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Backcountry Fest is back

Eastern Oregon Backcountry Festival returns Jan. 19EOU students ski at Backcountry Festival 2018

Jan 9, 2018 La Grande, Ore. — For three days this winter, hundreds of folks will gather Jan. 19 to 21 to celebrate backcountry culture in Eastern Oregon. The 6th Annual Eastern Oregon Backcountry Festival combines an evening of film, fundraising for the Wallowa Avalanche Center, a memorial backcountry race at Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort, avalanche and snow safety clinics, and live music.

“This is an amazing weekend of activities to show your support for the Wallowa Avalanche Center and gather together to celebrate the amazing winter recreation opportunities we have here in eastern Oregon,” said EOU’s Outdoor Adventure Program Coordinator Michael Hatch.

The weekend begins at Eastern Oregon University’s Gilbert Events Center with a showing of TGR’s new movie, “Rogue Elements” at 7 p.m. on Jan. 19. The event includes refreshments, and beer and wine will be available for purchase.

A raffle and auction to benefit the Wallowa Avalanche Center will follow the film showing. Prizes donated by local businesses and individuals include a backcountry chartered flight over the Wallowas, a ski trip at one of the legendary Wallowa Alpine Huts, a BCA rescue package, and stellar outdoor gear from Blue Mountain Outfitters. Tickets are available at the EOU Outdoor Adventure Program, Blue Mountain Outfitters and at the event. Admission costs $10 for students/youth and $15 for community members 18 and up.

The following day features back-to-back activity at Anthony Lakes Resort. Participants embrace the mountain air for the 2nd Annual Kip Rand Memorial Backcountry Race, which offers a cash prize or 2018/2019 Anthony Lakes season pass to the winners and requires pre-registration. Additional activities include snow and avalanche safety clinics, and live music by Bag of Hammers at the Starbottle Saloon.

Sunday features a social ski throughout the day. Groups can self-organize and explore the amazing backcountry surrounding Anthony Lakes. OAP Coordinator Michael Hatch will lead a tour into Angel Basin starting at 9 a.m. from the lodge.

Local sponsors include Blue Mountain Outfitters, Winding Waters River Expeditions, Wallowa Alpine Huts, Local Harvest, Baker Vision Clinic, EOU Outdoor Adventure Program, and Side A Brewing.

View a full schedule and register for the backcountry race at eou.edu/outdoor/eastern-oregon-backcountry-festival-2018 or contact Michael Hatch at mhatch@eou.edu for more information.