Bending The Rules

Jim Dockery

Well-Known Member
The shelter in place rules here in WA are pretty clear - including no non-essential travel. Our national forest trailheads are all closed, but the trails are open for those who live close enough. Up till yesterday I've been strictly following these rules (with the exception of driving an hour to my mother's house to do some yard work). My little local mountain, Mt. Pilchuck, though is only a half hour drive. Another friend skied it last week and told me they had opened the gate which allowed him to drive up to snow level and not park at a trail head. The pictures he sent got me started rationalizing that my physical and mental health desperately needed a good day of back-country skiing. Then my main ski partner called and asked me to help him celebrate his 61st birthday up there and we made plans to do it while maintaining social distancing. We drove separate cars, stayed a good 10 feet or more apart most of the day. The skiing was mushy and not very good, but we got a good work out and made a few good turns. Eric stopped at our house for a steak dinner on the deck, staying about 10 ft. from my wife and I. I don't feel too guilty, and will do it again the next good weather window.

I decided to post here to our little community, but won't on the BC ski site I frequent. Feel free to comment on the photos or our bending the rules.


Me skiing The Gunsight couloir off the summit


Eric skiing


My wife Debbie and Eric enjoy birthday dinner on the deck

Ben Egbert

Forum Helper
Staff member
Good to see you get out. My idea is to follow the intent of the rules which is social distancing.


Staff member
Very cool shots Jim, especially that first one. And it's great seeing the last one with your wife and Eric.

We all respond differently to government edicts, and I guess people can argue that all they want or not argue. :) I probably side with Ben because I did drive 2 hours to get out into the middle of the desert just 3 days ago to shoot Astro and some early morning wildflowers before heading back home. But I went out onto BLM land that had people camping with probably 1/4 to 1/2 mile between campsites or RV's. I didn't meet or greet anyone, so I didn't endanger anyone else, or endanger myself.

If you had left to go to a birthday party with 50 other people and no one wore masks or took any social distancing precautions, then we would have to have a discussion. But to go out by yourself with your wife and a close friend, that's not an issue in my eyes. And for the record, I am not going to go out and protest about being cooped up, because I believe these social distancing precautions are very important. As you said, a little bending of the "rules" where you still take social distancing safety precautions isn't going to hurt anyone.

Amy Earl

Well-Known Member
Sounds like a fun outing, Jim. Great photos! I don't know how one is able to ski down a near-vertical drop like you're doing there, looks totally crazy! :D

This is kind of tangental but I heard a virus expert say that we've all already come into contact with Covid probably multiple times, but in such small degrees that our immune systems are able to squash it so that we don't end up getting sick. I found that interesting.
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