Letters to the editor for the week of January 3rd 

Personal groomers

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Page 3 of 11

I'm fortunate that I am in good shape, as someone not as conditioned or flexible would have found it very tricky to escape. This made every step all the more daunting. I was trying to scope out an accessible way to the valley floor but I saw no passable way down. At this point I realized where I was from all the horror stories my roommates have told me about Cakehole — a steep waterfall with scattered cliffs and a threatening creek below. Stories of people having to spend the night out there and even a death. At this moment I came to the full realization of how dire my predicament was. I had no idea what my next move was going to be. I could not proceed forward because of the cliff and backtracking all the way back up was not an option as I had already descended several thousand vertical feet.

I sat there and tried to rationalize the situation. I checked the time, it was 1:15 p.m. I had daylight on my side and I also had my cell phone, however, it was flickering in and out of reception.

Before resorting to that option, however, I prayed. I thought of how last night I watched a show on the Internet about guardian angels. I thought to myself in those moments of hopelessness that if I had a guardian angel I could really use their help right now. Before the point of panicking, something amazing happened. Not more than ten minutes passed until I suddenly heard voices above me. Not voices in my head, real voices. I looked up the mountain and saw a group of four skiers making their way toward me. They saw me and stopped and I shouted to them, "I'm lost, do you know your way out of here?"

The leader of the pack, a middle-aged man named Jorice replied, "Yes. Do you know people die out here?" I told him how I probably would have been one of them had they not crossed my path.

These guys were prepared! Avy packs, transceivers, food, and extra clothes, this crew knew what they were doing. After reminding me about how poor my decision-making was that day, they found the safest way down for us. I use the word "safe" here very loosely as this descent was no walk in the park. I had my board in my one hand and I was holding onto tree branches with my other hand as I crept my way down the cliff side, jumping down from section to section. It took about 20 minutes for us to get through this steep pass and I couldn't have imagined doing it on my own. It looked impassable from my judgement. This crew was made up of a man (Jorice), a younger male maybe in his late teens or early twenties named Cami and two middle aged women, one named Janet I believe and the other who's name I did not get.


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