Whistler, BC—A free heli trip is the ultimate goal for anyone who has made an untracked turn. Yet entering the backcountry requires respect for avalanches and knowledge about how to stay safe. This season, RECCO®, Quiksilver, and Bella Coola Heli Sports have linked both facets of this sphere with a contest aimed at increasing awareness while rewarding two lucky souls with a five-day trip to pow-turn paradise.
The winners will sample Bella Coola Heli’s 1.5 million acres of terrain and 300 established runs in British Columbia’s Coast Range for five days. They will also be equipped with two head-to-toe sets of Quiksilver Gore-Tex® outerwear for the trip. To earn entry into the Challenge, riders must read The White Book and answer 11 avalanche-related questions correctly at recco.com. Chosen on May 15 from all correct entries, the two grand prize winners will be posted June 15 at recco.com.
The White Book is a pocket-sized publication written by renowned avalanche expert Dale Atkins. Against a backdrop of big-mountain imagery, the book provides avalanche awareness information, eye-opening statistics and words of wisdom from patrollers, guides and pros such as Brian Iguchi, Mark Landvik, Andreas Wig, PY Leblanc, Jon Olsson, and Amber Stackhouse.
Starting this November, The White Book will be available free of charge at any of Quiksilver’s 800 storefronts worldwide or by download in English, French, German or Japanese at www.recco.com/avalanche/safety.asp. As part of this widespread education effort, RECCO® will distribute 1.5 million copies of the book in partnership with all brands now incorporating the RECCO® avalanche rescue system and by insertion into the winter issues of Transworld Snowboarding, Powder, Snowboard Canada, Skier, The Snowboard Canada Women’s Annual, and Method Mag.
Dave Rosenberger, Quiksilver VP of winter sports sales, believes the contest reflects the combination of education and adventure the Quiksilver brand promotes. “It’s not just a contest, you actually have to spend some time learning about avalanche awareness, safety and the RECCO system—and that’s a good combination,” he says.
Peter “Swede” Mattsson, El Presidente of Bella Coola Heli, supports the educational emphasis. Swede—whose operation became the first heli-skiing outfit to incorporate RECCO® in 2003 and now equips all guests with RECCO® reflectors—has also worked extensively to establish safety protocols for professional film crews during the last decade. His pioneering work led him to become an advocate for greater avalanche awareness, which is why he offered heli time for the prize package. “I think the contest is a good educational tool for people out there in the world who ski and snowboard, he says. “RECCO® is a product that puts good emphasis on safety, and that’s what it is all about. It is not just a retrieving tool; RECCO® is actually putting in a lot of effort to educate people. And the key in any kind of snow science is the educational side.”
About RECCO® Avalanche Rescue System
RECCO® is an avalanche rescue system utilized by 500 organizations worldwide to assist in the efficient location of burials. RECCO® enables rapid directional pinpointing of a victim’s precise location using harmonic radar. The two-part system consists of a RECCO® detector used by organized rescue groups, and RECCO® reflectors that are integrated into commercially available products. Although similar in search procedure to transceivers, the RECCO® system is not intended for companion rescue and works as a complement to transceiver use in the backcountry. More information about RECCO® can be found at www.recco.com.