“Nickolay Dodov Foundation reaches out with free avalanche education to youth” By Noah Berner, Calaveras Enterprise, Oct 25, 2019

In the winter of 2012, local resident Nickolay Dodov lost his life in an avalanche at age 26 while heli-boarding in Haines, Alaska.
Following this tragedy, Dodov’s parents, Natalia and Alex Dodov, started the Nickolay Dodov Foundation (NDF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating youth and all ages of winter sports enthusiasts on how to stay safe in the mountains.

Since then, the NDF has provided free avalanche education through presentations, workshops and classes to over 8,000 skiers, snowboarders, students, coaches, teachers and parents.
Nickolay Dodov was born in Bulgaria and began skiing with his parents shortly after taking his first steps. He soon switched to snowboarding and eventually joined the Bulgarian National Junior Team.
After moving with his family to the United States at age 12, Nickolay Dodov continued to compete in competitive snowboarding events, including the Junior World Cup, the Tahoe Snowboard Series, the U.S. National Championship and the U.S. Open.
As he grew older, Nickolay Dodov turned to freestyle, slopestyle and backcountry snowboarding. After graduating from Bret Harte High School, he spent much of the last seven years of his life as a sponsored snowboarder in Truckee, snowmobiling and splitboarding with friends in the Sierra backcountry.
“We mostly go to youth, but we go to everyone who asks us,” Natalia Dodov said.
Last year, the foundation organized 12 “Know Before You Go” (KBYG) avalanche awareness presentations and seven avalanche workshops for more than 2,000 athletes and students, and also put on the sixth annual Nickolay Dodov Slopestyle competition at Bear Valley.
While most events are held in California, the NDF has also presented in Nevada and Montana, and organizes events in the Dodovs’ home country of Bulgaria. The organization has even translated the KBYG program into the Bulgarian language

Eight avalanche instructors work to carry out the mission of the foundation. The Dodovs organize and attend all of the events themselves, with the exception of those in Bulgaria.
The presentations are designed to engage young athletes and students with quizzes, interactive tests and outdoor avalanche companion rescue practices.

NDF-sponsor Skullcandy provides free headphones to be awarded afterwards, and NDF-sponsor Backcountry Access provides free avalanche gear – beacons, shovels, and probes – for the avalanche workshops.
In addition, NDF Avalanche Educator and chemistry scholar Michael McCarthy recently developed a five-hour interactive avalanche educational workshop for youth to fill out the gap between the KBYG program and a Level 1 avalanche class.
The foundation works with various partners, including Sierra Avalanche Center, Utah Avalanche Center and National Avalanche Center, which all operate in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.
Karl Birkeland, director of National Avalanche Center, has been one of the foundation’s biggest supporters. Following the accident, the Dodovs reached out to him
“They were sort of searching to make sense of the accident … which was an unspeakably difficult and trying thing … and one of the things that they were wanting to do was to try and make a real positive influence on people, and especially kids and avalanche education,” Birkeland said.
Birkeland connected the Dodovs with the KBYG program, which is operated out of Utah Avalanche Center and geared towards educating youth on avalanche safety.

“The National Avalanche Center is the small avalanche center with the big name, because we just have two employees, so you can imagine that there is only so much that we can do,” Birkeland said. “We really rely on the private sector and nonprofits and other people in the avalanche community to do a lot of the avalanche education.”

Over the past six years, National Avalanche Center has provided resources to help the NDF carry out its mission.
“To have really committed people like Alex and Natalia and all of the educators that work with them out there providing this information to all these kids, I find it just incredible and super gratifying,” Birkeland said. “They’re great people and I think they’re doing really great work … They can be a really powerful voice for avalanche safety.”
In 2014, the NDF created the Schmidt Award in honor of Marty and Denali Schmidt, a local father and son who lost their lives in an avalanche while climbing K2 in 2013. The award is given out annually to individuals or organizations for providing snow safety awareness and avalanche education to the snowsports community.
Since the NDF began organizing presentations, the Dodovs have received an abundance of positive feedback.
“You are making an incredible impact for our snowsports world,” Sugar Bowl Ski Team and Academy Board Member Daron Rahlves said. “Thank you so much! Nick is with you every step of the way!”

