Session discussing avalanches

As more snow falls on Mount Washington this week, there couldn’t be a better time for the North Face Avalanche Awareness Days.

  • Jan. 13, 2011 4:00 p.m.

A Mount Washington pro patroller works on avalanche control before opening the Outback. Photo courtesy Mount Washington Alpine Resort

As more snow falls on Mount Washington this week, there couldn’t be a better time for the North Face Avalanche Awareness Days.

This informative on-snow event takes place this Saturday and Sunday at the mountain’s brand new Backcountry Access Beacon Basin.

“Although our terrain is controlled within the resort boundaries, we realize that there are many backcountry enthusiasts who visit Mount Washington,” explains Jesse Percival, a professional member of the Canadian Avalanche Association and patrol director.

“Skiers and boarders entering the backcountry off Mount Washington must enter through our access gates and should be equipped with the proper tools for self-rescue. As well, knowledge of the terrain and current snow conditions plus traveling with a partner is essential.”

The highlight of this year’s event is Mount Washington’s new Backcountry Access (BCA) Beacon Basin.

Not only is the Basin the new event site for 2011, it is also the latest tool that mountain snow safety experts can use to train staff and educate the public. 

“We’ve partnered with the Island Alpine Guides and Backcountry Access to introduce the first Beacon Basin Training Park to Vancouver Island. This publicly-accessible tool furthers our commitment to avalanche education,” adds Percival.

Beacon Training Parks were created to make it easier for recreational backcountry travellers and snow professionals to practice using their transceivers.

You can test your beacon finding skills with friends as the park features anywhere from four to eight permanently buried transmitters.

The North Face Avalanche Awareness Weekend will feature free demonstrations and clinics that skiers and boarders can sign up for in advance at the Beacon Basin.

These include beacon-finding races, avalanche rescue demonstrations, CARDA dog rescues, avalanche transceiver demonstrations, and snow profile clinics.

A silent auction throughout the weekend will feature snow safety gear and soft goods from The North Face and other supporters of the snow safety program.

Proceeds from the auction will go to both the Canadian Avalanche Association and the Vancouver Island Avalanche Bulletin.

For more information on the TNF Avalanche Awareness Days and to view the full details of the weekend, go to the event calendar at

— Mount


Alpine Resort

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