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Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop 2017

November 5, 2017 at 9:00 am - 6:00 pm


The 10th annual USAW is where Utah’s avalanche community will team up with snow professionals from around the west to share avalanche knowledge. Regional avalanche workshops are the most time and cost effective way to build and refresh advanced avalanche skills available. This is your chance to brush up your skills, learn from from avalanche experts, and brush up your skills before the start of the season.

This is a high-level continuing education opportunity meant to give the avalanche community access to the latest and greatest information. This is the only avalanche workshop in Utah addressing snow science, decision-making, the changing backcountry, and lessons learned from recent accidents.

You’ll learn from and network with forecasters, patrollers, snow scientists, highway avalanche crews, search & rescue personnel, mountain guides, ski industry manufacturers, backcountry skiers & snowboarders, snowmobilers, avalanche researchers, and more.  The format will be 15 minute presentations followed by Q&A. There will be sponsor booths with the latest gear and gear give-aways.

Preregistration closes on Thursday, November 2nd at noon. After that, you can get tickets for $45 at the door. Lunch, coffee/beverage service, and post workshop happy hour is included.

Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop 2017 Agenda

  • 09:15-10:00 Open registration
  • 10:00-10:05 Welcome
  • Changing climate… changing snowpack
    • 10:05-10:20 Utah Winter Review 2016-17: A look back at the winter of 2016-17
    • 10:25-10:45 Birthday chutes close call.
    • 10:50-11:10 Adjusting to a different snowpack- Ty Falk
    • 11:15-11:35 Managing larger starting zones in a fat snowpack
    • 11:40-12:00 Teton Pass Valentines Massacre- Brian Gorsage​
  • 12:00-13:00 Lunch
  • Recreate like a professional
    • 13:00-13:05 Welcome to the Afternoon Session-
    • 13:05-13:25 AAI checklist – Sarah Carpenter
    • 13:30-13:50 Looking at snow patterns like a pro: Understanding spatial variability-Dr. Ben Reuter, IFMGA Mountain Guide, Research Scientist at Montana State University
    • 13:55-14:15 Thinking about the snow like a pro: Instability and stabilization after storms- Dr. Karl Birkeland, Director, Forest Service National Avalanche Center
    • 14:20-14:40 Patience, responsibility, and the communication continuum- Using the “human factor” to keep us alive…. all in the context of risk management, teamwork and a mountain ethic in avalanche terrain. Nancy Bockino- Course Leader/Instructor Trainer, Pro Trainer, AIARE; Teton County Search and Rescue; Guide, Exum Mountain Guides
    • 14:45-15:05 Recent trends with avalanche rescue – Evelyn Lees
  • 15:05-15:20 Break​
  • Decision making… for the past, present and future
    • 15:25-15:45 Fast times and big lines… the changing face of the Lasals-Eric Trenbeth
    • ​​15:50-16:10  Superforecasting- Many participants in high risk activities, from pilots to stock traders, have a strong tradition of actively learning from unforeseen incidents. Curious about how these seemingly obviously preventable incidents could occur, and how I could avoid making the same decision making errors.- Jimmy Tart
    • 16:15-16:35  “The White Heat Project”. White Heat is research collaboration between researchers at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Montana State University, and Umeå University. The aim of the White Heat project is to generate new knowledge on mechanisms behind risk-taking behavior in avalanche terrain. Jordy Hendrix… see how applicable how hypothetical.
    • 16:40-17:00 What would I tell a 25 year old version of myself- Liam Fitzgerald
  • 17:00-18:00 Social


November 5, 2017
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Snowbird Ski Resort
9385 S. Snowbird Center Dr
Snowbird, UT 84092 United States


Utah Avalanche Center