14th Annual Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop (USAW) Professional Session

14th Annual Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop (USAW) Professional Session

Salt Lake
November 05, 2021
Regular price
Sale price

Friday, November 5, 2021; Time: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Avalanche Professional and  Ski Patrol Snow and Avalanche Workshop (PROSAW)

Join us for the 14th Annual USAW Professional Ski Patrol Session, where Utah’s avalanche community will team up with snow professionals from around the west to share avalanche knowledge. The goal of the 2021 Avalanche Professional and Ski Patrol Snow and Avy Workshop (PROSAW) is to provide continuing education for avalanche workers across the country by sharing case studies and stories from different operations in different snow climates with information to help them in their day to day jobs. The workshop will follow the spirit of the International Snow Science Workshop of merging theory and practice. Presenters will include patrollers, backcountry guides and forecasters, highway forecasters, SAR personnel, snow scientists, researchers, and more. The format will be 15-minute presentations followed by Q&A.

PROSAW is an all-day, two-part workshop and everyone is invited to join for both sessions. The morning is dedicated to Utah-specific presentations, while the afternoon addresses stories and lessons learned nationwide.

This year's session will be online through Zoom Webinars. After your registration, you will receive a link to the event where you will need to register for your access to the webinar.

Agenda (note - agenda is subject to change): 

Lessons learned from past generations and the Utah 2020-2021 season

08:30-08:35: Welcome to the Working Week

08:35-08:55: Basic Explosives Safety. Steve Shelley, ATF

09:00-09:20: Effects of explosives on avalanche workers. An MSU research project. Robb Larsen, PE Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Dept. MSU 

09:25-09:45: The song remains the same… or does it? A look under the hood helps explain why there weren’t more patroller close calls. Craig Gordon, UAC and Johnathan Morgan, Alta Avalanche Office 

09:50-10:10: Denoting the communication string in a complex avalanche rescue. A communication thread for rescue management personnel. Andy VanHouten, PCMR

10:10-10:25: Break 

10:25-10:45: Under the radar. A deep slab cycle in Deer Valley. Mark Chytka, DV Snow Safety

Valentine's storm in Utah.

10:50-11:10: UT-210’s highway perspective and operational changes. Steven Clark, UDOT

11:15-11:35: A village viewpoint and take-homes. Snowbird Snow Safety

11:35-11:40: Bridge, bombs, and blower. Sweet Grass video

11:45-12:15: Bridging the gap for three generations of avalanche workers. Close calls and tall tales. How not to do what we did. Randy Trover, Snowbird Snow Safety (retired)

12:15-13:00: Break

A collective nationwide approach to how we can learn from one another

13:00-13:05: Welcome

13:05-13:25: What is an avalanche professional? Avalanche workers are a diverse group with different jobs and skillsets. Simon Trautman, USFS National Avalanche Center

13:30-13:50: My Own Private Idaho. Operational precautions for a small avalanche crew with big terrain. Chantel Astorga, IDT

13:55-14:35: Explosives use in backcountry rescue roundtable… reducing response time. The when, where, and who of determining explosives deployment in three separate western regions. Margie Van Komen (Utah), Mike Ream (Wyoming), Jon Tuckman (Telluride) 

14:40-15:00: Legal, insurance, and liability concerns of a rescue outside the resort boundary. Defining roles of responsibility and jurisdictional authority. Tim Hendrickson, Mountain Guard

15:00-15:20: Break

15:20-15:40: How to Avoid Decision-Making Traps. A close call and operational changes on both sides of the rope line. Robin Pendery and Jake Skeen, Crystal Mountain  

15:45-16:05: Mount Jumbo. Lessons learned from an avalanche involving structures, civilians, power lines, gas lines, and managing multiple agencies. Travis Craft

16:10-16:40: Forecasting and mitigating avalanches. Has the job gotten harder or easier in the past 20 years and are we any better at it? Liam Fitzgerald

16:45: Closing remarks


PROSAW is made possible by the support of these amazing partners