Avalanche Awareness Day at Red

By Contributor
January 11th, 2016

Avalanche Awareness Day is planned for Saturday, January 16, 10 AM to 3 PM, outside the Base Lodge at Red Mountain Resort. This free event, hosted by Rossland & District Search and Rescue, offers hands-on avalanche safety gear clinics, competitions for kids, demonstrations, races, and prizes. Those interested should dress for the weather and wear warm boots. If access to the chair is required, lift tickets must be purchased. Those who have their own avalanche rescue gear should bring it.

“While not a substitute for a full-on Avalanche Skills Training class, this is a great introduction for back country travelers who are interested in learning about avalanche safety,” says Ross Breakwell, Training Coordinator for Rossland & District Search and Rescue (RSAR.) “We’ll have transceivers, probes and shovels for people to use.”

Those who have had previous avalanche training are also invited. “It is a good opportunity for experienced people to review and actually practice using their own gear,” Breakwell added.

Clinics on building emergency snow shelters and digging snow pits will be offered, and there will be team competitions and prizes in the afternoon. All clinics will be within walking distance of the base lodge.

“Anyone who plays in the winter Kootenay backcountry should be trained in avalanche hazard recognition, safe travel, and rescue gear,” said Dave Braithwaite, President of RSAR. “Avalanche Awareness Day is a great introduction and review. We encourage all backcountry skiers, snowshoers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers to take a full avalanche course through an organization like the Canadian Avalanche Association.”

Participants may sign up for Avalanche Awareness Day at the RSAR trailer between 9 AM and 10 AM in order to attend the first clinics that begin at 10 AM. Registration will continue throughout the day for later sessions. Participants must be fully registered before attending any clinic, and may come for the entire day, or just part of the day.

List of the day’s ongoing events (multiple events happen at the same time)

  • Building emergency snow shelter
  • Instruction in snow profiling
  • Instruction & practice in transceiver use for various situations (Bring your transceiver if you have one, others will be provided)
  • Probe line instruction & practice
  • Guest speakers
  • Demonstration of emergency & first aid equipment
  • Information on helicopter safety topics
  • Question & answers any time during the day
  • Fun race
  • Prizes will be awarded for some events

Backcountry travelers who are considering taking a full avalanche course may learn more at the Canadian Avalanche Association website, http://www.avalanche.ca/

To find course providers in the Kootenay Boundary Region, see http://old.avalanche.ca/cac/training/ast/courses/1


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