Avalanche Awareness Night this Thursday

JACKSON, Wyo. — Backcountry skiing and snowboarding set its sights on a safe season 2019/’20 with help from the 20th Annual Avalanche Awareness Night.

Slated for Thursday, December 5, the 20th Annual Skinny Skis “Avy Night” is a fundraiser for the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center and Teton County Search and Rescue [TCSAR]. It runs from 5–9 p.m. at the Center for the Arts and provides winter backcountry users with valuable information on early season snow conditions, equipment, clothing, wildlife closure areas, ski resort programs, local avalanche classes, Teton Pass etiquette, guide services, and keynote address by ski mountaineer, Noah Howell.

“Skinny Skis is excited to be hosting the 20th annual Avalanche Awareness Night,” said Skinny Skis shop owner, Phil Leeds. “With the help of our partner organizations, we’re looking at a new streamlined program, more information tables, great food and refreshments, and one of the area’s most amazing raffles—including a Grand Pass to JHMR.

A suggested $5 dollar entry fee supports TCSAR. Plus early online donation of an entry fee receives a free Snake River Brewing beer at the event (must be 21 and older).

Skier Bill Adam assessing conditions. Photo: Noah Howell

Beginning at 6:30 p.m, audiences will enjoy presentations from a list of expert speakers. Keynote among these is Noah Howell, ski guide and global ski mountaineer. Howell will present “Aspects: Adventures on the Archangel Ridge,” a story of adventure and lessons learned from Alaska’s remote Mount Foraker.

Howell, a professional skier from Utah who urges larger avalanche awareness than checklists allow, will share photos and stories about his long career in the mountains, including his latest mission: climbing and skiing Mount Foraker, a 17,400-foot mountain in the remote Alaska Range.

“Mount Foraker was the dream line, my Moby Dick,” said Howell who’d attempted but failed the mission several times prior.

During his keynote presentation, Howell hopes to use his own experiences to convey how backcountry safety is enhanced by users becoming their own information and processing resources for making the right call. His studied approach to mountains and avalanche terrain emphasizes that skiers and snowboarders are ever-mindful, present, and receptive to their mountain sense as well as their partners.

Skiing off the top. Photo: Noah Howell

Also enlivening “Avy Night” speakers, Jim Woodmenceyevent MC and local meteorologistwill weigh in on “This Winter’s Weather/ Powder Outlook.” Jay Pistono, Teton Pass Ambassador, will share how to “Ski the Pass and Do It Right.” Brenden Cronin of the Wyoming Department of Transportation acts as an ambassador to the WYDOT team. Mike Rheam of the BTAC and Sarah Carpenter of the American Avalanche Institute explain the early season snowpack. AJ Wheeler of TCSAR will discuss “Preventative Search and Rescue.”

The evening’s format is interactive, offering attendees the opportunity to visit with spokespersons of avalanche safety equipment manufacturers as well as examine equipment. And discounts are offered for buying equipment or signing up for an avalanche class at the event.

Thanks to great attendance and a HUGE gear raffle, which includes a JHMR Grand Pass, “Avy Night” has helped raise thousands of dollars for Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center.

Ready to register? Visit “Avy Night” sign up

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