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Nordic center offering backcountry safety courses

The Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center is offering several backcountry safety courses this winter to try and keep people safe as we enter the big avalanche season.

GRANBY, Colo. — This winter season, Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Director Ben Koenig said he has seen a lot of first-time skiers on Nordic trails and heading into the backcountry.

“We have seen a huge increase due to the restrictions at some ski areas having to have reservations,” said Koenig.

Just like as a person might take a lesson to learn Nordic skiing, Koenig and his team are teaching first-time backcountry skiers what they need to know with day long safety classes that focus on the type of gear a person will use to get outside and learn avalanche safety.

“[We] get people familiar with the gear in a classroom setting and get them familiar with the safety equipment,” said Koenig. “Then we take them out and start the outdoor portions to work on probe, beacon and shovel deployment.”

Credit: 9News

The courses start in January and run through March, costing $149.00. Some of the lessons are focused on how to be a good stewards of the land by leaving no trace behind.

“For a lot of people it’s a totally new world,” said Koenig. “We give them an entry point to make their way out into the backcountry.”

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