We gather some of the great minds of snow science and avalanche forecasting to build on past concepts and stimulate new ideas to further our understanding of avalanches.

Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop & Dinner

Saturday November 7th, 2015

7:30 am – 4:30 Workshop in Grand Ballroom
4:30 – 6:30 pm Expo & Social hour
6:30 pm – Ronnie Berlack & Bryce Astle Memorial Dinner – Keynote by Rudi Mair

** Friday Night ESAW 2015 Kickoff & Early Registration at International Mountain Equipment, North Conway**
Social event hosted by ESAW & Friends of the Mount Washington Avalanche Center. Door Raffle, refreshments, snacks, & music

Resources from the 2015 Workshop

Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop

The Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop is a one-day professional development seminar for people working in avalanche safety. It provides a venue for avalanche workers to listen to presentations and discuss new ideas, techniques and technologies with their colleagues. The meeting is intended for avalanche forecasters, ski guides, avalanche education instructors, ski patrollers, students, and researchers, but the meeting is open to anyone interested in furthering their knowledge of avalanche safety.

Proceeds from the 2015 Eastern Snow and Avalanche workshop benefit White Mountain Avalanche Education Fund,  a mechanism to help educate visitors before they arrive in the mountains.

Dinner & Keynote by Rudi Mair

Dinner reservations close at 9 pm, Tuesday, November 3

Following the ESAW sessions and social a Dinner in true Omni Mount Washington Resort style will commence.  The dinner is in memory of Ronnie and Bryce with opening comments from their families.  The goal is to bring more attention to the understanding of international avalanche warning systems and is working on connecting all avalanche advisories and warnings.  This will be briefly presented followed by the Keynote by Rudi Mair, the Director of the Tyrol Avalanche Crisis Center in Innsbruck Austria. He will present How do we deal with avalanches and their mortal dangers when we can’t understand the risks in their whole complexity?” 

MWR_Crest_st_BW               November 7th at the Omni Mount Washington Resort

                                        Workshop & Dinner Registration


chrisSeveral years ago Kyle Tyler, as an avalanche educator, and I, as a forecaster,started talking about his idea to facilitate a seminar or workshop to promote continual learning about avalanches.  He and I have been participating in the International Snow Science Workshop around North America for almost 20 years and have substantially enjoyed its feel and philosophy.  ISSW’s mantra, “The Merging of Theory with Practice”, looks to tap all minds for their snow related knowledge.  We took this idea to our friends and partners at the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol, made up of National Ski Patrollers, educators and rescuers, and the idea turned into reality.  We worked together to make it happen and we’re excited watching it unfold.

As world-renowned chemist Raould Hoffmann once stated

The vast majority of great things come not in one flash of progress, but the accumulation of small things

That was the concept that ISSW started and many other smaller regional workshops continue every year.  That is, to build on past concepts and stimulate new ideas to further our understanding of avalanches.  We will always have lots to learn about snow, avalanches, and the natural world so we should never feel done, finished, or static about our need for higher education.  There are no experts, we are all students.

See you at ESAW!

Christopher Joosen

Ronnie & Bryce

The 2015 Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop is collaborating with the families of Ronnie Berlack and Bryce Astle to expand the conversation about avalanche safety both here in the United States and internationally.

The January 5th, 2015 avalanche that killed Ronnie and Bryce should motivate us all to dig deeper into the risks associated with our beloved mountains. It has also inspired us to grow this one day workshop and continue educating the grizzled veterans and new athletes to the complex nature of snow in the mountains.

Ronnie Berlack‘s high-wattage, brown eyes spoke volumes. He started skiing on Cannon Mountain at age 2, growing up just 7 miles away in Franconia, NH. Almost every spring of his life, he hiked (or was carried) into Tuckerman’s Ravine on Mt. Washington to ski. His high energy found a comfortable home in ski racing. New England, to him, was paradise.

Bryce Astle, a ski star from Alta/Snowbird, Utah, was incredibly driven, becoming the top Junior Nor Am tech skier in North America. He stayed focused and did not let anything get in his way. His contagious smile and easy laugh were well known in Utah and beyond. In 19 years, he lived more than most dream of living in a full lifetime.

2015 List of Speakers

Rudi Mair
Rudi MairHead of the “Lawinenwarnzentrale” (Avalanche Crisis Center) for Tyrol
Dr. Bruce Jamieson
Dr. Bruce JamiesonUniversity of Calgary
Don Sharaf
Don SharafForecaster- Chugach Heli-skiing, Valdez Alaska
Jerry Isaak
Jerry IsaakChair- Department of Expeditionary Studies, Plattsburgh State University
Sam Colbeck
Sam ColbeckUS Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (Retired)
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