BootDoctors: Raising Backcountry Awareness, 12/2

BootDoctors’ bread and butter is equipping people with high-performing and perfect-fitting gear. But the crew at BootDoctors also wants its patrons, friends and community members to be safe and smart when they take that gear into the big, gnarly and potentially dangerous backcountry of the San Juan Mountains.

Fresh tracks in the backcountry. [Photo by Katie Klingsporn]

That’s why the local gear shop is co-sponsoring and organizing the second annual Backcountry Awareness Night. The event, a fundraiser for San Miguel County Search and Rescue, will take place on Saturday, Dec. 2 at High Pie Pizzeria & Tap Room.

The idea of the night, said BootDoctors’ Group Sales Director Bryce Young, is twofold. First, to raise safety awareness and promote education among backcountry users. Second, to give a hand to the mostly-volunteer team that is called called on to help people who find themselves in trouble in the backcountry.

“The bottom line is we do a slideshow presentation for Search and Rescue, we offer resources for people on how to take avy classes and read snowpack, then we show an avalanche film from [Colorado Avalanche Information Center],” he said.

Following that, the audience will be treated to some films that are purely about skiing.

Because, “you gotta have some fun in there,” Young explained. 

The event was hatched after Young was ruminating on the loss of several friends in backcountry accidents as well as the rescue of many others from life threatening situations over the years. Realizing how much the Telluride community depends on the mostly volunteer efforts of its San Miguel County Search and Rescue crew, he and Kelli Gleason of the BootDoctors began brainstorming on ways to increase folks’ preparedness for backcountry adventures that would also support a good cause. The Backcountry Awareness/SAR Fundraiser was born.

The event will feature information on backcountry education opportunities and San Miguel County Search and Rescue, a slate of short adventure-related films and drawings for prizes that include a Dakine ABS pack and GoPro from BootDoctors, an Avy 1 class from Mountain Trip and a pair of 2018 skis from Faction. Each event ticket counts as a chance to win, with ticket proceeds being funneled to SAR.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for beers and pizza (High Pie will donate a portion of the night’s food sales to SMC Search and Rescue.)

Drawings, presentations and films will begin at 7 p.m. These start off with a short presentation about San Miguel County Search and Rescue and why it should matter to backcountry users. (Hint: its volunteer members bail out lost hikers, injured climbers and skiers swept up in avalanches.)

Representatives will also give an overview of Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search & Rescue Cards, which insure that expenses are covered in the case of a backcountry rescue. Those cards will be be available for purchase at the event.

Also available: a selection of backcountry gear on super sale. Folks can bring in their old transceivers and get $75 off a new Ortovox S3+ transceiver; BCA BC Link Radios will be available for $125.

Following a prize drawing, participants will be treated to a night of short films that will include the Telluride premiere of “This Is Home” by the Faction Collective, plus the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s “Know Before You Go.”

Telluride’s Mountainfilm will also present several films, including “Into Twin Galaxies” and “GoPro: Line of the Winter.”

Tickets are available at BootDoctors’ stores and High Pie Pizzeria & Tap Room.

Watch the trailer for “This is Home.”


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Katie Klingsporn

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