Proceedings

2016 Proceedings:

Highlights from the 2016 ISSW, Breckenridge, CO
Eeva Latosuo, Alaska Pacific University and Alaska Avalanche School

NASA Citizen Snow Science Project: Remote sensing snow
variability in complex terrain in Southcentral Alaska

Gabriel Wolken, Alaska Div. of Geological & Geophysical Surveys

Vapor Transport in Wet Avalanche Debris Pertaining to Search and
Rescue Dogs

Jocelyn Cramer,  Alaska Pacific University

Alyeska Resort and the 2015/16 Glide Avalanche Cycle
Scott Hilliard, Alyeska Resort Snow Safety Director

Expert Intuition, Uncertainty and Pattern Recognition
Drew Hardesty, Utah Avalanche Center

AAA – The New 2017-18 Pro/Rec Avalanche Education Split Update
Matt Schonwald, American Avalanche Association Professional Training Coordinator

Top NWS tools for sussing out snow conditions and how they
are produced

Sam Albanese, National Weather Service

Tinder for Mentors: Examining the Prevalence and Value of
Mentorship Relationships Amongst Avalanche in the United States

Aleph Johnston-Bloom, Chugach National Forest Avalanche Center

Historical accident patterns and large events in the Eastern
Alaska Range

Conrad Chapman, Eastern Alaska Range Avalanche Center

Overview of the TGR safety program and Mountain Safety Logistics 
Kent Scheler, co-founder Mountain Safety Logistics
Ted Purdy, co-founder Mountain Safety Logistics

Freedom and Anarchy in the Backcountry
Drew Hardesty, Utah Avalanche Center

 

2015 Proceedings:

Ski / sled tracks as an expression of avalanche risk
      Jordy Hendrikx, Snow and Avalanche Lab, Montana State University

Linking changing snowcover properties to altered avalanche flow regimes and effects on run-out distances at Bird Hill, southcentral Alaska
       
Katreen Wikstroem Jones, Dept. of Environmental Science, Alaska Pacific University

The basics of climate change and debunking the myth
       Jordy Hendrikx, Snow and Avalanche Lab, Montana State University

Climate change in Alaska: how to think positive
       
Mike Loso, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve

So You Want To Be An Avalanche Forecaster? From the couch to the snowpit; a look at the changing world of U.S. avalanche education
       Dallas Glass, American Avalanche Association, Interim Pro Training Coordinator

Evolution of the AEL&P Avalanche Program                                                                       Mike Janes, Alaska Electric Light & Power

Waves breaking uphill: A survivor’s story
       Mike Hopper, Owner/operator The Lodge at Black Rapids, EARC founding member

 

2014 Proceedings:

Highlights from the 2014 ISSW, Banff Canada
       Eeva Latosuo, Alaska Pacific University and Alaska Avalanche School

Damalanche: Avalanche Dammed River
       Sarah Carter, Alaska Avalanche Information Center

The Evolution of the 2014 ‘Damalanche’ Facet Layer in SouthCentral and South East Alaska
        Don Sharaf, Valdez Heli-Ski Guides and American Avalanche Institute

Avalanche Accidents Involving People Along Transportation Corridors and the Implications for Avalanche Operations
         Tim Glassett, ADOT&PF

Fracture Speeds of Triggered Avalanches
        
Dave Hamre, Alaska Railroad Corp.

An Avalanche of Data:  SNOTEL sites, their instruments, and what it all means
        
Daniel Fischer, National Resources Conservation Service

Webcams, Snowfall Data and other ADOT&PF Online Goodies
         
Matt Murphy, ADOT&PF

Performing Under Pressure: Improving Student Performance
         Deb Ajango, Director of SafetyEd

Risk and Liability for Avalanche Professionals
 
        Tracey Knutson, Knutson and Associates Attorneys at Law

Three Hard Years in the Chilkat Range of Alaska: Potential Causes and Possible Solutions to Problems in the Alaska Heli-Ski Industry
          Mark Kelly, Alaska Heliskiing Lead Guide/Primary Forecaster

Occupational Safety and Health Compliance
          Phil Jensen and Colleen Cunanan, Consultants with Alaska Occupational Safety and Health’s Consultation and Training section

 

2013 Proceedings:

Mechanism of dry slab avalanche release – a look under the hood
       Ron Simenhois, The friend of the North Douglas Avalanche Center and Coeur Alaska
Abstract: A dry slab avalanche starts when a fracture along a weak snowpack layer undercuts a large section of a slope. In this presentation we will take a look at how a weak layer fracture starts, the energy that drives it across the slope and the causes for a fracture to arrest. We will also talk about what allows or prevents a released slab from sliding down the slope. Finally, we will touch on the practical implications we can drive from the theory behind the mechanisms of dry avalanche release.

