Colorado AVITalks: Avalanche Safety Education & Training in Salida
Colorado Mountain College’s Avalanche Science program has partnered with Monarch Ski Area and CO AVITalks to provide two days of Avalanche Safety Education and Skills on January 11 and 12, 2019. This year’s event series is a combination of 2 field days with Colorado Mountain College workshops, Monarch Mountain’s Backcountry Day and an evening social event. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center and their efforts to support avalanche forecasting and education throughout Colorado.
“It’s wonderful to provide backcountry users some real information that they can use,” says Roger Coit, Avalanche Science faculty at Colorado Mountain College, “We provide a great model for recreational safety practices and trip planning tools that students can use to make sound decisions for the rest of their backcountry career.”
Friday, January 11th, 8:30AM – 5:30PM
Colorado Mountain College/ AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course with Avalanche Science instructors Roger Coit and Katie MacKnight. The workshop will meet at the Salida High School Kesner Building at 8:30AM and will include a full-day of field work on Monarch Pass. The cost is 1/2 credit + $70 course fee. To register visit coloradomtn.edu/registering-information. For more information call 719.486.4292.
Saturday, January 12th, 7AM – 4PM
Monarch Mountain’s Backcountry Day is part of the NSAA January Safety month and holds different activities each year. This year’s activities include the Know Before You Go (KBYG) program, backcountry equipment demos, Dawn Patrol – a skin up/ski down with ski patrol, as well as free workshops on beacon practice, backcountry touring, snowpits and an avi dog presentation.
Saturday, January 12th, 7 -10PM
CO AVITalks will provide an evening educational and networking social event at “A Church” in Salida from 7-10PM with a very special guest speaker, silent auction, giveaways, vendor tables, as well as music, ski videos, and local beverages provided by Soulcraft Brewing.
Uphill Traffic Gaining Traction
Backcountry winter recreation is one of the fastest growing segments of the outdoor industry. According to SnowSports Industries America (SIA), approximately 7 million skiers, riders and snowshoers broke trail through America’s backcountry in the 2016/2017 winter season—a 15% increase from the previous season.
“We are seeing more and more young adults traveling in the backcountry and asking questions about backcountry safety,” says Zach Moore, Director of Ski Patrol at Monarch Mountain.
With the increase of people earning their turns, avalanche education is becoming a critical resource for backcountry users. Colorado Mountain College provides a variety of avalanche safety courses, for recreational and professional applications. Courses typically cost between $200 – $600, and provide vital information to allow someone to travel and explore the backcountry in a safer manner. CMC courses tend to be reasonably priced, especially for residents of CMC’s service area.