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The Temptation Of Rope Ducking -- Ski Rex Says...

A little while ago I posted a short piece about some news that came out of Grand Targhee, Wyoming about a skier who ducked a rope and fell through a cornice. Luckily for the skier they didn't get hurt and hopefully learned the lesson as to why those ropes are put there. But, having said that, I get the temptation. As I said in that piece, we have all had it. I'm going to take this opportunity to tell you a story of my own dealing with this temptation the happened just about a month ago.

A Lesson In Rope Ducking -- Skier Falls Through Cornice At Grand Targhee

Every skier and rider has had that moment when the fresh powder snow sitting on the other side of a rope has been too tempting to ignore. We forget that those ropes are there for a reason, duck the rope, and then take our chance with what may lie ahead, just for the sake of getting the untouched stuff.

For those that have been following Ski Rex Media, you know that it's been a while since I've been out on skies. I even did a Mini-Cast episode on the subject. So, it would be fair of you to ask how I could have had the temptation to duck a rope. That's how deep that temptation can run. I was at the bottom of the hill, on foot, and still thought about it. I'll explain what I mean.


Have a look at the photo above. As you can see, it's a pristine, untouched ski trail. This photo was taken on World Snow Day at Whaleback Mountain in Enfield, NH, the closest ski hill to the Ski Rex Media Headquarters. Now, I should tell you that you're also seeing, in the photo, a few inches of fresh powder that dropped the night before and the photo was taken in the afternoon on a busy day. I'm sure you understand the temptation now.

You see, back in my youth when I would make poor choices, as young men do, I would've ducked that rope in a heartbeat to rip the trail up. How did I know a rope was up there? Well, I didn't confirm the fact with the ski patrol, but how else would there be a whole trail of powder untouched in the afternoon? A busy afternoon at that, with it being a Saturday and World Snow Day.

That, in my opinion, guarantees that the trail was closed by the powers that be. That's their job to do those things to keep everyone safe. Which is why it's also a good thing that the trail was still pristine. It means all the guests that went by the top of that trail followed directions and went another way.

But the temptation. That bottom lip biting temptation and having to sit at the rope and argue with oneself about going under the rope or ignoring the sign. It almost hurts to walk away, knowing that the snow right there will be unused and one doesn't know for how long. It almost feels criminal and sinful to let it go. It almost feels like it should be the final argument in a debate over doing what one is supposed to do and doing what's right.

Alas, walking away is the right thing to do, seeing as how one could cross the rope and end up falling through a cornice and getting seriously injured or worse. See how I brought that back around?

In the end, the temptation is always there for a few different reasons. But, in the end, we should ignore it. Our bodies and loved ones will thank us later. I really just wanted to say I understand what the skier was thinking out there in Wyoming. I am sure that we all do. But, I'm also trying to tell you to not do it.

Remember, it's like that old saying goes, it's better to be safe than sorry and I want all of you to be as safe as you can be. It would be sad to have to do a story about any one of the fans and friends of Ski Rex Media that isn't a positive one.

Photo Credit: Tim Meyer for Ski Rex Media


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