Turnagain Pass snowpack temperature array – more than meets the eye                           Wendy Wagner, Chugach National Forest Avalanche Center
Abstract: During the winter of 2012-13 the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Center 
teamed up with BeadedStream LLC to install and operate a 3 meter vertical temperature array in the heart of Turnagain Pass. The array consisted of temperature sensors that measured real-time soil, snow and air every 10cm at 5 minute intervals. This presentation will discuss not only the expected data, i.e. snowpack temperature gradients, but also the unexpected information which proved valuable for weather and avalanche forecasting.

Winter 2012/2013 – Persistent weak layer under a deep snowpack. Challenges at                                        Alyeska resort.                                                                                              Andy Dietrick and Jim Kennedy, Alyeska Resort

Tips and tricks for forecasting Eastern Turnagain Arm weather                                           James Nelson, National Weather Service
Abstract: The National Weather Service (NWS) in Anchorage provides forecasts for Southcentral Alaska. There are many ways to access the forecast information including the web page. We will discuss the services provided on the web page as well as discussing what to glean from the information. We will also discuss the elements and techniques we use to forecast snowfall in Southcentral Alaska.

The Sweet Spot: When Competence and Confidence Overlap                                              Aleph Johnston-Bloom, Alaska Avalanche School
Abstract: There have been a series of accidents that have happened to experienced people and professionals in the last couple years, notably this past season. In more than one accident report, other snow professionals have remarked that they could see themselves making decisions similar to those of the victims. I have also felt that – seeing myself in the boots of a deceased friend, making similar choices. I spent a lot of time this summer thinking about human factors as they relate to avalanche professionals and experienced folks. This talk touches on the culture of decision-making in avalanche situations as a professional, specifically talking about fear, vulnerability, competence and confidence. I want to explore the idea that it is an ideal place from which to make decisions when an individual’s level of confidence lines up with his/her competence. How do we get to that balance? Or at least have a personal awareness about it?

The Information Burden: Data Challenges for Snow Safety Operations                              Henry Munter, Chugach Powder Guides

Avalanche Rescue perspective, 212th pararescue                                                                  Captain John Romspert, USAF Pararescue

Seward Highway Avalanche Operations                                                                                    Matt Murphy, Alaska Department of Transportation
Abstract: The Seward Highway follows a route through the Chugach and Kenai Mountains between Alaska’s largest population center of Anchorage and the City of Seward. In addition to the primary alignment, there are spur roads leading from the Seward Highway toward: Whittier, Hope, and Homer making the highway a major artery for transportation on the Kenai Peninsula. The Seward Highway has been susceptible to snow avalanches since its completion in the early 1950’s, and significant efforts have been made to reduce this hazard.

Using time-lapse photography to assist with difficult avalanche forecasting                                   problems                                                                                                                    Ron Simenhois, The friend of the North Douglas Avalanche Center and Coeur Alaska
Abstract: Glide, wet and cornice avalanches can present a significant hazard to people and property in snowy climates. These often destructive avalanches are difficult to forecast and hard to control. In this presentation, we explore a cheap and simple method using time-lapse photography to monitor, study and assist in forecasting these avalanches.

 Original Alaska Avalanche Center (1980s) and forecasting resources compared to                        modern day.
       
Jim Woodmencey, Meteorologist MountainWeather
Abstract: During the Winter Season of 1985-86 I came up to Anchorage to work at what was then called the Alaska Avalanche Forecast Center. Bruce Tremper, who I went to college with at Montana State University, was also working there at the time, and we were both hired by Jill Fredston, the director. In this talk I will chronicle the history of the avalanche center in Alaska from its meager beginnings back in 1977, with Doug Fesler forecasting for Chugach State Park, through the final days of the AAFC as a State funded entity, which coincidentally was the end of the one and only season that I worked there. The center was shut down in 1986 due to a lack of funding. I will discuss the work we did, from weather forecasting to avalanche fieldwork, and look at how both of those have changed over the years. And also talk of our close relationship with the Alaska Avalanche School.