Hans Saari Memorial Fund Celebrates its Ski Exploration Grant with Backcountry Magazine and K2

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January 25th at the OR - Outdoor Retailer Show – in Salt Lake City from 5-6:30 pm at the K2 BoothBozeman, Montana (January 15, 2008) Please join us at the K2 booth for The Hans Saari Memorial Fund (HSMF), www.hansfund.org, a grant-giving organization established to honor the life and achievements of ski-mountaineer Hans Saari, we will celebrate the launch of its Ski Exploration Grant with K2 and Backcountry Magazine at this Winter’s Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City. This event is designed to give thanks and acknowledgment to all of Hans’s supporters, sponsors and friends who have helped create this unique ski- focused grant. The Hans Fund would like to formerly thank the staff of Backcountry Magazine for its support and partnership as this Grant is launched and new programs are introduced. The Fund firmly celebrates Saari’s verve as Ben Reeder discovers in his recent article, Backcountry Magazine: “He (Saari) was approachable to anyone…a mentor eager to motivate others to experience life to its fullest,” as described by Kristoffer Erickson-close friend and ski adventure partner. Fellow ski explorer and good friend, Andrew McLean adds, “There’s nothing else like it, the ‘Ski Exploration Grant’, it is the perfect way to commemorate Hans – and further the sport of ski mountaineering” The Fund would like to thank the folks at Black Diamond and the North Face and K2 for their support and partnership as this Grant is launched and new educational and exploration programs are created. Primary Objectives of the HSMF Exploration Grant The Hans Saari Memorial Fund Ski Exploration Grant provides ski mountaineers a unique opportunity to receive funding assistance through a program designed for and focused specifically on skiing. The grant encourages the development of skills and pursuit of objectives consistent with Hans Saari’s approach to skiing and travel in the mountains. The grant supports innovative ski expeditions and progressive exploratory projects in alpine environments while also encouraging the creative documentation of the experience through film, photography, writing and other media. About the Hans Saari Memorial Fund In 2001, Hans Saari died tragically in a fall while attempting to descend the Tardivel entrance to the Gervasutti Couloir near Mont Blanc. Saari had gained an international reputation as a writer and ski mountaineer. He was highly regarded for his ski expeditions, many of which yielded first descents from some of the world’s most challenging peaks. The Fund, founded in his memory, seeks is to foster an appreciation for alpine skiing, environments, and cultures by promoting ski exploration and education. Through grants and scholarships, the Fund provides assistance to individuals and non-profit organizations whose primary objectives are focused on avalanche educatio. Past recipients of grants include the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center ,and by assisting ski professionals seeking with continuing education opportunities. In 2007, the HSMF introduced a new scholarship program for individuals to accompany its grants. In June, the Fund partnered with Exum mountaineering and awarded its first scholarships to three Bozeman area high school students who attended a five-day ski mountaineering camp in the Wyoming’s Grand Tetons. Applications for Ski Exploration Grants are due March 1. 2008 Applications and additional information can be found at hansfund.org