Local Alaskan wins avalanche grand prize
Alaska Safe Riders
Lifelong Alaskan, Joe Lammers, has had some close calls during his years growing up in Fairbanks. “I’ve been in a few scenarios where I saw that being trained and having the right equipment was super important. One time, my wife and I were first on scene at a car accident and I discovered at that moment, I didn’t have what I needed,” he said. “So I’ve learned, you gotta do what you can to be proactive and prepared. In this state, if you head out to the backcountry, you might end up in a situation where it will be a good long time before help can get to you so you better have a contingency plan.”
Lammers said his brother Scott bought a new sled for the 2023 season and called him out of the blue to ask him if he would buy an avalanche transceiver. “He asked me to buy this avalanche beacon so I could rescue him if he did something stupid. Then he told me there was going to be a free workshop at the Eagle River Store near where I live and I should go to this workshop. I thought it sounded like a good idea so I invited a friend and we went.”
During the workshop at Eagle River Polaris Arctic Cat, Lammers had the opportunity to become a member of Alaska Safe Riders which automatically entered him in the Avalanche Alliance safety kit contest. On December 15th, Lammers was randomly selected out of all eligible entries as the big winner.
The prize included a BCA avalanche transceiver and probe, and a KLIM shovel and avalanche airbag valued at more than $1800.
“It’s such a great surprise to find out that I won,” said Lammers. “I went to that workshop to get educated and I got to hear some incredible stories, gained some great information, and I bought that beacon my brother wanted me to have. And now with this prize, I have the entire kit so I can take a friend and know they will also have a beacon when they ride with us.”
Lammers said he learned later that his oldest son, also a big backcountry rider, had seen the promotion for the workshop, and knowing his uncle Scott had just bought a new sled, told him about the workshop and suggested he go to the program in Fairbanks. And then Scott told his brother Joe.
“It just all worked out in a great way,” said Joe.
His advice to other riders, ‘Don’t ride alone. And if you do, make sure you’re extra careful and leave your travel plans with someone. You gotta be prepared.”
Joe said he thought the best part of the program was the fact that an Alaskan Organization is out doing this community outreach and helping to educate the riding public. “I was really impressed with this program and would encourage everyone that has the chance to go to a workshop. The prize is great, but the information you gain is really the most important part.”
He added that he also thinks it’s important that there is training specific for riders. “While a lot of the information applies to any situation, It’s different when you’re on a sled from being on foot or skis. And this training really focused on that.”
Taking the time to get prepared paid off for Joe who was rewarded by winning the grand prize. Look for more opportunities for training and your chance to win a prize in the future at https://alaskasaferiders.org