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Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center launches new programs

November 6, 2023, 9:39 am

Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (Friends of CAIC) on Monday issued the following press release on several new programs for the coming snow riding season in Colorado:

Evergreen, Colorado – Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (Friends of CAIC), a leading non-profit organization dedicated to avalanche forecasting and education, is prepared for the upcoming winter with a variety of new projects, continued successful programs, and partnerships. 

Executive Director Aaron Carlson explains “explosive growth in popularity of winter recreation means our organization needs to continually evolve to fulfill our mission – getting avalanche safety messaging in front of all user groups and experience levels while supporting the CAIC’s forecasting services’ ‘.

New Mobile Classroom added to successful Trailhead Outreach Program

Friends of CAIC is thrilled to announce a new addition to our Trailhead Outreach Program (TOP) for this season. A 20-foot trailer specifically designed to bring avalanche awareness to trailheads. We plan to deploy this mobile classroom at trailheads across the state and at partner locations this winter. Stay tuned for class sign-up and scheduling details. 

Thanks in part to a grant from the National Forest Foundation, our TOP team reached over 8,000 backcountry users last winter at 150 locations across the state. Exciting partnership opportunities are available for brands interested in contributing to the long term success of this program and reaching users of all types and abilities.

AIARE/NWAC/CAIC develop new “Avalanche Aware” curriculum

Friends of CAIC, along with AIARE curriculum partners across the state, will be rolling out a new tool called “Avalanche Aware” to expand basic level avalanche danger awareness. Developed in partnership between the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), the Northwest Avalanche Center(NWAC), and the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), this new format for safety presentations can be optimized to match the audience’s recreation and risk tolerance choices. Targeted at users prior to taking “Level 1” and “Avalanche Rescue” courses, Friends of CAIC staff will be using this new format in the new mobile classroom this winter and we look forward to working with the CAIC to expand opportunities to view this resource throughout the winter.

Educational and Fundraising events return as long standing tradition 

The 22nd Annual Colorado Snow and Avalanche Workshop, a full day professional seminar in Breckenridge on Friday October 27, brought over 600+ professionals and enthusiasts together for a full day seminar on the latest research and operations discussions. Following this, the 16th Annual CAIC Benefit Bash returns to Breckenridge on Saturday, December 2. This dynamic duo of events upholds the longstanding tradition of beginning the season with a combination of opportunities for the backcountry community to learn and raise money. 

These events, along with various partner events across the state hosted by Bentgate Mountaineering, Ski Town All Stars, and Full Cycle Boulder raise over $200,000 each year. To get involved, simply check our event calendar at support.friendsofcaic.org to find an event near you.

Friends of CAIC’s Membership Program brings new discounts, donor gifts in 4th year

Since its launch in 2020, The Friends of CAIC membership program has assembled thousands of members from across the state who contribute to funding the forecasts they depend on.For the 2023/2024 season, members can enjoy exciting benefits, including gifts from Yeti or Topo Designs, a limited edition sticker, discounts at with our partners, and a photo annual featuring select avalanche imagery from the prior season. 

The Trailhead level membership is accessible with a price of only $35 per season. Additionally, we offer monthly or annual recurring plans to help spread the cost out as needed. Supporting avalanche safety in Colorado continues to be an important part of any responsible backcountry user’s pre-season checklist! 

Introducing Snow Pool: A collaborative research project FoCAIC/CAIC/Simon Fraser University

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) wants YOUR input in helping to shape the future of avalanche safety in Colorado. We are building a database of backcountry users of all types and experience levels that will guide upcoming projects over the course of the next few seasons. Commitment is low – just complete an initial survey to get included and, over the course of the season, you will be invited to provide input on projects such as website design, danger communication language, and more. 

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