Elk Valley Snow Avalanche Workshop Returns to Fernie in November
Mark Gallup
September 24th, 2019

Elk Valley Snow Avalanche Workshop Returns to Fernie in November

Fernie, BC will play host to the second annual CIL Explosives Elk Valley Snow Avalanche Workshop presented by TECK on November 10, 2019.

The 2nd annual event welcomes avalanche professionals and recreationalists for a day of collective discussion and presentations on a variety of winter backcountry topics. Vendors and operators will also be on hand to demonstrate the latest in equipment and services to the public.

The event will host numerous guest speakers: snow science guru Bruce Jamieson; meteorologist Dave Jones; Avalanche Canada South Rockies Field Team Lead Jen Coulter; Great Canadian Tours Forecast and Operations Manager Steve Scott; the Fernie Alpine Resort ski patrol; and avalanche researcher Ann St. Clair


Persistent weak layers such as surface hoar will be a topic of discussion at Elk Valley Snow Avalanche Workshop 2019


The seminar serves as a lead-in for the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW) which will take place in Fernie next year on October 4-9, 2020. Fernie will find itself in the international spotlight as over 1000 snow science researchers and practitioners from across the globe unite for seven days to share experiences and ideas, merging theory and practice in the bi-annual workshop.

The Elk Valley Snow Avalanche Workshop will be held at the Fernie Community Center with lunch and coffee available for purchase. An après social at the Curling Club next door will provide opportunities to network and meet new backcountry partners. Tickets are by advanced sales online. For more information on the event, to register or become a corporate partner, visit the Elk Valley Snow Avalanche Workshop site at evsaw.com

Elk Valley Snow Avalanche Workshop Featured

Elk Valley Snow Avalanche Workshop Presenters 2019

Bruce Jamieson - How Risky Is Ski Cutting

Although skiers have been intentionally triggering avalanches, i.e. ski cutting, for at least 90 years, the risk from ski cutting has—until this year—been unknown. In spring 2019, Bruce and four others conducted a survey of avalanche practitioners in the US, Canada and New Zealand. This talk will summarize the results of the survey, including the first estimates of the risk of injury and death due to ski cutting. Although the risk estimates are only applicable to avalanche practitioners, Bruce will summarize the ski cutting techniques that practitioners use to reduce their risk and lead a discussion on the practicality of these techniques for backcountry recreationists.

Steve Scott - Sled Guiding in the BC Backcountry - Real Talk

Unlike the more established ski industry, it is still kind of the wild west when it comes to hiring a snowmobile guide. With still no universally accepted snowmobile guides accreditation body in western Canada, Steve discusses the opportunities and challenges of developing guiding best practices for sled guides working in avalanche terrain.

Jennifer Coulter - That Layer Is Still a Player

We will look back at the January 17th surface hoar layer that was responsible for Special Public Avalanche Warning (SPAW), some backcountry surprises and a SAR callout. We follow the life and times of this layer as a case study to talk about how the South Rockies Field Team battles to keep track of its distribution and to make decisions choosing terrain with “persistent avalanche problems”. Why are persistent problems harder to manage than other problems anyways, and how the heck do we know when it is good to go again?!!

David Jones - SpotWX and Models in the Mountains – Tales of Terror and Seduction

Presentation description available soon at evsaw.com

Anne St. Clair - Could the Avalanche Bulletin Be More Effective?

Over 90% of avalanche accidents in Canada involve recreational backcountry users. One of the tools used to help keep them safe is the avalanche forecast. We were overdue for a research project that actually studied how the public use and interpret the avalanche bulletin information. Anne will discuss her research findings and their implications for future avalanche education products.


For more information and to purchase tickets, visit evsaw.com