Mark Kelly’s Featured Article in Pique Magazine “Powder Fever” 10/24/2016

Very pleased to share a recent article featuring Giterdun author Mark Kelly in Whistler, Canada’s Pique News Magazine. Powder Fever – Examining the parallels between backcountry recreation and addictive behaviours by Brandon Barrett.

Below is a quote. Click Pique News Magazine to be taken to the whole article and here’s the link to Mark’s book, Backcountry Skiing and Ski Mountaineering in Rocky Mountain National Park 

PHOTO BY BEN GIRARDI/BEN GIRARDI PHOTOGRAPHY - CHASING THE DRAGON Avalanche forecaster and heli-ski guide Mark Kelly, right, has researched the link between addictions such as gambling and alcoholism and the thrill-seeking behaviour of backcountry recreationalists.
PHOTO BY BEN GIRARDI/BEN GIRARDI PHOTOGRAPHY

CHASING THE DRAGON Avalanche forecaster and heli-ski guide Mark Kelly, right, has researched the link between addictions such as gambling and alcoholism and the thrill-seeking behaviour of backcountry recreationalists.

An old fisherman in Valdez, Alaska, once told Mark Kelly something that has stuck with him during all his years as an avalanche forecaster.

“He told me that people always gamble with what’s most valuable to them,” said Kelly. “For some people that’s money, for some it’s their marriage, and for some people, it’s their lives.”

Kelly has seen his fair share of thrill-seekers put their lives at risk amid the rush of a bluebird day. Unfortunately he’s also become familiar with another kind of risk-taker.

“I have a couple of brothers who have been lifelong addicts, one a functional addict and one less so,” Kelly explained.

A longtime heli-skiing guide in Haines, Alaska, Kelly began to see links between the impulsivity of some of his backcountry compatriots and the destructive behaviour of addicts.

“Some folks can have a beer and stop at two or three, and some folks have a problem. I also have a lot of friends who’ve progressed onto bigger expeditions and base-jumping and wing-suiting and ultimately, death,” he said. “It just seemed like a parallel path.”

Presenting to a gathering of renowned scientists and avalanche researchers at the International Snow Science Workshop in Breckenridge, Colo. earlier this month, Kelly posed the question: Can backcountry travellers benefit from treatment strategies applied to other forms of addictions such as gambling and drugs??? Click Pique News Magazine to be taken to the whole article.

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