Kirkwood Launches Backcountry Programs

28 January 2013
·         Expedition:Kirkwood Offers Guided Cat Tours, Four-Day Backcountry Camp
·         Kirkwood Announces Promotion with Freeskier Magazine to Ski “The Cirque”
 
Kirkwood, Calif. – January 24, 2013 – With over 260 inches of snow for the season allowing the resort to build the cat road to access out-of-bounds terrain, Kirkwood Mountain Resort has launched their signature Expedition:Kirkwood Cat Tours. E:K Cat Tours take advanced skiers and riders on an adventure to hunt down fresh turns with a focus on backcountry education and safety.
 
“Expedition:Kirkwood is the West Coast’s largest avalanche awareness and backcountry certification program, but what we’re really known for are the cat tours,” said Casey Blann, Kirkwood’s general manager. “This program is for the advanced skiers and riders who are looking for a completely unique resort experience. Not only gaining the skills for skiing/riding steep terrain, but hang on as your cat operator navigates his way up a road that’s not for the faint of heart!”
 
The E:K Cat Tours take powder hounds out to Martin Point, past the northwestern boundary of the resort. Martin Point hosts a variety of diverse terrain with a 2,000-foot vertical drop, and the northerly aspect makes for the best out-of-bounds snow conditions in the area. The four-run sessions are led by Expedition Guides and Kirkwood Patrollers. These popular tours book quickly and guests are advised to contact Expedition:Kirkwood to get their spot on the snow cat.
 
“Expedition:Kirkwood is all about getting you more terrain,” said Jon Copeland, Kirkwood’s Ski & Ride School director. “Whether that’s inbounds or out, we’re going to work on off-piste skiing and riding techniques, terrain selection and management, and rescue procedures and protocols.”
 
E:K Cat Tours to the Martin Point area are $225 per person for four runs. The price includes the use of a shovel, backpack, beacon and probe, as well as a brief introduction to avalanche and weather report reading, proper gear usage and maintenance, and general out of bounds and mechanized machine protocols. Tours are scheduled daily, weather, conditions and operations permitting.
 
Expedition:Kirkwood continues to add to their backcountry offering this season with the introduction of two new programs: Guided Backcountry Tours and the Backcountry Camp.  Guided Backcountry Tours access areas such as Thunder Bowl and Avy Bowl, which were not included in previous E:K programs. These specialty tours will open up some exciting terrain and combine the thrill of skiing or riding more advanced terrain with education and safety skills in the backcountry. The Backcountry Camp (February 15th – 18th) is an intense four day camp led by professional guides and avalanche instructors which covers the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) Level 1 curriculum. Students can expect to walk away with a solid understanding of developing a plan, how to travel safely and efficiently in a backcountry environment, as well as their AIARE Level 1 Certificate with multiple tours during the course.
  
To celebrate the expansion of their guiding programs, Expedition:Kirkwood has teamed up with Freeskier Magazine and the Swatch Freeride World Tour to put together the competition of a lifetime. From now until January 31, 2013, guests have the opportunity to win a trip to Kirkwood to be on the first Expedition:Kirkwood guided tour of the infamous “Cirque.” The winner will also be treated to airfares, accommodation, VIP treatment at Freeride World Tour and complimentary AIARE Level 1 Course. Visit and “like” Kirkwood’s Facebook page for full competition details.
 
Guests can find out more about Expedition:Kirkwood programs or register for camps and clinics at www.expedition.kirkwood.com, by calling 209.258.7360 or by emailing expeditionkirkwood@vailresorts.com.  
About Kirkwood
Kirkwood Mountain Resort is one of the nation's top destination resorts. Located just 177 miles from the Bay Area along scenic Highway 88, its base elevation of 7,800-feet, assures skiers more annual snowfall than any other resort in North America. Kirkwood is recognized by winter purists and national media alike for the quality of its snow and terrain variety and is a true skier’s destination. Known for its pristine beauty and action-packed expeditions and events, winter fun includes skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, sled dog tours, and backcountry expeditions. An ideal location for weddings and corporate meetings, the Kirkwood Village includes boutique shopping, live music and dining. For more information about Kirkwood Mountain Resort, visit www.kirkwood.com or call 209.258.6000.
 
About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.

Contact(s)

Sally Gunter

Heavenly Communications Manager
Email: sgunter@vailresorts.com
Phone: (775) 586-4451
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