Snow shower in Glen Feshie
A few things have happened recently which have made me think about risks and why we actively go out and take them. A large part of my job is basically managing risk for other people. Folks want an exciting adventure, and learning is best done when we are having a good time - not having an epic. So what happens when I go out on my own or with friends? We go looking for that same exciting adventure too! Though without the back-up of a guide you have to rely on your own knowledge and experience to manage the risk.
Coire Garbhlach cornice - how close would you go?
So what happened I hear you say. Well, within the space of a week I saw my girlfriend go through ice into a river and came across this. Everyone got home in time for dinner and had some exciting tales to tell. Yes we take risks, and not everything always goes to plan but, we had the equipment and knowledge with us to help prevent another statistic, and the skier had a bit of luck!
Looking back to Coire Garbhlach later in the day
The equipment is the easy one. Back country skiers nearly always carry safety equipment to help in the case of an avalanche (though how many actually have the knowledge to use it effectively?) How many mountain bikers carry what they may need in an emergency in the hills though? Fast and light is fine, until you are not fast for an unforeseen reason. How do you get the knowledge though? You can go out there and push your limits, bit by bit, and over time you can build up the knowledge needed...but there is another way. Quality training can give you many years of knowledge in a much shorter time - go on, book yourself on a course and gain the skills and knowledge you need to manage the risks of your next adventure effectively.
Heading home ready to do it all again next week - if there is still any snow!
So maybe I'm not that different from these guys hucking off cliffs after all - they have been building their knowledge bit by bit and are taking calculated risks to achieve some pretty cool riding.
Andy . . . . could you work on my drop off technique? Red Bull here I come!