Backcountry Awareness Initiative for University Ski Clubs

Tragically every year young people perish or are seriously injured in the mountains, from being swept to their deaths in avalanches to alcohol related incidents leading to death or injury from hypothermia.  Up to 15,000 students go on university ski trips each winter and statistics show that this age group is most at risk of becoming victims of avalanches or accidents off piste. With some essential basic knowledge many of these accidents could be avoided.

Mountain Tracks, a company of IFMGA mountain guides and one of the UK’s leading providers of off-piste snow sport holidays have teamed up with the Think Hard Campaign to highlight the dangers associated with being in the mountains in winter both in resort and in the backcountry.

Mountain Tracks and Think Hard hope that by launching The Backcountry Awareness Initiative, a series of talks at UK universities at the end of November followed by 1 day courses in the Alps for students on their annual ski trips, students will gain a better understanding of the risks of backcountry skiing & snowboarding off piste. The presentations will focus on the fun that skiers and snowboarders can have in the mountains as long as they are both aware of the perils and the steps they can take to avoid getting into trouble. In contrast, the alpine leg of the course will teach essential skills to minimize the risks and promote safety and awareness.

This is the first year of the initiative and has already been greeted with enthusiasm by 6 universities, and will reach out to over 2,000 students heading out to the Alps in December & January. 
Alex from the Think Hard campaign says “We set up the Think Hard campaign to generate awareness for the risks involved in ski & snowboard trips and this initiative is the logical next step in our campaign.”
Mountain Tracks’ team of highly qualified Mountain Guides will be presenting the talks and leading the 1 day courses. They spend their lives introducing people to the wonderful world of backcountry snow sports and are only too aware of the risks. Nick Parks from Mountain Tracks says “Backcountry snow sports are all about challenge, excitement and fun but at the same time they can be dangerous. Our goal with this initiative is to ensure that everyone understands the hazards out there to minimise the risk.”
The campaign is also supported by Bear Grylls, the adventurer, television presenter and no stranger to dangers in the mountains, says “this is a fantastic initiative helping empower mountain and ski enthusiasts with life-saving skills and Nick Parks & the team are the best and great fun!”

Additional Information

In addition to The Think Hard Campaign the programme is being supported by:
Bear Grylls

For further information contact Chris Parks at Mountain Tracks
020 8123 2978

Posted by davidof on Friday, 12 November, 2010 at 01:53 PM

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