Steve Achelis is the former Chair of the Utah Avalanche Center and a part-time patroller at Brighton Ski Resort. He is also the author of the AvyRescue.com, BeaconReviews.com, and WBSkiing.com websites, and the former commander of the Salt Lake County Search and Rescue Team.

What is your home base?

Salt Lake City, Utah

What avalanche courses do you teach?

Rescue Fundamentals, Recreational Avalanche Level 1 and Recreational Level 2

What is your favorite snow story?

I was skiing with Doug Combs in Valdez, Alaska when he spotted a worm-like creature on the surface of the snow. Not only was it exciting to discover this living creature, but his excitement was infectious.

What was the path that led you to avalanche education?  

 I was involved in mountain rescue during which time I helped recover almost a dozen avalanche victims. That brought me face-to-face with the need to educate the public on avalanche safety. Teaching blends my desires to learn and to help other people.

What do you do with your offseason?

 I create medical and backcountry rescue technology products.


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.

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 fromone of our amazing instructors check out our full course offerings today.