We advocate the safety and progression of our sports participants and protect the environments we access through these pursuits. The sports we participate in are Ski and Splitboard touring / mountaineering / climbing, both rock and alpine, and access skills (although also a means to an end in themselves) of bushwalking and snow shoeing, even 'non event' MTB.
Without a collective or combined approach in advocating we miss out on the liberties and priorities enjoyed by others. Be that locally in comparison to other public lands users, or internationally by comparison to already established mountain sport / safety organisations. For example, New Zealand, Great Britain and the European Alps.
We are currently in the process of forming a board for the organisation, its constitution as a not for profit entity and the insurances required to firstly operate and provide existing resources (training and advisory services) and then secondly, cover our members.
These fall into three categories. Safety, Advocacy and Progression.
Safety is number one. We continue doing what we have been doing, in providing resources, training and training centres and events for the practise of hard skills, only better with accreditation and funding. On an operational level we will establish training standards for alpine safety along side the existing ACIA , PACI, ASPA schemes. This will incorporate much of the local conditions (weather and terrain) understanding that is currently entirely overlooked. For members, training modules can be completed through an assessment and which will include a recognition / incentive scheme. Much like PADI does for scuba diving.
Safety progression and advocacy of mountain safety extends into three different areas that affect our participants. These currently fall under other agencies jurisdictions, or not at all considered. With the growth of the participation in our groups pursuits, and the consequent demands on resources, if we don't take a view to progress we will not keep up with expectations. This is particularly true with existing infrastructure in the form of emergency shelters, navigation aids and other 'in-situ' safety hardware.
Yes, we understand that huts are for Emergency Shelters. That said, in some conditions, some huts actually fail to meet these expectations. These are the expectations that if the weather closes in, safe navigable refuge will be available, and that the refuge be sufficient to recuperate from the elements. This requires that a standard of applicable safety be recognised for safety from both fires and blizzards. Likewise, snow poles and fixed protection for access are currently poorly maintained and in some cases simply dangerous. This is a part of our mission. Warm well stocked huts, clearly defined and serviceable navigation and safety equipment.
Advocacy involves the soft skills side of pubic relations, communications and negotiation. We have some hard hitting, seasoned negotiators working for us to see to it that our access is at a minimum maintained. With the view to improvement, with better access (BC resort passes) and rescue contingencies.
In the same breath Advocacy for our sport makes us advocates for the environment. That stands for a lot and will be a real challenge for everybody moving forward. Everything from advocacy for 'Poo Tubes' through to global movements like POW and 1% . Whilst empowering and collaborating the local landcare / natural heritage groups like FOB and the hut associations VHCHA and KHA.
Events We are aiming to bring more participants events to the calendar which would likely include Terrain Games, Eco FreeRide Tour, BC Film Festivals, Splifest, Mountain Critter Cause and even host the international climbing festival
If your reading this now, it's likely that one of 'the team' have contacted you to garner your participation. Think about what we are proposing, what your passion levels are for this kind of 'collective' and wether you'd be interested in joining. Be that on the board, or as a regular member. See the 'Join the crew' field and let us know your thoughts...
Hey If you want to check out the epic snow safety game we have developed take your password: flatstck and click here.