9th Annual Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop (full day)


**Online ticket sales have been closed down. TIckets will still be available at the door.**

Join us for the 9th annual USAW, where Utah’s avalanche community will team up with snow professionals from around the west to share avalanche knowledge. This is a professional-level continuing education opportunity open to pros and the public. This is the only avalanche workshop in Utah addressing snow science, decision-making, avalanche trauma, lessons learned from recent accidents and scenarios, and backcountry/resort/urban interactions. Regional avalanche workshops are the most time and cost effective way to build and refresh advanced avalanche skills available.

You’ll learn from and network with 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 15 minute presentations followed by Q&A as well as panel discussions. New this year- Both morning and afternoon sessions are open to the public. 

Reduced rates this year!  The full day session, 8 am to 5 pm, is $38 until 5 pm Nov 2 and $43 after that.  Tickets will be available at the door.  Lunch and coffee/beverage service is included.  To sign up for just the afternoon session, go here.

Revised schedule for the day:

08:00-08:05 Welcome

08:05-08:20 ISSW 2016 Most Common Mistakes in Avalanche Terrain- A review of the top ten most common mistakes according to helicopter ski guides at Canadian Mountain Holidays. Mark Staples

08:25-08:45 The Fine Line between Beliefs, Expectations and Outcomes - The shock and disbelief of having your world turned upside down in an unexpected avalanche, that from previous experience and knowledge maybe should not have been such a surprise.  During a significant storm cycle a patroller is caught, carried and injured while doing avalanche reduction work. Mike Erickson and G.R Fletcher

08:50-9:10 Risk Acceptance, Learning to Fail and Expert Intuition- Using personal experiences to describe my thoughts on the relationship between risk acceptance, failure and intuition. Brian Pollick

09:15-09:35 Comfort Zones - A frightening account and reminder to keep your guard up, even in the most familiar terrain. Jeremy Jensen

09:40-10:00 Analysis of Utah Avalanche Fatalities in the Modern Era - A detailed study of Utah avalanche fatalities from 1940 to the present. An historical evaluation that shows how winter backcountry enthusiasts can use avalanche forecasts and other educational opportunities to make more informed decisions when traveling in avalanche terrain in the Utah backcountry. Greg Gagne

10:00-10:20 Break

10:25-10:45 Snow Temperature Sensors- A variety of temperature sensors suitable for measuring temps in the snow are available and are quite useful for learning about snow metamorphism.   Brett Kobernik

10:50-11:10 Thermal Imaging and UDOT's Highway Avalanche Program- UDOT avalanche forecasters have begun to use military-grade thermal imaging binoculars on control mornings. This tool not only helps them to ensure trailheads and avalanche paths are clear of dawn patrollers, but can also verify results. Mark Saurer

11:15-11:35 LCC Summer Project Update- New radar avalanche detection unit, blackjack Gazex installation, Town of Alta study, and future plans. Matt Mckee

11:40-12:00 Going to the Sun Highway glide avalanche cycle- A forecasters takeaways from a significant wet slab/glide slab avalanche cycle that occurred during Spring Opening 2016 of the Going-to- the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.  A look at the lessons learned, and how they may be useful tools for spring skiing in the Wasatch as temps rise and avalanche conditions evolve. Jake Hutchinson

12:00-13:00 Lunch

13:00-13:05 Welcome to the Afternoon Session

13:05-13:15 Utah Winter Review 2015-16: A look back at the winter of 2015-16

13:15-13:35 A Wink is as Good as Nod to a Blind Horse…why some things aren’t as they seem – Weather events that shaped the 2015/16 repeater avalanche cycle. Craig Gordon

13:40-14:50 Decision making roundtable- five key factors avalanche pros and high-end recreationalists look at and feel are most important in avy assessment, forecasting, and decision making.Titus Case, Joe Royer, Roger Atkins, Dave Kikkert, Shaun Raskin

14:50-15:10 Break

15:15-15:35 2015 Still Not Dead Yet- We don’t all have to be doctors, nurses, paramedics or even EMT’s, but there are some basic skills we can equip ourselves with to provide life saving interventions in a critical time of rescue. Alicia Peterson MD

15:40-16:00 South America, Decision Making and Dave Kikkert's Gloves- In the Wasatch, we are fortunate to have a huge amount of information to help us make decisions in avalanche terrain, in the high terrain of the central Andes, we have none. A quick visit to remote Ski Arpa and some thoughts on our decision making process. Jimmy Tart

16:05-16:25 WasAngeles- A comparison of the LA Surf and Wasatch Backcountry scenes and the lessons we can learn for ethics in the Wasatch- Todd Leeds and Dr. Preston Lear

16:30-16:50 How did you know it was safe to be there? - The nuances of making decisions to ride specific terrain under different conditions, particularly the role and development of good instincts, including the concept of strategic mind-set. Roger Atkins

17:00-18:00 Social


** If you are registering for more than one person please include their name(s) in the comment section while checking out**


USAW 2016 is brought to you by generous donations from our sponsors:




Saturday, November 5, 2016 - 8:00am

Southtowne Expo Center

9575 S State St
Sandy, UT 84070