A Dozen More Turns

By Beacon Staff

Whether you’re a skier, boader or a snowmobiler, when you’re way back in the fluff and tearing up the powder, it’s easy to become addicted to that next big set of turns, that next high mark, or that slope just above you.

Those next big turns are why many of us are here, or still here. Still, you have to be careful not to “write a check your body can’t cash”, or as my friend Bill Boyd says, “Live to play another day.”

“What we see is people with a lot of backcountry experience who understand the science of avalanches, understand why avalanches form, why slopes are dangerous and know what to look for. Yet they still get in trouble. They get hungry for powder and don’t look at the situation objectively. They want to ski the run.” – Doug Chabot (director of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center)

This 30-minute documentary about New Year’s Day avalanche in the Centennial Range in southwest Montana is a stirring, solemn reminder that even the most prepared, most snow-smart people around can have things go bad when emotions make decisions.

“All of us that watch this movie will see ourselves in it,” Chabot said. “We’ve all made similar mistakes – the difference is we got away with it.”

The videos can be viewed below at no cost via the links to http://www.lifeonterra.com, or you can buy a $6 DVD from BackPackingLight.com. One of the editors at BackpackingLight was a victim of this avalanche, so they have priced it low with free shipping to get this info into the hands of as many outdoors enthusiasts as possible. Their hope is to save a life.

Part One of A Dozen More Turns

Part Two of A Dozen More Turns

Part Three of A Dozen More Turns

A follow up story about one of the skiers involved can be found at http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=2729478.

From the DVD cover: “A Dozen More Turns, a film by Amber Seyler, is a documentary about backcountry skiing, avalanches and how the “human factor” – non-scientific, emotionally-spurred miscalculations – can have dire consequences. Based on a true story about five friends, experienced outdoorsmen who collectively possessed significant avalanche training & expertise, who venture off on a multi-day hut trip in southwestern Montana. The film powerfully depicts how their pursuit of powder and desire eek out a few extra turns ends up costing one man his life, while his best friend loses a leg in the accident.”