ES Avalanche Center kicks off season

Kit Deslauriers, champion American skier

Kit Deslauriers, champion American skier

Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center holds annual Season Kickoff Event  (Press Release)

Mammoth Lakes, Calif. – Dig into winter by attending the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center’s annual Season Kickoff Event and Fundraiser on Saturday, January 11, 2014. Sharpen your avalanche awareness skills by day, then sit back, relax and enjoy a presentation and prizes by night.

This year’s event features keynote speaker Kit Deslauriers, champion American skier and the first person to ski down the Seven Summits, the highest points on each of the seven continents.

Deslauriers’s presentation is appropriately titled, “Skiing the Seven Summits,” and will begin at 7 p.m.

Doors open for the evening program at Eagle Lodge at 6 p.m. and tickets are only $12. Shortly following Deslauriers’s presentation there will be a huge raffle. Don’t miss your chance to win a new pair of skis, a snowboard, or another great prize donated by local businesses and corporate sponsors. Also enjoy light snacks and a no-host bar while you bid on silent auction items throughout the evening.

Earlier in the day, beginning at 9:30 a.m., head over to the Mountainside Conference Center at Mammoth Mountain’s Main Lodge for free daytime avalanche clinics. Register at 9:30 a.m., then enjoy the morning presentations from the ESAC USFS forecaster Sue Burak and meteorologists from the Reno office of NOAA from 10-11 a.m. Take a break for lunch and then attend avalanche seminars from noon-1:30 p.m. and again from 2-3:30 p.m.

Daytime clinic schedules allow you to choose from the following: Mammoth Mountain Avalanche Terrain Tour, Snowpack Observations for Backcountry Travelers, and Avalanche Rescue Clinic @ Beacon Basin. Local backcountry mountain guides will lead the clinics, and all of the daytime events are free and open to the public.

The event is being put on by the Friends of Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center, which is a 501(c) 3 non-profit that supports the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center in fundraising and outreach. ESAC’s mission is to advise and educate the public on avalanche conditions in the backcountry of the Eastern Sierra. It accomplishes this through a partnership with the Inyo National Forest and through the support of Inyo and Mono counties, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, and Mammoth Mountaineering Supply. Funds that are raised during the Season Kickoff, other events, and grants help fund the avalanche forecaster’s salary and overall Center operations. The Season Kickoff Event is also the main membership drive of the season.

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