Get tuned up for winter at the Fifth Annual WYSAW.
Snow enthusiasts from all backgrounds (ski, snowboard, Nordic, snowmobile) are encouraged to come celebrate winter by joining the discussion on what it takes to stay safe in the backcountry. Snowpack analysis past and present, human behavior and decision-making, risk vs. reward, and other topics are all on tap for this year’s WYSAW.
Tickets for the all-day event are $30 before October 15; $40 after. Each attendee gets free lunch from Pica’s, a swag bag with prizes from event sponsors, and a free beer at the after party hosted by Snake River Brewing. The event will be held at the Center for the Arts in downtown Jackson.
Those who want to go deeper into snowpack and behavior analysis should sign up for the Industry Professionals Workshop on Friday, October 25. Anyone who signs up to the all-day event on Saturday is free to attend to the Pro Workshop, though you must register for both days. The Pro Workshop is tailored for professionals in the field, and will also be held at the Center for the Arts. Go here to register for the Pro Workshop.
Below is just a sample of the excellent presentations planned for WYSAW:
Jamie Yount, formerly the lead avalanche technician with the Wyoming Department of Transportation in Jackson who now works with the Colorado Department of Transportation, will go deep into the historic avalanche cycles that pummeled Colorado last winter.
McKenzie Skiles, an assistant professor in the Geography Department at the University of Utah, where she co-directs the Snow and Ice Laboratory, dives into how climate change is impacting the snowpack.
Scott Savage, Director of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center in Ketchum, Idaho, will discuss wet snow cycles from a forecaster’s point of view.
Laura Maguire, a cognitive systems engineer from Ohio State University, will open a dialogue about expertise and team work in high risk environments.
Seth Carbonari, District Ranger in the Bitterroot National Forest, plans to analyze margin and managing teams in high risk environments (learning from wildland fire fighting).
Christina Aragon, a PhD student and graduate fellow at Oregon State University, presents how mountain snowpacks can be understood by avalanche probes and smartphones.
Anne St Claire, who holds a master’s degree in Resource and Environmental Management with the Simon Fraser University Avalanche Research Program (SARP) in Vancouver, British Columbia, presents a study on how different people interpret avalanche danger bulletins.
Dave “Grom” Richards, a longtime ski patroller, heli ski guide, avalanche dog handler, and Director of the Alta Ski Area Avalanche Office, goes into the effects of mental trauma experienced by the professional rescuer in the world of avalanche rescue.
Leo Lloyd, Captain of the Durango Fire & Rescue, focuses on an informative case study exploring a human-factor trajectory in decision making that led up to an ice climbing accident.
A panel discussion led by Lynne Wolfe (editor of The Avalanche Review) will dive into the issues surrounding skier access and commuter safety on Teton Pass.