Mar 10 2014

Project Zero launches Know the Snow Contest


Google Earth view of terrain where two were killed in an avalanche on Feb. 15, 2014.

Google Earth view of terrain where two were killed in an avalanche on Feb. 15, 2014.

A recent post by a friend on Farcebook made me realize there are still an awful lot of people unwittingly relying on luck for survival when they head out of bounds for fresh tracks. He did a quick survey at the OB gate and found less than 10% of those going out had basic safety gear like a beacon, shovel, and probe. It seems all many folks need is a nod of approval overheard in a chairlift line professing “the snow’s stable, it’s all good.” Obviously they were missing the most important piece of safety gear, a brain that is engaged in considering the consequences of snow conditions in the wild.

Which is but one example of why North American avalanche safety organizations are teaming up to raise awareness about avalanche danger when skiing out-of-bounds, whether that’s sidecountry or deep in the backcountry. They’re issuing a challenge to skiers and snowboarders: Make a 4-minute video that shows the proper preparation for riding beyond resort boundaries, and your film could become a tool for waking fellow BC Riders up to the dangers that prey upon novice through expert skiers. Use your camera to tell the story about how you and your crew get ready to safely explore beyond the resort boundary and you’ll have a great chance to win the following prizes:

• A two-day trip for two at Monashee Powder Snowcats in the snowbelt of BC’s interior
• Two 4-day Gold Passes to any resort in the United States
• Backcountry Access Float 22 airbag pack
• Liberty skis
• GoPro Hero 3

The videos will be posted on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/groups/knowthesnow) and promoted by GoPro and other partners. The contest will run during the last three weeks of winter: March 1 – 21. The final winner will be determined by a combination of most views and an expert panel. The winning videos will be announced in late March. “Our goal is to simplify what’s involved in avalanche terrain preparation,” said Tom Murphy, head of the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education. To keep the momentum going, the project will continue through next season with expert editing help from Sherpas Cinema. A final highlight reel will be created with the best video submissions and broadcast at ski events and major retailers starting in November, 2014.

These are the organizations involved in this project:
American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education
Canadian Avalanche Centre
Colorado Avalanche Information Center
National Ski Areas Association
National Ski Patrol
Northwest Avalanche Center
Snowsports Industries of America
Utah Avalanche Center
For more details on the contest, go to knowthesnow.com

© 2014