Arapahoe Basin Ski Area will host two days of backcountry and avalanche rescue training and education today and tomorrow. A-Basin’s Backcountry Preparedness Days will feature the Companion Rescue Workshop and the 11th Annual Beacon Bowl. All proceeds from both days benefit the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).
“Although our daily focus is on our in-bounds terrain, we’re aware of the growing popularity of backcountry touring,” said Alan Henceroth, A-Basin’s Chief Operating Officer. “We want to provide our guests with the resources to ski and ride safely. It is important for people to understand the differences between in-bounds and backcountry skiing.”
The Companion Rescue Workshop, a day-long seminar on search and rescue techniques, will be held today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Facilitated by local experts from the CAIC, Arapahoe Basin Ski Patrol and patrollers from neighboring ski areas, the workshop features both classroom instruction and on-mountain scenarios including tutorials on modern search and rescue technologies, emergency care, and extraction and evacuation. The workshop costs $50 and is limited to 50 participants with previous backcountry experience.
Following the workshop, A-Basin will host a spaghetti dinner starting at 5 p.m. with beer courtesy of New Belgium. The cost is $15 and the dinner is open to the public.
On Saturday A-Basin will host the 11th Annual Beacon Bowl and Après Ski Party to benefit the CAIC. During the Beacon Bowl, participants race on-mountain to find beacons buried in the snow, simulating an avalanche search and rescue.
The contest is divided into two divisions – recreational and professional – and features prizes from Spyder. Registration and check-in begin at 8 a.m. in the A-Frame. The $25 Beacon Bowl registration fee includes entry to the competition, a raffle entry, a slice of pizza and a beer during the Après Ski Party. There is a discounted Beacon Bowl entry fee for those who participate in the Companion Rescue Workshop.
Open to both the public as well as Beacon Bowl competitors is the Après Ski Party, starting at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Après Ski Party includes a raffle, silent auction and live auction with prizes from brands like Black Diamond, BCA, Dakine, SkiLogik and more, with all proceeds going toward the CAIC.
Online registration for all events is recommended; you can also register by calling 888-ARAPAHOE (272-7246) or onsite, day-of if spaces remain. Further information about the Companion Rescue Workshop and the Beacon Bowl can be found at ArapahoeBasin.com.