Applied Avalanche Operations & Risk Management

  • Price:
  • Duration: 4 Days + 15-20 Hours Online Learning

This course is designed to challenge students to develop and refine the skills required for large scale operational level forecasting and/or consulting.

*All field days are consecutive, course date indicates first day in the field. A mandatory pre-course zoom meeting is held from 6-8pm on the evening before each course start date.

 

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Total price:

 

 

Overview:

Students will expand the operational exercise and mapping skills taught and evaluated in the Pro 2 course with the Hypothetical operational consulting scenario.  Student groups will act as both investor and consultant, developing and presenting a hypothetical operation in avalanche terrain (mine, ski resort, guiding operation, transportation corridor, utility lines, etc.) to a consultant group, including both field truthing and classroom proposal development. The consultant group will then examine the viability of the operations by mapping, site visits and development of an operations proposal and recommended changes, budgets and infrastructure, including but not limited to:

  • Avalanche mitigation and defense, including mapping 
  • Identify stakeholder conflicts and interests and propose remedies
  • Operational concerns – Elements at risk
    • Human
    • Structure
    • Environmental
    • Community
  • Operational budget concerns and limitations
  • Consideration of operational changes – from client proposal to consultant recommendations

In addition to the consulting exercise, classroom lectures will feature senior AAI Instructors and regional experts and professionals, presenting various topics (specific subject matter varies based on guest availability and expertise) including:

  • Human Factors and their effects on margins, decision making and observation
  • Recent developments and research in avalanche formation
  • Recent developments and research in avalanche fracture mechanics
  • Legal challenges facing the industry
  • Recent developments in avalanche survival and rescue
  • Advanced Mapping tools – Presented by CalTopo
  • Avalanche mapping and applying ATES – recent updates and proposed changes
  • RACS use, cost, limitations and real world experience
  • Operational budgeting concerns – going beyond the snow
  • Mental health for avalanche professionals – Psychological first aid and the stress continuum 
  • Avalanche forecasting using the CMAH – strengths and limitations, applying it operationally vs public bulletin

Please note this course is outside the Professional accreditation of the American Avalanche Association (A3) and is intended as CPD for professionals looking to continue development beyond current recognized course offerings.  This course is not a pass/fail course, but students are given coaching and critique to improve their avalanche skillset. AAI strives to be at the forefront of the avalanche industry by driving the evolution and development of Professional Avalanche education in the US.

 

 

Details:

 

 

Sample Itinerary:

Course Length – Course will consist of a pre-course online learning module and four days of in person learning,

Pre Course Online Learning – 6-8 hours of an online Pro 2 refresher training module for those wishing to refresh knowledge, catch up with recent developments or fill potential gaps from older generations/variations of professional courses.

  • Risk Management
  • Human Factors and their effects on margins, decision making and observation
  • Avalanche mapping and applying ATES
  • Mental health for avalanche professionals
  • Avalanche forecasting using the CMAH
  • Introduction to the field forecasting area and operational exercise 

SAMPLE ITINERARY – Subject to change based on venue specific needs/requirements 

Pre-course Zoom meeting:

  • Review and Q&A of online content and Q&A
  • Season snow and avalanche history for the operational area
  • Group assignments and operating areas for the operational exercise
    • Set the guidelines for development of proposal
  • Field and classroom logistics

DAY 1 – Full field day 

  • Student led AM weather and avalanche briefing
  • Validation of season history in operational areas
  • Avalanche path ID, data gathering for mini-atlas and creation of forecasting problem
  • Field truth proposal
    • Gather required data for consulting op

DAY 2 – Full classroom day 

  • Large scale operational operational avalanche forecasting and mitigation – guest lecture
  • Sample presentation of a real consulting project, setting the expectations – going beyond Pro 2, what do real world clients, insurance companies and responsible risk management require of us?
  • ATES 2.0 – proposed changes and how to implement them
  • Hazard Assessment and Avalanche Forecasting – Breaking risk into its individual components
  • Using the Conceptual Model for Avalanche Hazard and addressing updates
  • Student investor presentations of previous day’s field work and expectations for forecasting exercise – assign consulting groups and areas
  • Operational concerns – budgets, time, logistics, resources – creating and developing an operational plan in the real world
  • Human factors and mental health discussion pertaining to pre-course work

DAY 3 – Full field day 

  • Field truth proposal 
  • Field confirmation of any infrastructure, location, exposure, mitigations
  • Appropriate wx sites, possible RACs, other defense mechanisms (mitigation routes, trams/trolleys, signage, closed terrain, etc.)
  • Risk/reward analysis of project
    • Stakeholder concerns (USFS, local communities, wildlife, etc)

Day 4 – Full classroom Day

  • Avalanche formation and mechanics, latest research and developments- guest lecture
  • Operational Risk Management and Margins -, merging mindset, margins and operational concerns for success
  • Legal updates – Surviving a lawsuit, lessons learned, what went well,what we could’ve done better
  • Student presentations of forecasting problem and proposed solutions
  • What is missing: biases, strength and weight of evidence – what common traps did the operational groups fall into? How do we build systems to avoid these traps?
  • Course Q&A – Stump the Chumps

 

Meeting location:

 

 

Lodging:

 

 

Notes:

 

 

Related Documents:

 

 

All Upcoming Dates and Locations:

  • No dates found

In addition to the consulting exercise, classroom lectures will feature senior AAI Instructors and regional experts and professionals, presenting various topics (specific subject matter varies based on guest availability and expertise) including:

  • Human Factors and their effects on margins, decision making and observation
  • Recent developments and research in avalanche formation
  • Recent developments and research in avalanche fracture mechanics
  • Legal challenges facing the industry
  • Recent developments in avalanche survival and rescue
  • Advanced Mapping tools – Presented by CalTopo
  • Avalanche mapping and applying ATES – recent updates and proposed changes
  • RACS use, cost, limitations and real world experience
  • Operational budgeting concerns – going beyond the snow
  • Mental health for avalanche professionals – Psychological first aid and the stress continuum 
  • Avalanche forecasting using the CMAH – strengths and limitations, applying it operationally vs public bulletin

 

 

Prerequisites:

Completion of A3 Pro 2 or Level 3 or CAA Operations 2

 

Preparation:

 

 

Duration:

4 Days + 15-20 Hours Online Learning

Maximum Ratio:

5:1

 

 

 

 

 

 

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