In it’s 11th year, the popular A-Basin event morphs into a two-day rescue clinic; proceeds benefit the CAIC
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The two most recent avalanche deaths in Colorado show the continued need for avalanche education and rescue training in the state that historically tallies the majority of accidents each season.
Both deaths occurred in remote areas, where the skiers had to rely on their own rescue skills to try and recover buried victims. In those situations, speedy location, recovery and timely first-aid can make the difference between life and death.
One of the best ways to prepare for the almost unthinkable is to practice rescues in the field, simulating a real-life rescue scenario, and this weekend, Arapahoe Basin and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center offer a chance to do just that with the annual rescue clinic, which has morphed into a two-day event (Feb. 8-9) from the traditional Beacon Bowl.
The Feb. 8 session (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) features an introduction to the newest equipment and technology, beacon and probe techniques, deep burial and strategic shoveling techniques, search pattern organization and implementation, rescue, extrication and evacuation, emergency care and sled building techniques
Participant need a valid A-Basin season pass or lift ticket, as well as backcountry equipment (including beacons, probes and shovels) and previous backcountry experience.
“We’ll have variousavalanche tool companies there to show their wares and do demos,” said CAIC forecaster Scott Toepfer. “We’ll have several rescue scenarios on the hill for people to practice their skills.”
Following the rescue workshop, A-Basin is hosting a $15 spaghetti dinner which is open to everyone.
The next day (Saturday, Feb. 9) features the 11th annual Beacon Bowl, developed by the A-Basin ski patrol to teach and test skills backcountry rescue skills.. The event starts at 9:15 a.m. with recreational backcountry skiers and ski patrollers from around the area racing to find buried beacons.
Other activities include free beacon clinics with the A-Basin ski patrollers, CAIC staffers and other vendors, with an avalanche dog and snow pit demonstration scheduled for t 1:15 p.m. The competition, clinics and demonstrations will take place on mountain at the base of the Lenawee Mountain Lift.
The $25 registration fee for the Beacon Bowl competition will be donated to the CAIC and includes a raffle ticket, a beverage and a slice of pizza at the après ski party. Participate in A-Basin’s Companion Rescue Workshop on Friday, February 8 and receive a $5 entry fee discount. Beacon Bowl participants must have a lift ticket or pass. Participants can purchase a discounted lift ticket ($69) when they register.
Registration starts at 8 a.m. in the A-Frame on the day of the event. On-line registration is now available on A-Basin’s eStore.
If you need to rent equipment, Wilderness Sports has beacons, shovels, probes and ski equipment available. Shop hours are 9:00am-7:00pm. The Dillon store is located at 701 E. Anemone Trail; their phone number is 970.468.5687.
Incredible prizes will be awarded to each division of the Beacon Bowl competition. A raffle, silent auction and live auction will be held for lift tickets, season passes, Avalanche hockey tickets, Nuggets basketball tickets, concert tickets, beacons, packs, probes, shovels and other gear.
The après ski party and live auction starts at 3:30 p.m. in the A-Frame. Participation in the competition is not required to attend the party sponsored by New Belgium. Pizza and beer sales will also be donated to the CAIC.
Filed under: Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, search and rescue, Ski Resorts, Summit County Colorado Tagged: | Arapahoe Basin, backcountry skiing, Beacon Bowl, CAIC, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, search and rescue