The Sierra Nevada mountains are a playground for first-timers and adventurers. At the same time, YOU are responsible to stay safe when you venture out into the wilderness. In the winter, this means avalanche awareness. With the first storms depositing a healthy blanket of snow, the 3rd annual Tahoe Backcountry Safety Awareness Week couldn’t come at a better time.
An Opportunity To Get Your Head Right
Starting on December 12th and running through December 17th, the Tahoe Backcountry Safety Awareness Week is a free virtual content and in-person events sessions designed to inform backcountry users of all experience levels of the hazards the backcountry poses in the Truckee-Tahoe area. An opportunity to refresh everyone’s avalanche preparedness skills and a chance to heighten awareness.
What To Expect
Developed by a partnership of community leaders such as Take Care Tahoe, Sustainable Truckee, Sierra Avalanche Center, Tahoe Backcountry Alliance, and many more, each day’s content is centered around a theme for participants to become more knowledgeable backcountry travelers. Starting things off, it begins with “Welcome to the New Backcountry” on December 12th. Participants will learn about the current state of the backcountry, the associated risks, and how to get started.
Throughout the week, other themes will include:
“Intro to the Backcountry and the Risks Traveling In It”
“Get the Gear”
“Learn How Avalanches Happen And How To Avoid Them”
“Motors in the Backcountry”
“Learn From The Best – Athlete Summit”
“Get Out And Test That Gear”
What’s In The Forecast For 2022
This year the week is more focused on in-person events and less on online content than past years. Here’s a few of the events that we want to highlight will be happening this year:
Backcountry Film Festival – Tuesday, December 13
Hosted by the Tahoe Backcountry Alliance, Tahoe Mountain Sports, Winter Wildlands Alliance and Village Ski Loft, the Backcountry Film Festival will be held at Alibi Ale Works’ Incline Public House. A celebration of the human-powered experience and a gathering place for the backcountry snowsports community, tickets for this event are limited and available on a first come, first served basis. General admission $10; VIP $50 and includes guaranteed seating in front rows, drink ticket, swag and raffle tickets. Doors at 6:00 p.m, screening starts at 6:30 p.m. Reserve tickets here.
Changing Snowpack, Hazards, and Backcountry Safety – Wednesday, December 14
Hosted in person at the UC Davis Tahoe Science Center in Incline Village, join Andrew Schwartz, lead scientist at the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab for a discussion on snowpack trends occurring in the Sierra Nevada, how they are redefining our fire seasons and natural disasters, and their impacts on the recreation and safety of outdoor enthusiasts. Schwartz will also cover actions that can be taken to ensure safety in the backcountry and measures to curb the loss of snow. Admission is $10 and free for students with a student ID. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., lecture begins at 6:00 p.m. Register here.
Backcountry User Panel and Live Music at RMU – Thursday, December 15
Hosted in person at RMU in Truckee, listen to a panel discussion about sharing access and best etiquette in the backcountry, featuring professional skier Daron Rahlves, backcountry guide Jen Callahan, Anthony Cupaiuolo from Tahoe Backcountry Alliance, Todd Wold with Lake Tahoe Snowmobilers, and a representative from the U.S. Forest Service. The panel will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., followed by live music. No registration required.
Your Brain Is The Most Important Tool
We can’t stress this enough: The most important tool in your tool belt for backcountry adventure is to get educated. Although this is not a substitute for a true avalanche clinic, the Tahoe Backcountry Safety Awareness Week is a great place to begin and start warming up your brain for the upcoming season.
Registration and the full event schedule will be found here.