SAFE AS hosting women’s avalanche clinic at Squaw Valley |

SAFE AS hosting women’s avalanche clinic at Squaw Valley

Tribune staff report
Ingrid Backstrom (right, blue jacket) and leads a clinic participant practicing beacon searches and rescue scenarios in the afternoon field session during a past SAFE AS clinic at Snowbird, Utah.
Courtesy Re Wikstrom |

The winter season is fast approaching and with it, the highly-anticipated return of SAFE AS. The most fun and important way to welcome the winter season will return to the area, with pair of one-day workshops scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 8 and Monday, Dec. 8 at Squaw Valley.

SAFE AS (Skiers Advocating and Fostering Education and Avalanche Snow Safety) invites women ages 14 and up with intermediate or better skiing or snowboarding ability to an introductory avalanche course bundled up in a fun-filled day of yoga, classroom and on-hill instruction, food, camaraderie, and an après ski party with an overflowing prize raffle. The SAFE AS curriculum benefits everyone from seasoned backcountry adventurers with previous avalanche education to the merely curious, backcountry and sidecountry novices.

For the third year in a row certified AIARE instructor, Squaw Valley avalanche forecaster, Alaskan heli guide and Warren Miller movie star Lel Tone will lead each one-day snow safety and avalanche course. Professional skiers Jackie Paaso, Michelle Parker, Elyse Saugstad and Ingrid Backstrom along with the expert yoga guidance of Sherry McConkey will assist her. Their aim is to provide critical information and education in a fun, open, encouraging environment, with an emphasis on discussion, participation and hands-on learning.

SAFE AS gives back to local snow safety charities and organizations doing good things in the communities it visits — including HighFives Foundation’s B.A.S.I.C.S. Safety Program, Sierra Avalanche Center, the Northwest Avalanche Center and AIARE’s Project Zero — while educating and stoking out over 150 women per year. This includes two scholarship winners for the Squaw Valley stops sponsored by Tahoe Mountain Sports.

For more info and to register, visit Hang out with SAFE AS on Twitter and Instagram (@safeasclinics) and on Facebook at

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