Raising Money for Avalanche Safety | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Raising Money for Avalanche Safety

The Fresh Tracks Silent Auction and VertFest are two of Central Oregon Avalanche Center's biggest fundraisers

Central Oregon Avalanche Center is a community-funded nonprofit that works to provide Central Oregon with daily avalanche forecasts by zone. It was founded as a nonprofit in 2009 and has been providing the region with forecasts and updates ever since.

This nonprofit doesn't receive any government, state or U.S. Forest Service funding. Since there are costs to keep up with the services it provides, COAC hosts fundraisers throughout the year, and two of them are coming up—Fresh Tracks Silent Auction and VertFest.

click to enlarge Raising Money for Avalanche Safety
Courtesy Mt. Bachelor
Mt. Bachelor provides over 4,300 acres of terrain, according to its website, and snow safety is important when heading out for an adventure.

Fresh Tracks Silent Auction

The Fresh Tracks Silent Auction has items for everyone and is more than just bidding. From backcountry gear—air bag packs, down jackets and various accessories—to lodge stays at Suttle Lodge, participants don't have to be active backcountry athletes to enjoy these items. COAC is tapping into different areas of interest with support from local sponsors, according to COAC Development Director Lauren Altemari.

The Smoke Drifters, a local band from Sisters, will perform at the event. Live music will be accompanied by appetizers and pizza. Between visits to the silent auction room for bidding, individuals can mingle, dance, enjoy food and take photos in the photo booth, funded by Mountain Supply of Oregon.

At the event, attendees can find industry experts and avalanche masters to talk to. The Fresh Tracks Silent Auction is on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 10 Barrel Brewing East Side at 6pm. Learn about COAC, support the nonprofit and possibly take home an auction item, if you bid high enough.

click to enlarge Raising Money for Avalanche Safety
Courtesy of Central Oregon Avalanche Center
VertFest is a backcountry festival that promotes avalanche and snow safety. The festival will have several activities, vendors and bonfires to keep attendees warm.

VertFest 2023

VertFest 2023 is on Feb. 12 and is COAC's second-biggest fundraiser of the year. This event is an uphill ski race and is well attended by the community, according to Altemari. From former Olympians to first-time ski racers, all experience levels are invited to register and show up.

"It's a celebration of the backcountry community," Altemari said.

Along with the race, attendees can explore the vendor village, grab food and drink and connect with backcountry enthusiasts. Bonfires will be scattered around for people to gather and stay warm between events.

Attendees can register and participate in educational clinics covering a variety of topics, including intro to skiing and split boarding and rescue clinics. Save the date and head to COAC's website for registration updates.

Fresh Tracks Silent Auction
Sat., Jan. 28, 6pm
10 Barrel Brewing Co. Pub & Brewing Facility
62950 NE 18 St., Bend
$40/non-members, free/members

VertFest 2023
Feb. 12
Mt. Bachelor

Allie Noland

Allie graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in journalism and public relations. She loves writing articles that have anything to do with the outdoors and culture. When she’s not writing, you can find her skiing, playing volleyball, backpacking, gardening or sitting at a local coffee shop.
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