Welcome to Breck

Charitable giving and the CAIC

Many of us automatically think of environment when we contemplate issues of sustainability, and for good reason. Working to lessen our collective impact on the Earth is an important effort, which is why the environment is part of the Vail Resorts Epic Promise program.

Town of BreckenridgeBut true sustainability is about more than focusing on our natural surroundings; it’s about focusing on our communities, too. In towns across America – towns like Breckenridge – our communities are supported by important organizations like schools, youth groups, public libraries, and environmental groups. Vail Resorts recognizes that supporting these organizations is key to maintaining thriving communities, and for that reason, another integral aspect of Epic Promise is community giving.

Each year, Vail Resorts donates more than $7 million to over 250 nonprofit organizations in various mountain communities in California, Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan, Utah, and Wyoming. In Summit County, home to both Breckenridge Ski Resort and Keystone Resort, Vail Resorts supports more than 50 great local organizations. Each of these organizations holds a vital role in our community, but one is of particular importance for all of us who love to ski and ride in Colorado: the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC for short).

Thousands of avalanches occur in Colorado each winter, and they are the cause of death for an average of six people in the state each year. In fact, among all other natural disaster events, avalanches have claimed the most lives in the state of Colorado. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center aims to provide everyone with the information they need in order be safe while recreating in our beautiful mountain environment. It is the resource in Colorado for avalanche information, education, and research. Established in the early 1970s as a program of the Forest Service, CAIC is now operated jointly by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Department of Natural Resources, and a non-profit partner called Friends of the CAIC.

Tali the Patrol DogCAIC provides daily avalanche forecasts, which include the likelihood of avalanches occurring at different elevations, the aspects that pose the most risk (aspect refers to the direction a slope faces, for example, northwest), the size of probable avalanches, and the category of avalanche that people should look out for.  The organization provides a list of every reported avalanche in Colorado for the year, and individuals can even report their own avalanche sightings. Equally important, CAIC hosts and promotes avalanche educational resources. From their own public awareness seminars, to ski patrol training and rescue clinics, CAIC offers a number of opportunities for public education on avalanche safety.

How can you support CAIC and avalanche awareness? Click over CAIC’s website and make a donation and sign up to take an avalanche safety class offered by the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education. The Forest Service’s National Avalanche Center features basic avalanche information on its website. And if you’re ever in Breck during the annual Friends of the CAIC Benefit Bash, one of the town’s biggest parties of the year, make sure you check it out!

– Jess Hoover


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