Dear Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Family,

I am writing to announce the introduction of the Mountain Safety Fund.

As a snow sports club where many of our activities have inherent risk; safety in everything that we do is our first priority. Recent tragic events remind us of the important role that we play in setting the standard for the safest possible training and competition venues, best practices in training progressions and education in mountain awareness and responsible risk taking.

Competitive snow sports promote and reward taking risk in training and competition. Learning a new skill or trick, jumping higher or carrying more speed through a race course requires the athlete to go beyond their current capacity and challenge their abilities. The inevitable mistakes that result are an important part of the learning process and consequences of these mistakes must be minimized to the greatest extent possible. Athletes must develop the complex ability to separate risk taking in the learning process and competition from risk taking in every day life and when consequences are high. This learning process begins very early in life.

While no amount of preparation, safety equipment or education can eliminate all risk, the goal of the Mountain Safety Fund is to promote mountain safety through awareness, sound decision making and responsible risk taking and to provide the safest environment possible for our athletes to explore their limits in skiing and snowboarding.

On Tuesday January 28 from 6-8 PM at the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy gymnasium in Minturn, SSCV will host Mr. Dale Atkins from the National Avalanche Foundation. Dale has more than 30 years of experience working with avalanches and trains avalanche professionals and mountain rescuers around the world. He has extensive experience as a rescuer, forecaster, researcher, educator and technology developer while working in recreation, industry and government domains. He is also the vice-president of the Avalanche Rescue Commission for the International Commission for Avalanche Rescue and is a professional member and president of the American Avalanche Association. Mr. Atkins will present on “Statistical Analysis of Group Dynamics and Back-Country Best Practices”. This presentation of the Mountain Safety Fund is open and free to all SSCV membership and the community as a whole.

SSCV does not allow out of bounds skiing or riding as part of its programs. We offer this education to inform the audience and promote responsible enjoyment of the mountain sports and lifestyle we all love.

Respectfully yours,

Aldo Radamus
Executive Director

*Vail and Beaver Creek Ski Patrol is providing the first of this year’s Eagle County Avalanche Awareness Series at the Vail Cascade Resort this Thursday January 23 from 7-9 PM. Information will be provided regarding decision making practices and the effects of recent storms on the current snowpack. Additional education will be provided as part of this series on February 4th and March 11th.

 Ski & Snowboard Club Vail is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing youth the opportunity for character growth and excellence through athletics and all donations are tax-deductible.