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If you’ve paid any attention to Backcountry Access in the past, it should come as no surprise that they’re sponsoring our Intro to Backcountry Month. BCA has a great history of furthering backcountry knowledge and education. Last year they launched Season 1 of Backcountry [EDGE]ucation (named after BCA cofounder Bruce ‘Edge’ Edgerly). That season brought us 15 easily digestible videos covering everything from how to deploy your probe, to dealing with multiple beacon signals. The videos are short, snappy, and to the point. Honestly, I end up referencing them fairly often just because they’re the most efficient way to get a quick refresher on important information.
Now, the series is back, with Season 2 of [EDGE]ucation. The first three videos dropped yesterday, and are available in this playlist. Season 2 will feature thirteen videos, in a similar format to Season 1, with Bruce and guests hammering the essentials in an eminently digestible format. We’ll be taking a deeper dive into four of those videos, as they release, with articles rehashing what they covered, and some key takeaways.
No matter what brand of gear you prefer to use in the backcountry, these videos are worth a watch. You’re looking at something like a half hour total of viewing time per season - about an hour total for both.
As Ian so eloquently reminded us recently, it’s ski movie season. So yes, go catch a flick with your friends. And then schedule an evening to sit down with your backcountry safety gear and take a lap through the [EDGE]ucation series. Invite your touring partners, bring some snacks, or make soup. Watch each video, chat about takeaways, apply it to your own experiences, think about ways to make your own tours safer, and more efficient.
So much of backcountry skiing is muscle memory, perishable skills that require practice and repetition to complete efficiently. And, unless you spent your summer down south, we all just spent the last few months not practicing those skills. My first few tours back after a summer of riding bikes feels like jumping into a cold pool in too many clothes. It’s uncomfortable, confusing, and frustrating to get back into the swing of staying safe in the backcountry.
Being intentional about taking the time to re-acclimate, reacquaint yourself with your gear, and the protocols to use it, is invaluable. BCA’s Backcountry [EDGE]ucation series helps facilitate that.