1st Ever Tahoe Backcountry Safety Awareness Week
By: Alex Silgalis
Like a Siren to Ulysses, the unspoiled, pure snow beckons skiers and snowboarders into the wilderness. The clean slate of white waiting to be carved is irresistible. And just like that Siren, dangers may lurk below the surface if you don’t understand how to navigate the backcountry safely. With the massive increase of backcountry gear sales along with the explosion in people touring the backcountry seen last spring, the 1st ever Tahoe-Truckee backcountry awareness week has been created.
A coalition of avalanche safety, nonprofit, and winter backcountry organizations have established an event to introduce those curious about it and a refresher for those with experience. From December 14th through the 18th, the week-long educational video series will provide a better understanding of the dangers in the backcountry and why training is imperative.
The 1st day of the event will provide a foundation of what backcountry is. This will include welcome and overview videos from Sierra Avalanche Center where you’ll learn why so many partners are coming together to raise awareness of backcountry safety.
Once you decide to step past the ski boundary, the responsibility of coming home safe falls 100% on you. That means you must carry a unique set of equipment when venturing out. On Tuesday, you’ll find out what are the basic needs, why you need it, and how to use it.
Being out in the backcountry can be dangerous. If you take an AIARE Level 1 course, you’ll have the mental tools to help make educated decisions, so you come home safe. Today’s film will focus on the key moments that ultimately control how your day will go.
From 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time, hear from the pro athletes that call Tahoe/Truckee home. The virtual panel will include people like Cody Townsend, Jeremy Jones, Elyse Saugstad, and Amie Engerbretson. This live Athlete summit will talk about their experiences in the backcountry so you can learn from those that spend more time out there than most.
If you love the sound of BRRRAAAAPPPP or just interested in getting out into the wilderness via snowmobile or snow bike, Friday’s event is for you. They’ll provide a close look at the slew of travel concerns motorized travelers encounter.
The most important tool in your belt for backcountry adventure is to get educated. While not a substitute for a true avalanche clinic, use this event to start warming up the brain. To learn more about this event AND to register for the free Athlete Summit, visit www.takecaretahoe.org/backcountry and complete the sign-up section.