Northern Rockies Avalanche Safety Workshop Returns to Whitefish

The second annual Northern Rockies Avalanche Safety Workshop (NRASW) will take place on Oct. 13, 2012 from 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish, Mont. NRASW is a one-day gathering of avalanche professionals and winter backcountry enthusiasts. This year the workshop features six speakers with varied experiences, backgrounds and expertise in avalanche forecasting, theory, information processing, emergency decision making and other up-to-date backcountry information.

“It’s great to be able to bring this workshop to Whitefish for a second year,” says Ted Steiner, NRASW Chairman. “The Workshop is about learning, networking, seeing old and making new friends.  It’s also a time to remember that winter is on the way, get excited about being outside, and most importantly, remember we need to be safe and educated when traveling the backcountry.  We need to come home to our families and enjoy season upon season of future winter endeavors.”

Northern Rockies Avalanche Safety Workshop speakers:

  • Karl Birkeland is founder of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center in Bozeman and has spent the past 30 years working professionally as a ski patroller, educator, backcountry forecaster and researcher.
  • Scott Savage has been an avalanche forecaster for Big Sky Resort in Montana, but more recently has toured the country giving lectures and talks analyzing his and other avalanche professionals’ experience and mistakes.
  • LeeAnn Allegretto is the Avalanche Program Leader for the Missoula National Weather Service. She is responsible for managing and updating backcountry weather data/forecasts.
  • Elyse Saugstad is a professional skier from Girdwood, Alaska and has a long list of accomplishments as a ski film star, competitive freeride skier and accomplished backcountry skier.
  • Christopher Robinson was deployed as a Navy SEAL in 2003-2004 where he specialized in assignments that dealt with stressful group dynamics and excelled in decision making methods to optimize performance and survival.
  • Dale Atkins has more than 30 years of experience as an avalanche expert as a rescuer, forecaster, researcher and educator working in recreational, industrial and municipal domains.

Session topics range from technical (recent developments in stability and fracture propagation tests) to personal (Elyse Saugstad’s real life survival story.) The full schedule for the day is available online.

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Ryan Alford

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