The Bookworm of Edwards is hosting an avalanche beacon workshop with The Glide Project | VailDaily.com
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The Bookworm of Edwards is hosting an avalanche beacon workshop with The Glide Project

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The Glide Project educates the Vail Valley on avalanche safety -- all ages are welcome to learn.
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What: Avalanche Beacon Workshop with the Glide Project

When: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 6 p.m.

Where: Bookworm of Edwards, 295 Main St., Riverwalk in Edwards

Cost: $15, $5 back to the Glide Project for every ticket sold

More information: Call 970-926-7323 or visit http://www.bookwormofedwards.com

One surefire way to protect yourself on any adventure is to have the right gear. In avalanche country, that gear includes a beacon.

Join Kelli Rohrig and the Glide Project at The Bookworm of Edwards on Wednesday night for a hands-on avalanche beacon workshop. Tickets are $15, and $5 of each ticket will go directly to the Glide Project.

Kelli Rohrig grew up in the mountains of Summit County with her brother Chris Anthony.

“We meandered unsupervised through the mountains,” she said. “We both wandered into avalanche country without gear or education on why that was risky.”

As they grew up and began careers that put them in avalanche areas, they realized the need for youth to have avalanche education and snow science training. But it wasn’t until Rohrig was working with a freeride team in Bozeman, Montana, that she saw the benefit first hand.

“All the freeride kids were required to ski with avalanche gear and perform beacon searches,” she said. “We expanded the program into a yearly seminar where kids from the area could come dig pits, be buried in snow and have the avalanche dogs find them.”

Her husband, Kreston, acted as liaison between the freeride team and Big Sky ski patrol. She loved seeing engagement from both kids and parents, so when they moved back to Vail, they wanted to start a program here. They partnered with Vail Mountain School on some educational programming but wanted to do more, so they brought the idea up with Anthony, a renowned big mountain skier and adventurer from Vail.

“He was all in,” Rohrig said. “We were able to piggyback off of his established nonprofit and use it as an underwriter.”

The Glide Project was officially born, and since the official formation, it has been educating the valley’s residents of all ages on avalanche safety. This type of information is crucial to safety in the backcountry and beyond.

“If you travel in the backcountry, knowing how to use the proper avalanche gear is like a cyclist knowing how to change a tire,” Rohrig said. “Having the ability to safely travel in and around avalanche terrain opens up a massive amount of area to explore.”

You don’t have to be a backcountry explorer to find this information helpful, however.

“Everyone who plays on the mountains can be at risk of avalanche,” Rohrig said. “Many huts, snowshoe trails and hikes cross through, below or near to avalanche terrain.”

Its adventures like these that make gear like an avalanche beacon so important.

“Simply put, a beacon allows a backcountry user to both be found in the case of an avalanche and to search for a victim,” she said. “Earning your turns can be one of the most rewarding things you have ever done — especially if it is done safely.”


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