The Anatomy of Chance and Uncertainty
Mountain snowmobilers cover large amounts of terrain in a day and potentially expose themselves to risks many times throughout their travels. Some risks are acceptable, but many risks can be easily reduced and some risks are so great they need to be avoided altogether. What is an intuitive way to analyze risk?
For an excellent discussion about chance and uncertainty we encourage you to watch this TEDx talk by Grant Statham of Parks Canada (YouTube).
One way of interpreting risk is to explore the factors of Probability, Consequence, Exposure and Vulnerability. Risk is present in our sports and work activities, but it is present in all of our everday activities as well.
“Risk is the chance of success balanced against the cost of the loss”. Grant Statham, Nov 2013
It is up to us to manage or reduce the presence, or the negative effects, of these factors, and then assess the situation to determine if the benefit is worth the risk.
But what about the ‘unknown, unknowns’?
That is where experience and training come in. By riding with well trained mentors and by updating and upgrading backcountry training on a regular basis you improve your odds of making better decisions.
Avalanche Training (AST1, CRS, MAT, ZACS 1.5, AST2…), Wilderness First Aid training (WFA programs range from 20-80 hours), Survival Training, Mechanical Skills, Riding Skills, Mapping and Navigation training… all of these skill sets build a strong foundation to gather the quality info needed to assess risk as well as the awareness to recognize the opportunities, skills and gear that can be used to mitigate that risk.
You don’t know what you don’t know… Update your training… What do YOU have to LOSE?