Stories from avalanche terrain
The mountains don’t care if you are a beginner or an expert; they act as a humbling teacher to us all. Regardless of your level, our community shares the same burning passion - and lessons we can all learn from.
After weeks of planning, prepping and training, it can be easy to fall into the mindset that executing the plan exactly as defined is the only path to success. But in wild spaces, surrendering your ego and embracing vulnerability can be the difference between coming home and a rescue.
“The main objective is to come back home - and it’s the main objective of every expedition.”
After years of physical training and planning for their record-breaking project, La Liste: Everything or Nothing, professional skiers Jérémie Heitz and Sam Anthamatten arrived in Pakistan to find sketchy avalanche conditions on one of their planned routes. As a team, they made the tough call for Jérémie not to ski his designated line, putting the expedition’s viability into question. The duo went back to the drawing board, resulting in them returning to a more diverse landscape with better conditions a full two years later.
What are the key safety takeaways?
When faced with high-stakes decisions, the ability to say “no” is essential. Changing plans to better suit the realities of the mountain is a success - even if you don’t ride that day. Practicing with your Basic 4 - beacon, probe, shovel, airbag - builds muscle memory and allows you to focus on the human-element of your avalanche safety protocol.