Party for the avy center at the CAIC Bash |

Party for the avy center at the CAIC Bash

BOB BERWYNsummit daily news

For the second year in a row, the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge will be rocking in support of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). Rocket Rooster will headline Saturday’s CAIC bash with live music. The event also includes a silent auction, with donations from a slew of outdoor companies.The Breckenridge event started last year to replace a similar Front Range fundraiser that was canceled at short notice. After hearing about the cancellation and a possible budget shortfall that could have crimped the center’s forecasting operations, two Summit County locals, Aaron Carlson and Joe Vandal, decided they would try fill the void.Vandal and Carlson said the center offers tools for backcountry safety that they use on a daily basis, and that they wanted to make sure the forecasters have the resources to continue the job.Breckenridge officials, local restaurants and the wider outdoor community stepped up in a big way to support the event, and the same group responded again this year.”The evening will be filled with live music, tasty food, incredible beer and great people. We will be hosting a silent auction, while throwing door prizes to the crowd,” said Carlson.The avalanche center is partly funded through the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, and the Colorado Department of Transportation also pays for part of the operations that cover avalanche forecasting for state highways. But the center is also dependent on grassroots support to help maintain the network of telephone hotlines and regular internet bulletins.That’s where support from the local community comes into play, according to Carlson.”The center operates on a limited budget and needs your support to continue this important work,” Carlson said. “Colorado has one of the most dangerous snowpacks in North America. On average avalanches kill more people in Colorado than any other natural hazard.”In Summit County, the avalanche center operates out of a Breckenridge office and offers the most localized weather forecasts. The avalanche hazard bulletins are based on field observations from popular local backcountry ski spots like Loveland Pass and Baldy Mountain.Thanks to grassroots support, the center has even been able to offer late-season avalanche bulletins for the local area, during the prime backcountry ski season.This winter, the center plans to start daily forecasts in late November. The October storms that rolled through Colorado have already resulted in a spate of avalanche accidents around the state.Tickets for this year’s event are $20 at the door, which includes a door prize, three beer tickets and live entertainment.For more information on the event and on the new grassroots support group, go to: avalanche center forecasts and bulletins, go to