The North Face today launched a 14-city KNOW Boundaries Snow Safety Tour, which partners top athletes, including, snowboarder Lucas Debari and mountaineer Conrad Anker, with The North Face and REI stores around the country to provide valuable insight on the knowledge, skills and training required for safe backcountry travel.

“Over the years, we’ve seen that backcountry exploration in the winter months has grown in popularity, and when you’re exploring new zones, having the right gear is essential. But understanding how far you can push the limits can mean the difference between coming home safely or not,” said Aaron Carpenter, vice president of marketing for The North Face. “Our mission is to provide insight on how to stay safe when heading off the beaten path and into the backcountry.”

The North Face, the original big mountain company with a heritage steeped in snow sports, also partnered with Teton Gravity Research to create the video series.  The series five-part KNOW Boundaries video series is designed to raise awareness about snow safety and the real dangers of avalanches  and features TGR Lead Guide Kent Scheler, The North Face athletes, including  Mark Carter, Xavier De Le Rue and Jimmy Chin, as they educate viewers about various aspects of snow and avalanche safety. The 3-5 minute videos focus on topics including weather, snowpack, terrain selection and red flags of the backcountry, as well as personal tips from the professionals who have first-hand avalanche experience.

“There are a lot of things you can do to keep yourself out of an avalanche. Having just survived one, I can tell you that you really don’t want to be caught in one, because you’re no longer in control at that point,” said Jimmy Chin, The North Face skier and mountaineer who survived a 1,000 ft. avalanche slide in April 2011. “The best advice I can give is to take all the variables that are within your control to avoid an avalanche.”

For years, The North Face has incorporated Recco® avalanche rescue reflectors into its line of innovative outerwear products to support safe snow sports activities, as featured in the Enzo Jacket ($449 USD) new this fall. The North Face now offers the brand’s most versatile and convenient technical piece for skiers and snowboarders on the go – the Powder Guide Vest ($189).

Originally designed to meet the demands of hardworking ski patrollers, the Powder Guide Vest enables skiers and snowboarders to carry all of the necessary essentials for sidecountry excursions without the need for a pack. Constructed with ballistic nylon, the Powder Guide Vest fits over the wearer’s shell and features a collection of purpose-built carrying systems and pockets that provide secure and balanced weight distribution for avalanche gear and skis or a snowboard.

Convenient features like a ski/snowboard trap system, external snowboard/ski securing straps and a dual internal media/security pocket improve mobility, while safety features like an exterior shovel head securing system, pocket for your probe, and Recco® avalanche rescue reflector allow skiers and snowboarders to be prepared.
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Also new for this fall is a “Snow Safety Checklist” inner label that appears on select Summit Series® and Cryptic® snow sports gear. The icon-based label reminds consumers what to bring and how to prepare before heading into the backcountry. Icons include a map or compass, food and water, first aid kit, shovel, probe, fire, avalanche beacon, multi-use tool, headlamp or flashlight, extra layers, an emergency blanket and communication (tell a friend of your plans).

Get Informed: For more information about snow safety, visit www.thenorthface.com/knowboundaries to watch the KNOW Boundaries safety videos. Visit www.avalanche.org for more details on an avalanche rescue clinic near you.

About The North Face®
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snow sport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snow sport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.

Clinic Dates and Locations

Boulder, CO – October 19, 7:30 pm (Guest Speaker Justin Peacock, Avalanche Safety Instructor)
The North Face | 1711 29th Street | Boulder, CO

Seattle, WA – October 19, 5:30 pm (Athlete, Dana Flahr, Ian McIntosh)
The North Face | 1023 1st Avenue | Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA – October 25, 7:00pm (Hilaree Nelson)
REI | 222 Yale Ave N | Seattle, WA

Portland, OR – October 26, 7:00pm (Athlete Hilaree Nelson)
REI | 1405 NW Johnson Street | Portland, OR

San Francisco, CA- November 1, 6 pm (Athlete Sage Cattabriga-Alosa)
The North Face | 180 Post Street | San Francisco, CA

Salt Lake City, UT  - November 3, 7:00pm (Ian McIintosh)
REI | 3285 E 3300 S| Salt Lake City, UT

San Diego, CA – November 3, 7:00pm (Pete Athens)
REI | 5556 Copley Drive| San Diego, CA

Olympia, WA – November 8, 7:00pm (Lucas Debari)
REI | 625 Black Lake Blvd SW, Suite 410| Olympia, WA

Denver, CO – November 8, 6:30pm (Ian McIintosh)
REI | 1416 Platte Street| Denver, CO

Boulder, CO – November 9, 6:30pm (Ian McIintosh)
REI | 1789 28th Street | Boulder, CO

Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL – November 9, 7:00pm (Pete Athens)
REI|1466 North Halsted Street |Chicago, IL

Reading, MA – November 10, 7:00pm (Mark Synott)
REI|279 Salem Street| Reading, MA

Bloomington, MN November 10, 7:00pm (Pete Athens)
REI | 750 W American Blvd | Bloomington, MN

New York City, NY – November 15, 8 pm (Guest Speaker Kent Scheler, TGR Lead Heli Guide)
The North Face | 2101 Broadway | NYC

Tustin – November 16, 7:00pm (Pete Athens)
REI | 2962 El Camino Real | Tustin, CA

Boston – November 16, 8 pm (Guest Speaker Kent Scheler, TGR Lead Heli Guide)
The North Face | 326 Newbury Street | Boston, MA

Berkeley, CA – December 13, 7:00pm (Dana Flahr)
REI | 1338 San Pablo Ave | Berkeley, CA

San Carlos – December 14, 7:00pm (Dana Flahr)
REI | 1119 Industrial Rd Ste A | San Carlos, CA

Soho – December 15, 7:00pm (Conrad Anker)
REI | 295 Lafayette Street | NYC