Grassroots support helps sustain backcountry forecasting, education and outreach
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — OK, so it wasn’t the best year for backcountry skiing, not by a long shot. But despite the lack of snow, the forecasters at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center worked as hard as ever, trying to keep up with a treacherous snowpack that has claimed seven lives so far this season.
In fact, this winter’s weather pattern was downright weird.
“We saw some very unusual things … the structure of the snowpack that developed in October through December … it was so much more fragile than we typically see. You could walk in one to two feet of snow and sink through to the ground,” CAIC director Ethan Greene said in a recent interview, describing the formation of a deep, thick layer of depth hoar that persisted most of the winter.
Now, with the season winding down, the CAIC staffers will gather at Loveland Ski Area this weekend (April 28) for the the 11th annual Corn Harvest, one of the most important grassroots fundraisers for the backcountry recreation forecasting program.
While the CAIC operates under the auspices of the Colorado Geological Survey and gets some funding via the state budget, the ongoing grassroots fundraising, driven by the Friends of CAIC, can’t be discounted. It’s a critical part of the budget that helps the center sustain outreach and education programs.
The Corn Harvest is a great chance to show your support and meet the avalanche experts in person, make a few turns and enjoy some tasty brews and the traditional apres ski raffle, once again with great prizes.
This year, $60 gets you all the goodies ($30 if you already have a pass or ticket) with registration starting at 8:30 a.m. in the upper level of the lodge. More info at cornharvest.org.