Exactly what I think about your prediction on avalanches awardness... you are better to stay worm inside all winter long.
As for “staying inside all winter long”, I bring 12 person classes into avalanche terrain during Considerable & High conditions, but we use careful terrain selection and avoid run outs and start zones of major avalanche paths and anywhere there may be a terrain trap.
From the course linked below:
<photo was too large, but can be seen at the link>http://davidlottmann.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/finally-it-snowed/
I also encourage my students to tour/climb in all types of conditions, but to try to choose the correct terrain based on the bulletin, current conditions, and their own level of knowledge and risk acceptance. Rarely do I ever suggest “just stay home”. There are always
options that can allow one to recreate safety in the mountains.
Your personal level of risk acceptance sounds higher than the average person. That’s ok, that’s why it’s “personal” level of risk acceptance.
However your disregard for the advice of professionals who live & breathe this stuff, both guides, instructors, and USFS Snow Rangers is quite rare.
Every local climber and guide I know respects the opinion of the USFS Snow Rangers, and bulletins produced by forecast centers all over North America, www.avalanche.org
While my advice is only the opinion of one person, it comes from 100’s of days in avalanche terrain, 100’s of hours of taking courses and attending seminars, multiple trips out west to travel in different snow climates, conveying what I’ve learned to 100’s of students over many dozen courses, and it all started in 2002 after watching 2 people get killed in Tuckerman in an avalanche right in front of me...http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/search-rescue/incidents-accidents/2002-2003-summaries/
You are right. It is YOUR LIFE. You owe it to your friends and family to learn everything you can. No one course will make someone “safer” in the backcountry. In fact, statistics show people who have taken a course have a higher percent chance of getting caught in an avalanche. The truth is these are the people that usually spend more time in avalanche terrain, especially as avalanche education has become more refined, effective, and available in the last 10 years.
There are many resources out there for those who want to learn more. Other than avalanche.org avtraining.org is great. Not everyone learns best from books & websites, so group learning in a course is another great option.
I forget who said it but “There are no masters in avalanche education. The masters are all dead.” The point is the learning NEVER stops... there is a lifetime of information to try to absorb, comprehend, and apply to your future climbing/ski trips. It’s an awesome topic to dig into, at least for me.
Lucky Luke (Champ), I think we often are saying the same thing. “Deep Understanding” is a great goal. But I’ll end on this Appalachian pro-verb:
“It’s not what you don’t know that will get you killed, it’s what you think you know
that just ain’t so
I’d say this topic has run its course, but hopefully the 1,500+ views have been helpful for some.