This year’s series of NDF programs will kick off on Oct. 26 with a presentation at a Bear Valley Adventure Company event in Bear Valley, where the Dodovs have lived and skied for the past 20 years.
“We are already scheduling many avalanche educational presentations and workshops for the upcoming snow season,” Natalia Dodov said. “It looks like it will be another busy winter with avalanche education. We will encourage and teach as many as we can to play on the snow and be safe. We believe that by educating youth we will save lives.”
The NDF accepts donations through Paypal on its website, nickolaydodovfoundation.com. Checks can be addressed to PO Box 5035, Bear Valley, CA 95223. The Nickolay Dodov Foundation is a charitable 501c3 nonprofit organization (#46-3764229). All donations are tax deductible and supporters will receive an NDF invoice for their records.

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6th Annual Nickolay Dodov Slopestyle in Bear Valley, Saturday, April 6th!!!

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253THE 6TH ANNUAL NICKOLAY DODOV SLOPESTYLE!!! …APRIL 6TH AT BEAR VALLEY RESORT!!!! ….SAVE THE DATE!!!!…9-10am registration in the Sun Room ….10-11am Practice ….11am Completion Starts ….3pm Awards on Sun Deck….. COME TO SHRED WITH US AND SHARE GOOOOD VIBES WITH NICK’S TRIBE!!!! …. GOODY BAGS FOR ALL THE COMPETITORS AND AMAZING PRIZES FOR THE WINNERS …. LIFE MUSIC WITH JANKTONES AND NEW EARTH LOGIC!!!!!……THE GOOD VIBE TRIBE WILL TROW A PARTY IN THE END OF THE DAY!!!…WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVE YOU WITH US!!!

Nickolay Dodov Foundation is traveling with many free avalanche education events to youth and all ages mountain enthusiasts from the begging of the Snow season 2018/2019

In the last four years we have reached out with the avalanche awareness program “Know Before You Go” to close to 6000 ski and snowboard athletes, middle, high school and university students, coaches, teachers, parents and all age mountain enthusiasts.
NDF has started the snow season of 2018/2019 with SEVEN GREAT Avalanche Education events in the months of December and January.
December 2018 –
One day Avalanche Workshop in Santa Cruz
KBYG Avalanche Awareness Presentations to the students of South Tahoe Middle School and Mammoth Hight School
January 2019-
One day Avalanche Workshop in Bear Valley
KBYG Avalanche Awareness Presentation to the ski and snowboard teams and public at Squaw Valley
Two KBYG Avalanche Awareness Presentations to the students of Truckee Forest Charter School.
February 2019 –
KBYG Avalanche Awareness Presentation to Yosemite Ski team and public! Great event at a very special place!
NDF is scheduling many avalanche education events for March and April 2019!!!
Due to snow storm and closure of roads and the school the Forth Annual Avalanche Awareness KBYG event on February 27th at South Tahoe High School is rescheduled for March 28th
March 6th NDF will have four KBYG presentations at North Tahoe Middle School.
March 15th NDF will have 2 KBYG presentations to 7th and 8th grate students at Sonora Elementary School
March 19th and 20th we will have avalanche events at the China Lake Military base
April 11th NDF will have 2 KBYG Presentations to the students at George Whittell High School
In the snow season of 2017/2018 NDF reached out to more than 1500 ski/snowboard athletes, middle, high school and university students, coaches, teachers and parents with KBYG Avalanche Awareness Presentations.
December 2017- Heavenly ski/snowboard teams
January 2018- Kirkwood Big Mountain ski/snowboard teams and Alpine race teams, Mt Shasta ski/snowboard teams
February 2018- Avery Middle School, Bret Harte High School, two presentations at South Tahoe High School, Bear Valley ski/snowboard teams, two presentation at Squaw Valley to Big mountain ski/snowboard teams and Alpine race teams, Montana State University to the Backcountry Club -with the help and support of the Forest Service National Avalanche Center, Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center and Montana State University Backcountry Club presented KBYG to Montana State University Students. Karl Birkeland /The Director of the Forest Service National Avalanche Center, Doug Chabot /The Director of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center and Jordy Hendrikx /The Director of the Snow and Avalanche Lab at MSU for presented  KBYG on behalf of the Nickolay Dodov Foundation
March 2018-  Bulgaria, mountain hut Skakavica, Free Mountain Association and their mountain guides and avalanche educators Georgi Georgiev, Jordan Smolitchki and Hristo Ivanov presented the Avalanche Awareness Program “Know Before You Go” in behalf of Nickolay Dodov Foundation to the mountain enthusiasts, guides and search and rescue from the mountaineering clubs Nickolay Dodov and Seven Rela Lakes and visitors from Macedonia! Great two day presentation and workshop!
April 2018- NDF had a special snowmobile avalanche safety workshop to our Stanislaus National Forest Rangers with Duncan Lee, who is a special motorizes AIARE avalanche educator. We had our Foundation first two day avalanche workshop at Kirkwood with the AIARE avalanche educator Michael McCarthy! We had Kyle Rasmussen and Daron Rahlves with us to take the workshop and to support the Foundation! It was great to practice search and recovery drills with two Olympians!
We have started Nickolay Dodov Foundation five years ago. The mission of our Foundation is to spread avalanche awareness to all who enjoy the snow mountains… but the most to our youth…with the hope that by being able to reach out with avalanche education we will save lives!

