THE SLOT MACHINE

Words: Bruce Tremper

Avalanche accidents are the classic low probability, high consequence event. As such, they can reward us for our bad behavior. It’s like playing a slot machine where 99 out of 100 times you win, a waterfall of quarters jingling happily into your cup. But on the 100th pull, the lights flash and the sirens wail and then two big goons walk up from behind, throw a gunny sack over your head, beat you with baseball bats, charge your credit card $10,000 and throw your wrecked body into the street. But it takes a lot of pulls on the handle to see the dark underbelly of the game. That’s why the younger generation goes out and rages every day, while the old pros are content to take their time, assuming each slope is guilty until proven innocent.