Avalanche Workshop - With Beer?

By Tim Roberts Oct 27, 2008

If you haven't noticed I'm a big fan of the Utah Avalanche Center.  They are all great guys and they are doing a lot to keep us from not getting killed in an avalanche.  If you've never taken an avy class then you really have no business being in the backcountry.  Not only are you putting yourself at risk but you're also putting those around you at risk.  I'm not saying you need to be a level 10 ++++ avalanche ninja, but, you need to know the basics in order to be a responsible backcountry user.

On November 1st, the Utah Avalanche Center will be hosting a seminar at the Depot in Salt Lake City.  Maybe you've been there to see a show in the past, but on that day the UAC will be using the venue to hold a avalanche workshop.  Afterwards there will be a party with music by Fat Paw.  I'm not all that into hippy jam bands, but, I might stick around for some of that.  My only question is, can we drink beer during the workshop?  Here are the details of seminar.

Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop

11/01/2008 - 8:00am


The Depot, downtown Salt Lake City, UT

This unique seminar geared for professionals and recreationists alike, hosted by the Utah Avalanche Center, features presentations by local avalanche experts. The symposium is geared for all backcountry users no matter your avalanche skill level. We’ll focus on avalanche mitigation, forecasting, snowpit evaluation, advancements in beacon technology and rescue techniques. In addition, you’ll experience a behind-the-scenes look at TGR Films avalanche safety program, presented by lead guide Jim Conway. At the end of the seminar, join us for an evening of dancing and fun with a long time local favorite band Fat Paw.

Seminar admission- $25.00

Begins at 1:00 pm and includes fundraising party with music by Fat Paw.

Fundraiser only - $12.00 (must be 21 and over)

Begins at 5:00 pm

Click HERE for online registration.

1:00pm-1:05pm Welcome/Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center
1:10pm-1:30pm Bruce Tremper- 2008 International Snow Science Workshop Overview
1:35pm-1:55pm Chris Covington- Highway Avalanche Control Work and Ski Touring- How to Get Along
2:00pm-2:15pm Larry Dunn- National Weather Service Support for the Snow Safety and Avalanche Community
2:20pm-2:40pm Bruce Edgerly- Digging Deeper: Uncovering the real issues in North American multiple burials
2:45pm-3:00pm Brian Dahle/Pieps- The iProbe

3:00pm-3:15pm Break

3:20pm-4:05pm Ian McCammon- Back Country decision making Tool kit
4:10pm-5:00pm TGR- Conway- Method to the Madness: A behind the scenes glimpse into TGR’s snow safety program


Bruce Tremper- 2008 International Snow Science Workshop Overview

The International Snow Science workshop occurs every two years. This year it was in Whistler, B.C., Canada. Bruce will give a summary of the important recent developments in avalanche science. It will be an avalanche geekfest in plain language.

Chris Covington-Highway Avalanche Control Work and Ski Touring- How to Get Along

The Utah Department of Transportation is responsible for avalanche safety on the state highways in Utah.  The roads within the state that are monitored by a full-time avalanche safety program are in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Little Cottonwood Canyon, American Fork Canyon, and Provo Canyon.  UDOT attempts to close these roads and artificially release avalanches above them using explosives before natural avalanches occur that might threaten the roads.  This same terrain has become increasingly popular for backcountry touring.  This presentation will talk about the UDOT avalanche safety program and the potential problems associated with having ski tourers in the starting zones at the same times when explosives control work is to be carried out.

Larry Dunn- National Weather Service

The National Weather Service provides Watches, Warnings, Advisories, and general forecast support for Utah's Snow Safety and Avalanche community.  Professionals and the public with an interest in snow safety and weather can access a wealth of real-time information about current and forecast conditions in the mountains.  The goal of the NWS is to assist individuals and organizations with decisions associated with protection of life and pr f the winter outdoor community, this means minimizing risk for those recreating or traveling in Utah's mountains.  This presentation will describe the products and services offered by the NWS that may be of interest to the winter outdoor community.

Bruce Edgerly/BCA- Digging Deeper: Uncovering the Real Issues in North American Avalanche Rescues
To understand the crux issues in avalanche rescues, statistics only tell part of the story. We dug deeper than the statistics and called the actual rescuers, survivors, and coroners involved in 35 of the worst North American avalanches since 1995 in which transceivers were used. Our finding: on the debris pile, it’s not about beacon searching, it’s about shoveling--and staying out of avalanches in the first place.

Brian Dahle/Pieps- The iProbe

Pieps has introduced a new, revolutionary, backcountry device that guarantee’s a quicker retrieval time in avalanche situations- The iProbe.  The carbon iProbe has created a new standard in backcountry rescue, reducing pinpointing by almost 50% with its multiple target indicators (both visual and acoustical), Quick-closing latch, and deactivation/activation transceiver option.

Ian McCammon- BC decision making Tool kit

Avalanche experts agree that some of the biggest hazards in avalanche terrain are the psychological traps that can fool us into thinking a slope is safe when it is not. This talk will review some of these traps and give you simple tools for navigating the psychological hazards of avalanche terrain.

Jim Conway- Method to the Madness: A behind the scenes glimpse into TGR’s snow safety program

Method to the Madness is a behind the scenes look at how TGR responsibly enters some of the world’s most radical terrain while making their films. The talk reviews the company’s philosophy of “Riders First”, and how this commitment to risk management and athlete creativity has resulted in some of the worlds most serious ski and snowboard lines being captured on film. Venue selection, rider skills, avalanche assessment, and backcountry rescue are all covered as part of TGR’s comprehensive risk management program. The presentation ends with a big picture look at what you can and can’t control in the backcountry, and the factors that can interfere with even the best risk management plan.