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

Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop – NTERNATIONAL AVALANCHE SAFETY AWARENESS DAY In Memory of U.S. Ski Team Members Ronnie Berlack and Bryce Astle

Note from Cindy Berlack;

Dear friends,

IN memory of Bryce and Ronnie, there will be a large avalanche event at the Omni Mt. Washington Resort , NH on 11/7.

 I am now sending out notification about this event to any and all people whose lives have been touched by avalanches.
 
 It would be wonderful if you could forward this to:
ski area season pass offices (who can email it out to their pass holders)
organization membership (which may be interested in avalanche safety or snow sport in general)
friends who are interested, whether they can attend or not.
 
Any and all US ski team members, or ski racers, are encouraged to attend as it will hold excellent information about how to stay safe in avalanche prone areas.
 
Thank you so much for your help.
 
Cindy
 

Schmidt Award

Each year Nickolay Dodov Foundation gives away an award to an organization providing snow safety awareness. This award is dedicated to the memory of Marty and Denali , father and son, and Bear Valley local climbers, who were killed while climbing K2, 2 years ago. This year we would like present the Award to Sierra Avalanche Center, for their efforts to inform and educate the public about backcountry avalanche conditions.

Chilkat Valley News; “Dodovs say they’re ending heli-ski suit”

Dodovs say they’re ending heli-ski suit

Chilkat Valley News

February 12, 2015 | Volume 45, Issue 6  | View PDF

By Karen Garcia

Parents of an Alaska Heliskiing client who died in a 2012 avalanche said this week they are dropping their civil suit against the company.Natalia and Alex Dodov filed the suit in state court in February 2014, claiming Alaska Heliskiing “sought profit above safety” and failed to avoid the fatal avalanche that killed their son.The case was moved to federal district court in July.

Nick Dodov, 26, died in a Takhin Ridge avalanche while snowboarding with Alaska Heliskiing in March 2012. Company guide Rob Liberman, 35, of Telluride, Colo., also died in the accident.Natalia Dodov said she and her husband dropped the lawsuit because it wasn’t going to result in what they wanted: more rigorous and enforceable safety regulations in the largely unregulated heli-skiing industry.

Dodov said the case devolved into discussions of a settlement between her lawyer, Juneau-based attorney Mark Choate, and lawyers from Alaska Heliskiing’s insurance company. “The terms of the settlement are against our will. It only supports the insurance company to release every party involved from their responsibility,” Dodov said.“We were never after money or anything like that,” Dodov said. “We never wanted to settle this and release them from responsibility and just get money.”In September, the Dodovs sent an email to Choate telling him they weren’t interested in a settlement.

“We sued Alaska Heliskiing because we thought that it would bring to light Alaska Heliskiing’s unsafe practices which led to our son’s death and help bring much-needed safety regulations to the heli-skiing industry. We decided to drop the case when we and our lawyer disagreed about the direction of the case and we were asked to sign a settlement agreement that went against all our principles and felt to us as if we were selling out our son,” the Dodovs said in an email this week.

According to court documents, Choate said he wrote to the Dodovs on Jan. 6 and told them he could no longer represent them because of a “breakdown in communications” between his office and the Dodovs.Choate said the Dodovs needed to find themselves new legal counsel, and if he didn’t hear from them by Jan. 27, he would move to withdraw himself from the case.Choate said he sent the letter to the email address they successfully used for prior communications. He also sent the letter via mail. “I’ve heard nothing from them and cannot continue to represent them given this breakdown in communications,” he told the court.He moved to withdraw himself on Feb. 4, and the judge granted the withdrawal.

Natalia Dodov said Choate removed himself because she and her husband weren’t interested in signing the settlement. On Jan. 27, Dodov sent Choate an email telling him they wanted the case dismissed.Choate did not return calls for comment. Dodov said she hasn’t heard back from him regarding her Jan. 27 email requesting the case’s dismissal.The Dodovs don’t intend to hire a new lawyer. Dodov said she is not upset with Choate or her legal representation. “It’s all about the system. It’s nothing against the lawyer.”Dodov said the lawsuit was an avenue toward getting the heli-skiing industry to strengthen its safety standards.

The couple also launched a backcountry ski safety program and has aggressively pursued stiffer heli-skiing laws and permitting in discussions with the Bureau of Land Management, Alaska Occupational Safety and Health department, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, and U.S. senators and congressmen.“This was another way we tried,” Dodov said.Natalia Dodov said she was naive to think that filing a lawsuit would result in a more complete investigation of Alaska Heliskiing’s operations and bring focus to heli-ski safety standards.

