Backcountry responsibility code — a new necessity 

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Our chances of colliding with another traveller are slim. Our chances of bringing a tsunami of snow down on other travellers is far greater. Our responsibility to others — who, in some cases we may not even know are there — is three-dimensional because the consequences of every step we take, every line we ski, propagate uphill, downhill and sideways in patterns that will, quite literally, blow our minds.

We hardly need to know anything to ski in-bounds. We almost need to know everything it we want to ski uncontrolled terrain successfully... every time. And we've all known enough really smart backcountry skiers who are no longer with us to understand sometimes even that's not enough. That's because snow doesn't care what you know or who made the mistake. Snow's not impressed with how smart you are or how many successful trips you've taken into the backcountry. Snow's indifferent to the advances we've made and the insights we've gained into the science of snow, weather, physics and avalanche modelling. When the conditions are right — and there are so many right combinations — snow lets go.

A responsibility code won't change that. But it might get some more people thinking and acting more mindfully — in-bounds and, especially, out in the wild places. Be safe.

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