The following are six decision mistakes (traps) that smart people have made that lead to avalanche deaths:

Social Facilitation: Once a behavior is established as a social norm, it increases the probability of others engaging in that behavior.

Expert Halo: They must be right, they are the expert. Would look foolish if questioned.

Consistency: A form of commitment: every moment you continue on a given path, the greater your investment in continuing onward.

Scarcity: Use it or lose it; Take the opportunity before it’s gone (or someone else takes it). Also FOMO: Fear of Missing Out.

Acceptance: We want admission into the group, to be a part of the team, a recognized member in good standing. “Making waves” could possibly threaten our status as a peer.

Familiarity: Tendency to relax when in a recognized territory or well-known situation (or think we are…)

Closing Quotes:

“The blatancy of the hazard in avalanche accidents would be understandable if most victims had little understanding of avalanches. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case.” – “Heuristic Traps in Recreational Avalanche Accidents: Evidence and Implications” – Ian McCammon, 2004

“He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.” – Albert Einstein, 1879-1955

“A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better and greater that a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.” – Mahatma Gandhi, 1869 – 1948

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier