Silverton Avalanche School is the beneficiary of the second annual Know the Snow Rando Race. The race at Purgatory raises money for the Know the Snow Fund which supports avalanche classes.
This year’s race was dedicated to the memory of Bert Perry and Jeff Paffendorf, Durango community members and experienced backcountry enthusiasts who recently died in an avalanche outside of Silverton.
Dr. Jeff Paffendorf, an experienced skier, died on Dec. 10 along with Albert Perry. They were caught in an avalanche they triggered on the north face of the Battleship, which is near Silverton.
Their accident shows just how unstable the snowpack was. It is important for backcountry skiers to be as knowledgeable as possible about the conditions they will face.
Wind blown snow was deposited on the slope where Paffendorf and Perry skied. It accumulated on an unstable base layer. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center had reported that the avalanche danger was considerable that day.
In 2020, the race raised more than $10,000 and provided 19 scholarships for skiers to attend avalanche education courses with Silverton Avalanche School. The funds fully paid for Level 1 and Level 2 avalanche courses at Silverton Avalanche School.