Thursday 27 December 2007

Good snow, but with good snow comes...

Avalanches. Something we don't have to worry about in Australia!

I was riding the chairlift at Alta on Christmas day, wondering why people were letting off massive firecrackers at a ski resort. I soon realised that the explosions echoing off the cliffs were a group of skiers trying to create an avalanche...on purpose. They were part of the avalanche patrol that skis into avalanche-prone areas after big snow falls to detonate explosives to try and trigger an avalanche. When they decide no snow is going to come down they open the run to the public.

This is a very real danger, and YouTube has videos of avalanches at Alta on Mt. Baldy where I was skiing the Ballroom. Unknown to us, a skier actually died at a nearby resort two days before we started skiing while skiing an in-bounds double black. Eeek.

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