Adrenalists aren’t going to resign themselves to the plowed slopes of whatever ski lodge, resort or mountain they’re on. Instead, they’ll set off on “the road not taken” simply because it’s got the gnarliest spots to board or ski without running into any vacationing tourists.
However, the risk of injury is amplified any time you’re off the radar of ski patrol. An avalanche is one such progenitor of harm. Avalanches usually occur when untouched peaks crumble from a foreign weight, which starts a chain reaction of tumbling snow down the side of the mountain. If caught, many skiers and snowboarders are often enveloped in the cascading snow, as seen in our What It’s Like To Be Inside An Avalanche feature. They are overcome by gravity’s pull on the dislodged flurries. Without the proper gear to brace against the impact, experience of a choreographed avalanche escape and luck, even the most hardcore are in danger.
One snowboarder, from a couple years back, was enjoying his new Go Pro Camera and snowboarding on the tenuously narrow ridge of a mountain in Colorado’s backcountry. By boarding along the crest of the mountain’s top, he’d placed himself in the perfect place for the overhanging snow cornices that usually trigger avalanches.
Fortunately, once the cornice drops, the snowboarder scarcely avoids plunging down the side of the mountain. The obviously relieved boarder takes a few moments after missing the avalanche, to show us just how close he’d come to becoming another victim of Mother Nature’s fickle moutain-top detours. Be safe out there, Adrenalists, and watch where you step.