ipeleshok I agree it is tragic and something we need to learn from...however we all know the risks (or at least we should) that we take each time we go in to the back country...but the truth is we all face way more danger on the drive to and from our riding areas than we do while riding. Accidents happen. Education, knowledge, experience and the realization that there WILL be OTHER powder days down the road. I know that sometimes the siren call is too much....but there will be snow again..next week, next month....next season...who knows but there will be snow again. There is no need to deliberately put yourself in excess danger imho. Be the wider man and choose low angle, less exposed rides on days where the conditions are sketchy. Not every day needs to be a full blown mountain day...some of my most favorite days in the back country have been on low angle playground style slopes where kickers were built, laughs shared and the danger was very very low.
I was in waterton today to say goodbye to a friend. I spoke to a long time warden friend there and he said that wades body was finally retrieved yesterday and it all went extremely well. We all had fears that wades body would have been abused or somewhat disfigured from being in the backcountry alone for so long, but he said wade was perfectly fine and that he looked at peace. His family now has the chance to mourn and to try to do what needs to be done. peace be with you wade.
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:38 pm Posts: 819 Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
I gotta say, for someone who's new to splitboarding, it really scares the crap out of me when a seasoned backcountry enthusiast gets caught in a tragic incident. Hopefully this is something that the community can learn from.
Very, very true...
The craziest thing, is that on an intellectual level, its easy to understand how powerful avalanches are. Particularly once you have a bunch of experience and see a few big slides first hand and what kind of damage they are capable of, its easy to understand how anybody can get caught. That being said, for me, Wade represented exactly what it means to "do things right". He was just SOOOOOO smart, ungodly fucking strong, and humble as they come. For me, TreePilot was (is) a bit of a beacon of light. I've been going into the mountains my whole life, and I've always said to myself "just be humble, learn to say no, learn to read the signs, and everything will be okay". I think Wade had this same mentality... He wasn't about the ego game of shredding the craziest stuff, or posting TR's stating how gnarly he got. He posted thoughtful, mindful trips about how he loved to push himself, and how he personally grew from his trips. He was out there for the pure love and spirituality that big mountain environments can give us. So in losing him, it really is a major earthquake. What this means is that anybody on here, no matter how much experience you may have, you're capable of getting killed. Again, intellectually its sort of like "well, duh", but if you really get quiet and feel the weight of the loss of this incredible human being, it all becomes a lot more heavy, and a lot more real.
Peace and love everybody,
_________________ PROFESSIONAL AMBASSADOR OF STOKE
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:15 pm Posts: 2574 Location: san diego CA
Russ hit the nail on the head. Wade was that guy who dailed it back if needed. Go back and look at old TR's of Wade's. Tree Pilot was his name because He rode the dense treed southern rockies of Canada. He didnt go over to revelstoke and grab some insane cliff/couloir. Thats also what has shaken this community
Im glad they finally recovered His boday and that it was uharmed.
I have an email in to the Mayor office trying to get Wades info. If I get it I will pass it on to you Russ
Losing George New Years Eve, was just horrible. Still dealing with the repercussions of that one.
Wade was a huge proponent of the sport and doing it the right way. The safe way. That is obvious.
This also serves as a huge reminder to the old cliche. Avalanches just don't care who you are. Let your vigilance down for just a minute, a second, and it can have dire consequence.
And then we are human. I know I can have bad days. Set what ever rules that work for you to try to mitigate that. Listen to your partner's concerns. I know now a days, if I have partner not happy about about a line choice, even after discussion about said line, I'll do something else that fits their acceptance and knowledge level. Regardless, I am out there, and any day on the split is way better than being at work or home. Just happy to be out there.
Probably the best way to honor Wade is to make sure you all have a long career out there. This is a marathon, not a race, and it is certainly a life long learning process.