Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
As skiers we live with the paradox of thriving on what has the potential to kill us. This is not a diminutive fact; and out of this lives a smaller but important dilemma–the paradox of the backcountry ski hut. The backcountry ski hut requires inclement weather for its survival. And yet when this weather rolls in so do the cancellations. The very same thing that keeps us prosperous as a business has potential to bring us down when people decide that the thing they visit huts for–powder– is the reason they decide to cancel. It’s too much, it’s not the right kind, it’s all over the roads, it’s blowing too hard. We hear it all.
Our policy at the Opus Hut is that if the avy danger is high a free transfer of dates is guaranteed. We do not offer refunds for lower danger. This is our policy because we are a business. We provide jobs, and we provide good times (we hope) to those who are willing and able to assume some level of risk and responsibility.
We do not want to sound callous. The last thing we want is to put lives in danger. Backcountry skiing involves some degree of risk and when we book a hut trip and sign that waiver we are assuming a level of danger, and unpredictable weather–because this is Necessary for our sport, and backcountry hut skiing is extreme. It is scary and unpredictable, but also adventurous, dynamic, and sensuous. It is a paradox; one whose followers must respect in order to keep viable for all who would like to engage in it.