After 11 years of skiing together, climbing couloirs together, and creating a meaningful memories in the mountains together– a backcountry pair is calling it quits. The breakup reportedly happened after John Powers realized his slightly less zealous ski partner, James Hamisch was using a beacon whose battery life had fallen below 90%
The confrontation occurred on the upper reaches of the Shuksan Arm near their home hill of Mt Baker Ski Area. Once the two reached their desired drop-in-point, they did a quick beacon check to make sure everything was what Powers referred to as “kosher.” When Hamisch went to search mode then back to transceive, Powers realized his buddy only had 89% of his beacon’s battery life remaining.
Powers quickly jumped to conclusions, throwing a fierce accusation at his otherwise easy going partner: “are you trying to get me killed man, don’t you know that beacon signals get exponentially weaker below 90%!?!?”
Hamisch, not knowing how to respond uttered, “you’re not serious are you?” to which the partner replied, “dead. fucking. serious… and so are avalanches bro.”
While Powers’ conclusion couldn’t be further from the truth (*most beacon manufacturers recommend changing batteries once their life drops below 40%), he wouldn’t stop there. “For all these years you’ve been rocking a lifeless beacon while skiing with me– what an asshole move.”
Not sure whether or not to believe his partner, Hamisch simply started buckling his boots in preparation to ski what he referred on the ascent as “one of my favorite runs in the zone.” But his partner had already backed out without notifying the former friend.
Before Hamisch could utter a single word of reason, Powers was skiing down the skin track cursing his ill prepared friend under his breath. During the agitated partner’s descent, Powers clipped a rock on the ridge sending him tumbling off the side of the ridge. Having kicked a ski atop the ridge in the process, he yelled to his recently berated partner for help recovering the ski.
“Sorry pal, I thought you didn’t want to ski with me and my 89% beacon and now that I’ve realized how our dynamic has spoiled– it’d be dangerous for me to assist you from here on out.” Hamisch was last seen arcing beautiful pow turns through a perfectly safe, gladed slope on his way to finding a new backcountry bro who lacked what he referred to as an “elitist backcountry attitude.”
*This is a work of satire