Applications being accepted through April 5, 2018 for A3 Executive Director position. Position announcement below employment listing


The American Avalanche Association (A3) has an excellent opportunity to make a national impact among avalanche professionals and backcountry users.

We are actively seeking candidates who are experienced in running non-profits and who have exceptional leadership, fundraising, and project management skills to serve as Executive Director of A3. Top candidates will be leaders with exceptional interpersonal and communication skills who are able to foster a spirit of collaboration and teamwork amongst a wide range of outdoor professionals.

The A3 Executive Director is responsible for daily operations, fundraising, programs oversight, and community relations to a membership of 1,500 current and aspiring avalanche professionals. The organization has grown steadily over the years, continually improving member services, publications, and oversight of avalanche education standards. Our publications include The Avalanche Review, The Snowy Torrents, SWAG, and


  • Oversee daily operations of a 501(c)3 non-profit, including supervising and managing staff, to effectively execute programs and initiatives that advance the A3 mission.
  • Pursue a multi-pronged development strategy—including individual donors, corporate sponsorships, and grants—with annual and multi-year benchmarks and goals.
  • Envision and coordinate fundraising events.
  • Oversee and contribute to current organizational programs, projects, and initiatives, including: publications, professional and recreational education guidelines, course provider listings, Certified Instructor Program, and research grants.
  • Act as connector and hub amongst avalanche professionals and avalanche-related organizations to facilitate collaboration, partnership, and sharing of ideas/information across the avalanche industry in the U.S.
  • Work with the A3 Board of Trustees (and external consultants, as needed) to develop, coordinate, and implement strategies that fulfill both the A3 mission of supporting excellence in avalanche safety, education and research and foster building a better and stronger community of avalanche professionals.

Essential Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and 3+ years of prior professional management experience.
  • Prior experience with fundraising, including donor cultivation and stewardship.
  • Energetic and self-directed with excellent leadership, time management, and organizational skills, including an attention to detail, and the ability to multitask effectively.
  • Experience and drive to work remotely.
  • Exceptional communications skills, both oral and written, including the ability to effectively listen and work with a diverse range of perspectives and opinions.
  • Strong, strategically-focused analytical skills, good common sense, and the ability to think critically and creatively.
  • Proficient computer skills, including word processing, email, spreadsheets, database operations, financial management, basic website updates, and internet/social media tools.
  • Strong personal connection to and passion for the mission of A3.
  • Integrity, positive attitude, solution-oriented, sense of humor, mission driven, dedication.

Preferred Skills & Experience

  • Experience with budget preparation and oversight and financial record keeping.
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.
  • Familiarity with the non-profit sector, and specifically experience working with a Board of Trustees.
  • Ability to work occasional weekends and evenings for special programs and meetings.
  • Ability to simultaneously be detail-oriented and facilitate big-picture objectives.

Additional Details

This will be a full-time, year-round position and the successful candidate will work remotely from their location. Starting salary range $48,000 to $55,000 annually, DOE. Benefits negotiable (health insurance stipend, retirement, paid time off, holidays). The Executive Director reports to the A3 Board of Trustees.

How to Apply: Resumes with a cover letter and references will be accepted through April 05, 2018.

Submit applications to: employment

At the American Avalanche Association, we honor diversity in the workplace and support one another with respect and trust.


P.O. Box 248 * Victor, Idaho 83455 * Phone: (307) 699- 2049

a3 * *


If you work in the Ski Industry you need to be a Member of the American Avalanche Association. Upcoming Avalanche Training for the 2017-18 Season Announced.

Hello American Avalanche Association (A3) Members & Friends,

A3 and our alliance of six professional course providers are excited to announce this season’s Pro course offerings. We have been working collaboratively for years to develop a program of professional avalanche education in the United States. Most recently, on October 20th, A3 professional course providers met in Golden, Colorado to iron out some of the last details of this season’s course rollout. As a result, we are now proud to introduce a distinct program of high-quality and consistent professional training designed for the advancement of our nation’s avalanche workers.

