Beaver Creek events highlight backcountry safety |

Beaver Creek events highlight backcountry safety

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
CVR Backcounty Skiing DT 1-20-11

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – While the Vail area has enjoyed lots of new snowfall over the past week, conditions are dicey in the backcountry.

On Thursday, the avalanche danger for the Vail-Summit County area was rated as “high” by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

“Winds and wind loading should be at the front of your decision-making process as slabs are growing over several persistent weak layers,” the CAIC said Thursday. “Do not let your decisions hide behind the powder. Avalanche activity continues to be reported, mostly on steep slopes near and above tree line facing the eastern side of the compass.”

Reports are coming in about skier-triggered avalanches in the East Vail backcountry, and another skier-triggered soft-slab slide was reported near the Eiseman Hut north of Vail, the CAIC said.

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A Winter Park man was found dead Wednesday after being caught in a slide on Berthoud Pass.

Make sure you have the knowledge, skills and equipment you need to travel safely in the backcountry.

Friday is Backcountry Awareness Day, part of National Safety Week as observed by Vail and Beaver Creek mountains. Beaver Creek is hosting several backcountry-awareness events. They include:

• 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Beaver Creek Ski Patrol will host a free Beacon Training Class at Patrol Headquarters at the top of Cinch Express Lift. Class includes beacon and route finding exercises for beginners and experienced backcountry enthusiasts in the Beacon Bowl training park. Register in advance by calling 970-754-6611.

• 1 p.m. Beacon Challenge: Beacon Bowl Training Participants from the morning session put their skills to the test for a Beacon Challenge near the lower Centennial Lift Line. Prizes will be awarded to those producing the fastest Beacon Challenge times.

• 12-2 p.m. Following the Beaver Creek Ski Patrol’s Backcountry Avalanche Awareness Class on Thursday evening, join members of patrol as they demonstrate drills and scenarios with the team of Beaver Creek’s Avalanche Rescue Dogs who are trained and certified in backcountry rescue by the Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment program. New this year, Ski Patrol also will discuss winter survival skills and preparedness.

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