Members are recognized by employers as motivated, well informed avalanche professionals. A3 is dedicated to the avalanche professional, their safety and access to education and up-to-date resources. Prospective Pro and Affiliate members must demonstrate they meet certain criteria; applications are reviewed every two to three months in conjunction with A3's Governing Board meetings. To best determine which level of membership to apply for, please review the general descriptions and Pro Membership Guidelines below. The American Avalanche Association provides information about the latest advances in avalanche research, forecasting, hazard reduction techniques and other topics of concern to the professional such as avalanche incidents, rescue dogs, beacons, guidelines, litigation and education. There are four ways to join the American Avalanche Association:
Open to Pro and Affiliate members who support A3. Applicants must meet requirements for applicable membership levels. Please reference Pro Membership Guidelines below.
- The Avalanche Review subscription, 4 Issues/year.
- Discounts on A3 merchandise and publications.
- Pro Deals: Patagonia, BCA, and more.
Open to active, professional avalanche workers with at least four full-seasons (minimum 20 days/season) of experience as an avalanche professional, in addition to qualified educational background. Please reference Pro Membership Guidelines below.
- The Avalanche Review subscription, 4 Issues/year
- Pro Deals: BCA, Experticity.com (multiple brands), Patagonia.
Open to current and aspiring avalanche professionals with at least two years of fundamental avalanche experience and education. Affiliate members can be current professionals gaining the requisite experience to qualify for Pro membership or part-time avalanche workers or volunteers.
- The Avalanche Review subscription, 4 Issues/year.
- BCA Pro Deal.
Open to people who are interested in A3 and avalanche work. A3 Members receive The Avalanche Review Magazine.
- The Avalanche Review subscription. 4 Issues/year.
Pro Membership Guidelines
The application review begins when dues are paid and a complete application received. Under the leadership of the A3 Membership Trustee, the A3 Membership Committee closely reviews all applications to ensure sufficient qualifications of each applicant. The Membership Trustee then makes recommendations to the A3 Board for Pro member ratification at each A3 Board meeting (5-6 times per year, approximately every two months). Applications are received and processed on a rolling basis by A3 staff. Complete applications are forwarded to the Membership Trustee and Committee 2-3 weeks before each Board meeting.
COMPLETING THE ONLINE APPLICATION - HOW MUCH DETAIL IS ENOUGH?
An applicant for Pro or Affiliate membership must thoroughly complete the "Avalanche Training & Experience" section of their member profile within the A3 database. The goal is to provide clear, detailed documentation of your professional-level experience through at least four winters. Prompts within the A3 database will ask you about:
- avalanche courses you've taken or taught (include dates and names of providers),
- avalanche-related employment (current and past positions, paid or volunteer; include names of employers, duties, # of days per season of active avalanche field work, supervisor contact info, and dates of employment),
- avalanche research and/or publication contributions, and
- avalanche-related professional references (two or three avalanche-related professional references, include email and phone contact info; references are required for Pro applicants who are self-employed).
Pro membership requires you should show a tally of 20 days of active avalanche work per winter over at least four winters. That figure represents an average number of control days at ski areas with active snow safety programs. If your duties in a position include more than avalanche work, you must provide a tally of the days spent directly performing avalanche-related fieldwork. Ski patrollers, for instance, must document the number of days spent in active snow safety or avalanche control work.
Document avalanche activities that extend throughout the season for four or more winters; this shows that you are actively observing and working in a variety of conditions as they develop. Activities can be for different operations or employers over the course of a winter. Documented experience must be based primarily on forecasting, route finding, rescue, explosive delivery, research, guiding, or similar field work.
You may include days instructing field-based avalanche safety courses. Avalanche education field work can account for some, but not all, of your professional experience. Avalanche courses (taken or taught) should follow A3 or CAA guidelines, and may be taught by current A3 members or certified instructors, the National Avalanche School, or equivalent in-house or ongoing ski patrol and guide training. Acceptable continuing education includes events such as the ISSW, A3 professional development seminar, CSAW, and AIARE continuing education.
You may include advanced academic education directly connected with snow and avalanche studies (undergrad or graduate work). You may include mentored but unpaid professional-level experience such as volunteer fieldwork for an avalanche center.
Personal recreational experience, such as significant climbs, descents, traverses or expeditions if avalanches were a primary hazard and professional-level avalanche skills and decision-making were essential to your safety, may be considered for some, but not all, of your experience. Include details of routes and examples of professional-level documentation and analysis for such recreational experience.