How many missing snowshoers or skiers does it take to understand the concepts that “Mother Nature always wins” and “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”?
Every year, we hear stories about folks out for a “short hike” in our mountains who end up lost and then sometimes dead, all for lack of some simple planning.
Taking a walk, even a short one, in the winter in our mountains has a fairly high potential to be dangerous to your health. How does this happen? A sudden, unexpected blizzard. The fog rolls in quickly, and you can’t even see your feet. You accidentally stray onto a snow cornice and fall through. Suddenly you are lost and all you have in your day pack is half a sandwich.
Enjoy our majestic mountains in the winter, but please educate yourself before heading out. Take classes on how to be prepared from organizations like The Mountaineers who teach about essentials that you must take with you every time you head out, even when on a “short hike” – extra food and water, proper clothing, extra clothing, map and navigation equipment, emergency shelter, fire starter, first aid kit, flashlight.
Don’t go alone. Write down your trip plan and leave it with someone. Check a weather and avalanche report before you go.
Do yourself and all the rest of us a favor by doing a little planning before heading out into our “wild”erness.