Nickolay was not our only son, he was our best friend, our beast team made, our teacher in many ways. He was very special young man, his light was so bright, everyone who had the opportunity to know him, was amazed of his talents, wisdom, his big smile and huge heart, always ready to help everyone.

Our Foundation is brought up from our love for Nick!… From our love for the mountains!… From our love for skiing in the backcountry!… We will continue to encourage and teach as many as we can to play on the snow and be safe!…We will continue our Foundation work in the light of our Nick!…We are looking forward to work together with everyone who is interested to reach out with avalanche awareness education!…We are so passionate about it…. it feels like it is our life now…. it is a good feeling… and all the movement and the progress of reaching youth with free avalanche education is so meaningful for us… feels like Nick is right next to us. … with a big smile on his face. .. I am up every morning before 5am to write emails for the Foundation and organize our presentations and events….The Foundation gives Alex and me a huge powerful positive purpose…We are VERY THANKFUL to be connected with Karl Birkeland, Doug Chabot, Craig Gordon, Richard Bothwell, Paul Henrickson, Michael McCarthy,Paul Diegel, Georgi Georgiev and all avalanche educators… we feel like Nick is orchestrating it all.. Powerful good feeling!…We are so very passion about spreading avalanche education especially to youth…. we feel like all the kids we reach out to with KBYG are our kids now .. and we always will encourage them to go and play on the mountains…and will continue spread avalanche awareness and educate them to ravel safe in the snow…especially to youth….together with our love for the mountains…for life… for hikes, skiing, snowboarding, windsurfing, skateboarding…sharing good moments… good food with friends..as our Nick did…

We live in a small ski resort Bear valley, California and we ride the mountain every given day…. We have 100+ ski days every winter … half of them in the backcountry… ALWAYS FIRST CHAIR on POWDER DAYS!!!… For our Nick… with our Nick!!!

Please contact us if you would like to have an avalanche education event… We have never turn down a request …. My husband Alex and I travel and attempt every event!… We have GREAT Avalanche Educators on our team!

 

Please contact us if you or your company can support our Foundation!… We are a small Foundation running from  donations of very close friends who are very passionate about backcountry skiing and avalanche education!

We are a small Foundation…. but we do believe that we are the BIGGEST provider of FREE avalanche education to youth in California!

Check our website for upcoming events and to schedule your event! SUPPORT AND DONATE TO US!

http://www.nickolaydodovfoundation.com

 

California Avalanche Workshop

Nickolay Dodov Foundation is proud to be one of the sponsors for the California Avalanche Workshop. This is a great early season workshop for backcountry enthusiast. The California Avalanche Workshop is a preseason gathering of the backcountry tribe. This is an opportunity to learn from pros, analyze accidents, and network. To all of the  Backcountry Tribe please contact us. The Foundation will get you a ticket!  Join us for a great event! !!! The CAW runs from 9-5 on Saturday October 20th at the North Tahoe Event Center…. We are looking forward for it.. and to see you there!!!

