Vail Avalanche Awareness for VBSR Staff Skiers

Avalanche awareness is an essential part of Vail mountain safety, whether you’re skiing in the backcountry or exploring on-mountain steeps. In March, several members of the VBSR staff participated in an avalanche awareness class to improve their knowledge and skills. With the help of VBSR ambassador Chris Anthony, we arranged a class with Paragon Guides, a local outfitter that offers AIARE certification.

At VBSR, the safety of our clients is top priority, and we love sharing mountain safety tips with you. Read on to find out more about the VBSR team’s avalanche awareness training. And get inspired by this experience to keep your own mountain safety skills fresh all year long.

VBSR Avalanche Awareness Training

On a sunny morning in March, the VBSR staff began its avalanche awareness training in a classroom setting. While sitting in a chair doesn’t come close to simulating actual avalanche experience, knowledge is the beginning of backcountry safety. Before heading outside for practice and application, the VBSR crew learned more about avalanche awareness basics including:

  • Mountain weather
  • Snowpack
  • Backcountry terrain
  • Avalanche causes
  • Terrain hazards
  • Avalanche safety gear

Next up, we all went outside to continue learning in the environment we love best: the snow-covered kind.


Here, we began learning and practicing how to use an avalanche beacon to search. Instruction began as our Paragon Guides leader went through an overview of beacon features and functionality.


Next, we practiced switching between transmit and receive modes to find beacons buried in the snow.


Once we improved our ability to search and locate, we practiced using other essential avalanche safety tools: shovels and probes.


The day concluded with a debrief session and review. But, as we learned, avalanche awareness is an area of ever-expanding knowledge and application. An avalanche awareness training class like this one is a great introduction to backcountry safety. These skills are also transferable to on-mountain safety and overall avalanche awareness. Any Vail chairlift can be a vantage point for evaluating terrain and hazards present in mountain environments. And these skills can be practiced and applied while skiing in-bounds to prepare for backcountry exploration.

VBSR Skis and Demos for Advanced Skiers  

Like avalanche awareness, skiing is also an area of ever-expanding knowledge and application. And at VBSR, we offer a wide variety of demo skis and rental skis that will allow you to improve your skiing. As you progress into advanced levels of skiing on all types of terrain, we will outfit you with gear that matches your ability level. And if you want to ski more in-bounds powder and steep terrain to challenge your skills, we certainly have skis to fit your needs.    

demo ski rentals being used on the slopes of vail mountain in colorado
©Salomon: Photo credit: Scott Markewitz

The VBSR demo rental fleet includes top skis for advanced skiers who want to ski off-piste, variable, and steep terrain. See our blog post on Vail tree skiing for ideas about where to go to challenge your skills—and what skis to take with you. Of course, the VBSR staff is always excited to share ideas and tips for beginner and advanced skiers alike.

See You at VBSR Next Winter!

We’re currently closed for the summer season, but we look forward to seeing you in the winter for ski rentals at our shop that’s just steps from Gondola One in Vail Village. When the snow starts falling, stop by for more gear and terrain tips while trying out top skis from the VBSR demo ski rental fleet. Our Vail Village location also makes it easy to access ski tuning and repair throughout the day. VBSR makes it simple to reserve ski rentals in advance, and we offer ski storage solutions that will help lighten your load at the end of the day.