experienced BC riders.

Now my buddies want to get into BC riding. Now these guys aren't stupid and they're not poor. They have good jobs and college degrees. They're legitimately smart cats. However, they JUST DON'T GET IT. They're very hesitant to buy a beacon due to the cost. They've all bought new boards and other gear this season, but just don't seem willing to part with the $300 to get a decent beacon. They've attended the free intro clinic at REI with me and that wasn't enough to scare them into getting any real training or get equipment.

I just got this text from one of my buddies... "Alright, I picked up some snowshoes and a collapsible shovel. Kinda want to go somewhere backcountry and build a kicker to practice hucking spins into pow."

Facepalm. I've told these guys plenty of times that I'm not riding BC with them until they get equipment and make an effort to educate themselves. They still just don't get it. Any suggestions? I'm out of ideas.

They're not going with me until they do, but I also don't want to read about a BC rider going missing and find out it was one of them.
Sounds like you've got your head screwed on straight in this. Bottom line is that no matter the level of their prodding and pestering, don't give in. For your safety, it's almost MORE important that you're partners know what they're doing, and you seem to know that. Are there any spots near you that have lower angle slopes you could mess around on? Ones, obviously, that you don't have to cross avy paths to get to? Maybe whet their beaks a little, and dangle the carrot of steeper spots once they remove their heads from their asses....

In the end, each man must choose his own path. Look at the example from "A Dozen More Turns." The dude had a Master's Degree in snow study for cryin out glavin and still chose to push the envelope....
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with mojo (sup dude)

Sounds like your friend isn't looking to ride some HUGE lines.
If you know of a safe place (no avalanche danger) that has a safe approach & exit...
Go build a kicker, dig some pits, share some knowledge... plant the seed.
Maybe you'll inspire him to get the necessary gear & pursue an avalanche course.

It'd be better if your buddy has someone who has some avi/BC knowledge go build that kicker with him.
That way he & others won't get themselves into a bad spot.

People WILL venture into the BC with out gear & avi knowledge.
Nothing we can do aside from spread awareness & promote safety.

Last edited by bravo_castle; 02-03-2011 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds fair enough, I just know my buddies. Building a kicker in a safe area won't be enough for them. I know it'd be opening pandora's box.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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opening pandora's box.
...which just happens to be full of suffocation and blunt force trauma.

The recent death on Berthoud Pass should serve as a cautionary tale to your (not-as-smart-as-you-give-them-credit-for) friends. Those riders were "sticking to the trees" and low angle terrain but traversed beneath a slope that ripped and ended up killing one them. The victim was found buried less than three feet deep. If they'd made smart choices, he'd still be alive.

Your friends think they are smarter than they are. There's nothing worse in the backcountry.
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