By Greg Hill
In 1999, while I was beginning my backcountry adventures I was fortunately unfortunate to witness a major avalanche. I know this sounds odd but as a young wild adventurous boy I was fairly oblivious to the true hazards of the mountains. I was young fit and driven to explore but really blind to the mountains. I had enough self-analysis to understand that I knew nothing so I took my Canadian Avalanche Level 1 course.
It was during that course that I witnessed a class 4 avalanche and was part of a full blown rescue. Sadly Shane, an acquaintance, passed away in this slide; also a great friend, Frank, suffered multiple fractures. I remember standing on the side of Mt-Macdonald, watching the last patient being long lined off into the setting sun. While watching them fly away I vowed that I would learn as much as I could to avoid such a catastrophe happening to me or the people I ski with.
This video “ my rules”, are my rules to minimize these risks, because I know that I cannot stop and will not stop going out in the mountains and taking risks. It is such a big part of who and what I am. Yet I can do it in a way that is smart and has a process to it. I am not blindly wandering around.
I made this video for the simple purpose of scaring people a little bit and getting them to think and understand the risks they are taking. This is a first in a little series of videos I am making. The second I am calling “tricks of the terrain” it is a more on the ground approach to backcountry skiing. These little tricks that have been taught to me by my mentors and by the mountains. Ideally the rules I share and the tricks I teach help you make good decisions in the mountains and enjoy them for years to come.