(Last Updated On: October 7, 2014)

Folks lined up to get into the first Breck Ski Patrol avalanche education evening of the 2012-12 season.

Over 250 people packed the house at the Village at Breckenridge to attend the opening night of Breck Ski Patrol’s avalanche education series. The series drew a huge crowd — some old, some young, some veteran backcountry travelers and some new faces. All came to learn and channel Ullr to encourage him to bless us with SOME snow.

The three presenters packed the evening with something for everyone. Will Barrett, Andy Lapkass, and Nick Logan are all long-time vets of the avalanche way of life. Andy jumped right into it, getting things started with a lot of hard science, for the hard cores in the crowd to chew on. He reviewed why avalanches happen, what the snow goes through in its metamorphic process, where the snowpack is right now, and what that means for long-term stability throughout the season. Andy surprised no one here by letting us know that the early season snowpack is setting us up for a typical cycle of slide action, and it will have long lasting effects to people who travel in the backcountry. Bummer. But that’s where we live.

Andy left us with a really good point: He wants us to learn how to fish, instead of just throwing fish out to us. He wants us to learn a bit about snow science and why avalanches happen, so we’re better prepared to go after the goods, next time we’re out in the backcountry.

An awesome round of door prizes followed, with lots of goodies thrown out from many sponsors, including local Pup’s Glide Shop and semi-local Flylow apparel. Who doesn’t like schwag giveaways?

Door prizes are always good to attract the masses. Add in free pizza and seeing old friends and this was a big social event!

Breck Ski Patrol ran the show, with the help of many sponsors. Breckenridge Ski Resort, the Village, Pup’s Glide Shop and Flylow all kicked in, making this evening a success.

All sorts of people attended the presentation. Here Tracy and Scott, Breck patrollers, try to get the young one on the way some early avalanche education.


Next up was Will Barrett, snow safety director for Breckenridge Ski Patrol, giving us the low down on Breck Ski Resort’s backcountry gates — where they are and the terrain you can access by using them. This was really cool info, coming straight from the horse’s mouth. But it was given with some caution and added advice; Will explained how patrol controls what’s in bounds but not what is beyond the gate. Please be careful. Will added, “We saw this as an opportunity to reach out to the community and provide the knowledge that we have. The snow safety department at Breckenridge has about 150 years worth of knowledge between the 10 of us.”

Nick Logan finished off the evening with a mesmerizing, heartfelt, and firsthand account of the fateful 1987 Peak 7 slide. With four fatalities on that unlucky day, Nick compared and contrasted how very similar Peak 6 is, in today’s resort bounds, to Peak 7 of 25 years ago. He advised us to learn from history, so we are not doomed to repeat it. I definitely sensed a couple moments of Nick holding back emotions as he told the story. A long-time avalanche industry vet, ski patroller, and Search and Rescue team member, Nick has seen it all. We should count ourselves as a mountain community lucky to have caring, knowledgeable heroes like him in our midst.

The Breck’s ski patrol is working hard on giving us top-notch and free education, in easy to swallow tidbits. This first night was part of a season long, monthly, series. The next installment will be Dec. 20, Thursday night, at 6 p.m. in the Village. You can always keep an eye on the Friends of the CAIC Facebook page to keep up on the next event.

It was standing room only for the first of the Breck ski patrol’s monthly avalanche education series. It drew over 250 attendees.

Ski patrol and CAIC veteran Nick Logan (can’t see him, he’s hiding in the dark) tells the Peak 7 avalanche story. Thanks for your service Nick!


About The Author

I’m Daniel Dunn, I’ve lived in Breckenridge for over 12 years and love playing outside. After going to film school and starting my own successful video production business, I realized that I’m most interested in creating awesome still images, and working with much smaller crews than the typical video shoot requires. I also hate editing! Why do I take pictures, what am I trying to do, what am I creating? One of the reasons is that I would like to raise awareness of the places and things in my photographs. I want to inspire people to go out and do. I want kids to ask questions like “Where is that?”, “Can we go to Timbuktu, Mom?”, “What is that little girl doing?”. I want to remind people of their past travels, of favorite places, or wonder and lust after places they’ve never been. I want people to look at my photos and dream about places they haven't been to, and at least they can take joy in knowing someone, me, who has been there, who has done that, to quote a popular phrase. I enjoy for them to be able to personalize it through me. And I also just enjoy the process of visiting new places and trying new things, of being a little bit scared sometimes, and the comfort in coming back to familiar places, and of coming home. Home can be so many places from your past lives. It’s always a joy to come home. You can always find me at www.danieldunnphoto.com Or on Twitter at @danieldunnphoto or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/danieldunnphoto

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