Sad news from Utah: Pro skier Billy Poole, 28, died yesterday afternoon after cartwheeling through some rocks while filming a jump for a Warren Miller production in the backcountry of Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office spokesman Paul Jaroscak said the 28-year-old died around 1:30 p.m. at University Hospital. Poole was filming a jump, had a bad landing, and possibly hit some rocks, Jaroscak said. Earlier reports of an avalanche in the area were false, he said.
RIP. Here's some recent footage of Poole in The Levitation Project.
How many times do you get to write a headline like that? We can see why working at the National Enquirer has its appeal. Writing headlines like that. Anyway, never say our gentle neighbors to tne North are not hardy. Ken Hildebrand was trapped face down under an ATC he flipped, and survived sub-zero weather for four days and three nights despite making himself sick from eating the rotting meat of animal carcasses he had collected from traps he had been emptying. And in a good example for all you folks that don't carry an emergency whistle, he scared off wolves and coyotes with a whistle. Canadian, hardy. Look for the made for t.v. movie on CBC soon. Read more about Ken's tale of survival.
Avalanches are no laughing matter. Until today, here, on GoBlog. Let me explore the lighter side of mother nature's gene cleaning tool. Sure, it's kind of a blunt instrument rather than a fine surgical tool for removing dumb people from the gene pool. But if you take a quick look at the fatalities, you'll see quite a few snowmobilers (roughly 1/3 of this year's fatalities). Now, I've called snowmobilers rednecks before and that upset people, but being a redneck doesn't necessarily mean you're dumb. I realize this. In fact, history has shown rednecks can be smart. Look at Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, for example. And really, just because some guy named Billy Bob takes a 500 pound mechanized vehicle on to an avalanche slope doesn't mean they have a low IQ now does it? We can all agree that geometry is a difficult subject to master. 25 degrees? 15 degrees? Who knows? Who can really tell the angle of slope without a protractor, and honestly what's geometry good for any way? Other than identifying potential avalanche areas. But I digress. Despite the irony of Mother Nature taking out guys riding polluting two strokes, she's also taking out smart people. Which is sad. But, to use a cliche, you've got to break a few eggs to make an omelet. And on the flipside, she's also missing some of the dumb people. Which is sad and bad, to quote Dr. Seuss. As is evidenced by this video submitted by a reader who reminds us, "
Be careful, and don't be an idiot" out on the slopes. In this rather poor quality and quite boring video, you'll see two kids from Texas (rednecks?) skiing in a closed area, getting caught in a small avalanche, recording the whole thing on a helmet cam, being charged with reckless endangerment by the Sheriff's office who use their video evidence, then having their whole escapade posted on the Telluride Daily Planet to be publicly ridiculed. Classic. To conclude, remember Mother Nature wields many tools to clean her gene pool. Don't let yourself get caught up in her broom. Or something like that. Wooo.
We have a little saying around here at GoBlog that it's not really news until the mainstream media write about it. Even if we've written about it ages ago. Case in point, the recent spate of avalanches around the country we wrote about last week. In this post we pointed out that we're on pace to have a much higher body count than last year if you guys aren't careful. And by you guys we mean everyone but snowmobilers because as previously discussed on this blog, the snowmobile crowd isn't quite our demographic. Though given they represent a large number of avalanche victims, perhaps we should reach out to our mechanized brethren. If only someone could teach them to read. But we digress. Not only did we want to point out that we're basically the most prescient source for outdoor news around, but we're not the only ones that don't know how to write. A little writing train wreck care of ABC News:
In much of the West, avalanche warnings have popped up this winter like daisies in the spring.
Like a freight train of tumbling snow and ice, avalanches tackle anything in their path and can travel more than 80 mph. The forces of nature kill hundreds of skiers, hikers and snowmobilers annually, and this season already has gotten off to a howling start.
Wow, and you thought bloggers were hack writers. Even in our wildest dreams we couldn't write something so bad. But we'll try. We really will.