Avatech enters the Outdoor Retailer roll call, putting a new spin on safe backcountry travel. Other new ORWM exhibitors featured in SGB this month include Dish and Duer, Voormi and 4FRNT Skis.Avatech-1

Avatech attacks backcountry safety in a manner different from the rest. Where others help unlucky skiers and riders survive once they’re in an avalanche, Avatech focuses on keeping people out of avalanches in the first place.

“Over the past decade there have been incredible innovations in what is mostly the morbid side of our winter sports, technology that potentially makes you feel safer, but what might in actuality increase risk behavior. Avatech focuses solely on proactive solutions that will help mountain communities stay safer and hopefully be more inviting to enjoy,” said brand President Thomas Laakso.


While Laasko is clear that Avatech’s devices can’t prevent or predict avalanches, the tools are changing the game when it comes to understanding the snow and knowing what is and isn’t safe to shred. Much of that understanding comes through revolutionary data-collection devices that gather thousands of data points in a single probe strike. That information can then be shared with the rest of the mountain community via the Avanet platform. In the past, both tools were reserved for guides and forecasters, but this year the brand brings innovative consumer-facing models to market. “These are solutions that help assist your own risk management decisions, as well as enabling the power of interconnectivity and helping others at the same time,” he said.

In the past, Avatech tools were reserved for guides and forecasters, but this year the brand brings innovative consumer-facing models to market.

Notably, the products are not for novice backcountry travelers. “We definitely are targeting the advanced consumer,” Laasko said. “You need to know what you’re looking at. You need to have an Avy 1 class and understand what [the snow] is doing and not doing.

— Photos and video courtesy Avatech

Holden,-CourtneyAuthor Courtney Holden is pretty sure she has the best job ever. Thanks in large part to a Master’s Degree from the University of Colorado Journalism School and an internship with Backpacker Magazine, she somehow weaseled her way into the outdoor industry’s cohort of journalists. Holden now fulfills her dream of hiking, biking, running and skiing – and writing about it.