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Northern Rockies Snow and Avalanche Workshop
By Moosetrack Megan


Whitefish, MT-October 31, 2016 – This year’s Northern Rockies Avalanche Safety Workshop in Whitefish has drawn another panel of experts to enlighten winter sports enthusiasts about safe backcountry travel.

The Northern Rockies Avalanche Safety Workshop is a winter safety workshop dedicated to improving avalanche related decision making skills for winter backcountry professionals and enthusiasts. There will be a variety of speakers, a fantastic raffle, and vendors of avalanche safety gear, winter equipment, including snowmobiles and snowbikes.

The sixth annual gathering is November 5th from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the O’Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish, with a limited number of tickets selling for $25 in advance. This year’s title sponsor, the Flathead Nordic Backcountry Patrol, is providing scholarships for all local high school students wishing to attend. Interested students can contact friends@flatheadavalanche.org for more information.

This year’s event features a slate of five speakers with a variety backgrounds whose extensive expertise will provide insight into the technical elements of avalanche safety. Subjects covered include recent developments in snow stability tests, time lapse photography of avalanche terrain, as well as a play by play review of the 2015/2016 winter season.

“It’s great to be able to bring this workshop to Whitefish for a sixth year,” said Ted Steiner, part of the Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center workshop committee. “The workshop is about learning, networking, seeing old and making new friends. It’s also a time to remember that winter is on the way, get excited about getting outside and, most importantly, remember we need to be safe and educated when traveling the backcountry. We need to come home to our families and enjoy season upon season of future winter endeavors.”

 

The workshop will feature Bruce Jamieson, founder of the Applied Snow and Avalanche Research Center (ASARC)  at the University of Calgary; Diana Saly, Master’s student in the Snow and Avalanche Lab at Montana State University; Dr. Terry O’Connor, Emergency physician, EMS Director, and Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine for the University of Colorado; Todd Wharton, survivor of an avalanche incident in the Canyon Creek area; and Erich Peitzsch, the Director of the Flathead Avalanche Center.

Last year’s event drew more than 250 attendees.  “We wanted to create a workshop that would serve our community, something that had never been offered here before,” said Craig Moore, an avid backcountry skier, patroller and workshop committee member. “I think our community is thirsty for this information, which has made the workshop successful.”