The Dodovs claimed Alaska Heliskiing’s negligence led to their son’s death and that the company failed to properly assess snow conditions, failed to make a full disclosure of risk, marketed efforts emphasizing affordability (implying cost-cutting at the risk of safety), failed to exercise judgment required of a competent guide, failed to provide a second guide, failed to timely execute post-accident procedures and inadequately trained clients in avalanche search techniques.Tim Lamb, an Anchorage-based attorney for Alaska Heliskiing, said he hoped the case would be dismissed but that he couldn’t address details because it’s officially active.“It’s truly sad. My heart goes out to the Dodovs, as does Alaska Heliskiing’s. For everyone involved, it’s a tragedy,” Lamb said.

 

Nickolay Dodov Foundation First Presentation of The Avalanche Awareness Program “Know Before You Go”

Our first presentation of the Avalanche Awareness Program “Know Before You Go” was to members of the Bear Valley Racing teams! Thank you to all of you for helping the Nickolay Dodov Foundation to bring out snow sports safety awareness.

 

NICKOLAY DODOV FOUNDATION AVALANCHE AWARENESS SUMMIT

 
NICKOLAY DODOV FOUNDATION AVALANCHE AWARENESS SUMMIT IS GOING TO BE HELD ON DECEMBER 9th  at 1:00pm in The Cathedral Lounge at the Bear Valley LodgeIN BEAR VALLEY!
The Free Avalanche Awareness Program Know Before You Go will be presented by its Founder Craig Gordon, an Avalanche Educator from Utah Avalanche Center.
PLEASE COME AND JOIN US AND SPREAD THE WORD TO YOUR FRIENDS AND COMMUNITY! We will have more details about the time and the place soon.
The Foundation is very thankful to all our sponsors, to Karl Birkeland, The Director of the National Avalanche Center and to Craig Gordon from Utah Avalanche Center for all of their help us to host this event.
Nickolay Dodov Foundations goal is to implement the Know Before You Go Program to Middle and High Schools in California and junior ski and snowboard teams.
Craig Gordon developed the Know Before You Go avalanche awareness program for young adults in 2004.  The  one-hour program includes a 15-minute video and slide show presentation.  The program has directly reached over 175,000 students in Utah to date and has spread around North America. Craig’s legendary enthusiasm and communication skills keep him in high demand on the avalanche lecture circuit and television appearances.
Know Before You Go is a free avalanche awareness program.  Not much science, no warnings to stay out of the mountains, no formulas to memorize.  In 1 hour, you will see the destructive power of avalanches, understand when and why they happen, and how you can have fun in the mountains and avoid avalanches.
The KBYG program was created for middle and high school students and can be presented in a 50 minute school assembly. The high energy video and the jaw-dropping slide show, along with the Q&A chat with an avalanche professional, takes the breath away from adults as well.
The KBYG program has 3 parts, an 15 minute video, a slide show, and a Q&A session, all led by a local avalanche professional.  The images are eye-catching and pack a punch.  Viewers see the destructive power of avalanches, how people get in trouble, and the basics of how to avoid them, all through the eyes of avalanche professionals, pro athletes, accident victims and rescuers, and their peers.  We don’t preach and we don’t tell skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers to stay home – we encourage them to get some education to get out and have fun safely.
On December 26, 2003, a massive avalanche swept off Mt. Timponogos.  14 people out  hiking and snowboarding the day after Christmas were caught up in the slide and 3 died.  This didn’t have to happen – the danger signs were obvious to those who understood avalanche danger.  In the aftermath of this tragedy, the Know  Before You Go program was born.

Mountain Town Throw Down Honoring Denali and Marty Schmidt

 

THE Nickolay Dodov Foundation WAS HONORED TO DEDICATE OUR SUMMER EVENT TO DENALI & MARTY SCHIMDT, WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN AN AVALANCHE CLIMBING K2 JULY 27TH, 2013. THEY BOTH ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO OUR BEAR VALLEY COMMUNITY AND ARE RECOGNIZED AROUND THE WORLD.

WE HAD A WONDERFUL, FUN, EDUCATIONAL EVENT CELEBRATING & REMEMBERING DENALI AND MARTY.

Positive vibes, good food, grooving music and good memories! Thank you to everyone for coming, sharing the day with us and supporting the event! Thank you to all of our sponsors, board members, volunteers and friends for making it happen!!!

The Schmidt Award was given to Bear Valley Ski Patrols for their efforts providing snow safety awareness to our community through exemplary management and practices.  

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