The Mountain Don’t Love You…

Mountain Tactical posted this a while back:

You May Love the Mountain, But the Mountain Doesn’t Love You.

We lost a skier this year at Meadows, on Mt Hood. It is sobering, because such activities, skiiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing – at Meadows of all places! – are full of fun and excitement and you don’t ever really think of any of it being anything in the way of danger. It’s deceptive that way…

I’ve only done a mountain sport for a few years now, other than some odd runs and snowshoeing years back, and you learn a lot about what could happen in the little disasters averted; car getting stuck (what if that had been during a blizzard and no one was driving by?), navigating blizzards, blowing a knee (what if that had been on a remote run, after dark, and all alone?), or your wrist (that’s for M.H. – just one more run, heh heh), going too fast and overrunning your headlights, or being mindful of the other guy outrunning his and not being able to adjust.

Trees and rocks and ledges and dropoffs, fixed objects, are ever-present hazards.

It’s really analogous to the tactical world: you have to be mindful of all those things around you and yet still operate, even exhilarate, in the moment to be functioning at top performance. This is where real world experience comes in handy, just so long as we listen to that voice of experience inside of us. Laurence Gonzalez has written of the topic of seasoned veterans not listening to that voice, and overriding it to take a risk. Sometimes with fatal results.

It’s really in finding the balance between the two – the voice, and the calculated risk.

Finding this in other venues, other “worlds,” especially one with consequences, only hones our edge.



The Coordinator


Ellis Amdur, a crisis intervention specialist with whom I studied the classical Japanese tradition of Araki-ryu for several years, and still a mentor and guide in terms of the modern application of elements of the classical martial ethos, has just published with Robert Hubal The Coordinator , in which they “share their decades of experience working with law enforcement and military personnel in training and assessing social interaction skills, particularly in ‘high-risk, high-consequence’ situations. ”

Ellis writes that what he brought to the project “was a combination of several decades front-line work in crisis intervention informed by core principles derived from classical Japanese combative arts. Within these archaic traditions lie profound teachings on applied psychology within dangerous situations.”

I was honored by the invite to offer some input on this book, and am glad to see it now published.

Communication skills within high risk encounters, and within teams and even ourselves during same, are often the most critical element in negotiating such events across the spectrum, from the talking to the tactical.