Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Mountain Safety, Risk and TLT5 mods

Last weekend I returned from Chamonix where I was running a Mountain Safety course for BASI instructors.
We had a highly interesting week, with dangerous snow conditions giving perfect illustration of the subject matter. Also evident was the amount of risk-taking by other skiers on the hill, particularly on the Tuesday at Le Tour, where a Cham-style powder-frenzy seemed to be in full effect, with people ignoring the clear risk and numerous skier-released slabs and sluffs and venturing into more dangerous territory - sadly resulting in the death of a snowboarder in the back bowls that same afternoon.

So the question is:
How many people were conscious of the risk but willing chose to ignore it?
How many people were vaguely conscious of the risk but didn't think it would affect them? ("It couldn't happen to me, could it?")
How many people were oblivious to the risk?

Unanswerable, but something to ponder. I bumped into a friend at the end of the afternoon who is not massively experienced off piste, had been in the back bowls, released a couple of slabs and completely lost one ski (all separate incidents), but didn't seemed too perturbed or concerned by the whole experience!

TLT5 mods

On a completely different note, I have now skied a few days in my modified TLT5s - as per the picture below each boot now has 2 pop rivets (inserted courtesy of The Boot Lab in Courchevel) which have taken out the forefoot flex giving a nice solid platform underfoot:

This has made a big difference to the skiability as there is no longer a moment of 'sag' when you stand on a ski (and interestingly the TLT6 coming out in 2013/14 has no forefoot flex...). Combined with one last push of the shell from Damien at Sanglard in Chamonix these boots may be just right now.

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