This local knowledge fallacy is worrying. It’s an obvious heuristic trap* and yet not only are recreational skiers not recognising it they actually turn it on it’s head as being a strength. It’s being reinforced in the advice people are giving each other if you read around now. There’s signs of a lot of reinforcement going on as well, the identification of errors made by others which is basically good but these are dismissed by the mitigations they already have which don’t seem totally justified. ie reading the reports of the Tignes avalanche and concluding transceivers ought to be mandatory rather than identifying terrain selection as important or that some skills in Basic Life Support are required. Basically analysing a situation and finding the reasons it’s not relevant to them rather than finding the reasons that it is. That’s some of what I’m reading bit not all of course.
Megan Michelson wrote quite a moving article for Outside Magazine about the tragedy at Stevens Pass and you can see the traps of familiarity, group thinking, commitment, scarcity and so on.
* there’s a writeup of what a heuristic trap is on this very interweb site : http://pistehors.com/backcountry/wiki/Avalanches/Heuristic-Traps