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Colorado: CAIC Benefit Bash a key fundraiser for backcountry avalanche forecasting and education

Get your CAIC grrove on at the annual Benefit Bash, Nov. 10 at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge.

Grassroots support critical for state avy programs

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The Friends of the CAIC sure knows how to time their events, with this year’s CAIC Benefit Bash scheduled to be held Saturday evening, just as the season’s first significant winter storm is forecast to drop the first good batch of powder on the Colorado high country.

This year’s Benefit Bash will once again be held at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center and features live music, tasty food, beer from New Belgium Brewery, and great people all enjoying the massive silent auction and a seemingly endless stream of door prizes.

The goodies include a Monarch season pass, snowcat skiing trips, all sorts of backcountry gear and even a spot on an Alaska heli guide school trip.

The bash has grown to be one of the most important grassroots fundraisers for the CAIC, which relies in part on donations to maintain a robust backcountry forecasting and avalanche awareness program. Last year the event raised about $72,000 and organizer Joe Vandal said the goal this year is $90,000. Continue reading

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Benefit nets $46,000 for Colorado avalanche center

Friends group once again pulls off huge fundraiser in Breckenridge

CAIC director Ethan Greene (left) at the Benefit Bash with his predecessor, Knox Williams.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Center delivered in big way last month, as the CAIC benefit bash at the Riverwalk Center raised about $46,000 to help fund the center’s backcountry forecasting and avalanche education program.

CAIC director Ethan Greene said the bash is the single biggest fundraiser of the season that help meet a big part of the center’s grassroots fundraising goal. Part of the CAIC operations are funded by the state, but grassroots donations and grants are an important part of helping provide the daily backcountry forecasts, as well as local avalanche awareness programs. The benefit bash, once again organized by Aaron Carlson and Joe Vandal, featured a huge list of sponsors and donors all pitching in to make it a huge success.

The money raised at the third annual benefit bash once again raised the ante, surpassing the previous year’s total of $39,000. Greene said that about 1,500 people turned out to support the CAIC. At one point, local safety officials had to shut the doors for a while because the venue was full.

Even if you weren’t able to make it to the bash, you can still support the avalanche center. visit the friends group online to join and donate.

You can also visit the CAIC supporters page for more information. More pics after the break. Continue reading

Avalanche center to start forecasting mid-November

CAIC Benefit Bash, Nov. 13. Click for more info.

CAIC benefit bash helps fund CAIC’s backcountry avalanche programs

Early storms in Colorado have already resulted in some large avalanches.

There was a record number of avalanches reported in Colorado last winter, including this slide in the Tenmile Range that injured a snowboarder. PHOTO BY AARON PARMET, SUMMIT COUNTY RESCUE GROUP.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Early season snowfall in Colorado has led to an early start to the avalanche season, with several triggered slides already reported to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, including some with fracture lines six-feet deep and running 1.000 vertical feet. The center will start offering its zone forecasts within the next week or so, and there’s already a full lineup of avalanche awareness classes set for around the state.

CAIC forecaster Scott Toepfer said there were more than 4,000 slides reported last winter, a record number far exceeding the average of about 2,300 avalanches. There were also eight deaths, which was well above the long-term average of five fatalities a year, according to CAIC director Ethan Greene. That includes two men who died in a somewhat unusual roof avalanche in the southern part of the state.

The big kickoff for the CAIC’s season is this weekend’s benefit bash at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center, where organizers hope to raise $50,000 to help round out the budget for the year. Get details on the benefit bash here. Continue reading

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