Please set aside a full 55-minutes to watch this video from pro rider Austen Sweetin. It’s a must-watch for all backcountry and big mountain riders.
Sweetin gives an insightful deep dive into an avalanche he was caught in last March just outside of Mt. Baker Ski Area. He gives the backstory, the prep, the mistakes, and what he’s learned since the incident.
It’s great to see a pro rider with Sweetin’s influence take time to share his mistakes in such a vulnerable way with the community. It shows his desire to help others, and his intention to keep learning while recreating in the mountains.
Well done 👏
Austen Sweetin: “Pat Moore and Baldface Lodge have teamed up to create the “Risk Maturity” course for the past few years. This course is a deep dive into filming snowboarding in the backcountry safely and effectively through avalanche education, first aid, weather forecasting, and group dynamics. My favorite part of this course, though, is the conversations with my peers and mentors. Every night of the course, they let people present case studies in a judgment-free safe space to learn from our experiences in the mountains. For example, this year, I shared the story of my avalanche that ended our latest film, “Wind Slab.” This avalanche was the first in over 12 years of backcountry snowboarding that I was involved in, and the experience was very humbling that taught me many things. I wanted to share my experience and the process we follow before heading into the mountains for a big day of filming or riding and share the pieces of knowledge I have with you. Thank you to the whole Baldface family for hosting us and opening this space to grow and set a precedent for professional backcountry snowboarding and to the backcountry snowboarding community as a whole for the bottomless flow of inspiration. Guest questions from Bryan Fox, Pat Moore, Hana Beaman, Griffin Siebert, Danny Davis, John Buffery, Lexi Dupont, Forrest Shearer, Forest Bailey, Mark Sollors, and Jody Wachniak. If you plan to spend time in the backcountry, please take the time to gain the knowledge to make your experience the most enjoyable. Visit avalanche.org to find your local avalanche information. “