Learn How to Stay Safe in the Backcountry with this Free Avalanche Education Series


Get ready for winter with this FREE series of backcountry education workshops!

Learn the basics for safe backcountry travel by attending one or all of these free avalanche education workshops presented by Tahoe Mountain Sports and Ortovox. The workshops will be held at Alibi Ale Works – Truckee Public House. All events will take place outside for the duration, so please remember to dress warmly and bring extra layers just in case. However, snow dances to stay warm are also highly encouraged.

These workshops are for YOU if you like to backcountry ski, splitboard, snowmobile, snowshoe, or just explore snow-covered mountains. There will be 3 workshops held between October and November covering different aspects of avalanche education. Each event is a stand-alone event, meaning you can attend one, or all, but they do not build on each other.

  1. Go With the Flow – How to Plan for a Successful Day in the Mountains
  2. Beacons, Beers, and Airbags
  3. Avalanche Rescue Tips and Tools

Join us to get educated, learn about new gear and technologies, and connect with a community of like-minded backcountry travelers.

go with the flow

Go With the Flow – How to Plan for a successful day in the mountains

Tuesday, October 19th

Join us at our first of three events and learn how to make decisions that keep yourself and your partner(s) safe.

Experts from the Sierra Avalanche Center will lead us through the SAC’s “Daily Flow,” a risk management plan that you can use every time you head into the backcountry. This is an incredibly useful tool to put in your toolbox of backcountry decision-making. After discussing the Daily Flow, you’ll get to put it into practice in small breakout groups and run through scenarios using past avalanche forecasts. 

Check out how motorized backcountry users “go with the Flow” in this great video from the Sierra Avalanche Center:

Doors open at 6 pm. Give yourself plenty of time to find a parking spot and grab beer and snacks before the formal presentation begins at 6:30 pm.

Bring cash for the huge raffle benefiting the Sierra Avalanche Center, Tahoe’s local avalanche forecasting center which provides a wealth of information to backcountry skiers, riders, and sledders. Their mission is to inform and educate the public about backcountry avalanche conditions in the greater Tahoe area. There will be tons of swag from Ortovox, Smith, Black Diamond, Flylow Gear, Blizzard Skis, Outdoor Research, Spark R&D, Mountainflow Ecowax, Tahoe Mountain School, and Helinox.

beacons beers and airbags

Beacons, Beers, and Airbags

Tuesday, November 2nd

A beacon, shovel, and probe are your backcountry essentials. Airbag packs are another life-saving tool, should something go wrong. Join us on Tuesday, November 2nd at Alibi in Truckee to learn how to use this important rescue gear and connect with other like-minded backcountry enthusiasts.

We’ll start with a discussion about beacons and how they work, how to quickly and efficiently use your shovel and probe, and what to consider when buying this gear. You’ll have a chance to try out demo beacons at the end of the night and practice your skills in a search scenario. Our expert speakers will lead us through how a rescue unfolds and talk about the anatomy of a rescue. From there representatives from sponsoring brands will give us a rundown on the different types of airbag packs and their various features. If you have an airbag, bring it to this event! We’ll end the night with a huge airbag group deployment followed by free canister refills for Ortovox, Mammut, and BCA canisters. (ABS canisters work through an exchange program and we are not able to offer free exchange for those.)

Doors open at 6 pm. Give yourself plenty of time to find a parking spot and grab beer and snacks before the formal presentation begins at 6:30 pm.

Don’t forget to bring cash for the huge raffle benefiting Tahoe Backcountry Alliance, the voice for the human-powered winter backcountry community in the Lake Tahoe area, advocating for and informing our community about critical issues affecting winter backcountry recreation in Tahoe. Prizes include swag from Ortovox, Smith, Black Diamond, Flylow Gear, Blizzard Skis, Outdoor Research, Pret, Sidas, Scott Sports, and La Sportiva.

Avalanche Rescue tips and tools

Avalanche Rescue Tips and Tools

Tuesday, November 30th

What do you do when things go wrong? 

Join us for a final event in the Avalanche Education Series to learn the ins and outs of avalanche rescue. The night will begin with a discussion on the essential avalanche safety tools – a beacon, shovel, and probe. We’ll cover how beacons work, best practices when using a shovel and probe, and the role of an airbag in your safety quiver. Then, professionals from Tahoe Mountain School and Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue will lead us through how a rescue unfolds.

At the end of the night, you’ll break up into small groups and have a chance to try out demo beacons and practice your skills in a search scenario. There will also be Garmin and Caltopo stations for you to learn about their mapping, navigation, and safety tools.

Doors open at 6 pm. Give yourself plenty of time to find a parking spot and grab beer and snacks before the formal presentation begins at 6:30 pm.

Bring cash for the huge raffle benefiting the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue. They do great work in the Truckee/North Lake Tahoe area conducting conduct fast, safe rescues and educating the public on winter safety. Raffle prizes include swag from Ortovox, Smith, Black Diamond, Flylow Gear, Blizzard Skis, Outdoor Research, Pret, Sidas, Garmin, Tahoe Mountain School, Scott Sports, Dynafit, and Prana.

Avalanche Series Sponsors

Special thanks to our presenting sponsor ORTOVOX for making this series possible! For 30 years ORTOVOX has been the most successful producer of avalanche equipment, backpacks, and merino outerwear for alpine sports throughout the year. Come check out their products at Tahoe Mountain Sports.

Thanks to all of our sponsors including Alibi Ale Works – Truckee Public House, Flylow GearBlack Diamond, Blizzard Skis, Outdoor Research, Smith, Dynafit, Weston, Spark R & D, Tahoe Mountain School, Helinox, Mounaintflow Ecowax, Pret, Sidas, Garmin, Scott Sports, Prana, and La Sportiva.

Please support our nonprofit partners: Tahoe Backcountry Alliance, Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue, and Sierra Avalanche Center.

Ready to take it to the next level? Read about Why you should take an Avalanche Level One Certification (AAIRE Avy 1 Class).

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