Jeff – Dropping the last pitch on Mt Grey.
Most of the new snow inbounds got tracked out yesterday, so we headed out into the local backcountry this morning to check out conditions. A strong north wind last night had blasted the chutes on Mt Roberts, but we still found some powder turns down the Dogs-leg. The south aspect on Mt Grey was in much better condition, smooth and soft with lots of space to lay down fresh tracks.
After a few well publicised deaths I’m hearing hourly warnings about high avalanche danger on the CBC. While we could see a natural release over on Record Ridge (it appeared a side loaded pocket on West aspect), in our local area it’s certainly not the hair-trigger conditions you’d imagine from the hype. Persistent deep instability can certainly lure you into false confidence, but with experince and a level head it’s certainly manageable. Exagerating and overreacting (Whistler and Grouse are reportedly enforcing area closures with criminal penalties) to risk in an attempt to protect people from themselves, only retards the development of culture of expertise and personal responsibility – which I believe is the only defensible and potentially effective approach to limiting avalanche fatalities.