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Alyeska Resort presents the 4th Annual Ski Patrol Auction as part of National Safety Awareness Week

January 10, 2013 (Girdwood, Alaska) – Alyeska Resort is hosting a fundraiser benefitting the Alyeska Resort Ski Patrol Avalanche Canine Program and its three members Zooka, Fundy and Yuki. The fourth annual Avalanche Canine Program Auction is scheduled for Friday, January 25 at 8:00 P.M. in the Sitzmark Bar & Grill.

Selected ski patrollers will strut down the catwalk as auction attendees bid on an early ski morning with the patroller of their choice. Local auctioneer, Paul McGuire, will be on-hand to host the festivities. There will also be a raffle for a snowboard donated by local manufacturer Chugach Flyer Snowboards. Contributions to the dog program can also be made by calling 907‐754‐2545 or by purchasing a “Dogs Dig Me” t‐shirt at the Sitzmark Bar & Grill.

Previous auctions have raised thousands of dollars for the program and proceeds go towards food, health care and out of state training for the dogs. The canine breed selected for the dog program is the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, a small retriever with a distinctive red coat and fox-like markings. Lead dog handler Brain McGorry explains, “The Toller’s intelligence, trainability, and compact size make them an ideal candidate for search dogs. The dogs routinely load ski lifts, travel on snow machines, and are carried on the shoulders of their handlers.”

The objectives of the Alyeska Ski Patrol Avalanche Canine Program are to provide certified avalanche rescue dog team coverage in the ski area during all operating hours, to provide resources to the Alaska State Troopers for conducting avalanche search and rescue in local backcountry recreation areas of Southcentral Alaska and to promote avalanche awareness and mountain safety education to the local skiing community. The Alyeska Ski Patrol Avalanche Canine Program is an affiliate of Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs (ASARD). The ski patrol has worked closely with ASARD since 1986, and they were instrumental in mentoring the patrol dog teams.

The Ski Patrol Benefit Auction is just one component of National Safety Awareness Week to be held January 19 to 27, 2013. The primary goal of the week’s activities is to raise awareness among skiers and snowboarders for safe habits and practices on the slopes. The promotional week is designed to reinforce positive practices on the mountain will include rewarding skiers and snowboarders wearing helmets during the week with free gifts, offering complimentary beginner lessons and freestyle coaching, avalanche beacon training and many other fun activities.

Alyeska Resort’s Safety Week is part of a national level program administered by the National Ski Area Association (www.nsaa.org). NSAA is a trade association for ski area owners and operators. It represents 325 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. NSAA originally introduced the campaign “Your Responsibility Code” which promotes skiing in control, observing mountain signs and warnings, and using devices to prevent runaway equipment. Evolving with the needs of the snowsports industry, NSAA also developed the “Smart Style” program which includes safety initiatives specific to freestyle terrain which includes terrain parks and half pipes.

Over the course of Safety Week, Alyeska Resort mountain staff will be out on the slopes rewarding skiers and snowboarders wearing helmets. The prize rewards include free midweek lift tickets, hot ski waxes, snowboard leashes and more. Skiing and snowboarding with a helmet is highly encouraged by NSAA and Alyeska Resort.

The kick-off weekend includes both on and off the slope opportunities to increase awareness about safe practices while skiing and snowboarding. There will be informational booths located in the Daylodge over the holiday weekend. The North America Outdoor Institute will present a free avalanche awareness training class from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on January 26 at The Hotel Alyeska. Pre-registration is required to attend the course. Register online at BeSnowSmart.org.

Throughout the week, there will be opportunities for free terrain park and super pipe coaching with professionals. For intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders, the Alyeska Ski Patrol will be offering special sessions to join them on an end-of-day mountain sweep. Patrol performs a mountain sweep to ensure all guests are safely off the slopes prior to closing each day. To participate, please meet at the top of Chair 6 in front of the Ski Patrol building on Monday, January 21 through Friday, January 25 at 3:30 P.M. 

For a full schedule of events during National Safety Awareness Week, please visit www.AlyeskaResort.com.

About Alyeska Resort (www.AlyeskaResort.com)
Alyeska Resort is Alaska's premier year-round destination featuring The Hotel Alyeska, an award-winning 304 room full-service property. Located just 40 miles from Anchorage and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Alyeska Resort is your base camp for summer and winter excursions. Alyeska Resort stands out during ski season with 650” of average snowfall annually and the longest-continuous double black diamond ski run in North America. Learn more about the resort and plan your Alaskan adventure at www.AlyeskaResort.com or 800.880.3880.

About the National Ski Area Association (www.NSAA.org)

The National Ski Areas Association is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. It represents 325 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has 472 supplier members who provide equipment, goods and services to the mountain resort industry. NSAA was established in 1962. The association's primary objective is to meet the needs of ski area owners and operators nationwide and to foster, stimulate and promote growth in the industry. Learn more about NSAA at www.nsaa.org.

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