Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
I'm sorry for the somber note of this post, but when you hear reports like this, how do you ignore it?
Obviously, no guarantees, but our respect for the dangers of avalanche, terrain and personal limits keeps us safer. Willingness to take the training, buy the equipment and our sage knowledge that the cliff we can't see down a coulier or over a roller can kill us. I ski in the same places I hike in summer. Carry a GPS, take friends, use a beacon, minimize risk; but elimination of all risks is neither possible or desirable, on or off piste. I have always had a relatively high risk tolerance, and those that do not share that trait will not do what I do. Similarly, I will not engage in terrain and conditions that larger risk takers find tolerable. At 51, I think I finally do know my limits, and want the fitness and spiritual aspcts as well as the untracked.
The next concern then is for those that will use this equipment to access backcountry with without respect for the dangers, and investment in training, and especially a conservative awareness of risk and mitigation factors. Backcounty risk is probably (in the long term) a constant; increasing numbers of casualties in backcountry are probably related to the sheer numbers of people accessing this area and the kind of terrain they now expose themselves to, It would be interesting to know if the accident rate
is actually increasing, or if it is driven by more access (exposure). The terrain and conditions factors at least can be mitigated by not exposing yourself to it. Zero exposure means you don't go and don't incur the risk.
Anyway, the opportunity is there for those that want to make responsible use of BC. Always has been, but its definitely getting easier to access. Whether its more gates off lift served ski areas, CAT served, helicopter served, or just hiking; The increased training opportunities and improvements in equipment make it accessible to more people; and that is being reflected in sales, as the fastest growing segment of the ski market.
So with that in mind, your location, and skiing abilities, you are not even considering this for yourself? Aren't You tempted by some pristine lines just a little out of reach with a fixed heel that could be yours to ski with the investment in a different binding technology?