Wanted to clear something up about the I in EVI. Last year, we started this site with the intent of posting about our experiences in EV. Doing the avalanche education thing a little bit differently. There would be some hype videos with music to get the kids involved, maybe even interested in something besides hucking 100ft cliffs into bottomless pow without repercussion. They come for the movies, and stay for what little information we can impart. Maybe it would take something more than a danger rose to get people to really look at the aspects they were skiing and comprehend the associated risks involved.
We looked at the CAIC and saw a great resource that helps a lot of people, but then asked ourselves if every aspect in a zone as large as summit / vail could be covered in a daily report less than a page long. Maybe something more was necessary…on the ground observations BEFORE the slides happened. These reports came via skiing the lines, with a little side story, a little experience, maybe some attitude and opinion.
So, what then. Little did we know, but 2011 was a special year. A lot of terrain opened up in the EV zone that in most years, you couldn’t access. Lines that are usually un-skiable became viable. Drop a cornice, straight-line the run, out you go, no problems…no slides…no worries. It was done by numerous people on numerous days. Some of it was even put on video. While none of this is proof positive in itself of safe terrain, there wasn’t much for us to report last year except good times. This year sure ain’t the same.
2012 rolls around and those same lines are no where to be found. The snow is touchy. Step in the wrong place and trigger something that runs to the flats. Circa December 2011, EVI is sitting on a bunch of material that makes EV look like candyland…bottomless pow, big lines, no consequences. That isn’t the case anymore. We think, maybe we have a responsibility now to explain the other half of the equation. An evolution of our mission. Now that we have an audience, it’s time to dig the pits, to explore the zone, and point out the dangers.
And, that’s what we’ve been doing…in our own way. This isn’t snow dork academy. In fact, the “institute” in our name is satire. It’s a bit of parody, much like the “research” being done on Teton’s Gravity. Anyone reading our name, taking everything we say at face value, thinking they have a level III avalanche cert and then going into the EV zone is insane. Crazier than a solo ski cut in Old Man’s (more on this). That clear enough? We aren’t a school, we don’t grant degrees, you won’t meet any coeds in EV, nothin.
That said, we took some criticism for ONE single post among 80…a ski cut. An intended maneuver resulting in an intended effect. Completely discredited. 1,400 runs in EV over 14 years and the knowledge gained from it…gone. Poof. Irrelevant. That post is now gone, not wanting anyone reading this blog to take it as a recommendation to repeat.
I encourage anyone hating on that post to take a look at the rest of the blog. Anything from the 2011 – 2012 season should echo the CAIC reports from the same period. The on the ground reports and warnings often exceeded the “considerable” rating made public by the CAIC. Take them for what they are worth and what they are…on the ground reports. If you want to dig your own pits, you should. We encourage that. In fact, let us know what you find. If you don’t want to ski Old Man’s during high avalanche danger, then don’t. The beauty and freedom in back country skiing is just that.