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If Ever There Was Motivation Not to Finish College…


Albi Sole, program co-ordinator for Public Avalanche Awareness Programs at the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre, has just put the finishing touches on his masters degree research profiling who’s at the highest risk of being caught in an avalanche. Slackers everywhere will rejoice in Mr. Sole’s findings.
I’m not what most people would call a ‘numbers man’. I’m not really even sure how one would come up with these stats, but according to Sole the most likely subject is a male backcountry skier, 25-29 years old, with a bachelor’s degree or higher and earning about $10,000 over the provincial(state) average. Also, being accompanied by a woman reduces the risk, while having taken avalanche safety training doesn’t.

I was involved in-a rather large avalanche incident in Park city, UT a few years back so I found this study to be quite intriguing. My stats at the time- Male, 18 yrs. old, the exact opposite of a college grad, and earning $7.25/hr as a liftie. I was also abnormally hungry and listening to Pink Floyd at the time. I guess I would have thrown the study off a bit.

Regardless of the results Mr. Sole’s study came up with, as another winter gets underway it’s super important to educate yourself as much as possible regarding avalanche safety. It’s pretty easy to find avalanche safety classes and get yourself informed. If you plan on spending much time charging the backcountry this season, do yourself and others a favor and soak in as much knowledge regarding the subject as possible. Even if you aren’t a 25-29 yr. old college grad-

Posted by Shaun on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 in Snow.

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