Thursday, December 1, 2011

Only That Which Is Important

I just sat through two-thirds of this workshop last night and was reminded of youthful days in an uncomfortable church pew listening to a minister drone on and on, about something that seemed of little relevance or interest. After two hours of this, I was frankly ready to stick pins in my eyes to escape, and luckily, a break was on the horizon, during which I slipped out, took in big hearty breaths of the winter night air and felt glad to be alive.

I understand that a free workshop like this garners a mixed audience, some well educated and experienced in the backcountry, some novices, which makes programming a challenge. But, regardless of differing experience/education levels a short workshop like this should focus on a short list of the most important things any backcountry traveler, regardless of expertise, needs to know to stay safe in avalanche terrain this winter.

Unless this information was presented in the final hour of the workshop (which I missed) it was absent altogether. And, if it was presented in the final hour of the workshop, that begs the question of why the real "this is what you should know" information would be presented at the end of a long and tedious presentation, when, in all likelihood half the audience has dozed off.

Unfortunately, this workshop was not only tedious to sit through, it was also poorly organized. The venue was too small, it started late, which was made even later by a ridiculous and time consuming process of giving people raffle tickets for door prizes while everyone was already sitting/standing in the room waiting for the presentation to begin. There were two breaks. The first supposed to be five minutes, but clearly, you can't get 100 people in and out of a small room in five minutes, which stretched to 15 minutes. The second break followed within 15 minutes of the first, and seemed solely designed to sell CAA merchandize.

As a matter of courtesy to attendees, if you have people captive for three hours, respect their time, by starting on time, being organized, and, most importantly have something important to say.
 How do you avoid riding this?

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