Eastern Oregon University > Outdoor Adventure Program > Eastern Oregon Backcountry Festival 2022

Eastern Oregon Backcountry Festival 2022

February 4-6, 2022


The 10th annual Eastern Oregon Backcountry Festival is going to be a bit different this year due to the global pandemic. Instead of our annual film night and fundraiser we’ll be offering an online auction through the month of January to raise funds for the Wallowa Avalanche Center. We will also be hosting a virtual online screening of the Winter Wildlands Alliance -Backcountry Film Festival starting of Friday, Feb. 4th and going through the 20th. For Saturday, we’ve brought back the Kip Rand Memorial Backcountry Race, along with offering several free snow safety clinics throughout the day. On Sunday, join WAC forecasters for a tour into the A-Lakes backcountry to assess snow conditions and learn about the local terrain. The event is a collaboration between the Outdoor Adventure Program, Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort, and Wallowa Avalanche Center.

All the events on Saturday and Sunday are free to attend and participate in. All the fundraising is for the Wallowa Avalanche Center (WAC) and we want people to know that even small donations can make a big difference in helping us promote safe and informed decision-making in the backcountry of Northeast Oregon.

A special thanks goes out to this year’s local festival sponsors: Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort, Winding Waters River Expeditions, Side A Brewing, Wallowa Alpine Huts, Robert Brooks Painting and Contracting, and Kokanee Inn for their support.

Here is a list of some of our fabulous festival sponsors. A big thanks to all of them for donating gear, services, products, and $$$.

Fabulous Online Auction & Raffle

We have received tremendous support from the community and local businesses! Here are a few of the FANTASTIC auction items we’ll have this year:

  • Two 2022-2023 ALMR season passes
  • DA Kine Heli Pro Packs 24L
  • BCA Shaxe Tech Shovels
  • BCA Float Pack 17L
  • BCA Float Pack Canister
  • Da Kine Roller Ski Bags
  • Da Kine Boot Bag
  • Wallowas Photos by Corrine Dutto
  • White Pine Outfitters Fishing Trip
  • Hyperspud Shovel, Probe, Backpack
  • Eagle Cap Mountain Guides – 1 day of guided skiing in the western Wallowas
  • Kokanee Inn- 2 nights for 2 folks
  • Eastern Wheelworks – 1 bike tune-up, 1 full suspension overhaul, and 2 mountain bike demos
  • Black Diamond Ascension Skins compliments of the Outdoor Adventure Program
  • Weston Swag

Check out all the fabulous auction items here – 32 Auctions

Friday, Feb. 4, 2022

Produced each year as a celebratory, backcountry community event by the Winter Wildlands Alliance, the 17th Annual Backcountry Film Festival film line-up is full of snowy, cinematic adventure sure to inspire both the local backcountry and general communities. Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving winter wildlands and a quality human-powered snow sports experience on public lands. 

By partnering with the EOBF at a local level, the Winter Wildlands Alliance is helping raise much needed funds for the Wallowa Avalanche Center and supporting its mission of promoting safe winter backcountry recreation in Eastern Oregon.

Adventure, environment and climate, youth outdoors, ski culture- you’ll find it all in this award winning lineup. Films in this year’s program include:

  • AscendReframing Disability in the Outdoors
  • Finding Gulo – The Movement to Save the Wolverine
  • Perspective – Fred Campbell
  • A Tribute to a Glacier
  • Alone Beneath the Northern Lights
  • Denizens of the Steep
  • Eastside Story
  • Reverie
  • And a whole lot more….

To view this spectacular film go to 17th Annual Backcountry Film Festival. The cost is $10/person or $20/household. (Link will go live on Feb. 4th)

Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022

On Saturday, all events will take place at or near Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort. Great news! The Kip Rand Memorial Backcountry Race has been brought back!. We will still be offering several free avalanche and snow safety clinics led by WAC forecasters throughout the day on Saturday.

Kip Rand Memorial Backcountry Race, 8am: This several mile backcountry race is in memory of our dear friend and past WAC director, Kip Rand. This race is open to all skill levels and abilities, along with all snow slide types including AT and Telemark skiers and split boarders. There is a men’s and women’s division. Whatever race equipment you start out with is the race equipment you must cross the finish line with. Winners of the men’s and women’s division receive a 2022-2023 Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort season pass, or $200 cash. Participants MUST check-in at the EOBF tent outside the main lodge 15 minutes before the clinic. To register sign up here – Kip Rand Backcountry Race Registration

Avalanche Companion Rescue Clinic, 10am: This clinic will focus on proper use of avalanche gear – beacon, shovel, and probe – and how to organize and carry out an effective and efficient companion rescue. Space is limited. To register sign up here – ACR Clinic

Snow Pit Observation Clinic, 1pm: WAC staff will spend time in the Anthony Lakes backcountry demonstrating skills and tests useful in identifying unstable layers and their subsequent sensitivity to human triggering. Space is limited. To register sign up here – SPO Clinic

Sign up for these clinics for these clinics at the links above. Participants MUST check-in at the EOBF tent outside the main lodge 15 minutes before the clinic.

