After a restless night of sleep, the morning of friday march 18th finally came around with a bang. Well when i say bang, it was only my head hitting of the floor.
The day started like any other day, grab a baguette from the supermarket, check the weather, avalanche bulletin, make some breakfast and be out the door for the first lifts at 9.00am.
Hour before, the group were skiing a variety of couloirs and steep open faces with out incident. It was later on in the day, when we stared to venture onto sheltered and shaded east facing aspects, there was some sings of insensibility present. “i guess ignorancece, not really been able to understand the avalanch bulletin in french and the break down of communications got the better of the group” With the signs we as a group, should of made a decision to stay off steep sheltered and shaded east facing slopes, but decided to carry on regardless.
Even thou the east facing couloir we just skied wasn’t really sheltered and was in the sun for most of the day. There was one part on the bottom section what was in the shade and could of easily been avoided by skiing straight down the fall line and traversing back to the piste. But instead i decided to exit out of the couloir and traverse under the cliff on the right, to were the snow looked nice.
When i started to traverse under the cliff, i notice the snow started to get a greyish texture. So it was at this point i started to really get uncomfortable about the situation.
I was hoping i could do a kick turn and make my way back to an island of safety, but i was pretty much in the middle of the slope. So the next option was to man up and hope for the best. I made the decision to stay light on the turns and prey the slope doesn’t pop out. But the praying didn’t help. On the third or forth turn, the whole slope i was on, fractured 3 feet above me and into a 30 feet wave off white death. But luckly for me i was only partially buried and made it out in one piece with my skis intact still.
Remember to carry a beacon, probe, shovel and know how to use them.
Always discuss the situation. If the group feel the slope you’re about to ski is unsafe, don’t be ignorant about turning back. You shouldn’t care what people think of you, because of your decision.
Watch for changing weather and snow conditions by elevation.
It’s always a good thing to learn french, so you can understand the avalanche bulletin and any other usual information you might need for your day of adventures.
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