This is by far the most power discussion going around in the ski world right now. We’ve lost too many great skiers lately.
Matt Hansen of Powder Magazine has written an eloquent article and cleanly tackles one of the most difficult questions in skiing today:
“Why Do The Best Skiers Dying” by Matt Hansen
Powder Magazine, dec. 2012
In the early hours of March 7, 2012, Steve Romeo and Chris Onufer set out across a frozen Jackson Lake, in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Their goal was to ski a remote couloir in the northern Tetons. From the parking lot at Colter Bay, their route included a three-mile skin across the lake and a climb of more than 4,000 vertical feet to the southeast ridge of 11,355-foot Ranger Peak and its massif. They intended to be back well before supper, as Onufer was scheduled to pick up his father at the airport that evening.
Ten years ago, a quick tour to Ranger in the middle of winter would have been unthinkable for all but a handful of skiers—mostly due to the distance involved and the relatively cumbersome gear available at the time. But today, with lightweight technology allowing skiers to move swiftly across snowy landscapes and online weather and snow conditions providing instant updates, a peak like Ranger has never been more accessible. For skiers like 40-year-old Romeo, the author of the popular ski mountaineering blog called TetonAT, and 42-year-old Onufer, a longtime tram maintenance manager at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Ranger was in their wheelhouse.
Romeo was one of the most experienced ski mountaineers in the Tetons, and his blog became known as the authoritative voice for steep skiing in Wyoming. Onufer had exceptional skills in the high alpine and was considered a valuable and reliable ski partner due to his calm demeanor and training as an EMT and second lieutenant in the Teton Village Fire Department. Together, Romeo and Onufer had skied all over the Tetons, including the Grand Teton, and were about a month away from embarking on a ski expedition to Baffin Island.
The previous 24 hours brought heavy winds and six inches of new snow to the Tetons, creating a 14-inch-thick windslab. – Matt Hansen/Powder Magazine
Read the very well written, full article here: