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12th Annual Beacon Bowl to take place at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
Posted: 23 January 2014 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]
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12th Annual Beacon Bowl to take place at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

A-Basin’s event to benefit the Colorado Avalanche Information Center

ARAPAHOE BASIN, Colo. – Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (A-Basin) will host the 12th Annual Beacon Bowl and Avalanche Awareness Day on Saturday, February 8, 2014. Proceeds from the event will 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.

“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.”

Last season’s event at Arapahoe Basin raised over $10,000 for the CAIC; this season, 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.

During the Beacon Bowl competition, 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. 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,” Cammarata said.

Registration and check-in begin at 8:00 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, click over 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.

About the CAIC

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center is the nation’s oldest public avalanche forecast program, and supports nine offices across the state of Colorado. In addition to backcountry avalanche forecasting and education, the CAIC contracts with the Colorado Department of Transportation to provide snowpack conditions and avalanche forecasts for Colorado’s roadways.

About Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Located high on the Continental Divide, Arapahoe Basin boasts the longest ski and ride season in Colorado, from mid-October through early June. A-Basin’s legendary Pallavicini and East Wall terrain offers some of the best extreme skiing in Colorado. Pika Place and Molly Hogan learning areas feature mellow terrain for first-time and younger skiers and riders. With fun events, ample sunshine and incredible late-season snow, the Basin is the place to be in the spring!  Visit www.arapahoebasin.com for more information about our mountain, and elevate your ski and ride experience with us.

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Posted: 10 February 2014 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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http://www.summitdaily.com/news/10112734-113/beacon-basin-avalanche-bowl

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s Beacon Bowl fundraiser features competitive field
by Sebastian Foltz - .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
February 8, 2014

While most of the county was getting ready to carve some fresh tracks in 7 to 11 inches of new snow Saturday morning, a handful of professional ski patrollers and backcountry enthusiasts geared up for competition in Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s 12th annual Beacon Bowl and Avalanche Awareness day.

“We had people getting here early and ready to go — a good mix of pros and recreational backcountry users,” ski area spokeswoman Adrienne Saia Isaac said.

Part of a day filled with avalanche awareness events and fundraising for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the annual avalanche beacon search competition took place at mid-mountain — on a simulated avalanche debris field — below the Lenawee Chair.

“It’s pretty competitive, guys take it pretty seriously,” A-Basin patroller Dominic Vellone said. “Basically, we’re looking for one beacon — simulating an avalanche victim — and trying to get to him as soon as possible.”

Vellone won the preliminary round by navigating the course and finding the buried beacon in 1 minute, 9 seconds. He also took top honors in the pro division later in the day.

The timed competition had individuals start 100 yards uphill from the debris field and race down to the search area. Once there, competitors used avalanche beacons to home in on a buried backpack containing a beacon set to transmit. In the first round, participants only had to make contact with the buried pack with an avalanche probe. In the final round of the open division, competitors had to locate and dig up the packs. Pro competitors had to locate and uncover two packs.

It was a clean sweep for the home team in the pro division as ski patrollers from A-Basin claimed the top three spots over representatives from Breckenridge Ski Resort and Keystone Resort.

Vellone took first place, uncovering the two packs in 4:10, followed by fellow A-Basin patrollers Ryan Evanczyk (4:59) and Jeremy Dobish (8:14). Evanczyk was on pace with Vellone, but after discovering the second pack he was unable to remove it from the hole as quickly.

David Gidley, of Silver Plume, took the top spot in the open division, uncovering his lone target in 2:23. Previous winner Cheyen Wills took second in 2:49, and Justin Laughner was third with 3:45.

Giddley — an avid backcountry skier — credited practice for his success. “I try to practice throughout the summer, then before I go out in the fall and on my first backcountry run of the season.”

As for the Beacon Bowl, he said, “I like the competition part of it. There’s an adrenaline factor.”

The day’s events also included avalanche dog demonstrations, beacon and ski demos and an apres ski party with raffle and silent auction. All proceeds benefited the CAIC. Last year’s event raised more than $10,000 for the organization, making it the CAIC’s second-biggest fundraiser behind the annual CAIC Benefit Bash in Breckenridge, held in November.

“I think this event is one of the more important events that we do,” Saia Isaac said of the Beacon Bowl. “This one not only raises money for the CAIC but it raises awareness about backcountry safety protocol and search and rescue.”

Avalanches have already claimed the lives of two skiers this season.

In addition to backcountry forecasting and avalanche awareness, the CAIC works with CDOT on avalanche mitigation and keeping the highways clear in the winter.

 

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Posted: 10 February 2014 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I guess I am a professional ski patroller now!  While some of the information in this article is not correct, the results are right! I had the 3rd fastest time overall with 1:13 for the first round, with my first probe strike hitting the target.  They put me in the Professional Division, since they didn’t want me sandbagging the recreational division.

I tanked during the finals, for a couple of reasons.

1) pinpoint search- my initial pinpoint for the first pack was good. I found it in 2 or three probe strikes and started digging. I used the flag feature on the Pieps, and it worked out well. The orientation that I was in had me on the edge of a flux line, so I ended up getting a much larger distance and following the flux line around. I noticed the snow was pretty much untouched, so I started a quicker pace to get to the second pack.  I was getting a few false positives, and should have stayed in line, but I did a pinpoint too soon on the second signal. My first time I did a pinpoint on the second signal, I was getting 1.5 to 1.3 then back to 1.4.  As I was doing my pinpoint trying to get my low number to the left, the numbers kept going down. i think I did a good job of keeping the beacon in the same orientation, but I ate up a bit of time when i should have followed the flux line a little farther.

2) digging- digging was my biggest issue. I was tired. I could see the pack, but with the snow compression, i could not pull it out of the hole.  At one point I even said to myself, “If this was my friend, I wouldn’t be digging this slow.” I have often practiced strategic digging, but this only comes into play when you are on a slope. When you are not, and have to dig directly down, it is beneficial to have a bigger blade and longer handle.  It also didn’t help that at one point, I actually stepped into the hole and started digging with my hands. I quickly realized this was a dumb idea.  I also kept filling in my hole, which is why it is super important to use strategic digging.  Because of how the bag was buried, especially on the second pack, I knew that i had hit just the corner of it. I was trying to excavate as best I could, but I was digging straight down the probe. I was trying to chop out blocks, but the snow kept falling back in and breaking apart, so I would then have to dig down and try and just grab out the pack again. I should have probably just dug until I got the pack cleared enough, and now even tried to pull it out at first.  Swearing at the pack also didn’t help, just so you are aware.

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