The weather turned back to winter just in time for Central Oregon Avalanche Center’s Fresh Tracks fundraiser.
Saturday’s event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. at 10 Barrel Brewing East Side in Bend and features music, food, raffle, and silent auction.
The twelve year old nonprofit issues avalanche forecasts for the Central Cascades and this party is their biggest fundraiser. The organization receives no federal or state funding.
“A lot of people have taken on traveling in the backcountry as a newer pastime. So we’re seeing a really sharp increase in users in the backcountry,” said board member Dave Gaines.
The popularity of winter backcountry recreation was growing before COVID, but the pandemic coupled with the population boom in Central Oregon means more people looking for critical information.
“We have some of the best gear ever that really help people travel safely and deal with the accidents. But by far the most important piece of gear is still your your knowledge and understanding and being able to think correctly in the backcountry,” added Gaines.
You can round out your knowledge before you go by visiting COAC’s website where you’ll find forecasts including real time snowpack, weather, and avalanche information.