Snowmobile club gets serious about safety 

Black Tusk Snowmobile Club offers two-day course

By Andrew Mitchell

Advancements is snowmobile technology have made it possible for sledders to get just about anywhere in the backcountry, no matter how steep the grade or how deep the powder.

While that freedom has contributed to the growing popularity of snowmobiling, it has also resulted in a growing number of break-downs, avalanches and other accidents deep in the mountains — sometimes far out of the immediate reach of emergency services.

For that reason the Black Tusk Snowmobile Club is doing what it can to make sure riders are prepared for just about anything.

From Feb. 3 to 4 the club will be hosting a weekend-long Alpine Safety Course for sledders, based at the BTSC’s facilities on Brohm Ridge. Participants will receive an avalanche awareness course, conduct beacon exercises, and learn basic crevasse rescue and overnight survival, and take or recertify their Level One First Aid ticket. All courses will be provided by accredited instructors.

The cost is $250 per person, including accommodation, meals, snacks, a social, and all course materials. For sledders aged 16 or less the cost is $75.

As well, people who want to wind down, enjoy the view, get first pick of the bunks, and get in some sledding are welcome to come up on Friday, Feb. 2 for just $20 extra.

There will be opportunities to enjoy sledding in the terrain around the cabin, as well as a social on Saturday evening to raise money for the club’s grooming efforts.

All participants should bring the basics of avalanche rescue — beacon, probe, and shovel — although the instructor will have a limited amount of demonstration equipment available on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants are also asked to bring a sleeping bag, and a packed lunch for Saturday. All other gear will be provided by instructors.

The weekend gets underway at 11 a.m. on Saturday and will wrap up at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

To take part contact Don Worthington at 604-984-7430, or Erin Hart at 604-836-6476.

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