Verde Presents Avalanche Risk-Management Seminar During SIA, 2013

Access, both to winter-safety gear and to backcountry terrain, is growing exponentially each season to skiers and riders of all ability levels.

A perfect storm could result, which will yield more injuries and casualties if not addressed collectively by professionals within the outdoor and snowsports industries. This is the impetus for the Verde PR & Consulting 2013 SIA panel, “The Business of the Backcountry,” taking place on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at the SIA show in the Backcountry Experience Area, booth #4571.

Verde PR, a full-service brand communications, social / digital media, content, branding and consulting agency, founded in the active outdoor lifestyle markets, continues its collaborative industry panel seminars taking place at Outdoor Retailer, SnowSports Industries America and Interbike trade shows, with “The Business of the Backcountry.” Panelists will discuss proactive solutions for the industry to address the critical need for end-consumer education and risk awareness around backcountry travel.

The seminar marks the first time that a group of outdoor and snowsports industries professionals gathers to create a blueprint for proactive management of end-consumer risk associated with selling the experience of backcountry skiing and riding.

“Business of the Backcountry” panelists include: Jones Snowboards and POW founder Jeremy Jones, Julbo athlete and legendary freeskier Glen Plake, ESPN.com freeskiing editor Megan Michelson, Backcountry.com Director of Merchandising Hud Knight, Vice President at Backcountry Access, Bruce Edgerly, Ethan Greene, Director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center and Ethan Mueller, General Manager of Crested Butte. Verde’s founder and CEO, Kristin Carpenter-Ogden, will moderate the panel.

“Verde is proud to facilitate and present this much-needed, educational seminar to all SIA attendees. The topic of end-consumer avalanche awareness, specifically concerning access and winter-safety gear, is front and center within the outdoors and snowsports industries presently,” said Carpenter-Ogden. “This life-line topic demands a proactive solution that only dedicated, seasoned professionals within the outdoor and snowsports industries can create. We’re shooting for a shortened learning curve, a sustainable education process and an adoptable solution that will keep the participation growth strong while concurrently raising awareness of safety in the backcountry.”

Panelist Biographies:

Megan Michelson is the Freeskiing editor for ESPN.com and a freelance writer, based in Tahoe City, California. Formerly, she worked as an editor at Skiing Magazine and Outside Magazine. She’s an avid backcountry skier and last winter, she was involved in the fatal avalanche at Stevens Pass, Washington, that killed three people. She recently spearheaded a six-part avalanche safety series on ESPN.com called “The Avalanche Problem” and she wrote about her experience at the Stevens Pass slide in a feature for Outside magazine called “Tunnel Vision.”

Jeremy Jones is an award-winning filmmaker, entrepreneur, environmentalist and snowboarding pioneer, Jeremy Jones is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished big mountain riders of all time.  Named a 2013 National Geographic “Adventurer of the Year” and voted nine times “Best Big Mountain Rider of the Year” by Snowboarder Magazine, Jeremy has starred in over 50 snowboard movies worldwide, including 2012’s highly acclaimed Further, the second installment in the Jeremy Jones snowboard movie trilogy: Deeper, Further, Higher. He has been named X-Dance Action Sports “Athlete of the Year” and 2012 “Outdoor Ambassador of the Year” by Outdoor Retailer. Jeremy is the founder and CEO of Jones Snowboards and founder of Protect Our Winters, a global cause uniting the winter sports community against climate change.

Glen Plake is a skier/mountaineer/sportsman/U.S. Ski Hall of Fame inductee who has dedicated his life to the adventures in snow. Plake began his career as a featured skier in Greg Stumps early films Blizzard of Aahhhh’s and License to Thrill. Glen spent years ski racing and on the U.S. National Mogul team and then he began to change the perception of pro sports and is often referred to as the pioneer of action sports. Glen has had first descents in Europe, Japan, North/South America and Asia. In 2011 he was honored by the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame and has been inducted into the “Class of 2010” and is forever part of ski history.

Dr. Ethan Greene has approached snow and avalanches from both a practical and theoretical perspective. He was raised in Boulder, Colorado and was introduced to skiing at age three in Rocky Mountain National Park. Ethan has worked as a ski patroller and avalanche forecaster in Montana, Utah, and Colorado. He has studied weather and snow in Utah, Colorado, and Switzerland. He is the lead author of Snow, Weather, and Avalanches: Observation Guidelines for Avalanche Programs in the United States, and coauthor of The International Classification for Seasonal Snow on the Ground. He lives in Leadville, Colorado working as the director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, and heads the Snow and Avalanche division of the International Association of Cryospheric Science.

Bruce Edgerly (Edge) is the co-founder and VP at Backcountry Access (BCA), a leading manufacturer of avalanche rescue equipment. Before co-founding BCA, he was an environmental engineer and a contributing editor for Powder and Couloir magazines. “Edge” is responsible for creating BCA’s progressive, education-based marketing program. He has presented over a dozen papers on avalanche rescue techniques, “strategic shoveling,” and human factors at the International Snow Science Workshop and International Commission on Alpine Rescue.

Ethan Mueller and his family got into the ski business in 1982, buying Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, eventually expanding to Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire and Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado.  One could say Ethan was “born” into the business at the age of five. Having lived and worked within the ski industry much of his life, Ethan has a strong passion for skiing and snowboarding. Since moving to Crested Butte in 2004 when his family purchased the resort, Ethan has continued his passion and expanded his personal interests, enjoying backcountry skiing and the uphill movement.

Hud Knight began working in the industry as a teenager in the mid 80’s and has been skiing for 35 years now. He worked at White Pine Touring, which is a specialty outdoor store and guide service in Park City. Hud then shifted gears and worked for Surefoot and now currently works as the Director/GMM of all the HG Divisions at Backcountry.com.

Date: January 31, 2013

Time: 1:30 p.m.

Location: Backcountry Experience Area booth #4571

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