Who's at risk in the backcountry? Effects of individual characteristics on hypothetical terrain choices
We use data from an online survey in Norway (N = 467, 73% male; age: M = 34, SD = 10.07) to analyze hypothetical choices in hazardous avalanche terrain. We further analyze differences in stated preference for and willingness to accept to ski relatively risky terrain. Our results suggest that risk attitudes and perception constitute important determinants for hypothetical terrain choices. We further find that many participants accept to ski runs that they perceive to be significantly riskier than their most preferred choice. Our results also suggest that while backcountry skill and experience correlate with preferences for steep terrain, these factors hold no explanatory power for accepting to ski a risky run. Finally, we find indications that social admiration plays a role in decisions related to avalanche risk. Our findings highlight the role of risk attitudes and perception, and social factors in backcountry skiing, and gives implications for future research and avalanche education.
Accepted manuscript version. Published version available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2018.08.004