I just started my first day of my advance wilderness first aid today and I just wanted to briefly touch on why I got into it in the first place ( aside from the obvious).
It's two fold. The first , I am 26, ive been a general manager of a hotel and now a restaurant manager and made upwards of 80k a year. I fucking hhhhhhate my job. So here i am 26, married, kid and starting down a new career path hopefully leading to guiding or forecasting.
Second, and this one is more importanter than the first. A few seasons ago I was involved in an avalanche rescue. I won't bore you with the gory details but had this incident not happened in an area where a group was being guided. The victim would have died. We did everything bang on, beacon search under 5 minutes with a positive probe strike but with a burial of almost 2m in a flat deposition zone and only 3 people to extricate, it took us 30 minutes or so to get a clear airway. unresponsive, my partner and I have no clue where to even begin. Lucky for the victim the guide from the group near by was able to start getting him air and a after more digging, was able to being chest compression's.
I didn't know the guy who was caught, he was in another party but it hit home pretty hard. While your AST1 is an very crucial component to responsible backcountry recreation it isn't the only thing you need. I couldn't imagine digging up a friend , having done everything by the avalanche handbook only to have they lay at feet and watch them slip away. Just an FYI the victim, will never drive a care again and after two years I'm still not sure he is walking yet.
Not preachin , just sharing.