SAFE AS clinics on tap this weekend at Squaw Valley | SierraSun.com

SAFE AS clinics on tap this weekend at Squaw Valley

Special to the Sun

With the first snow dusting peaks across the country, SAFE AS clinics are returning to various resorts to educate and inspire female skiers and snowboarders in unique, professionally taught avalanche clinics.

In its fifth year, SAFE AS (Skiers Advocating and Fostering Education and Snow Safety) is conducting four women’s specific clinics, as well as its first class open to guys.

On Sunday, Dec. 11, at Squaw Valley, professional skier Cody Townsend will be on hand to share his experiences and to provide a fresh perspective on decision-making in the backcountry.

Special guest professional snowboarder Kimmy Fasani will join the Squaw Valley women’s clinics on Saturday, Dec. 10, and Monday, Dec. 12, while returning favorite pro snowboarder Robin Van Gyn will join the Washington events Dec. 17 at Crystal Mountain and Dec. 18 at Stevens Pass.

SAFE AS was founded by professional skiers Elyse Saugstad, Ingrid Backstrom, Michelle Parker, Jackie Paaso and Lel Tone, along with philanthropist and yogi Sherry McConkey. It aims to empower backcountry snow enthusiasts through positive snow safety education.

Each one-day event presents participants with the classroom and on-mountain curriculum of the “AIARE Intro to Avalanche” course, capped with morning yoga, beacon and group rescue practice, and an apres party and fundraiser with refreshments and tons of raffle prizes.

Since its inception in 2011, the SAFE AS tour has traveled to four different states, reached over 600 participants ranging in age from 15-70, and raised nearly $20,000 for local nonprofits including the High Fives Foundation and Sierra Avalanche Center.

SAFE AS offers a range of partial and full scholarships to help ensure that all enthusiasts are able to take part. In 2015 alone, 17 full and partial scholarships were awarded.

This article was provided on behalf of the SAFE AS team. For more information on scholarships, discounts, dates and sign-ups, go to http://www.safeasclinics.com For direct contact: safeasclinics@gmail.com