Vail ski shop, Eagle brewery host avalanche expert
Ryan Summerlin November 14, 2013
VAIL — Big mountain skier and mountain guide Dean Cummings, of Valdez, Alaska, has two appearances booked in the Vail Valley to present his award-winning “Steep Life Protocols” and show his new film, “Chugach.” Cummings will be at Bonfire Brewing in Eagle on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. and at Vail’s Double Diamond Ski Shop on Saturday at 5 p.m.
This is an opportunity for Eagle County skiers, snowboarders and other mountain travelers to learn Cummings’ approach to staying safer in the mountains and avoiding avalanches through practical terrain management. Cummings has refined the Steep Life Protocols during his 24 years of guiding in the Chugach Range of Alaska, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the Wasatch Range of Utah and the Andes Mountains of South America, and pioneering thousands of first descents in mountains all over the world. Steep Life Protocols empowers skiers and snowboarders of all abilities to elevate their skills to a higher level and take control of their destinies in mountain environments.
Steep Life Protocols is grounded in practical terrain management for skiers, snowboarders and other mountain travelers who travel in avalanche terrain. Cummings teaches and illustrates through his knowledge, experiences and entertaining anecdotes. Topic include:
• On-the-go snow assessment from the top down.
• Constant visual-verbal communication with partners.
• Developing group-team emphasis.
• Skiing/riding safe zone to safe zone until totally clear of potential avalanche paths.
• Skiing/riding ridgelines, apexes and high points.
• Avoiding convex/concave terrain, chutes and gullies, unsupported slopes and steeps to flats.
• Three strikes methodology — identify potential avalanche warning signs and decide when to move to safer locations or call it off and head to the bar.
• How to dig quick pits.
For more information about Cummings’ appearance in Eagle, visit www.bonfire brewing.com or call 970-306-7113. For information about the Vail event, call 970-476-5500 or go to www.doublediamondvail.com.