2022 SAAW Proceedings:

Morning Session – link: MORNING PRESENTATIONS
1- Avalanche Transceiver Interference
Doug Latimer and Ivars Finvers, Alpine Club of Canada Lead Winter Guide

2- Change Your Lenses; Cultivating Intellectual Humility
Amy Pertuz, Silverton Mountain Ski Patrol, Guide, Avalanche Forecaster

3- A Pattern of Deep Persistent Slabs in the Washington Cascades, and Decision Making Strategies for Them
Matt Primomo, Northwest Avalanche Center

4- Avalanche modeling for Door 4 RACS placements
Matt McKee, Alaska Railroad Avalanche Program
Katreen Wickstrom-Jones, Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys

5- Automated Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) Mapping
John Sykes, Chugach NF Avalanche Center and Simon-Fraser University

Afternoon Session – link:  AFTERNOON PRESENTATIONS
1- A case study of the Hatcher Pass 2022 Valentine’s Storm Cycle
Allie Barker, Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center
Kyle Van Peursem, NWS Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center in Anchorage

2- The Story of the Hiland Road Avalanche
Trip Kinney, Arctic Valley Ski Patrol

3- An Analysis of a Close Call on Eddie’s Ridge
Mike Welch, Chugach Powder Guides, Alyeska Ski Patrol, Sundog Ski Guides
George Creighton, Chugach Powder Guides and Alaska Avalanche School

4- NWS Season Outlook/ Avalanche Fx products
Carson Jones, National Weather Service

5- Community Snow Observations
Gabe Wolken, Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys and Climate Adaptation Science Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks

7- Updates from Avalanche Centers in Alaska
Hatcher Pass, Valdez, Haines, Coastal Alaska, Cordova, Eastern Alaska Range, Chugach National Forest

2021 SAAW Proceedings:

Virtual SAAW 2021 recording HERE.

Speakers, in order of appearance
1- American Avalanche Association update
“Trend Effects on Perceived Avalanche Hazard”
                  Andrea Mannberg, Professor in economics, School of Business and Economics and Center for Avalanche Research and Education, UiT the Arctic University of Norway

3- “Unraveling Avalanche Frequency and Climate in Montana using Tree Rings”
                  Erich Peitzsch, U.S. Geological Survey, Research Physical Scientist

4- “Introducing the Daily Flow- A Tool for Motorized Risk Management”
                  Travis Feist, Sierra Avalanche Center

5- “The 2021 Easter Avalanche Cycle at Hatcher Pass and associated Infamous Drizzle Crust”
                   Kyle Van Peursem, Hydrometeorologist, AK-PAC River Forecast Center
                   Allie Barker, Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center
                   Jim Kennedy, Alaska DOT&PF Avalanche Program Director

6- “An Introduction to a New Crowd-Sourcing Study”
                   Eeva Latouso, Associate Professor of Outdoor Studies, APU

7-  “Operational Developments with Community Snow Observations”
                  Gabe Wolken, Research Professor, Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks

8- “Winter Weather Outlook and Changes to NWS Avalanche Weather Guidance 2021/2022”
                  Carson Jones, Meteorologist, National Weather Service Anchorage

6-  Alaska avalanche center and education updates – round robin

2020 Proceedings:

Virtual SAAW 2020 recording: HERE.

Applying Technology to Remote Avalanche Forecasting. Mike Janes, Alaska Electric Light & Power in Juneau

Cognition in the wild: A closer look at the complexity and challenge of avalanche          forecasting. Laura Maguire, Research Engineer Ohio State University.

Online Weather Resources: Tools and Tips for Finding the Perfect Powder Day              and the 2020/2021 Winter Weather Outlook. Kyle Van Peursem, National Weather Service (click HERE for Kyle’s tips doc!)

Avalanche Evaluation on Deep Backcountry Snowmachine Trips. Mike Buck, Alaska Avalanche Information Center & Alaska Avalanche School

Avoiding Avalanches in Remote Alaska. Joe Stock, IFMGA, Stock Alpine and Alaska Guide Collective for Trip Planning resources click HERE

2019 Proceedings:  

When Tragedy Touches You: A template for personal and community response to fatal involvements. Ken Wylie,  IFMGA mountain guide and educator,

Forecasting Challenges, Low Danger with Persistent Weak Layers. Heather Thamm, Alyeska Ski Patrol and former Chugach National Forest Avalanche Center

Colorado’s Historic Avalanche Season. Jaime Yount, Colorado Avalanche Information Center and Colorado Dept. of Transportation

Understanding the role of avalanches in southeast Alaska. Dr. Gabe Wolken, Alaska Div. of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, UAF’s

A Look Back at the Solstice Sleeper Storm and this Season’s Outlook. Kyle Van Peursem,  US National Weather Service Alaska

Effectively Solo- Where’s my partner? Melis Coady, Alaska Avalanche School Executive Director

The White Heat Project: Progress and Findings. Dr. Jerry Johnson, Montana State University Dept. of Political Science

Community Snow Observations (CSO) update. Katreen Wikstrom-Jones, Alaska Div. of Geological & Geophysical Surveys

Mountains As Mentor: An uncensored look at events leading up to and including the Durrand Glacier Tragedy. Ken Wylie, IFMGA mountain guide and educator,

2018 Proceedings:               Live STREAM 2018:  ChugachAvalanche Youtube

ISSW Highlights,  Aleph Johnston-Bloom, CNFAIC

Memory 101 for Avalanche Connoisseurs,  Scott Savage, Sawtooth Avalanche Center

Performance Under Pressure, Deb Ajango, SafetyED, APU

Energy, Air and Snow, Rachel Newell, APU

Wise Ones – Conversations with the Prominent Mentors of the US Avalanche Industry, Eeva Latosuo, APU, Alaska Avalanche School, ASARD

2018/19 Winter Weather Outlook, Kyle Van Peursem,  NWS – Anchorage Office

Use of the Long Range Receiver in 2017/18 SAR Efforts, Pat Dryer, Juneau Mountain Rescue

Managing the Bird to Gird Bike Path and Musings From the Road, Tim Glasset, AKDOT

Presence of Social Media Use and Smart Phone Technology Among Backcountry Skiers and Snowboarders, Hatcher Pass, Alaska, Cristian Ortega, APU

Lessons Learned from the 2014 Frenchman Creek Idaho Snowmachine Accident, Scott Savage, Sawtooth Avalanche Center

2017 Proceedings:

A3 Professional Avalanche Education Jaime Musnicki, American Avalanche Association

Avalanche Worker Safety Database Ethan Greene, Colorado Avalanche Information Center

A Persistent Southcentral Season 2016/17 Wendy Wagner, CNFAIC

Terrain Blindspots: Common Biases in Avalanche Terrain Assessment and Management Henry Munter, Chugach Powder Guides

Deep Slab Avalanches Ethan Greene, Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2017 Avalanche Center Updates CNFAIC, Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center, Valdez Avalanche Center, Eastern AK Range Avalanche Center

Ins and Outs of the NWS’ Mountain Recreation Forecast Kyle Van Peursem, National Weather Service Anchorage Forecast Office

A3 Recreational Avalanche Education Update Jaime Musnicki, American Avalanche Association

The Art of Shoveling Jaime Andersen, Alaska Avalanche School, AMRG, AFD

Mountain Medicine: Caring for the Avalanche Victim and Attitudes to Keep You Safe Melis Coady, Alaska Avalanche School

Sheep Creek Case Study, A Forecaster Perspective Ethan Greene, Colorado Avalanche Information Center

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.