If you are considering a Pro course this season, the following course providers are progressing through a multi-year A3 Pro Training review process:

Alaska Avalanche School – Pro 1, Pro 1 Bridge

American Avalanche Institute – Pro 1, Pro 1 Bridge, Pro 2

American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) – Pro 1, Pro 1 Bridge, Pro 2

Colorado Mountain College Leadville – Pro 1 – CMC Avalanche Science Certificate format

National Avalanche School – Pro 1 – NAS format

Silverton Avalanche School – Pro 1, Pro 1 Bridge

Please contact each of these Pro Course Providers directly about schedules and enrollment on a Pro Training course this winter. At this time, A3 recognizes Pro 1, Pro 1 Bridge, and Pro 2 courses from the six providers above who are proceeding through a rigorous review process. Our goal is to hone course quality and consistency amongst this initial group of pro providers before potentially expanding the program in the future. Other courses may still provide valuable training and/or continuing education, however, they are not recognized as part of the A3 Pro Training Program. For general questions about the A3 Pro Training Program you can visit the a3. Read on for more information on the new Pro courses…

Who should take a new Pro Course? And why?

A3 Pro Training courses – currently, Pro 1, Pro 1 Bridge, and Pro 2 – offer valuable, relevant skill development for avalanche workers at a variety of points in their careers. These programs provide a clear path for avalanche workers just entering the industry, as well as serve as excellent resources for seasoned professionals to gain the most current updates and refresh their skills. All A3 Pro Training courses:

  • Meet or exceed collaboratively designed, industry-driven skill and proficiency guidelines.
  • Are taught by top educators who also have a solid background of operational avalanche experience.
  • Teach, coach, and evaluate students to a consistent standard.

Pro 1is appropriate for entry-level avalanche professionals newly employed or seeking employment within the industry as well as seasoned avalanche professionals who wish to refresh their skills and get up to speed with current practices. The course covers skills and proficiencies that enable an individual to be a contributing member of an operational avalanche program, including making and documenting relevant observations to SWAG standards, managing personal and group risk in avalanche terrain, and contributing informed opinions during risk management discussions. Find more specific Pro 1 course details here.

Pro 1 Bridge is appropriate for individuals who recently took a Level 2 course and/or regularly apply snow and avalanche observation skills to SWAG standards in an operational setting and wish to demonstrate proficiency at the Pro 1 Level. To be set up for success, students should have their SWAG observation skills well-honed prior to this condensed course and be ready for rigorous evaluation. **Students who took a Level 2 course a long time ago and/or have not been applying snow and avalanche observation skills to SWAG standards in an operational setting are encouraged to consider a full Pro 1 course.** Review the Pro 1 Bridge evaluation criteria here.

Pro 2 is designed for developing avalanche professionals with several seasons of applied professional experience as well as seasoned professionals who are looking to develop skills applicable to leadership roles within their operation. The course covers skills and proficiencies that enable an individual to step into a leadership role within an operational avalanche program. A focus on operational risk management and decision-making skills such as forecasting, risk mitigation strategies, and professional communication. Find more specific Pro 2 course details here.

Again, please do not hesitate to reach out to A3 and/or individual Pro Course Providers with questions.


A3 & The Pro Training Provider Alliance



P.O. Box 248 * Victor, Idaho 83455 * Phone: (307) 699- 2049

a3 *


If you work outdoors in the Winter, you should be a member of the American Avalanche Association

Hello James,

This email contains a couple of updates from A3 Pro Training world. If you’d like to know more about hiring a new Pro Training Coordinator and/or this season’s Pro Trainer Workshops then read on…


We’re looking to hire a new Pro Training Coordinator (PTC) this fall. Josh Hirshberg and John Fitzgerald have collaborated to fill this role on an interim basis since last spring, and now it’s time to hire our permanent PTC. This position oversees and coordinates all programmatic aspects of A3’s Professional Avalanche Training Program. Accepting applications through October 31st. Ideal starting date in early December. If you or someone you know might be interested, check out/forward along the position description…

Pro Training Coordinator PD.pdf


Pro Trainer Workshops are for instructors who plan to lead professional avalanche courses for a Pro Course Provider as part of the A3 Pro Training Program. Enrollment priority is based on qualifications and affiliation with Pro Course Providers. These three-day workshops run by A3 focus on familiarization with Pro Training Course format, details, and evaluation standards.

This season’s workshops:

December 15-17, 2017 at Alta Ski Area, UT

April 6-8, 2018 at Mt Rose, NV

Workshop applications are due by October 31. Enrollment decisions made by mid-November. Workshop tuition is $400(Pro1)/ $500(Pro1&2). After initial enrollment period, any remaining workshop spots will be filled on a rolling basis from a prioritized wait list.