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“Bear Valley, CA Resident Teaching ‘Know Before You Go’ Avalanche Awareness to Californian Schools and Ski Resorts” SnowBrains Media-AvyBrains/September 10, 2018

We are reaching out with avalanche education in the light of our son who was killed in avalanche in Alaska

31243_1423302913167_2751218_n.jpgOUR Nick was killed in avalanche  on Thankin Ridge, Haines, Alaska on March 13, 2012. Nick was heli snowboarding under the supervision of Alaska Heli-skiing Company out of Haines. From our investigation we discovered that AH ignored obvious red flags. Recent five feet snow storm, wind storm over night prior to the avalanche and rapid warming. Profit over safety. AH didn’t follow any of its own safety protocols. The AH Company didn’t have drug screening policy. Nick’s guide Rob Liberman, who also died in the avalanche autopsy reveled that his THC levels were 3 times higher than normal background. Therefore he was stoned. Nick was buried under the snow for 1 hour and 27 minutes. Search and rescue began 47 minutes after the avalanche happened. Nick had an Avalung in his mouth, if they would recover Nick under 1 hour and 15 minutes he would survived. He also carried an Air backpack, unfortunately he couldn’t use it, the rip cord was zip in. The AH guides didn’t wear air backpacks and were talking sarcastically about them and quoting that when there time comes this is fine by them. This why they didn’t have the practice t check the readiness after get out of the helicopter. On the top of the fatale run the group of clients was insured that they should not worry everything will be fine this is just an open alpine bowl with rolling hills with steepness between 35-45*…. in considerable conditions. We have a go pro footage of the time frame from all the events and the witnesses stamens. There were two groups of clients and two guides at the scene. Only the two guides end four survivals from Nick group took place in the search and rescue.  After they recovered Nick he still had a heart beat, they didn’t fly Nick to the medical center, he was dropped at the base at AH , 33 miles from Haines to wait for Paramedic car… and the most cruel thing AH, Medical center, VOGA Insurance and the Trooper Department and Haines Bureau did  it was to cover up their mistakes by sending Nick to Seattle to die in another state to prevent investigation. AH didn’t file an accident report neither to the  of Alaska or to the National Avalanche Center until six month later and it was falsified. We started with free avalanche educational project with the hope that by educating the next generation we can prevent future fatalities

It is very hard to find the words to describe our lost.

Nickolay was not our only son, he was our best friend, our beast team made, our teacher in many ways. He was very special young man, his light was so bright, everyone who had the opportunity to know him, was amazed of his talents, wisdom, his big smile and huge heart, always ready to help everyone.

My husbands Alex and I with the help of good friends have started Nickolay Dodov Foundation four years ago… We started reaching out with free avalanche educational programs with the hope that by educating the next generation we can prevent future fatalities… and save lives!

The mission of the Foundation is to spread avalanche awareness to all who enjoy the snow mountains… but the most to our youth… Our Foundation is brought up from our love for Nick!… From our love for the mountains!… From our love for skiing in the backcountry!
In the last three years we have reached out with the avalanche awareness program KBYG to close to 6000 ski and snowboard athletes, middle, high school and university students, coaches, teachers and parents…..With the hope that by being able to reach out with avalanche education we will save lives!

The movement and the progress of reaching to youth with free avalanche education is so meaningful for us… feels like Nick is right next to us. … with his big beautiful smile….The Foundation gives Alex and me a huge powerful positive purpose…We are VERY THANKFUL to be connected with Karl Birkeland, Doug Chabot, Craig Gordon, Richard Bothwell, Bruce Tremper, Paul Diegel, Don Triplet and all avalanche educators… we feel like Nick is orchestrating it all.. Powerful good feeling!…We are so very passion about spreading avalanche education especially to youth…. we feel like all the kids we reach out to with KBYG are our kids now .. and we always will encourage them to go and play on the mountains…and will continue spread avalanche awareness and educate them to travel safe in the snow…especially to youth….together with our love for the mountains…for life… for hikes, skiing, snowboarding, windsurfing, skateboarding…sharing good moments… good food with friends..as our Nick did…

We live in a small ski resort Bear valley, California and we ride the mountain every given day. We have 100+ ski days … half of them in the backcountry… ALWAYS FIRST CHAIR on POWDER DAYS! My husband Alex was a professional athlete in ski and snowboarding, rock climbing and mountaineering. He was for two years in Mountain Alpine Division. We used to run private ski and snowboard school and Alex worked with the first heli ski company in Bulgaria. In the Summer time Alex had a Sky Genie business; working on sky scrapers, factory chimney, power towers and bridges using his climbing belaying skills. Our son Nick was a member of Bulgarian National Snowboard Team. He competed in the Junior World Cup in Telluride in 1999. After we moved to California, Nick competed in Tahoe Series, US National Series and US Open in slalom, boarder cross, slope style. For over seven years Nick was living in Truckee in the heart of the snowboard industry. He was sponsored by different companies, having 100+ snowboard days half of the days snowmobiling and split snowboarding backcountry adventures. Nick was very well know as a very good snowboarder and the one always looking for the safety for himself and everybody else. Nick was also an avid surfer and amazing artist…..We will continue to encourage and teach as many as we can to play on the snow and be safe!…We will continue our Foundation work in the light of our Nick!…www.nickolaydodovfoundation.com

