Over the winter season we have been asking G3's athletes and ambassadors what their favourite backcountry safety tips are. The responses are always informative and fresh, with a wide range of tips coming from our diverse team skiers and riders. Local skier Mike Traslin just free flowed a handful of such tips for everyone to keep in mind, a long with some good humour and a jab at Instagram for good measure.
#1 - Know before you go.
#2 - Try to figure out where your partner's head space is at. It won't be easy but it will always help.
#3 - Be careful when you go with elite athletes from other sports who are used to being in charge. They might be fit as $@ but when $@ hits the fan do they have avalanche training? Do they have wilderness first aid training? Backcountry decision making experience
#4 - Watch the fun meter. We have all been there. Take a few minutes to digest your day, especially when conditions are firing. Use your brain. On the powder day of all powder days it is easy to lose yourself in the moment and shut your brain off.
#5 - Patience is a virtue. Some gnarly ski lines you can do off the couch, but others could take one, two, twenty years.
#6 - Watch out for people that are used to being leaders in their field or profession. Some feel the same on ski trips on the weekend. Just because you lead 50 or 100 construction workers during the week does not mean you are qualified to lead 50 or 100 construction workers on ski trip. Don't worry that's just an example 0 nothing against construction workers. ;)
#7 - Try to stay humble.
#8 - Make sure that sick Instagram photo you saw was from a fresh trip. There's nothing worse than realizing that sick ski line you were jealous of was actually a #latergram from 3 years ago... and you are halfway down that ski line right now realizing there is half the snow plenty of ice (and you didn't bring your ice axe or boot crampons).
(Note: Some #throwbacks are easier to spot than others...)
#9 - Growing up as a small ice hockey player I lost count how many times I was hit by guys who weighed two hundred pounds plus. I was always able to get up and keep playing. Sometimes to keep me in check I imagine how heavy an avalanche would be, even a small one? $&@% is that a humbling thought.
#10 - Not always popular with the group, but don't be afraid to turn around from the summit when it doesn't feel right. When everyone is feeling 'all systems go' it isn't easy being that person who has to speak up when it does not feel right.