I don't know that any skier or snowboarder (and - contrary to this story - snowboarders do seem to be involved in a lot of crashes, too) would ever intentionally hit anyone. The only time I've been hit was at Lake Louise on the old summit T-Bar, by a ski INSTRUCTOR who was skiing down the t-bar line and hit my pal and me. Traverses can be dangerous places, especially in an area where guys are 'dropping' from up above. And of course the old rule of yielding to the downhill skier is often challenging. That is a serious pair of injuries. I hope Peter heals up well, and that we all take an appropriately cautionary approach. First tracks can make people do irrational things. Truly sorry to hear this.
I think that if building new huts improves summer access with a hiking trail into the Spearhead and de facto discourages helicopter skiing in areas normally skied by backcountry skiers, then that will generally be a very positive development. SAR safety and rescue issues might be mitigated by having more 'safe zones' to rescue, say, injured skiers or boarders. If (er, once) these huts are built, I would bet that the typical user will be a well educated, prepared, and aware skier. These will generally be well beyond 'slackcountry' boundaries and require a higher level of commitment to get to. Here's a simple anology: what number of day hikers carry a comprehensive first aid kit and, say, bear bells for travelling above treeline? (Likely not many...) Now, how many multi day backpackers carry BOTH items and know how to use them? Closer to 100 percent. Backcountry dabblers won't likely go too far beyond the boundaries. Serious players will be well prepared, and will.
Awesome story, Tobias. Pulls a lot of balloon strings together. Great to see comments 'activated' in Pique stories. Well done!
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