2014 Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Public Session


Join us for the 7th annual USAW, where Utah’s avalanche community will team up with snow professionals from around the west to share avalanche knowledge and history. This professional development seminar taps into the vast amount of avalanche knowledge in the intermountain avalanche community. You’ll learn from and network with Forest Service forecasters, patrollers, snow scientists, highway avalanche crews, search & rescue personnel, mountain guides, ski industry manufacturers, backcountry skiers & snowboarders, snowmobilers, avalanche scholars, and more.  The format will be much like the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW), with 15 minute presentations followed by Q&A as well as panel discussions.

The morning will be open to snow safety professionals only and will feature an exchange of resort, highway, and backcountry lessons, ideas, and theories led by presentations from local and regional experts. The afternoon will be open to the public and will feature presentations of more general interest to backcountry users.

To sign up for the pro session, go here.  Note that you must be an avalanche professional to attend the morning session.  

There will be a gear raffle with gear donated by the sponsors and all proceeds used to pay for avalanche forecasting in Utah this winter.  

A happy hour will follow the sessions and provide a great opportunity to network and check out sponsor booths with the latest gear.  

Advanced ticket sales will end on Oct 31.  After that, you can buy tickets at the door for $3 more.  If you buy tickets online, your name will be on the will call list.


13:00-13:05 Welcome

13:05-13:15 Utah Winter Review 2013-14 A look back at the events that shaped the winter of 2013-14

13:15-13:35 Persistent Weak Layers- Using voluntary avalanche reports to identify the longevity of weak layers and how it translates to human triggered avalanches. Andy Paradis

13:40-14:00 Gimme Shelter- A physical, spiritual, and psychological review of a historic avalanche cycle in the western Uinta Mountains. Craig Gordon

14:05-14:25 A crowd sourced approach to understand decision making in avalanche terrain- We will present the results from our 2013/14 season of global data collection examining decision making in the back country. Jordy Hendrikx

14:30- 14:50 Insights into the Future of Avalanche Education- We'll share and discuss a current proposal to revise the US avalanche education track to better target each student's needs. Ben Pritchett

14:50-15:10 Break

15:15-15:35 Puckerface- Human factors lead to a tragic avalanche accident in the Jackson Hole backcountry. Alex Do and Bob Comey

15:40-16:00 Northern Bear Range Avalanche Accident- A day of snowmobiling turns into a struggle to save a riders life. Matt Morgan

16:05-16:25 Fairy Meadows- A review of an avalanche accident in a remote mountain setting. Linda Andrus

16:30-16:50 Avalanche Victims and Trauma: Updates and Application- An updated review of traumatic injury incurred by avalanche victims with practical caveats for on-site management. Scott McIntosh MD, MPH and George Vargyas ,MD

16:55-17:15 How the Freedom of the Hills has Become Anarchy in the Backcountry- A look at the Past, Present and Future of Freeriding in the backcountry. Drew Hardesty

17:15-17:35 Secrets of Wasatch Snow- A new book exposing the myths and explaining the reality of deep powder and mountain weather in Utah and around the world. Prof. Jim Steenburgh

17:35-18:30 Social … woohoo!

Saturday, November 1, 2014 - 1:00pm to 4:30pm

Southtowne Expo Center

9575 S State St
Sandy, UT 84070