What is your home base?
What avalanche courses do you teach?
What is your favorite snow story?
It’s impossible to pick one favorite story, snow and winter sports have been such an integral part of my life. I’ve been lucky to be a recreationalist, athlete, shoot photos as talent, guide and now avalanche educator. There are too many stories from each area to pick one. Hitching rides on Berthoud Pass back home in Colorado, skiing waist-deep Pow at JHMR during a weather delay at my first Big Mountain comp, my first helicopter toe in Alaska, and seeing people’s “ah-ha” moments while guiding and teaching.
What was the path that led you to avalanche education?
I started teaching avalanche classes as a way to make some extra money before guide season really started. It’s now morphed into the main focus of my winters and while I still guide some it has definitely taken a back seat to teaching. I really enjoy seeing people have the moments where everything all of a sudden comes together, you can see them light up when things click. I hope that what I am teaching helps people stay safe and make it home at the end of their day while still being able to have their best day ever skiing or riding.
What do you do with your offseason?
In the offseason I’m usually on a bike, mt bikes, dirt bikes and now gravel/road bikes. I’m the most at home and comfortable on things with two wheels. I even guide a few mt bikes trips per year for Chasing Epic. If I’m not on a bike I’m usually at my real job (firefighter/paramedic), climbing or spending time with my wife of our little boy.
Courses With AAI
Our instructors are the core of your experience with the American Avalanche Institute. They bring the science and knowledge of avalanche safety to life in real-world settings. If you’re interested in learning more from Karen, or one of our other amazing instructors check out our full course offerings today.