Mountain Rescue Aspen launches backcountry safety course

Staff report

Mountain Rescue Aspen will launch a new initiative Saturday to try to better prepare backcountry adventurers.

The volunteer rescue group will host a Backcountry Basics Workshop in Aspen at the CB Cameron Rescue Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The class is intended to become a keystone annual event, similar to the search-and-rescue group’s popular avalanche training workshop.

It’s open to people of all skill levels.

“The idea is to offer continuing education,” said Greg Shaffran, an MRA member. It can teach new skills to people venturing out into the backcountry and provide a refresher to veterans.

The workshop will focus on 10 essentials necessary for safe and successful backcountry travel. They fall into four categories — navigation, first aid, self-care and survival, Shaffran said.

A $30 donation includes lunch, a medical kit and as hands-on training by search-and-rescue experts.

Space is limited, and participants must sign up online at