Thoughts on digging a pit

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Analyzing snowpack starts before you leave for a tour and only ends when you’re safely back home. After reading the morning’s forecast, digging a snow pit in the field can better enhance your understanding of they day’s snow stability. But with...

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Update from Teton Pass, November 22

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Yesterday (November 22), we walked up from Teton Pass to Glory Summit (8431’-10,086’) AND walked down - we didn’t even bring our skis for the walk.  On the way up the South Ridge there was 10-20cm/4-8” of new snow sitting on mud and rock...

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Highlights from WYSAW

Saturday, November 12, 2016

WYSAW 2016 was a very worthwhile day indeed!  The main focus of the day was on human factors. Here are highlights from a few of the talks that stuck with me: Blase Reardon Blase spoke of uncertainty in the snow and avalanche world.  It is an e...

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Highlights from the NW Snow & Avalanche Workshop

Monday, October 31, 2016

I attended the Northwest Snow and Avalanche Workshop in Seattle last weekend. The themes that ran throughout the workshop were safety, decision-making, and communication. Professional Panel: We started the morning with a professional panel on how t...

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A few highlights from ISSW

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The International Snow Science Workshop takes place every two years.  It's a gather of practitioners and scientists where ideas are exchanged and research is presented.  Approximately 25 AAI instructors attended the workshop in Breckenridge, Colora...

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Avalanche Fatalities in the US

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Karl Birkeland recently reviewed all of the avalanche fatalities in the US for the last 20 seasons. This review led Karl to conclude that the avalanche fatality trend has been flat for the last 22 years. To quote Karl, "Would it surprise you if I...

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How is this season stacking up?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

So how is this season stacking up? I spent the first cup of coffee trying to get a perspective on this season in the Tetons. The best year round source for this data is the Philips Bench SNOTEL located on the east side of Teton Pass, so I paged th...

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Rescue Skills and Kit for Backcountry Touring

Monday, November 30, 2015

An expert, in some literature, is defined as someone who has 10,000 hours of practice. Fully 10,000 hours of any activity is a tremendous amount of time. I ski tour day in and day out each winter. Get 10,000 hours of that? Might take some years but i...

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Why Good Ski Partners Matter

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My good friend Jamie Week describes the importance of communication in the backcountry like this: “Inbounds at the ski area, skiing and riding is all about me. It’s about finding the best lines and the best snow. Once you leave the resort and ent...

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Daily Rituals of Avalanche Professionals

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Avalanche professionals have routines that they follow all season, every season. They are creatures of habit. And often, these habits save lives. Avalanche professionals are students of the environment, studying the weather, snowpack, and terrain ...

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