The 2023 Utah Avalanche Center Backcountry Benefit party

The 2023 Utah Avalanche Center Backcountry Benefit party

Beth Lopez |

The 2023 Utah Avalanche Center Backcountry Benefit party:

Why we’re supporting, and why you should too

On the evening of Thursday, September 14th, a familiar scene will come to life in the Black Diamond store Parking Lot here in Salt Lake. Backcountry skiers and boarders in full pray-for-snow mode will convene with both revelry and avalanche safety in mind. Because, as we rub elbows with our winter community and plan joyfully for all the powder days to come, we gather in support of the organization that works 24/7 to keep us safe from avalanche accidents. And that’s the Utah Avalanche Center. Backcountry skiing is free. But forecasting avalanche danger, broadcasting it to an entire winter-sport population, and educating the masses about how to stay out of trouble … that sure isn’t free. In fact, it costs quite a lot. It’s why the annual Utah Avalanche Center Backcountry Benefit fundraiser party in September is just one of the ways every local (and visiting) backcountry skier or rider ought to get involved. To pay our due, to keep the team going. The forecasters are up at 3am on winter nights to synthesize the previous day’s numbers, reports, and observations. Instructors arise at 5am to go stand in the cold to meet students. Staff pore over their laptops late into the evening after investigating and filming avalanche scenes, compiling in-depth writeups to properly inform the public about lessons and takeaways. They maintain a robust website and app that requires an entire team to design, develop, and update daily—complete with hosting daily observations from locals and the latest instructional materials. They keep all their social channels updated day to day with a bevy of observations, warnings, and update videos. They post up at major trailheads on powder-day weekends to remind skiers to stay safe. Then, they all hustle all summer long to plan the next season—filling in logistics, cooking up new ways to educate and inform, and fundraising their guts out to keep it all going. Thanks to the Utah Avalanche Center, we not only know where to safely tour but where the best snow will be—what people are seeing out on the skintrack, where the soft, stable good stuff was found, and where we might want to try heading out on our next adventures.

There are a million ways to help. All of them make an impact.

The UAC knows most of us skier and boarder types don’t make bank. It’s why they gladly accept donations of any sort, large or small, and they creatively come up with many ways to give that give you something valuable in return:
  • Buy retail goods on their site: The UAC sells lots of stuff that you’d like to have anyway, from trucker hats to beanies to ski gloves, hoodies, and neck buffs. So you may as well purchase a rad UAC logo item. While you’re wearing it, you showcase your support—and when you buy it, the proceeds go toward funding the center.
  • Attend a class: Everyone can benefit from avy safety instruction, whether you’re new to backcountry travel or you’re a long-timer. When you sign up for a half-day, full-day, or multi-day avalanche course through the UAC, you’re supporting the UAC while fulfilling their mission to make the hills a safer place to be.
  • Buy lift tickets on their site: Even if you mostly backcountry ski, you probably occasionally spend a day at one of our local resorts. When you do so, snap up your day passes in advance on the UAC’s website. By doing so, you make sure some of the proceeds go to the avalanche center.
  • Attend the annual Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop: This annual multi-day workshop is held every fall in November, featuring presentations and insights from pros, guides, forecasters, and accident survivors who can share important stories for everyone’s benefit. All the money from your registration fee helps the center—and makes you more informed.
In addition to those options to support, we’ve saved our favorite for last: attend the annual Utah Avalanche Center Backcountry Benefit fall fundraiser party. It’s the ultimate bang for your buck—you support the UAC by coming to a rad party in the company of all your skier and boarder friends and, together, get amped about the coming winter. The ticket includes your dinner, a live band, a ticket for their drawing, and two drinks (score!) and costs less than your average night out. Meanwhile, every cent spent helps the fantastic cause of the UAC, in addition to simply being a blast. They offer discounted tickets for students, too, encouraging everyone to get in on the stoke. So if you’re free on September 14th, 2023, be sure to snap up your ticket. We’ll be there, repping in our Geartrade booth and ready to say hi. Get your tickets here > Beth Lopez is a seasoned writer and creative director who loves to tell tales of adventure and discovery—and finds writing a powerful way to give a voice to people, causes, and places. Beth runs amok in the Wasatch mountains when untethered from her computer. She believes there’s no such thing as a bad ski day and considers animals her favorite people. Don’t tell her mother about her Instagram mountaineering photos. Follow us on Instagram + Facebook: Tag us @geartrade with the hashtag #unnewoutdoor #wearitout on your post or story for a chance to be featured on our page.

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