1st Annual Sled-Fest Success & Surprises
It’s true, any organizer of an event hopes beyond hope that the weather on event day will be perfect blue bird, just the right temperature and in our case, with just the right amount of freshly fallen snow but truth be told, that was not the case during yesterdays 1st annual Brandywine Sled-Fest. The rain barely let up long enough to get the fire going and the freezing levels were so high that most of the mountains were soaked in heavy, “mash-potato” snow, making the avalanche conditions high at most elevations and the visibility near zero.
Despite that, it had little effect on the interest and enthusiasm of the Sled-Fest attendees, vendors and industry experts on hand as many came out despite the weather to try on the new avalanche ballon packs, play with the latest beacons and the hottest GPS embedded goggles on the planet.
To say the event was timely, is an understatement......
The weather, while challenging, created the very snowmobile conditions that Sled-Fest organizers were raising awareness of. Safe travel in the mountains in such high avalanche conditions is manageable provided you use applied knowledge, technology and resources that make up the decision making process of recreating in the mountains safely. These include understanding the avalanche danger scale and hazard bulletins and verifying them prior to your outing. They include trip planning and a clear understanding of the groups motives and restrictions these conditions impose. They require a means of communicating with one another in the event something does go wrong and certainly, they mean knowing what resources to call when you require more assistance than you have on hand.
The turnout was great and as with any event, we had a few surprises. Alon Emit, a long time snowmobiler who had an injury
a few years back and who required the assistance of Search and Rescue at the time, made a generous donation to Let’s Ride BC, an initiative managed by the BC Snowmobile Federation under which Sled-Fest was organized. This will allow Alon’s donation to be doubled by matching it with Provincial funds generously provided by Tourism BC. This will allow us to continue these outreach initiatives along with industry partners to host more Sled-Fest events in more communities. Thank you Alon for your generous support.
To this end, Sled-Fest was an enormous success as it showcased the tools of the trade to some who were not well informed about the technology, resources or 10 essentials to carry with them and to that end, we would like to thank all out supporters, crew, vendors, sponsors and those who came out to share their stories and fill the day with laughter and tales of adventure.
Sandra Ferguson: AdventureSmart
Erin Hart: BC Snowmobile Federation
Russell Bryer: Sled:link
Jim Laing & Christine Strub: Squamish Emergency Program
James Retty: Escape Route
Dave Norona: Norona Life
Nelson B and Doug M: Powder Mountain Snowmobile Club
Carole Savage and Luke: Canadian Avalanche Centre
Julia Barreiros : Sandman Hotels, Squamish
Heather Hendry: Recon Instruments
Chuck Carter : Mountain Sports Distribution
Ron Drewy & Dan Price: Nuna Innovations
Dean Terry: Tim Hortons Squamish
Tourism BC: Tourism BC
Alon Emit: Power House Electrical
Amanda Lee- Dempsey: No Limits Motorsports
Media and communications
Kristen: Mountain FM
John French: Pique magazine
Christopher Poon: The Whistler Question
Ben Lypka :The Chief news paper
Luke Brocki: CBC radio news Vancouver
Tourism Whistler: Tourism Whistler
Let’s Ride BC: Let’s Ride BC