Keeping people safe in avalanche country through education, professional development, outreach, and research.

 
 
 
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Our Mission

The American Avalanche Association works on behalf of avalanche professionals and their beneficiaries. 

The American Avalanche Association (A3) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to professional excellence in avalanche safety, education and research in the United States. Growing demand increases existing pressure on the inherently dangerous avalanche industry. A3 acts on behalf of avalanche pros and their beneficiaries to ensure access to education, safety, training, and up-to-date resources. Who are avalanche professionals? A3 members include snow science researchers, search and rescue professionals, avalanche forecasters, educators, professional guides, athletes, snow safety officers, snow rangers, patrollers, technicians, and explosive specialists. A3 focuses on three key initiatives: education, publications, and outreach, to connect organizations and professionals with vital resources.

 
 

Education

A3 oversees professional and recreational avalanche training programs to ensure programatic quality, consistency, and up-to-date curriculum content. The organization is the U.S. certifying body for avalanche education. 

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Publications

A3 produces three national publications. The Avalanche Review began in 1986. The Snowy Torrents is a resource to learn from past avalanche accidents. Snow Weather Avalanche Guidelines is the standard for professional avalanche documentation and communication.

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Outreach

A3 supports national technology programs and regional professional development events, including Avalanche.org, America's avalanche public safety platform. Programs impact users of all ages.

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Leading the avalanche industry since 1986.

From families to adventure hounds, people who travel in avalanche terrain depend on avalanche professionals to successfully forecast, mitigate and reduce risk. Explore A3's past work here.

 
 
 
 

Staff

Dan Kaveney
Executive Director

Kate Koons
Pro Training Coordinator

Lynne Wolfe
Editor, The Avalanche Review

 

Board of Trustees

John Stimberis
President, Washington

Halsted Morris
Vice President, Colorado

Aleph Johnston-Bloom
Secretary, Alaska

Pete Woodring
Treasurer, Idaho

Jake Hutchinson
Membership Trustee, Utah

Eeva Latosuo
Education Trustee, Alaska

Blase Reardon
Publications Trustee, Colorado

Erich Peitzsch
Governance Trustee, Montana

Sean Zimmerman-Wall
At-Large Pro Trustee, Utah

Jonathan Shefftz
Member Affiliate, Massachusetts

 
 

Advisors

Simon Trautman
Avalanche Specialist - U.S.F.S. National Avalanche Center

Ethan Greene
Director - Colorado Avalanche Information Center 

Scott Savage
Director - Sawtooth Avalanche Center

Natalie Spencer
Strategist - ApexOne

Ned Bair - Research
Earth Research Institute, UCSB

 

 Annual Report

Dedicated to excellence.

 

As part of its mission to promote and support professionalism and excellence in avalanche safety, education, and research in the United States, the American Avalanche Association (A3) has continued to make strides in the last year.

In partnership with the National Avalanche Center, A3 worked to redesign the Avalanche.org website, which connects the public to avalanche information and education. In 2016, A3 partnered with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) to revive The Snowy Torrents, a collection of avalanche accident case studies first published in 1967. The fifth installment of The Snowy Torrents, covering incidents between 1996 and 2004, was authored by Knox Williams and Spencer Logan and edited by Blase Reardon. A3 published the book in May 2017, and the A3-CAIC team is at work on a sixth volume, which will cover accidents that took place between 1986 and 1996. The Avalanche Review, A3’s quarterly trade and scientific journal (edited by Lynne Wolfe), was revamped in full-color, glossy format in 2015. In 2016, A3 revised the Snow, Weather, and Avalanche Observation Guidelines (SWAG), the industry standard manual for best practices in avalanche data collection.

A3 has also been hard at work on research grants and education guidelines. In the last three years, A3 has funded seven snow and avalanche research projects to the tune of over $9,000, as well as providing $47,000 to 13 different regional snow and avalanche workshop events and the International Snow Science Workshop. Over the last several years, the organization facilitated collaborative development of the Pro Training Program to provide high-quality, consistent training opportunities for avalanche professionals in the United States. During this time, A3 also revised its guidelines for recreational avalanche courses in conjunction with its Pro Training Program development. The first new Pro Training courses will be taught by A3-partner Pro Course Providers during the 2017-18 winter season.

 
    Johnny Bressette, Avalanche Tech for Alaska Electric Light & Power in Juneau, Alaska checks out the filled in crown from a size 3.5 avalanche that struck a splitting wedge at tower 4/6 on the Snettisham Transmission line. The slide destroyed 200+ year old trees, but the all steel splitting wedge did its job and protected the tower. Just four years prior this same tower was completely destroyed by a class 4 slide.  Photo: Mike Janes

 

Johnny Bressette, Avalanche Tech for Alaska Electric Light & Power in Juneau, Alaska checks out the filled in crown from a size 3.5 avalanche that struck a splitting wedge at tower 4/6 on the Snettisham Transmission line. The slide destroyed 200+ year old trees, but the all steel splitting wedge did its job and protected the tower. Just four years prior this same tower was completely destroyed by a class 4 slide.  Photo: Mike Janes

 

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