Photo by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

I’m not going to say I told you so. I’m not going to say much of anything, other than that anyone who does serious backcountry travel, no matter the season, should read this incident report and the commentary and discussion here.  Avalanches may or may not be the most problematic backcountry “objective” hazard, but this latest incident highlights rather starkly the simple fact that danger does not exist without humans.  We create it by being there, and how and when we are where we are in the backcountry makes all the difference.

This lead to two posts: the one I already wrote about the flawed way avalanche safety has been conceptualized in the last decade, and one I’ll write next week about how solo is almost always safer.