The Utah Avalanche Center has provided 31 years of forecasting and training in the art and science of avalanche behavior and control.
Its 32nd year promises to be even better, as 77 racers ran all night at Snowbird Feb. 18-19 to raise more than $25,000 for the center in Salt Lake City. Competitors logged 6.9 million vertical feet in the first 12 Hours of Snowbird that was run in Gad Valley and Peruvian Gulch, illuminated by heat lamps and a full moon.
"The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center are deeply grateful to Snowbird for conceiving, organizing and hosting this event," said Paul Diegel, executive director of the fundraising group, who told OnTheSnow that the event is already on the schedule for next season.
The money represents a 5 percent boost in the center's budget. Organization officials say it will go toward improving education programs and heading off any forecasting cutbacks. Most of the center's money comes from fundraising and donations.
The winner clocked more than 125,000 vertical feet, while the winning two-man team topped 250,000 vertical feet while skiing from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Another fundraising effort for the center is under way. SkiUtah sells discount lift tickets to various Wasatch resorts, with all the income from the sales going to the center.