Last January 2014, at the annual Outdoor Retailer Winter show Verde PR teamed up with Emerald Expo to convene a panel of industry leaders to talk about the Business of the Backcountry. The questions posed were important and I felt it was important that this seminar be shared beyond the floor of the trade show. See the first video here.
In the second video, backcountry legend Mike Hattrup is quoted back to himself, basically saying it is the job of the backcountry ski industry to promote safety through knowledge and products, and is asked – when a surfboard manufacturer doesn’t carry a warning against shark attacks – why it is the ski industries responsibility and how that can be measured.
His response was basically this — measuring the effectiveness of prevention is simply in reducing avalanche death tolls. People see powder and tracks, not intimidating things at all to the eyes of a skier, and they don’t know any better. Technology is making it easier to ski powder and get into the backcountry, so the developers of that technology, the manufacturers, along with resorts and educators, are responsible to make those skiers more knowledgeable.
This is a timely question and his answer is an interesting one. What are your thoughts on the ski industries role in avalanche education and backcountry safety? Let us know in the comment section below.