“Post control release” is a phrase that turns avalanche professionals’ hair prematurely grey. Three inbounds skiers were killed by post control releases in the lower 48 last season and the last time we had an in-area avalanche (March ’99), we had pummeled the Glacier Bowl Cornice with the Howitzer that same morning. But, temps rose rapidly and the cornice came down, causing a slide that filled Prospector Gully with debris. Two skiers were partially buried, we were lucky.
We do everything we can to make the snow move before we let the public on it. Sure, we wreck a lot of sweet pow skiing, but don’t take it personally, it’s just that none of us wants to be stuck leading a probe line. We train for avalanche rescue on a regular basis with beacons, Recco units and dogs. Because we don’t ski around with Reccos or dogs, we will find those wearing beacons first.
Wear your beacon everyday, batteries are cheap. Don’t have a beacon? Perhaps you should ask the fat man in the big red suit for one instead of the GI Joe with the kung-fu grip. Help us help you.