It's your determination; its your life. I've been out places before where you turned around because all of a sudden the clouds opened up and all you see are natural slides everywhere. Yeah, we're going to hike that cliff and drop it, the only thing is underneath of it, all of these slide paths. It's not worth it.
Because you're going to have people see this stuff and they're going to spaz out like the elevator is not working for them. And that becomes a mantality. If you want to survive the mountain, you have to avoid that. And no one ever told me that. I had to learn that on my own.
Snow conditions and weather change the character of the snow over time. These character changes over time become lower levels, but they also become unstable so that anything that is on top of it becomes avalanche-prone under certain conditions and circumstances.
When a snowflake falls, it is like your hands spread out, its a beautiful thing, its own individual. It's like that, and when another one comes in, it connects really strong. But what happens when the sun hits it, it turns into a ball bearing, and it melts and loses all of that. And that is where the sugar snow comes in. And a lot of times in Colorado, you'll find that in the bottom layer.
There are different ways to do it. Me classically, I like to look at the layers, and people do different types of pressure tests. Sometimes they will get on top of the pit that is about the size of a skier, and they will jump on it to see what it does.
After we hike a little bit, we came to an aspect, say its an aspect you want to ride. The classic thing to do is dig a pit. You are going to dig a pit and look at the different layers of snow and how they correlate. That right there, you see the crack. That is blown off on this last layer that came through. And then underneath that, a good foot of sugar snow on the bottom. That's kind of solid on top. It took about four tiny smacks. That is what we're riding on.