A Tribute to Adam Roberts

Reading about an avalanche death causes a flood of emotion – sorrow for the loss, pain and anger from those close to the deceased, fear and uncertainty as you run through the list of people you love that call the backcountry home. Then the analytical mind kicks into gear. What happened? Where were they riding? How steep of a slope? What was the snowpack like? What was the avalanche forecast? Where was everyone when it slid? How big was the slide? The list goes on as we try and grab data points to plot some reason why the place we all love, revere, and respect dealt another heartbreaking loss to the community.

On December 28th, Adam Roberts died in an avalanche near White Pass. The Pacific Northwest community is still reeling from his loss.

Tragically, Adam has become a statistic and a wake-up call. With record snowfall hitting the Cascades and Rockies this season, it has only reinforced my desire for more backcountry education, more risk assessment, more beacon searches, more digging, more pits, more weather watching, more terrain evaluations, and more discussions. We shouldn’t need a death to make us more vigilant about the fragility of life in the backcountry, but sometimes it’s hard to unplug from the thrill.

We all have no choice but to accept this tragedy; what you take away from it is up to you.

Be safe my friends and here’s to Adam Roberts.


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