Brought to you by The Tahoe Fund
Whether you’re a backcountry rookie or professional ski mountaineer, keeping your skills sharp is a life-long process. For the second year running, Take Care Tahoe is hosting Backcountry Safety Awareness Week, December 13-18th. It’s a mix of online programming and in-person events to promote backcountry safety and education, and best of all, it’s free! Registration and the full event schedule can be found here.
Each day’s videos or events are crafted around a theme to further your knowledge and become a better backcountry traveler. I watched all the videos from last year’s lineup, and even as an experienced backcountry skier, I picked up a few new things I’ll be thinking about this winter.
The week starts with “Welcome to the New Backcountry.” As the name implies, the opening day’s brief video series will introduce backcountry users, new and old, to the latest tools that can help them make better, more informed decisions. Video content will be provided by Blackbird Mountain Guides, Tahoe Backcountry Alliance, and others TBD.
Day two is all about “Preparing for the Backcountry.” It can take years of experience to figure out how to plan a trip, to dress, what gear to bring, and what skills and knowledge you should have to stay safe. The second day’s videos boil all of this down into a concise format that’s a great starting point for future learning. You’ll also dive into the subjects of beacons, helmets, and more nuanced topics like risk management and group dynamics.
One of the most important topics, in my mind, is covered on day three – “Be a Friend in the Backcountry.” The 2020-2021 season saw more people skiing and snowboarding outside the resort than ever before. Crazy skin tracks, unsafe travel techniques, and lack of awareness about access restrictions were all too common. Alpenglow Expeditions and Golden State Guiding have videos that will get you thinking about having fun while still keeping others in mind.
While the first three days are for all backcountry users, day four is geared towards the snowmobile crowd. “Motors in the Backcountry” covers the unique gear, clothing, and safety concerns riders need to address before heading out to ride. Video content will be provided thanks to the Lake Tahoe Snowmobilers.
Days five and six fall on the weekend and are the two in-person events.
On Friday, Alpenglow Expeditions is hosting a Backcountry Safety Summit at their Palisades Tahoe location that will have a panel featuring Michelle Parker, Jeremy Jones, and Elyse Saugstad and speakers from Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue. Dave Nettle will host the event. All proceeds for the event will benefit Sierra Avalanche Center, and beer and wine will be poured by Sierra Nevada and Revelshine. All attendees get discounts on Alpenglow’s courses as well.
Saturday will feature a Trail Trash Cleanup hosted by the Town of Truckee and a Beacon Hunt hosted by Tahoe Mountain Sports at the Alder Creek Adventure Center at Tahoe Donner.
On top of all this great free content, there are some giveaways to be excited about. Alpenglow Expeditions and Golden State Guiding will be donating spots to AIARE avalanche courses, and participants will have a chance to win free Mountain Hardware gear. Blackbird Mountain Guides will be promoting their BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Avalanche Course Scholarship throughout the week.
Don’t forget to REGISTER for this awesome, free event here.