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Follow the rules

Nate Peterson

No friends on a powder day. Last one down buys the first round. Call your drop when the pipe is crowded.There are a number of in-the-know rules when it comes to mountain resort towns. I bruised my butt Tuesday because I disobeyed one. And I knew better. The rule is simple: Never call last run.As one of my good friends told me three years ago, doing so “guarantees that you’re going to get labeled” on that final trip down the mountain. (Labeled, if you’re confused, is slang for a bad fall.)To reiterate, don’t even think about saying, “One more,” or something catchy like, “Last call.”It’s bad luck. It leaves you out of favor with the ski and snowboard gods. I don’t know why this is, I just know it’s one of the rules.On Tuesday, after gracefully riding rails and launching off jumps all morning at Buttermilk – and not falling once – I made the mistake of calling last run around noon. I was supposed to be back in Aspen for a meeting at 1, and I wasn’t thinking clearly when I hopped on the chairlift and said it. Sure enough, on the very first rail in the terrain park, my board slid out from underneath me, and my butt landed square on hard metal and plastic. It was a feeling akin to slipping off the diving board when I was in middle school and catching it right in the can. Yeesh. It still hurts now as I sit here and type this.Hopefully, you’ll read this and avoid making the same mistake. Otherwise, you might end up with a black-and-blue label to match mine.Avalanche reportThe backcountry avalanche danger in the Roaring Fork Valley is moderate with pockets of considerable near and above treeline. Below treeline the danger is moderate.Pay close attention to steep, wind-loaded terrain, as natural avalanches are possible and human-triggered ones are probable on these slopes. Best to avoid these areas until things have a chance to settle a bit.Avalanche danger details provided by the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit http://www.rfavalanche.org. For conditions around the state, call the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at 920-1664 or visit geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche.


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