Beacon Bash celebrates backcountry community |

Beacon Bash celebrates backcountry community

Charlie the avalanche dog, owned by Erica Gilbertson of the Winter Park Ski Patrol Dog Team, greets attendees during the Beacon Bash at Winter Park Resort on Dec. 10, 2022.
Erica Gilbertson/Courtesy Photo

Winter Park Resort doesn’t normally come to mind as a hub for backcountry education. In reality, every December, organizations set up shop at the resort base for the state’s premier backcountry event.

On Saturday, Dec. 10, attendees at the resort’s fifth annual Beacon Bash learned skills for navigating backcountry terrain and checked out gear for sale. Since the bash was located at the base, attendees could hop on the lifts if a run on newly opened groomers called to them (the resort also opened over 400 additional acres of terrain that day).

Bash attendants were blessed with bluebird skies, perfect for practicing backcountry skills, including using beacons and probes during avalanche rescue scenarios, and for demoing skis and splitboards. Participants could try out gear for sale during an uphill tour with the Winter Park Uphill Program.

Winter Park, Weston and OnX Backcountry sponsored the event, which brought together backcountry companies including Salomon, Karakoram, Phantom Snow Industries, SheJumps and more.

Local organizations were also on hand, including Grand County Search and Rescue, Winter Park Ski Patrol Dog Team and Bluebird Backcountry Resort.

Thanks to new technologies and constantly improving gear, more people are being called to the backcountry, where both risk and reward exist. By supporting the growing backcountry community, the Beacon Bash ensured skiers and snowboarders exploring secluded mountains put safety first — and have the gear and know-how to do so.

This event was free to the public all day, and included a raffle where participants could score gear or backcountry education courses.
Meg Soyars/Sky-Hi News
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