Lander, WY – On the heels of a safe and successful Freshman Winter Expedition finishing this week at Wyoming Catholic College, the school is already some unique and exciting adventures for next winter. Coming from what might seem to be the most unlikely spot, the most exciting winter trip planned involves harnessing… avalanches.
Now any student at WCC who’s done Winter Trip can tell you about avalanches. Hey, Dr. Remmiz shows you several videos about them just to scare you. You’re told they’re deadly, destructive, distasteful, even that they smell so bad you’d need deodorant if you ever got out after being trapped in one. But what still enters every freshman’s mind after seeing video after video of crumbling snowy mountainsides with sound effects that would fit in a rock and roll music video is that those avalanches look cool.
And what’s also going through each freshman’s mind at the same instant is how cool he (or less likely she) would look if they were literally riding one down a mountainside. For experienced skiers looking for a new thrill to outdo triple black diamond ski runs, such an activity is particularly enticing. Furthermore, at WCC there are enough of such people that somehow a trip to do exactly this is now planned and scheduled for next December.
Participants, according to sophomore Aaron Langley of Georgia, who’s planning to lead the trip will “carefully set off avalanches below them with a gun or assorted explosives, strap themselves to a snowboard with an airbag to help them stay afloat in the snow, and then just jump down and ride the avalanches to the ground. It’s going to be, like, man, the coolest trip ever, a once in a lifetime experience!” he said, almost giddy (and probably actually giddy) with excitement.
Asked by IIT reporters about how he managed to get school approval and sanction for such an obviously dangerous activity Aaron said they’ll be taking additionl safety precautions, “like bringing along an extra WFR (Wilderness First Responder) or wearing facemasks the whole trip. I hear those things work wonders,” he added.
Officials of WCC’s Outdoor Leadership Program (OLP) whom IIT talked to explained that “driving is still the most dangerous thing we do, so there really wasn’t any reason to deny Aaron and his friends a chance to lead such a trip.What could go wrong with just playing in the snow! Besides, snow’s a durable surface,” one added. “Aaron’s trip is one of the most environmentally-friendly ones that could go out there. All that snow will be gone in a few months anyway.”