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Beacon Bowl this Saturday at A-Basin benefits the CAIC

Finding beacons in the snow at A-Basin's annual Beacon Bowl, which benefits the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
Finding beacons in the snow at A-Basin's annual Beacon Bowl, which benefits the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Who cares about the Super Bowl? We’ve got a great state to ski, and great places to compete for a good cause. Speaking of which, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area hosts the 12th Annual Beacon Bowl and Avalanche Awareness Day this coming Saturday, Feb. 8.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), a state-wide organization charged with forecasting backcountry avalanche and weather conditions, supporting CDOT in highway avalanche mitigation, and conducting community education programs.

Last season’s event at Arapahoe Basin raised over $10,000 for the CAIC. This year, A-Basin is hoping to raise even more money for the organization. Events of the day include an on-mountain beacon search competition, an avalanche dog demonstration, beacon clinics and an après party in the A-Frame base lodge with a raffle, silent auction and live auction.

“The CAIC does an extraordinary job, on a limited budget, of forecasting conditions for Colorado skiers and riders,” said Alan Henceroth, A-Basin’s Chief Operating Officer. “It’s our hope that the Beacon Bowl will raise some money to help them carry out their critical mission.”

During the Beacon Bowl competition, participants race on the 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. This year, pro ski patrollers in teams of two in the professional division have the chance to win the Beacon Bowl Cup.

“This is a great opportunity for us to showcase the skills that we practice on all season,” said Tony Cammarata, A-Basin’s Director of Ski Patrol and defending Beacon Bowl Champion in the professional division. “I think everybody has fun getting the competitive juices flowing and giving it their best shot at the hardware.”

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 professional ski patrollers. For more information on the event, including an itinerary for the day, go to the A-Basin Beacon Bowl event page.

Open to both the public as well as Beacon Bowl competitors is the Après Ski Party, starting at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in the A-Frame lodge. The Après Ski Party includes a raffle, silent auction and live auction, all proceeds from which benefit the CAIC.

Major sponsors include New Belgium, who will donate a cruiser bike for the live auction as well as libations for the après party, Ski Logik, Black Diamond/Pieps, BCA, Spyder, Ortovox, Wilderness Sports, the non-profit organization Friends of the CAIC, and more.