Travel In the News

Avalanches – Is There Anything More Terrifying?

The places that drop below 0 C (or 32 F to those clinging to the imperial system),

make snow a part of their life. Summer behaves very much the same while it’s around but for the winter season people get to take part in some of the most creative activities ever thought of. Just think about skates for a minute and how crazy they must seem to those who have never seen snow or ice. Now think about snowboarding and why anyone would fly down a mountain or back and forth in a half tunnel doing that. If that weren’t nuts enough, seriously think about the bobsled – it’s madness!


There are a lot of countries that never see snow and it’s not unusual to hear people from those places ask you if snow hurts when it touches you. Well, considering many of those places are home to some of the most dangerous wildlife on Earth, it all seems a bit ironic. Seriously though, if you go to most ski resorts in Japan, New Zealand or Canada, you’ll find a ton of Australians there because they just don’t get the skiing conditions back home. Maybe it’s all just training for the next ice age, for which the cold weather people are probably going to be better prepared for. Ha… sure.

But yeah… snow can hurt you…. a lot.

I read an article last year that had the Dutch Prince Johan buried in an avalanche while
skiing in Austria – and he’s still not doing that well – and it got me
thinking about winter sports and how freaking dangerous they can be. Add in how many people travel just to do those things and may not be the best trained to do so, and it’s a wonder there aren’t more injuries (although walk through a Swiss town in the spring and see how many people are on crutches and you get an idea that even the ‘experienced’ places still get hurt).

The part of Canada I lived in doesn’t have what the western part, or the rest of the
world for that matter, would consider ski conditions. Sure, there were mountains, but
not like the Rockies. Even still, there are many reports of injuries and we hear all the time about avalanches happening. You can call a lot of these freaks of nature but a ton happen due to people going out into the back country where they aren’t supposed to because it looks ‘so pretty’. Pretty dangerous is more like it. Sure, you may go outside the ropes and never have anything happen to you, so far, but don’t count on it always being that way.

I’m not trying to be a fear monger, but you simply never know what danger is lurking if you decide to go where you’re not supposed to and snow may look light and fluffy but it will bury you alive in no time flat and good luck coming out alive. There are similar dangers with snowmobiling, skating, ice fishing – anything with ice, as if you’re on an outdoor playing surface like a frozen pond, if you’re being told about the dangers, listen up because they aren’t kidding. You might be able to hold your breath mentally but until you’re actually faced with that cold and the weight, you never know what’s in store.

Be winter smart!


Wandering the Earth for truth, love of life and to make a difference however I can.

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