Vail Daily letter: Use the resources
January 8, 2014
It is a sad day in the valley with the loss of Tony Seibert. My heart and condolences go out to his family and friends. As the mother of three — 10, 8 and 4 — I cannot imagine the loss of one of them. As locals the older two are already accomplished skiers. I showed them footage of Tony and explained how he was a local, too. He went to school at Battle Mountain right up the road just like you will one day. He is a good skier just like you are. My boys effortlessly ski through the trees, often passing adults twice their age as if they are just flowing down a groomer. They know the Skier Responsibility Code and obey the rules but they are also young and fearless. I know my days of ski dates with these wonderful boys is limited and soon they will be leaving me to ski with friends. I hope that when they don't want to listen to Mom anymore they will listen to CAIC (Colorado Avalanche Information Center, avalanche.state.co.us). I am always amazed at how many locals don't know this resource exists. My job is to educate them on the code once they leave the ski area gates. The first rule we give them, whether snowmobiling or skiing, is if you want to go outside the ski area, always check CAIC. The second rule is listen to them. I know they won't always want to listen to Mom but hopefully they will listen to CAIC. Have the proper equipment and know how to use it. The only downhill skier out of bounds you have to worry about is your buddy and if they don't have the tools and knowledge don't go! Your gear is only as good as those around you who have to use it. My husband and I live a mountain lifestyle when a family day is a day on the mountain together. Just like the inbound skier code of safety we try to teach them the outside-the-gate code as well. My husband likes to say mother nature is his religion and the mountain is his church. For all you locals who feel the same way, CAIC needs to be your bible. Take this opportunity to remind your children even locals are at risk when they play in the mountain and how to use the resources we have available to us.