Mitigate the hazards

Publisher’s Note

As old man winter has his grip firmly on Sun Peaks until mid-April or later, we’re now as they say “stuck with it.” In a good way.

The winter season seems to bring out something in people that you just don’t see in the spring, summer or fall. All around us there are people thrilling in their first turns of the year, visitors from abroad witnessing glistening powder snow for the first time and the screech of children as they hone their on-hill skills. Winter to me is about crisp cold mornings, perfect grooming, powder snow and the thrill of speed when I hit the slopes. It’s about the smell of wood stoves, the clink of an après ski beverage with friends and of course the festive season already upon us.

While the winter season has many wonderful attributes for those who enjoy it, it can also turn in a heartbeat when you least expect it.

People need to be more aware of the hazards that lay in wait until the green grasses of spring once again grow. Everything we do outside in the wintertime has its hazards but they can usually be muted by some sensible choices, care and attention on our part.

Too many days of the week I see cars in ditches or over snow banks here and there, obviously being driven without careful consideration of the road conditions.

One that really puts my brain beyond the comprehension stage is when people walk from staff housing, Burfield Drive or anywhere else in the community, along the narrow and slippery Sun Peaks Road. Do people actually think that a 5,000 pound truck sliding on a snow or ice covered highway is not a hazard? Sun Peaks Road was never built for pedestrian traffic, hence the Valley Trail. Time and time again new residents to Sun Peaks are told not to walk the road but for some reason people still play Russian roulette with the cars and trucks. Please do not walk on the road, the Valley Trail is lit, plowed and while maybe 10 minutes longer, you will get to work in one piece.

The same can be said about venturing “out of bounds” unprepared for that little powder stash you want to hit, even though you have no idea where it leads. The terms unprepared, powder stash and out of bounds rarely end on a happy note, even if you’re lucky enough to be found at all.

Winter in Sun Peaks is all about having fun in the mountains and living a great outdoor lifestyle so if you’re driving, walking, skiing or doing anything else outdoors this winter please take that little extra ounce of caution or moment to think about what you or your friends are doing and what the outcome might actually be, because when you add snow and ice into any winter scene, the outcome may be one you least expect.

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