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SAFE AS Clinics 2014

Winter has begun and that means more and more people will be traveling out in the backcountry. SAFE AS Clinics has just finished up another successful year of clinics at Squaw Valley, Crystal Mountain, Stevens Pass and new for 2014 Copper Mountain! Over 150 women joined myself, Ingrid Backstrom, Michelle Parker, Elyse Saugstad, Lel Tone, Sherry McConkey and Robin Van Gyn at one of the six clinics we offered this December.

After some advice from AIARE trained professionals we decided to switch things up a little and really focus on human factors and the 6 heuristics traits that lead to accidents in the backcountry. They are now known as F.A.C.E.T.S.

  • F -Familiarity
    • I've skied this line a dozen times and it's always held.
  • A - Acceptance
    • I'm not going to be the one to chicken out or ruin the day. Or, I need to please my sponsors
  • C - Commitment
    • We've come this far we might as well go the whole way.
  • E - Expert Halo
    • The guide or the local guy/gal must know what he/she is doing.
  • T - Tracks/Scarcity
    • Let's get the good before someone else does!
  • S - Social Facilitation/Proof
    • Those other guys are skiing it so it must be good.

Powder magazine has a new microsite called "The Safe Zone" that has some real life stories that really take a look at what red flags may be missed when things go wrong. Take a look at the link below:

Along with avalanche education and awareness we also are raising money for local non profits so they can help up make safe decisions. This year we will be donating money to High Five's, The Sierra Avalanche Center, The North West Avalanche Center and Project Zero.

To find out more about SAFE AS Clinics visit:

Photo: Michelle Parker

Lel Tone demonstrating the flux line of a beacon.


Adventures on the Provo River

This season has been off to a pretty slow start here in Tahoe. Instead of sitting around and waiting for it to snow, I decided to take a trip to Park City, Utah to go visit some great friends. One of my favorite things to do in the off season is fly fishing. Its super relaxing and can teach you a whole lot of patience. This is a shot of me that my friend Brendan took while we were fishing on...

… Hard Work and Dedication Pay Off

I’m late. The horn sounded. I’m not at my beat. It’s over, I’m going to finish in last. Pull it together Coach, what would you tell your team? Do your thing. Finish strong. Focus. Outwork.

Calm down. Cast. Watch. Focus. There’s the pull. Set the hook. Fish on! Patience. Stay focused. Land it. now SCREAM!!! I have just landed the biggest fish of the event and it will put me in the top 10. Rejuvenated. Excitement. Proud.

My name is Jason Mattick, and I am a professional fly angler, high school math teacher, head football coach, father and husband. To say...

So, You Want to Become a Kiteboarder?

So you want to become a kiteboarder? Well here's how:

1. Find a reliable kite school. This step can take some time, but make sure the person you are taking kite lessons from is legitimately certified. Kitting is an extreme sport, having the right training and information is critical for becoming  a safe and successful kite boarder. The average price of a lesson is typically around $150.00 per hour. It is advised to take as many lessons as needed, despite the expense because the knowledge is forever useful.

2. Taking lessons. Keep...

Stay Motivated this Offseason

You trained for weeks, even months...and your event came and went like Rachel Joyce through an aid station on the bike course. The buildup was epic, the race was everything you hoped it would be, and the elation of crossing the finish line was fantastic, but now it’s gone.  How can something you put so much time into preparing for come and go so quickly?  Winter is setting in, and the weather is cooling down.  What’s your next goal?  How do you stay in shape?

Here are some activities and tips...

Riding Upwind, Traveling & Being a Student


World Class Kiteboarding Academy, a traveling high school, focuses mainly on kiteboarding and spends the whole year flying and driving around the globe to all the best kite spots.

This year we are made up of five students and four teachers. We started our journey in Washington, kiting on the Columbia Gorge each day and enjoying the beautiful nature around us.

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