In the thread about the Loveland accident in the Skiing News forum, habacombmike made an interesting post in response to JayT:
I thought it might be a good idea to move my response over to the BC forum, and I highlighted the part that interested me. My thoughts:
So, as described on avalanche.org and other places, "considerable" means:
Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential. Natural avalanches possible; human triggered avalanches likely. Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.
So if the avy danger was listed as "considerable" in Colorado "most of the year" then yeah, it's dangerous in the bc "most of the year. And to say "Are you suggesting that no one should ever have traveled in the backcountry this season at all?" is a) overstating the case and b) veering onto thin ice.
^That goes into how the more people get away with risky behavior, the more comfortable they get with further risky behavior. I'm not saying that "no one should ever have traveled in the backcountry this season at all" but that unless significant precautions are taken, especially with terrain selection, then yeah, under "considerable" conditions avalanche conditions are dangerous and human-triggered avalanches are likely. It doesn't matter if you haven't gone out this season at all or that it's been "considerable" almost all of the season - it's pretty much just as dangerous the first day of "considerable" as it is after two months. And if you don't go out at all for a long time because it's dangerous, that's cool too - things will eventually mellow out, maybe next season. :wink:
Anyway, just saying, read that pdf by Laura Anderson that I linked above and don't let impatience get the best of you when you're making backcountry skiing plans.