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

Halsted Morris
President, Colorado

Erich Peitzsch
Vice President, Montana

Katie Johnston
Secretary, Washington

Pete Woodring
Treasurer, Idaho

Jake Hutchinson
Membership Trustee, Utah

Eeva Latosuo
Education Trustee, Alaska

Drew Pogge
Publications Trustee, Montana

Tom Mattice
Governance Trustee, Alaska

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

Ned Bair - Research
Earth Research Institute, UCSB

 

 Annual Report

Dedicated to excellence.

 

The 2018/19 season was a good one for the American Avalanche Association as we continued to make strides to promote and support avalanche safety through professional development, research, education, outreach, and publishing. Some highlights of the year included:

Professional development and research. A3 made grants to 12 Snow and Avalanche Workshops across the country, funded two avalanche research projects, sponsored the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW), and funded to scholarships for A3 members to attend the ISSW. Looking forward to the 2019/20 season, we are increasing funding for the Snow and Avalanche workshops by 35%, increasing funding for research grants, and planning to very substantially increase scholarship funding for ISSW 2020 – and event that A3 is already sponsoring. Over the past 4 years A3 has provided approximately $100,000 in grants, scholarships, and sponsorships that support professional development, research, and scholarships.

Education. Winter of 2018/19 marked the second season the A3 has coordinated the Pro Training Program. During the third season of Pro Training, 2019/20, we will be putting out a call for applications for any organizations that would like to apply to be Pro Course Providers. A3 has also been expanding our work with recreational avalanche providers to people new to the avalanche world know they are getting strong training.

Outreach. A3 continues to expand our partnership with the US Forest Service National Avalanche Center on <<avalanche.org>>. This season saw avalanche.org usership increase to about 1.7 million unique visits. Other outreach activities, such as increasing membership, providing employment listings to members, and reaching out via social media have also seen significant strides in recent months.

Publishing.  A3 continues to lead the pack in avalanche publishing with the seminal journal The Avalanche Review that reaches thousands of members with 4 volumes each season. In addition, we continue to publish and distribute Snow, Weather, and Avalanche Observation Guidelines (SWAG), the industry standard manual for best practices in avalanche data collection, as well as The Snowy Torrents, a multi-volume collection of avalanche accident case studies the first volume of which was published in 1967. Keep on the lookout for the next volume, which will be coming soon.

 
Johnny Bressette, Avalanche Tech for Alaska Electric Light &amp; 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

 

Major Partners

 
 

Partners