Summary of Nickolay Dodov Foundation Avalanche Educational Work for Winter 2017/2018

 

 

For the months of December, January, February and March Nickolay Dodov Foundation presented 12 presentations of the avalanche awareness program Know Before You Go to more than 1500 ski/snowboard athletes, middle, high school and university students, coaches, teachers and parents. In April the Foundation had two educational avalanche workshops.

December – Heavenly ski/snowboard teams

January – Kirkwood Big Mountain ski/snowboard teams and Alpine race teams, Mt Shasta ski/snowboard teams

February – Avery Middle School, Bret Harte High School, two presentations at South Tahoe High School, Bear Valley ski/snowboard teams, two presentation at Squaw Valley to Big mountain ski/snowboard teams and Alpine race teams,

Montana State University to the Backcountry Club -with the help and support of the Forest Service National Avalanche Center, Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center and Montana State University Backcountry Club presented KBYG to Montana State University Students. Karl Birkeland /The Director of the Forest Service National Avalanche Center, Doug Chabot /The Director of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center and Jordy Hendrikx /The Director of the Snow and Avalanche Lab at MSU for presented KBYG in behalf of the Nickolay Dodov Foundation

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March – Bulgaria, mountain hut Skakavica, Free Mountain Association and their mountain guides and avalanche educators Georgi Georgiev, Jordan Smolitchki and Hristo Ivanov presented the Avalanche Awareness Program “Know Before You Go” in behalf of Nickolay Dodov Foundation to the mountain enthusiasts, guides and search and rescue from the mountaineering clubs Nickola Dodov and Seven Rela Lakes and visitors from Macedonia! Great two days presentation and workshop!

April – Snowmobile Avalanche Safety workshop to the Stanislaus National Forest Rangers with Specialized motorized AIARE Avalanche Educator Duncan Lee and our Foundation first two day AIARE Avalanche workshop for Kirkwood coaches and mountain enthusiasts with AIARE Avalanche Educator Michael McCarthy. We had the two Olympians Kyle Rasmussen and Daron Rahlves who came to take the workshop and to Support our Foundation!!!

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Two years ago with the help of Karl Birkelnad, Director of The National Avalanche Center, Craig Gordon and Paul Diegel from Utah Avalanche Center, and Georgi Georgiev, mountain guide and avalanche educator from The Free Mountains Associations Nickolay Dodov Foundation has translated KBYG Program in Bulgarian language and has been organizing presentations in Bulgaria! We also have translated the Avalanche Safety brochure into Bulgarian language to be distributed to the mountain resorts, ski and snowboard teams and mountain huts in Bulgaria.

In the last three years we have reached out with the avalanche awareness program KBYG to close to 6000 ski and snowboard athletes, middle, high school and university students, coaches, teachers and parents…..With the hope that by being able to reach out with avalanche education we will save lives!…

Our Foundation goal for the next year is to bring Avalanche workshops to all of the ski and snowboard teams we had been with KBYG to prepare them for Level 1 Avalanche classes and to bring KBYG to ski and snowboard teams and schools where we haven’t been yet!

 

 My husbands Alex and I have started Nickolay Dodov Foundation four years ago…

The mission of the Foundation is to spread avalanche awareness to all who enjoy the snow mountains… but the most to our youth…. ….With the hope that by being able to reach out with avalanche education we will save lives!…

Our Foundation is brought up from our love for Nick!… From our love for the mountains!… From our love for skiing in the backcountry!… We will continue to encourage and teach as many as we can to play on the snow and be safe!…We will continue our Foundation work in the light of our Nick!…

If you would like to support the Nickolay Dodov Foundation we are charitable 501c3 nonprofit organization #46-3764229. All donations are tax deductible (you will receive a NDF invoice) You can donate at our website www.nickolaydodovfoundation.com You can send us a check to Nickolay Dodov Foundation, PoBox 5035, Bear Valley Ca 95223 You can support us through your charitable organization

We will be very thankful if you can help and support our Foundation to reach out with avalanche education!

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