Technical information, news, research, and opinion on avalanches, snow safety, and winter backcountry travel.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Scales of Space and Time

There's a science to walking through windows — The National

We go to the backcountry because it's so easy to inhabit the moment, it's so easy to meditate, it's so easy to feel a thousand miles away when you're just a few miles in.

If you've read through any of the reports about recent avalanche fatalities in Europe, it quickly becomes exceedingly clear that "being in the moment" is just a cliché that people use to paste over short-term thinking and instant gratification.

More info:

Outstanding remarks in the thread at TGR. This commenter really nails it:

"An addiction is seemingly the best way to put it. For most of us there is just so much positive reward stacked up in our brains it's hard to say no sometimes despite the red flags. Combine that with the idea of everyone getting there before you and it's just really strong emotional responses that are triggered.

It seems to me, in my own experience, that the chronically "overstoked", the eternally optimistic among us, are the most vulnerable. The ones most likely to make reality "fit" their preconcieved notions of how things "ought to be" because things look sick and everyone is gettting after it. It may sound negative, but sometimes a little pessimism can keep you safe. Guilty till proven innocent type thinking I guess."