For these clinics you will need a way to move around on the snow – either with a backcountry set-up or with a pair of snowshoes. The OAP and WAC will have snow safety gear (beacons, shovels, and probes) available for your use during the clinics if you don’t have your own gear.

Disco Bonfire Dance Party, 4pm: Come dressed in your best 70’s outfit and let your inner diva shine. We’ll have a bonfire, you’ll get warmed up, we’ll have disco music, you’ll dance, we’ll give away awesome raffle prizes, you’ll be stoked, we’ll award the best dressed, and you’ll be so happy you supported the local avalanche center.

Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022

BC Tour, 9am: On Sunday, WAC forecasters will be leading several small tour groups into the Anthony Lakes backcountry to evaluate conditions and show folks the great local terrain options. To register for the ski tour go to – WAC Forecaster Tour


We are pleased to offer a 15% discount on accommodations at Quality Inn in Baker City if you need a place to stay during the festival. You can reach Quality Inn at 541-423-6444 or visit register directly at http://www.qualityinn.com/ires/en-US/html/ArrivalInfo?hotel=OR294&srp=LEOU&pu=no

We are looking forward to this year’s festival and providing a fun and safe event for local and regional backcountry recreationists!!

For more information contact Michael Hatch at 541-962-3621 or mhatch@eou.edu.  To learn about the Wallowa Avalanche Center visit www.wallowaavalanchecenter.org or contact WAC Director, Victor McNeil at victor@wallowaavalanchecenter.org

Eastern Oregon Backcountry Festival schedule:

Jan. 6 – Feb. 6, 2022- Online Auction

Online silent and live auction to benefit and raise funds for the Wallowa Avalanche Center. Amazing prizes, equipment, and services from local businesses and sponsors will be available. To join in the fundraising fun visit 32 Auctions

Feb. 4 – Feb. 20, 2022 – Online Backcountry Film Festival Showing

In collaboration with the Winter Wildlands Alliance we bring you this year’s 17th Annual Backcountry Film Festival film. All proceeds support the Wallowa Avalanche Center. To buy tickets, go to 17th Annual Backcountry Film Festival

Saturday, Feb. 5th – Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort

8 a.m. – Festivities start out with the Kip Rand Memorial Backcountry Race.

10 a.m. – Avalanche Companion Rescue Clinic at Anthony Lakes. (Meet at EOBF tent south of the rental shop)

1 p.m. – Snow Pit Observation Clinic: snow profiles and stability tests in the AL backcountry. (Meet at EOBF tent south of the rental shop)

4 p.m. – Disco Bonfire Dance Party. Come dressed in your best 70’s outfit and prepare to dance your pants off!

Sunday, Feb. 6th – Elkhorn Mountains

9 a.m. – Join WAC forecasters on a tour of Angell Basin near A-Lakes. They’ll show you some helpful techniques for evaluating the local snowpack and good touring options. (Meet at EOBF tent south of the rental shop 15 min before the tour)

About the instructors:

Michael Hatch is the Outdoor Adventure Program Director and an Instructor of Health and Human Performance at Eastern Oregon University. He is a forecaster for the Wallowa Avalanche Center.  Michael is an AIARE Level 1 and Level 2 Course Leader, and Professional Member of the American Avalanche Association.

Victor McNeil is the Director of the Wallowa Avalanche Center and lead forecaster. He is an AIARE Level 1 Course Leader. Victor has his IFMGA certification, which is the highest guide certification available. He guides internationally for Alpine Ascents and frequents high haunts in Alaska, South America, and beyond. Victor and his wife Kelly, own Eagle Cap Mountain Guides.

Kip Rand Memorial Backcountry Race Results for 2/6/22

  1. Kyle Rood – 44:13 2. Matt Sheeks – 48.14 3. Konrad Dickman – 49:42 13. Maddee Rubenson – 106.08

Kip Rand Memorial Backcountry Race Results for 2/8/20

1. Mark Hauter – 42:25  2. Aaron Maxwell – 44:53  3. John Orland – 52:38  

9. Raphaela Hsh-Flanders – 113:45  

Kip Rand Memorial Backcountry Race Results – 1/28/19

1. Devin Calvin – 35:53  2. Mark Hauter – 38:44  3. Allan Ottman – 39:50   9. Jessica Barker – 43:18