Avalanche Professional and Ski Patrol Snow and Avalanche Workshop (PROSAW)
Join us for the 15th 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 2022 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 on November 7th. The morning is dedicated to Utah-specific presentations, while the afternoon addresses stories and lessons learned nationwide.
MORNING NATIONWIDE SESSION
08:30-08:35: Welcome… to the working week. Craig Gordon
08:40-09:00: Basic explosives safety. An overview of the world of handling, storage, and delivery. Nichole Dye, Powder Mountain Snow Safety
09:05-09:25: Modern-day avalanche mitigation. Why bigger is not always better. Brian Gorsage, CDOT Explosives Manager
09:30-09:50: Reducing the risk in obscure terrain. Operational considerations and changes in patroller exposure. Andy Van Houten, Park City Mountain Resort
09:55-10:15: Flying under the radar. Lessons from avalanche forecasting in different climates. This presentation portrays an evolution in understanding snowpack characteristics and avalanche behavior; by analyzing personal experiences working in three distinct snow climates. I will discuss how they have shaped my outlook on forecasting in regard to routine, decision-making, and confidence. Johanna Kelley, Snowbird
10:40-11:00: Training for the unexpected. Unusual snowpack brings new challenges to first-year patrollers and veterans alike. Pete Tucker, Brighton Ski Resort
11:05-11:25: Snow Immersion Suffocation (SIS). Skiing and snowboarding off groomed runs in deep powder is one of the most exciting and appealing parts of our sport. However, it also leads to the leading causes of ski area fatalities in Western North America. In this session, we will discuss the risk, cause, prevention and rescue of deep snow and tree well immersion incidents. Tim Hendrickson, Mountain Guard Senior Vice President
11:30- 12:00: Close calls and tall takes. The early days of Snowbird were exciting and full of surprises. This talk focuses on how not to do what we did. Randy Trover
AFTERNOON NATIONWIDE SESSION
13:00-13:05: Welcome. Craig Gordon
13:05-13:20: Utah Winter Review. A narrated video history reflecting on highlights of the 2021-22 winter season.
13:20-13:45: Why did I do that? Operational challenges and changing culture, one incident at a time. Ken Bokeland, Ski Patrol Director, Palisades Tahoe
13:50-14:10: I can’t see the forest. Why a chainsaw isn’t always the best approach to clearcutting or avalanche mitigation- Jake Treadwell and Mark Homden, Snowbird
14:15-14:35: A once-in-a-generation start of something big! A look under the hood at a chance of a lifetime. Pete Earle, Wasatch Peaks Resort
14:40-15:00: The Art of Wet Snow. A glimpse into current USGS research on Montana’s, Going-to-the-Sun Road. The methods and thoughts of a dry snow forecaster in a wet snow world. Gabrielle Antonioli
15:05-15:25: What’s the score? Communicating snowpit scores by the numbers. Dave Richards, Alta Avalanche Office
15:50-16:30: The A3 Resilience Project. A roundtable focusing on patrollers, avalanche workers, and SAR related mental health and wellness. Jen Reddy, Jess Shade, Dave Zinn, Sara Boilen
16:30: Closing remarks, high fives, and social hour.