AABBS Youth Avy Skills Training......................................................................................
Avalanche Awareness Beyond the Boundaries (AABBS) is a non-profit society formed to provide free Avalanche Skills Training to youth between the ages of 13 to 18 in the Kootenay area.
To raise awareness and educate youth in decisions making about backcountry travel and avalanche safety by providing age appropriate courses in the West Kootenay region.
AABBS is a non-profit society founded in the spring of 2009 by a group of Nelson ski industry and business professionals concerned about the increasing numbers of teens venturing out into the back country without any avalanche and/or mountain safety training.
Thanks to the generosity of the many donors supporting the effort, the AABBS provided free Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) approved Avalanche Skills Training (AST) courses to approximately 100 Nelson and area youth between the ages of 13 to 18 since 2010.
To date we have also provided five, one day Avalanche Awareness Courses to approximately 175 youth aimed to raise awareness and prepare these youth for the AST 1 course. The fundraising efforts for the society kicked off at the 2009 Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Festival held at Whitewater through a silent auction where the initial seed money of $5,000 was raised. The AABBS was named beneficiary for the Travis Steeger Memorial Fund set up after his tragic death and donations on his behalf have been ongoing. The first of large corporate donations was given to The AABBS by the Nelson & District Credit Union in the form of a cheque for $2,500. A gear swap in 2010 raised $775, as well as the Avalanche Rescue Seminar in December hosted by Whitewater and instructed by Manuel Genswein raising a further $650. Furthermore, Whitewater's forgotten pass funds and donations from the use of Whitewater's Beacon Basin training grounds have contributed another $135. Ongoing monies will be raised through the AABBS membership drive and private donations. The Kootenay Mountain Culture magazine's popular Backyard Booty Fildm Showcase donated all the proceeds from the night's bar to the fund and there were some thirsty filmgoers!
Fundraising for the AABBS will be ongoing into 2012/2013 winter season and will once again be kicked off with the Kootenay Coldsmoke Powderfest slated for February 22, 23 and 24th of 2013. The board is planning to pursue more corporate sponsorship through the various trusts, foundations and community events in the area.
The AABBS has striven to deliver a slightly modified version of the CAA approved AST 1, drawing on the instructors experience and feedback from the youth in order to maximize interaction and engagement. It was difficult for some youth to access the necessary equipment required for the AST course. The society board has since provided 12 complete safety equipment packs with all of the necessary backcountry gear.
If you are interested in making a donation or volunteering to help the AABBS meet future goals please contact Kirk and/or Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com or call 1800.666.9420 or 250.354.4944.
Course Dates for the 2012/2013 Winter Season:
1) January 4th (evening), Jan 5th (1/2 day), Jan 12th (all day in the field) and Jan 13th (all day in the field)
2) February 8th (evening), Feb 9th (1/2 day), Feb 16th (all day in the field) and Feb 17th (all day in the field)
This is a free course for youth with limited capacity. Registration is on a first come, first served basis. If you are interested please call 250.354.4944. to register or have your name put on the wait list.
........................................................................."Much of Whitewater’s tree skiing is fairly steep but the more consistent intermediate pitch of the trees skier’s left of the Glory Ridge chair are a great training area for those with less experience in the trees. Whitewater’s usually best-in-interior-BC lift-served snow conditions and low skier density are also major virtues." Tony Crocker