The year 2020 has required all of us to get creative, and the fall SAW season was no exception. Avalanche professionals across the country knew it wasn’t safe to hold in-person workshops, and though we always relish an opportunity to gather, the upside to virtual workshops is the opportunity for their content to reach a wider audience after the fact.

Thanks to the organizers of the 2020 WYSAW, who granted permission for the contents of the talks to be reposted on dTAR.

Left of Whoomph

“Left of Whoomph: A systematic approach to situational awareness in the mountains. Using elements of the US Marine Corps Combat Hunter program, we can identify cues and train responses to avoid human and environmental traps in avalanche prone terrain.”

By Jake Hutchinson, avalanche professional for nearly 30 years, including working as a guide, forecaster, educator, and K9 Search & Rescue

Betting Your Life: Why Avalanche Forecasting is Poker, Not Chess

By Jenna Malone, physicians assistant, ski patroller at Alta, guide with Powderbirds, instructor with the American Avalanche Institute, medical provider on Denali’s West Buttress, and newly elected Councilperson for the Town of Brighton, Utah

Crew Resource Management

“Crew Resource Management: Communication, leadership, teamwork, listening skills, motivation, and dealing with strong personalities as they all apply in the conduct of your mission”

By Bud Wheeler, longtime rescue pilot with 32 years in the U.S. Army, plus 14 years on Breckenridge Ski Patrol

Snowmobile Compaction: A Subject Matter Expert Survey

By Jen Coulter, Field Team Leader and avalanche forecaster in Southern Rockies for Avalanche Canada, and lead instructor for the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association

2020 TCSAR Update

By Stephanie Thomas, Executive Director of the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation

Common use radio channels in high use avalanche terrain

By Matt Steen, Director of Snow Safety and guide at Telluride Helitrax

Forecasting for Scary Low

“Scary Low, Forecast Challenges with Low Probability, High Consequence Avalanche Problems”

By Heather Thamm, former ski patroller at Alyeska Ski Resort and forecaster for the Chugach National Forecast Avalanche Information Center

2020 Update from Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center

By Bob Comey, longtime director of the Bridger Teton Avalanche Center

Lessons Learned from 40+ years in the avalanche world

By Liam Fitzgerald, who worked for several decades as snow safety director and forecaster in Little Cottonwood Canyon

On the Nature of Forecasting — And Why We Get it Wrong

By Drew Hardesty, forecaster with Utah Avalanche Center for over 20 years, Jenny Lake Climbing Ranger in Grand Teton National Park for 15 years

Panel Discussion: The Ethics of Backcountry Recreation during a Pandemic

Dr. Terry O’Connor, an emergency physician and EMS director based in Ketchum, Idaho, moderates a panel at the end of Day 1 with emergency room physician Dr. Will Smith, Grand Teton National Park Jenny Lake District Ranger Scott Guenther, and avalanche forecaster and instructor Jake Hutchinson.

Panel Discussion: The Snow Business of Covid

TCSAR Foundation PSAR Manager Liz King talks to guide and councilperson Jenna Malone, avalanche professional Don Carpenter of the American Avalanche Institute, and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort President Mary Kate Buckley about how the pandemic is affecting business in their communities, and what decisions they have made to be safe and operable this winter.