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from 1/20/05 Szine Newsletter
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Did you know that at least 17 people have DIED snowboarding this
season? (That's from 12/29/04 thru 1/20/05 - not even a month and a
Eight deaths were from avalanches, and 9 were from hitting trees. The tree
deaths all seem to happen during the Holiday vacation. You can read the sad
headlines yourself here -
I suspect that the tree accidents happen partly because riders haven't learned
the basic skills of turning and stopping and controlling speed well enough
before they ride in the glades. Tree riding is for experienced riders. Peer
pressure, overconfidence and bad judgment probably all play a part and it can be
a deadly mix.
Regarding the avalanches, I asked Jeremy Jones, Big Mountain rider for
Rossignol, if anything can be done to prevent this kind of deadly accident.
Jeremy rides jaw dropping cliffs, and does it only well prepared and when the
conditions are suitable, testing the snow and choosing his line carefully.
"Most of the recent deaths could have been avoided by following the simplest
back country rules:
DO NOT go into the back country without an avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe
and knowledge to use them. Your basic avalanche handbook will do to get you
started. If you do not know what you are doing, stay on old tracks. Also 90
percent of Avalanches happen during or within 24 hours of a storm."
This is good advice to heed from a guy who rides back country for a living.
By the way, if you'd like to see Jeremy Jones in action on those cliffs, and the
Rossignol team, I've got some free copies of the "Projectour" video to share.
This is one of the best videos I've seen this season. Send me an email with your
name and regular mail address and I'll get it out to you.
See pix of the Rossignol team partying at the Projectour NY Film Premier in
Oct. 2004 here