BC Banter: Avalanche Deaths in Europe Top 75, Grand Traverse Launches Instagram Contest, Sherpas Cinema Release JP Auclair Tribute, First Lady Shreds in Aspen

Avalanche Deaths in Europe Top 75


Swiss Alps [Photo] Steve Evans

To date this season, avalanches have caused 75 skier deaths throughout Europe—a five-year high. Twenty-four of these occurred in France, 20 in Switzerland, 15 in Italy, 14 in Austria and two in Germany, reports wepowder.com. The latest victim, a British skier—one of three skiers killed over the weekend—died in Italy’s Piedmont area when he was carried into a tree, reports Daily Mail. Additionally, 20 skiers have been rescued from avalanches this season.

Hazard warnings abound at European ski areas in anticipation of what is traditionally the busiest weekend of the season. An unstable snowpack, compounded with recent heavy snow and more in the forecast means, “In the current conditions avalanches can release even on a slope of 30 degrees,” Oliver Cousin of the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité told The Telegraph. Current conditions in Switzerland are considered 3 out of 5, or “critically dangerous,” avalanche expert Werner Munter told The Telegraph.

Grand Traverse Launches Instagram Contest

grand-traverseCrested Butte, Colo. The GORE-TEX Grand Traverse, that epic race that starts at midnight and runs 40 miles from Crested Butte, Colo. to Aspen, doesn’t start until March 27. But to fuel the excitement of racers and spectators, they’ve launched an Instagram contest, searching for stories and images of winter adventure. From February 9 through February 27, tag a photo on Instagram with #emgstories and @emgtskirace to join the conversation and to win numerous prizes from race sponsors, including Dynafit, Outdoor Research, Icebreaker and GORE-TEX. Find more information on the Instagram contest here, and details on the race here.

Sherpas Cinema Release JP Auclair Tribute

Whistler, B.C. Sherpas Cinema has released a video tribute for JP Auclair, the celebrated freeskiing pioneer and Sherpas Cinema Co-Director who died in an avalanche in Patagonia on September 29, 2014. The video accompanies the Auclair Fund auction, containing Auclair signature skis, hats, artwork and more. Proceeds from the auction support his son, Leo, and partner, Ingrid. Read Sherpas Cinema’s tribute to Auclair here.

we love you jp from Alpine Initiatives on Vimeo.

First Lady Shreds in Aspen


Shred ready Michelle Obama [Photo] Joyce N. Boghosian, White House photographer

Aspen, Colo. Carrying on her tradition for the fourth year, First Lady Michelle Obama—and possibly her daughters, Sasha and Malia—is in Aspen, Colo., for a weekend on snow, reports Aspen Daily News. Though the First Lady is expected to shred under 50-degrees skies at either Buttermilk Mountain or at nearby Vail, the President will be in Palm Springs, California, likely teeing off. As this coming weekend contains both Presidents’ Day and Valentine’s Day, it is unknown if Mr. and Mrs. Obama will be able to convene. It’s also unknown if the First Lady will head into the backcountry. Calls to the White House were not immediately returned. Learn more here.

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