In this episode, host and extreme skiing pioneer Dan Egan is joined by
  • Ken Scott, ski instructor and Silver Mountain avalanche survivor
  • Henry Schniewind, internationally renowned avalanche expert (henrysavalanchetalk.com)
  • Tricia and Phil Pugliese, cofounders/owners, SkiTalk.com
This episode includes several video excerpts and is a must-watch for anyone who skis the backcountry as well as high-angle inbounds terrain on powder days. Dan starts by encouraging all to safely enjoy the new snowfall sweeping across North American ski country. Tricia and Phil briefly describe their recent trip to Waterville Valley, NH, to attend a major ski industry demo day. Dan then introduces two panel guests who are avalanche experts. Ken Scott miraculously survived a January 2020 avalanche at Silver Mountain, ID, that killed three and injured four. Henry Schniewind is a renowned avalanche expert based in Val d'Isere, France.

Dan masterfully leads a riveting discussion with Ken about the day he survived an avalanche while skiing what was believed to be low-risk, inbounds terrain at Silver Mountain. Ken gets emotional as he describes his 70 minutes buried under two tons of snow. His survival against all odds was largely based on luck and a savvy ski buddy who directed rescuers to his location. Dan and Ken have a conversation with Henry that sheds light on the contributing factors for avalanches, including snow composition, lack of preparedness, overconfidence, and interpersonal dynamics.

Dan, Ken, and Henry all have significant avalanche training and share detailed advice about training to read snow conditions; beacon/shovel/probe equipment; factoring in your experience and concerns rather than blindly following others; preparing to avoid avalanches - not survive them; info about ski clothing with Recco technology so rescuers can find you; and more. Tricia and Phil agree that even inbounds recreational snow riders need to rethink avalanche danger and consider carrying a beacon, shovel, and probe while resort-skiing.

This episode closes with words of wisdom. Dan: "The more you know, the more danger you are in." Ken: "Choose your ski buddies carefully." Henry: "The more you know about risk reduction, the freer you are to explore the mountains."
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