STOWE, VT., September 22, 2000 – Citing a substantial increase in backcountry visits by snowshoers with a wide range of experience and knowledge, Tubbs and Ortovox today announced the launch of a unique educational program designed to increase awareness of backcountry snow conditions including avalanche risk. This in-store program has been designed to train store personnel who will, in turn, educate consumers.

At designated retailers in the western U.S., northwestern U.S. and Canada, representatives of both companies will train retail managers and associates to educate consumers about the potential dangers of avalanche; will train them in the use of avalanche safety equipment; take them outside for a “hands-on” learning experience; and provide tools to educate consumers including an “avi card” with backcountry “do’s and don’ts”.

In addition, Tubbs and Ortovox will sponsor in-store clinics for consumers at specialty stores and major outdoor retailers including R.E.I. and Galyans.

According to Tubbs General Manager Kathy Murphy, “As the industry leader in the fast-growing sport of snowshoeing, we feel an obligation to educate those consumers heading into the backcountry about the very real dangers they may encounter. Being properly prepared for changing snow and weather conditions will help them have a better, more rewarding snowshoeing experience. Whether they’re experienced snowboarders trekking to the backside of their favorite mountain or inexperienced snowshoers heading up an unfamiliar ridge line for a panoramic view, we want them to be prepared and be knowledgeable.”

“We’re very pleased at the positive reaction from our retailers who have enthusiastically volunteered to set up clinics for their staffs to be educated. We’ll be starting our first consumer clinics in November at stores in the Front Range and are happy to add more as we get requests in from additional retailers,” she added.

Ortovox is the world leader in avalanche safety equipment. Its U.S. headquarters is located in Hopkinton, N.H. Tubbs Snowshoe Company, headquartered in Stowe, Vt., is the industry leader in snowshoe equipment and programs.