Updating in the mountains: A sensemaking perspective on ski guiding
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism. 2023, 44 1-10. 10.1016/j.jort.2023.100660
For a ski guide, updating on the ever-changing natural conditions and group dynamics is essential to stay safe and provide a good experience for clients. In this paper, we explore how guides update their understanding in the mountains. Our data arise out of a one-season participant ethnography of ski guiding in Norway. The research team had two authors collecting data, one as an “outsider” and another as an “insider”. We find that the work of a ski guide involves a process of monitoring, testing, and projecting. Complementing and challenging the avalanche literature, we find that ski guide decision-making is an embodied updating process rather than a cognitive one that happens at “decision points”. We highlight the implications of these findings both for guides and researchers.