You Can Only Prepare So Much

Not too long ago via Twitter I saw a tweet on a video of a tree well rescue.

Tree wells form in deep snow around trees where the snow does not pack tightly around the tree, and a rider can fall into that well and the kinetics of the crash often times cause the rider to sink into the well headfirst. Imagine, falling into a hole headfirst with your skis or board on your feet and have the snow reducing your mobility and air supply. Very dire situation and even if you have a buddy or friends on the scene immediately afterwards the outcome is not certain.

Here is a YouTube video showing a gang back country skiing in British Columbia (eh) and one of the gang gets trapped in a tree well:

Isn’t this the way life works? You can practice and prepare all you want, but when the real thing happens Murphy comes along.

The producer of the video gets a lot of grief for violating the steps of a proper tree well rescue. The producer confesses forthrightly the mistakes they made and notes that some of critic’s assumptions do not apply. They had training, they had professional guides (who were not present for the rescue) and they had to rely on their training and perform their very first tree well rescue.

I have found that preparation and practice is important but, to expect preparation and practice will make your real life efforts perfect is foolishness. Preparation and practice count on us knowing perfectly what the reality will be. In addition, add in the stress of doing, add in external factors we can not control and our real execution may fall well short of what we practiced.

However, the act of practicing and preparation make you more familiar with what needs doing and that will make you more adaptable when things do not follow the plan. The idea of executing a plan is to bend when you have to go off of plan and not to break. Remember, no plan survives first contact with reality!

Good Stuff!

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