Skiiers and snowboarders were back on the mountain Monday, a day after three skiers and a snowboarder died in two separate avalanches, but some chose to avoid the backcountry.
The avalanche danger remains high. Yet plenty are still ready and willing to ski outside the boundaries of Stevens Pass.
Sean O'Feery knows it could've been him.
Two weekends ago I did the same tracks. I don't know if I would've done that yesterday. Yesterday was a lot of snow, it warmed up in the middle of the day, and that led to a lot of slides.
There's a reason skiers and snowboarders avoid the back country-- especially on this day.
Being careful, staying in bounds today, said Matt Messenger.
But there's also a reason they're willing to take the risk: fresh powder, first tracks, the thrill of it all.
The danger is part of doing any adventure sport, said TJ Williams.
On the mountain today-- skiers and snowboarders are well aware of what happened yesterday.
I know a lot of the staff is really down today, said Williams.
For Matt Messenger, it means avoiding the back country, for now anyway:
Now I'm being extra careful, said Messenger. I've beeen riding those big tree lines up there.
Yet despite the tragedy there are others who continue to take the risk.
I don't carry an avalanche beacon on me or anything like that but I typically stay away from areas where I think there might be an avalanche, said Williams.
Because as Williams sees it, it's called the back country for a reason. Skiers and boarders know the risk, and they know even the best laid plans and preparation aren't always enough.
Nature's a lot more powerful than human beings at the end of the day, and if nature decides you're going to get crusheed by a wall of snow, you're going to get crushed by a wall of snow and there's not a lot you're going to do about it.
The avalanche danger was moderate to considerable today. But with more snow and rain up here tonight, the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center is forecasting extreme avalanche danger at Stevens Pass.