Buried Alive

Over the next two days some areas of Colorado Rockies are expecting up to eight feet of snow. Avalanche danger is already high and expected to get much worse. Be careful out there folks.

Being caught in an avalanche is like being buried in cement. You can’t dig yourself out of an avalanche. When buried, you can’t even move. Even if you could move, which you can’t, you wouldn’t know which way is up. And although it may be cold being buried in the snow it is actually suffocation that kills you. Your only chance of survival is if your friends (you are with friends right?) dig you out.

The first person video below gives you an idea of what it might be like to be caught in an avalanche, and being rescued.

The scratching/ruffling back-and-forth sound you hear is his chest rising and falling and the noise that his jacket makes. You can actually hear his breathing become stressed and accelerate, even in the short amount of time he was buried. The intermittent whimpering noise you hear is him trying to swallow and get some air.

He was only buried for 4 and a half minutes which is incredibly short. I cannot stress these next sentences enough; that in and of itself to be unburied in ONLY 4:28 is miraculous if you have any understanding of being caught in an avalanche and what it takes to be found. It could literally be some kind of “world record” just on how good the guide and supporting cast of other skiers was in getting to him.

Have some fun out there but respect nature.

Highest Highs And Lowest Lows

The DAX (Deutscher Aktien IndeX - German Stock Index) 1980-2009

In his collection titled “High Altitude”, artist Michael Najjar has created beautiful semi-realistic images of mountain ranges out of photographs he took while in the Argentinean Mountains. Interestingly, the re-worked mountain ranges actually visualize the ups and downs of leading global stock indices over the past twenty to thirty years. Pictured above is a representation of

“The virtual data mountains of the stock market charts are sublimated in the materiality of the Argentinean mountainscape. The jagged rock formations act as a symbol of the thin edge between reality and simulation.”

More of Michael’s photos are below the fold.
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Winter Weekends

Friday I worked a little late into the evening and spent a quiet evening at home. I watched How To Lose a Guy In Ten Days. It was cute, laughable, fodder to wind down my week. I can appreciate an occasional fun chick flick despite how generally contrived and predictable it was.

I was up (relatively) early on Saturday and headed up into the mountains for a day of skiing. I met up with A.P. and his wife and the two kids. We all ate an early lunch together and then went out to the carpet lift to play with the kids and teach them how to ski. The boy popped out before he even got his skis on but the girls were gung ho and couldn’t get enough. It was great getting a four-year old and a six-year old interested in the sport. Both me and A.P. agreed the whole secret to getting the youngsters started is just making sure they stay warm and are having fun. Most of the skills and athletics come later. At first you just have make sure they want to come back. Afterward me and A.P. went to take some turns on our own. We got about four additional hours skiing the ‘S’ lift at Copper Mountain. Traditionally, one of our favorite areas. It snowed most of the afternoon and this made for some good skiing but it also made traffic a bear. It took me two hours to get up to the mountain in the morning and three hours to get back. It was a long day.

I spent most of Sunday running errands, grocery shopping, watching TV, and reading. I was a pleasant weekend for a change.