Two things on my mind right now. The first was inevitable once the December omega block settled in for the duration, then was covered by a slab. How do we move appropriately through the mindset maze? As forecasters, guides, patrol, and educators, we do our best to protect and inform, but skiers get restless, green terrain tracked. Both professionally and personally, leaving Entrenchment requires discipline and patience, tracking test results and triggers, translating low likelihood/high consequence situations into action or non-action.

The second topic is, of course, ISSW 2023, and our TAR coverage of that busy week. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who had a hand in the planning and execution of ISSW. Kevin Grove and Zoë Roy led the process as co-chairs; we especially applaud their flexibility when a squirrel vs. transformer incident halted the electricitymid-session on Thursday. Presto! An outdoor screen arrived and on we went. Kudos to the Science Program Planning Committee (Scott Savage, HP Marshall, Erich Peitzsch, and Simon Trautman) for their years of hard work pulling the program together. From the useful tote bag to the enticing spreads at the Taste of Bend, to an impromptu coffee service during the blackout, this ISSW brought us together, educated and fed and entertained us, sent us off with connections and Covid and, as always, with curiosity that leads to more questions. Our industry has become sprawling and many-faceted— amazing how insight and technique developed in one quadrant can be adapted to others. Here at A3 and TAR we aim to facilitate those transfers and those connections.

I certainly try to attend all the presentations, make my way through the poster alleys, talk to every friend and subscriber, but firehose learning is challenging. I rely on our faithful correspondents who can sift and sort material then highlight it clearly. In this issue you’ll find a useful buffet of perspectives on ISSW: education from Melis Coady and Jason Speer, forecaster eyeballs from Blase Reardon of the Flathead, patrol take-homes from Wendy Antibus of Mt. Rose, transportation from Brenden Cronin of WYDOT, a spotlight on practitioner techniques and test take-homes from Sawtooth forecaster Scott Savage, thoughts from Drew Hardesty on movie night, and Emma Walker’s hilarious essay about the banquet. I’ve also grabbed a handful of the most discussed presentations: Andrew Schauer’s AK crust case study, Andy Moderow’s ECT block-crafting story, and Ian McCammon’s slope angle measurement investigation. Paul Baugher, Scott Savage, and Karl Birkeland’s Post Mitigation Release paper is also important reading for current conditions.

You’ll find artist Emily Mills’ presentation notes scattered through the ISSW section; she captures each speaker’s critical points and graphics in enough detail to spark your memory or interest—all ISSW papers can be found here. Please note that in the interest of preserving room for content, we are not printing references for ISSW papers—find them online as well.

Also in this issue, you’ll find updates on A3 Research grant projects from Mark Saurer et al. on blast overpressures and from Nata de Leeuw on her wind slab research.

To balance out a heavy load of science, read about Sophia Schwartz’s strategy and calendar for finding meaning in the mountains. So insightful and accurate—as is Ken Wylie’s essay on a spectrum of human attributes. Seems like the real work (as Gary Snyder might say) is to respond expansively to extended bouts of Entrenched Mindset.

— Lynne Wolfe, Editor of The Avalanche Review

ON THE COVER: High mountain heli-pads give maintenance access for the 11-gun Gazex system with 6 Point Engineering and Avatek Mountain Systems in the Horetzky Valley, Kemano, BC.— Wren McElroy