Drink Beer and Ski for Your Local Avalanche Center

You can do that. You can totally do that.

Best Party of the Year. PHOTO: FRIENDS OF THE CAIC

The kind of people who want to support avie centers are generally smart. Or at least smart enough that they've found ways to fundraise by getting backcountry skiers to do what they already do: ski and party.

This weekend, the Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center are putting on their annual Benefit Bash, which is arguably Breckenridge's best party of the year (i.e. you don't have to go to Cecilia's). Last year, they raised $72,000 through silent auctions and beer sales. This year they're shooting for more than $90,000. You can still get tickets here.

In Tahoe, next week Dynafit and Alpenglow Sports are launching the Tahoe Backcountry Vertical Challenge. If local skiers climb a cumulative 15 million vertical feet between November 15 and April 30, they'll donate $3,000 to the Sierra Avalancher Center. All you have to do is track you vertical. To kick off the event, this weekend the Burning Man elite, the Avalanche Center, and the ladies of SheJumps are putting on a retro ski party; ticket sales go to the avie center.

It's not cheap to run a forecasting operation. The CAIC, for instance, costs $ 891,000 to operate. They get funding from the Department of Transportation and from state and local governments, but a lot of their costs are covered by donations. So you can help out by doing what you do best, whether that's hula hooping in your one-piece, drinking beer, or, you know, skiing.