When Avalanche came of age, he declined joining his family's business (poaching, smuggling, legging) and opted for the U.S. Army instead. Having spent most of his youth in the woods with a rifle, he was quite well prepared for certain rigors of military life and totally unprepared for the discipline.
"As part of a survival exercise, Avalanche and twenty other trainees were left in the wilds with a knife and a compass apiece. Most of the others staggered in haggard and worn after a week. They found Avalanche a month later and two hundred miles away, lounging in a motel and spending the money he had made from the furs he brought in . . . "