Four skiers escape avalanche |

Four skiers escape avalanche

Allen Best

PARK CITY, Utah – Four skiers playing in the snowy backcountry between the Brighton ski area and Park City survived a major avalanche that was 600 feet wide and 5 feet deep.The skiers, who ranged in age from 45 to 59, had skied the Wasatch Range for decades. They were well prepared – they had probes, shovels and beacons – but admitted to a lapse in judgment. “We usually play it conservatively,” one of the skiers, Jane Arhart, told The Park Record. “We were stupid today.”Two of the skiers were partially buried, and the group lost five of its eight skis and six of its poles.Guide recalls deadly Revelstoke slideCALGARY, Alberta – Ken Wiley carried a heavy load after an avalanche north of Revelstoke, B.C., that left seven people dead in 2003. In a way, he still does.An assistant guide on that expedition, he recalls guilt that weighed on him heavily for a month. “I was angry for about a month afterward,” Wiley told a group in Calgary. “Then I realized it could easily go somewhere ugly, so I knew I had to make it into something positive. It becomes part of you. You have to go forward with it.”In skiing the backcountry, everyone makes little mistakes, Wiley told a group at an event covered by the Rocky Mountain Outlook. The key, he said, is to admit errors in decision-making – and not sweep them under the carpet. “I came up with excuses why what happened on Durrand Glacier wasn’t my fault,” he said. “We want people to perceive us as competent, so we don’t acknowledge responsibility. But if we sweep responsibility under the proverbial rug, we don’t learn from what happened.”Man slips, drowns in Glacier parkGLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont. – While Glacier National Park may be more famous for its stories of grizzly bears attacking hikers, the leading cause of death is drowning.Another victim was added to that roll recently when a 40-year old hiker, Dennis Brooks, fell into McDonald Creek and drowned. The Whitefish Pilot explains that the man, ignoring several signs that warned of the danger, had been hopping from boulder to boulder when a small bit of moisture caused him to lose his balance. Since 1913, at least 52 people have drowned in Glacier, according to Park Service records.

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