“By entering the storefront two hours earlier, by taking an avalanche-safety course, we had statistically increased our chances of being killed in an avalanche. We were more likely to die now than we were at 8 a.m.
The room absorbed this information. It felt like being in a movie in which you thought you were at a normal dinner party, but just by showing up, you’d implicitly agreed to fight the other guests to the death. The problem — the primary human problem — is that people are susceptible, prideful, bullheaded, egotistic, dumbstruck and lazy. Add to this doomed slurry a little avalanche training (or what used to qualify as avalanche training, and its focus on analyzing snowpack), and people make terrible decisions with greater frequency and confidence.” The most-excellent Heidi Julavits in the NYT Mag: What I Learned in Avalanche School. (Read this. Trust me. It’s perfectly safe.)