Berthoud Beacon Bash – A Grass-Roots Effort
Stop! Who’s missing? Can someone call 911? Are there any other hazards? Turn your transceiver to SEARCH! Do you know what to do next with the beacon search?
Will Coleman and Wade Lancaster created the Berthoud Beacon Bash as a way to promote early-season practice with beacon searches and support the Friends of CAIC.
Originally planned for the summit parking lot of Berthoud Pass, Coleman and Lancaster realized their event had grown bigger than they imagined and they needed to respect forest service rules about organized events on the pass. What to do? Thanks to Winter Park Resorts, the event relocated to the Utah Junction lot at the base of Mary Jane.
Beacon Search Stations
Multiple stations established around the perimeter allowed for participants to go through the basics of using an avalanche transceiver. At the final station, BCA had loaned the Friends of Berthoud Pass a beacon park rig with multiple transmitters and a central unit that controlled up to eight signals.
While waiting for their turn to go through the stations, people could warm up with Bivouac Coffee or grab a brat or hot dog provided by Dog Haus. BCA showed off their new gear while Weston Snowboards challenged people to see how quickly they could transition from ride to split to ride mode on the splitboard. The quickest time ended up being an impressive 1 minute and 21 seconds.
Mountain Fitness Training
In addition to avalanche safety, the event also addressed fitness with Sean Sewell of Colorado Personal Fitness providing a primer of activities and exercises to incorporate into people’s training for activities at altitude.
The timing of the next snow squall couldn’t be any better as the event winded down and everyone gathered with their pink raffle tickets in hand and ready to see who the lucky winners are.