Part 1 of 7: Alaska’s Hatcher Pass receives grant for new weather station
Annual Avalanche Alliance sweepstakes benefits motorized community, rider safety
The 2022 Avalanche Alliance sweepstakes provided seven grants ranging from $2,100 to $10,000 to national Avalanche Centers in support of motorized-focused projects and programs to improve motorized snow safety.
This seven-part series details what’s happening at Avalanche Centers across the country and how the sweepstakes is strengthening the motorized snowsports community's connection with Avalanche Centers by supporting the work they are doing for snowmobilers, snowbikers and more.
Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center - Palmer, Alaska
Grant amount: $5,000
For the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center (HPAC), a vibrant motorized community and one of Southcentral Alaska’s prime backcountry recreation areas, this year’s $5,000 sweepstakes grant will provide a new weather station and a new webcam for the motorized zone.
“Right now, two webcams are up in the non-motorized zone, so this one will give us some more data for the motorized side of the area,” said founding HPAC Board Chair, Andy Dennis. “We get pretty good snow data. The main thing that Hatcher Pass struggles with is wind, and so we often don’t have a whole lot of data from the motorized zones on what the wind is doing, so this will help us there.”
The HPAC currently provides avalanche forecasts for a variety of users, including backcountry skiers, cross country skiers, hikers and ski-bikers, and this year’s grant allows staff to deliver a more accurate motorized zone forecast for snowmachiners to plan their ride safely.
Dennis credited the Avalanche Alliance for helping the HPAC overcome a lack of weather resources in the motorized zone – HPAC continues to receive more online public observations (here) from motorized user groups than ever before – a valuable tool in building a comprehensive avalanche forecast for motorized users.
“We're definitely doing quite a bit more snow machine forecasts with the support from the Avalanche Alliance for the community as well,” Dennis added. “To know that the Avalanche Alliance is behind what we're doing, and it's not just us operating in a vacuum – we're trying to build more resources and avalanche awareness in the motorized community – it just feels really good.”
Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center
The 2023 Avalanche Alliance Sweepstakes, which closes December 10, 2023, features a customized grand prize 2023 Polaris Patriot Boost RMK Khaos Slash 165 2.75" upgraded with a custom ArcticFX Graphics wrap, IceAge Performance Rails, HELLFIRE wheels, STRYKER A-Arms and ELEVATE spindles, SLP MoHawk skis, head, silencer and clutch kit, ZRP master cylinder cover, a lightweight rotor, titanium bolt kit and billet steering post, Pro Armor Bumpers, Exit shocks, Zbroz pull handle, Zbroz stirrups and Seat Concepts seat. First, second and third prizes include a Marlon Xplore PRO II sled deck, KLIM head-to-toe winter package, an Arctic Cat ZR 200 and an Ortovox safety package.
Now in its fourth year, the Avalanche Alliance sweepstakes unites snowmobilers, snowbikers, manufacturers, avalanche centers and riders in a collective effort to endorse avalanche safety initiatives. Proceeds from the 2023 sweepstakes will be awarded to Avalanche Centers in support of motorized-focused programs with the goal to join forces and raise funds for avalanche education scholarships while expanding avalanche forecasts in popular motorized areas across the nation.
For more info on the 2023 Avalanche Alliance sweepstakes, with donations starting at $25, visit: https://www.tapkat.org/american-institute-for-avalanche-research-education/Wk1eqk
About Avalanche Alliance
Avalanche Alliance’s mission is to raise avalanche awareness and improve backcountry safety for motorized users. With a full spectrum of focuses ranging from sponsoring beacon check stations to supporting avalanche educators, Avalanche Alliance is at the forefront of avalanche safety improvement. For more information, visit avalanche-alliance.org.
AIARE was established in 1998 as a nonprofit educational organization to address the need for a nationally recognized curriculum for avalanche education in the USA. Since that time AIARE has developed research-based Professional and Recreational avalanche training for backcountry users in the United States, South America and Europe. AIARE’s Recreational Program is represented by over 115 course providers and650 AIARE-trained instructors; the Professional Program designs and instructs workplace safety training for professionals working in the avalanche industry. Through these programs, AIARE educates over 19,000 students annually.
In 2017, AIARE created an official Motorized Program aimed to increase educational resources, participation and awareness in the motorized community. Working alongside experts in the snowmobile community, we’ve trained 48 snowmobilers to professional instructor standards, and separately 52 have received professional certificates to date. AIARE’s created motorized-specific training for recreational users is available across the US west.
AIARE’s partnership with the Live Large University (LLU) scholarship fund is intended to support motorized backcountry riders. While AIARE has a robust network of 115 providers in the US, currently 9 providers exclusively teach motorized-specific programming. The Live Large University scholarship’s goal is to increase the number of trained motorized professionals, improving the AIARE network's ability to serve the motorized community. The LLU fund awards full and partial scholarships to students taking AIARE Motorized Recreational Courses, PRO 1, PRO 2 and Instructor Training Courses. For more information, visit avtraining.org.
KLIM Technical Riding Gear is a global leader in designing, developing, sourcing and distributing the most advanced powersports apparel for snowmobile, motorcycle and off-road riding. Utilizing the world’s most premium technologies in waterproof, breathable, durable and comfortable materials, KLIM offers gear for the most demanding riders. Driven by the continual feedback and input from dedicated test pilots and passionate customers, KLIM strives to do one thing above all – enhance the riding experience. For more information, visit KLIM.com.