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January 13, 2012
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Beav' patrol offers backcountry awareness classes

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado - As part of the ski industry's National Safety Awareness Week, Beaver Creek Ski Patrol is hosting the first of several free backcountry safety and awareness classes Tuesday at the Eagle County Ambulance District building in Edwards from 6:30-9 p.m.

Beaver Creek Patrol's Backcountry Awareness Workshops focus on safety, snow physics, route selection, evaluating snow stability, beacons, and avalanche phenomenon and rescue techniques. The classes are led by members of Beaver Creek's Ski Patrol who volunteer their time to help prepare backcountry skiers and snowboarders for the experience.

"Our patrol is focused on terrain inside the ski area boundary every day throughout the season, working to ensure the slopes are ready to open each day," said Addy McCord, Beaver Creek ski patrol director. "With skiers and riders venturing outside of ski area boundaries more where variable conditions exist, we also post the Colorado Avalanche Information Center's backcountry information so people have the information to make well-informed decisions if they choose to go outside of our gates on Beaver Creek Mountain, ski patrol mitigates hazards, but in the backcountry it's up to each individual to be knowledgeable and take responsibility for recognizing and avoiding potential dangers. We've been offering the community backcountry workshops for the past 10 seasons because we want people to be educated and prepared."

In addition to the community Backcountry Awareness Workshop, Beaver Creek Ski Patrol will host a free Beacon Training Class at Patrol Headquarters at the top of Cinch Express Lift (Chair No. 8) from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Jan. 21. The class includes beacon and route-finding exercises for beginners and experienced backcountry enthusiasts in the Beacon Bowl training park. Beaver Creek Ski Patrol's avy dogs also will perform avalanche dog rescue demonstrations. Register in advance by calling 970-754-6611.

Following the Beacon Training Class on Jan. 21, participants can put their skills to the test at the Beacon Challenge at 1 p.m. near the lower Centennial Express Lift. Prizes will be awarded to those producing the fastest Beacon Challenge times.

Space is limited and reservations are required for the Backcountry Awareness Workshop on Tuesday. Call Beaver Creek Ski Patrol at 970-754-6610 to sign up. Additional Backcountry Awareness workshops will be held at to-be-announced dates.

For more information about Beaver Creek's Safety Week activities, contact CJ Rusin, mountain safety attendant supervisor, at CRusin@vailresorts.com or 970-754-6656 or Beaver Creek Ski Patrol at 970-754-6610 or visit www.beavercreek.com/safety.


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The VailDaily Updated Jan 13, 2012 11:58PM Published Jan 13, 2012 11:55PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.