Over this past M.L.K. weekend, I was able to get Avalanche Certified with the help from a generous AIARE1 scholarship that SheJump’s provided.
So why the need to get Avalanche Certified? For me, I really enjoy knowing a lot about the activity before I indulge myself into it. You wouldn’t find me paddling into a swell without knowing some history of the location and the storm. I like knowing as much facts as possible before jumping into something; I guess I’m a technical person. The backcountry is a scary place if you don’t know what you are getting yourself into, and even if you know the facts, it’s still a scary place. Mountains are amazing creatures, but can be very unforgiving at times, causing avalanches, which result in deaths and/or destruction. That’s why I wanted to get certified. It’s so important to know as much as you can before entering. You can never be too careful.
But deep down, I am a naturalist at heart. The ski industry today is all about real estate profit and ‘luxury’ skiing, where you practically don’t even have to lift a finger to ski. Which can have it’s benefits because it is getting more people into the outdoors, but are they really getting the true experience of being in the mountains? We have become so dependent on everything being ‘made easy’ for us, that we sometimes forget that skiing and riding mountains is pretty dangerous.
Taking the time to hike up the mountain, observe the landscape, the vegetation, and the all around solitude of the wilderness, is why I wanted to get AIARE certified. Remembering that we are so privileged enough to be able to ride down these beautiful mountains, and appreciate all the grace that surrounds us, because, who knows how long it will all be there for? So the next time you are on top of a mountain, before whipping’ out your phone to instragram your hike, remember that, as Edward Abbey would say, “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.”
Click here to find an AIARE 1 course near you!