Elk Valley Snow Avalanche Workshop
November 10th, 2019
Join us for a gathering of winter enthusiasts at the 2nd annual Elk Valley Snow Avalanche Workshop,
November 10th 2019 at the Fernie Community Centre!
This one-day seminar welcomes avalanche professionals and recreationalists alike to engage in vibrant discussions and learn from fellow avalanche practitioners. A variety of topics including case studies of past events and information on the latest snow safety gear will be presented.
How Risky is Ski Cutting?
Although skiers have been intentionally triggering avalanches, i.e. ski cutting, for at least 90 years, the risk from ski cutting has – until this year – been unknown. In spring 2019, Bruce and four others conducted a survey of avalanche practitioners in the US, Canada and New Zealand. This talk will summarize the results of the survey, including the first estimates of the risk of injury and death due to ski cutting. Although the risk estimates are only applicable to avalanche practitioners, Bruce will summarize the ski cutting techniques that practitioners use to reduce their risk and lead a discussion on the practicality of these techniques for backcountry recreationists.
Bruce Jamieson started on the pro patrol at the Fernie ski area in 1980. After six winters of avalanche work at ski areas, he started graduate studies at the University of Calgary, focusing on field studies of avalanches including snowpack tests. As a professor of Civil Engineering from 1997 to 2015, Bruce managed field-based research on snow and avalanches. The research program attracted a remarkable team of avalanche research technicians and graduate students, who had their heads and hands in the snow daily. Now, when not sliding on snow or riding a two-wheeler on dirt trails, he works as an avalanche consultant and educator.
SpotWX and Models in the Mountains-Tales of Terror and Seduction
David has years of experience forecasting, broadcasting and talking weather with clients. He appreciates the challenge of making weather understandable, especially to people whose lives may depend upon it in the mountains. He spends the summer fire forecasting and his winter planning ski days around the weather.
That Layer is Still a Player
We will look back at the January 17th surface hoar layer that was responsible for a special Public Avalanche Warning (SPAW), some backcountry surprises and a SAR callout. We follow the life and times of this layer as a case study and explore how the South Rockies Field Team battled to keep track of its distribution and to make decisions choosing terrain. Why are “persistent avalanche problems” harder to manage than other problems anyways, and how the heck do we know when it is good to go again?!!
Jennifer is a long-time member of Avalanche Canada’s South Rockies Field Team. She is passionate about building an avalanche community that looks out for one another and values learning new things. She loves hats...and wearing different hats; such as instructing for the CAA, volunteering with Fernie SAR, guest appearing with Fernie Ski Patrol and training avalanche dogs for CARDA.
Sled Guiding in the BC Backcountry-Real Talk
Unlike the more established ski industry, it is still kind of the wild west when it comes to hiring a snowmobile guide. With no universally accepted snowmobile guides accreditation body in western Canada, Steve discusses the opportunities and challenges of developing guiding best practices for sled guides working in avalanche terrain.
Steve is from Revelstoke, BC and is an avalanche forecaster, operations manager and guide for Great Canadian Tours. He can get you to the goods (AND BACK) with over 13 years of sled guiding experience.
How do recreationists use, understand, and incorporate avalanche bulletin information?
How do recreationists use, understand, and incorporate avalanche bulletin information? by Anne St Clair, Henry Finn, Pascal Haegeli, Robin Gregory, & Karl Klassen
Having a clear understanding of how recreationists consume and incorporate avalanche safety information into planning their backcountry travel is a critical component for designing effective avalanche risk communication messages. Yet, there has been little research to date that has specifically examined the information processing behaviors of those heading into the mountains in the winter to recreate. To systematically explore this research gap, we conducted 48 semi-structured, hour-long individual interviews with a variety of backcountry users and ran a detailed interactive online survey, which was completed by more than 3000 backcountry users from the United States and Canada. In this presentation, we will present the key patterns that emerged from these two rich datasets and provide insight into how recreationists use, understand and apply the information provided in avalanche bulletins. While some patterns are in line with expectations, there are interesting findings that reveal actionable opportunities for improvement. Our results highlight opportunities for making avalanche bulletins more comprehensible and more targeted in their design for the intended use.
With a master’s degree in Resource and Environmental Management with the Simon Fraser University Avalanche Research Program (SARP) in Vancouver, British Columbia and with a decade-long career in the backcountry as a guide, educator, and snow safety director, Anne has developed a broad range of research interests at the intersection of human behavior and natural hazards. Specifically, her interests include examining the effectiveness of operational risk management practices, education curriculum, and public risk communication products in the avalanche context. For her master’s research, Anne evaluated how public avalanche bulletins are being used by backcountry recreationists to offer evidence-based solutions for how bulletin products could resonate more effectively. This winter, Anne is excited to be joining the team at Avalanche Canada as a public avalanche forecaster in Revelstoke, British Columbia.
Fernie Community Centre, 902 Highway 3
We will have a 15-minute mid-morning coffee break, bring your own mug!
Chili (meat and vegetarian options) with a bun will be available on-site for $12 cash.
We will have a 15-minute coffee break, bring your own mug.
Apres social at the Curling Club.
A snow avalanche workshop for recreationalist and professionals alike. Winter is coming! Kick start it off with a day of presentations, industry updates, and networking. Early bird tickets only $25.00
It would be hard to have a bunch of winter enthusiasts gathered together without an Apres! This casual social after an informative day of snow and avalanche topics will be hosted at the Fernie Curling Rink.
Your ticket for the EVSAW includes entry to the après social which will commence immediately after the workshop. A short walk next door, the Apres will be a great place to unwind, socialize and talk about the day’s presentations and activities.
There will be music, entertainment, networking opportunities and plenty of door prizes from 4-6pm. See you there!