support from:

Team Profiles:
Ryan Koupal

Ellis Smith

Josh Holleb

Abrie Brutsche

Guest Althletes 2010:
Austin Gibney

Andy Wenberg

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Inaugural Season Discounts!

Register in a 2010/11 guided tour before Oct 1 and receive $100 off!  Groups of 5 or more receive 10% off the total cost!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Avalanche Courses in Kyrgyzstan

Slab avalanche in Kyrgyzstan's Terskey Alatoo mountains, March 2010.

As the sport of backcountry skiing/riding progresses and innovations take root, skiers and riders around the world are increasingly taking bigger chances - seeking bigger lines, dropping bigger cliffs, chasing after the deepest powder.

This trend, however, has led to a spike in avalanche-related deaths, even in regions with solid infrastructure and avalanche resources.  In recent years, the US, Canada, and many countries in Europe have reported as many as 20-30+ avalanche fatalities per year.  Many of these deaths have resulted from inexperienced skiers/riders seeking out adventure in the backcountry, and also experienced skiers/riders chasing out steep routes in poor conditions.

Over the winter of 2009-10, 36 total avalanche fatalities were reported in the US, of which half were skiers or snowboarders. (source:

In Switzerland, 3/4 of the avalanche fatalities in 2009-10 involved ski tourers.  That's 20 out of 27 avalanche-related deaths between 21 December and 15 April. (source:

In France, 5 skiers were caught, buried and killed in avalanches as early as 2 January 2010. (source:

In Canada, avalanche fatalities have averaged 14 per year for the 1998-2007 period. (source:

The Canadian Avalanche Centre ( reports from a study of avalanche deaths in Canada over the past 2 decades that the most common mistakes made by backcountry recreationists include:
  • Poor trip preparation
  • Lack of knowledge of recognizing avalanche terrain
  • Inability to assess snow stability
  • Unskilled backcountry search and rescue techniques
And as the buzz spreads to places with limited infrastructure and resources (that's Russia and other CIS countries included!), more and more people are putting themselves at risk of being involved in an avalanche incident.  Also, ski resorts in many of these places do not manage their backcountry or even their in-bounds slopes!

Fortunately, a unique opportunity is now available to anyone in Russia or any CIS country this winter to receive the equivalent of the US AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) Level One Avalanche Certification. 

Unless you want to become a statistic, you have to check this out!!

Friday, May 7, 2010