You will be asked for references, education, work history, documentation, and samples of writing. Please have materials ready to upload prior to starting the application. You will be asked to demonstrate that you meet or exceed the qualifications for Lead Trainers outlined in the Structure and Oversight document (found on A3 website Pro Training page). Here is a link to the application:

Please direct Pro Training questions to


P.O. Box 248 * Victor, Idaho 83455 * Phone: (307) 699- 2049

a3 *


Teton Valley’s Tin Cup Challenge and support the American Avalanche

Summer is here in the Tetons! While there is still some snow to be enjoyed up in the mountains, the valleys are green and lush with runoff from prolific snowfall during the 2016/17 winter. I hope you’re enjoying some summery weather wherever you are as well.


TinCupChallenge_Color-10.pngThis summer the AAA is participating in Teton Valley’s Tin Cup Challenge. This innovative philanthropic program hosted by the Community Foundation of Teton Valley (CFTV) supports nonprofit organizations in Teton Valley, Idaho. As a nonprofit organization based in Victor, Idaho, we are excited to join our local community in participating for the first time ever this summer!

During a 9-week charitable giving period, donors can give to the AAA through the Tin Cup Challenge ( At the end of the giving period CFTV will pass along all funds raised for the AAA, plus a matching grant based upon how much has been donated to the AAA through Tin Cup (typically about another 50% of total funds raised for the AAA, i.e. if the AAA raises $1,000 through Tin Cup, we receive ~$1,500!).

In addition to the charitable giving period, the Community Foundation hosts a Tin Cup Challenge Event Day with a variety of fun and competitive runs and walks to celebrate engagement with and support of Teton Valley nonprofit organizations. Yes, I will be running this summer… and if you’re around Teton Valley on Saturday, July 15th you should come join the festivities too.


James, we are asking you to support the AAA through the Tin Cup Challenge this summer. Why, you ask?? This is an opportunity to support an organization you believe in and make your donation go ~50% further. The AAA has accomplished some great things in recent years:

· Developing and launching the new AAA Pro Training Program in the US for greater consistency in professional level avalanche training.

· Publishing a new volume of The Snowy Torrents – the first new volume of this valuable series in twenty years!

· Completing a new revision to Snow, Weather, and Avalanches: Observation Guidelines for Avalanche Programs in the United States (SWAG).

· Supporting regional snow and avalanche workshops through the AAA Pro Development Workshop Grant program – thirteen events with attendees from at least fifteen states and Canada during the 2016/17 season.

· Funding snow and avalanche research by graduate students and practitioners.

· Refreshing the look and feel of The Avalanche Review so that its exterior mirrors the professional, high quality content you find in each and every issue four times per winter.

· Maintaining and continuing to evolve to connect the public to avalanche forecasts, education, and resources in the United States.

And we want to keep doing more for avalanche professionals and the entire avalanche industry! All donations to the AAA through the Tin Cup Challenge will go directly to supporting AAA operations that have made the above accomplishments happen. To be a part of the Tin Cup Challenge, you must contribute by 5pm (MDT) on July 21st.

DONATE ONLINE by clicking on the “Give Online” link at and selecting American Avalanche Association as the recipient of your donation (you can support countless other Teton Valley nonprofits through one convenient checkout here too). Your donation will only count towards the AAA’s Tin Cup matching grant if it is made directly through the Community Foundation of Teton Valley.

We need and value your support. Please help us continue to provide programs and services that benefit avalanche professionals and the avalanche industry in the United States.



Jaime Musnicki, Executive Director


P.O. Box 248 * Victor, Idaho 83455 * Phone: (307) 699- 2049

aaa *


Avalanche Hazard Management Consultant – Hiring ASAP


If you and anyone you know is qualified and interested in being an Avalanche Hazard Management Consultant for a construction project in the North Cascades this winter, check out the job opportunity below. The company is looking to hire and have someone(s) on site by next week. Feel free to pass this along as you see fit… and please contact Brad Gibson (Bradley.Gibson, phone number below) for more details.

Avalanche Hazard Management Consultant (Experienced – Certified Technicians) (Required start: 12/29/15)

• Heavy Industrial Construction Project seeks the services of the above subject matter expert(s) to provide full-time, on-site services in the US Pacific NW. The site is located in a remote area of the Cascade Mountains and will require 2-3 personnel working on a rotational basis. Direct-hire and contract employees are welcome. All transportation, accommodations and meals provided.

Roles/Responsibilities including:

• Monitor snowpack and weather conditions in areas that avalanche risk affects the assets on site.

• Monitor avalanche hazard in identified avalanche paths of concern and predict hazard level with daily avalanche forecasts and advisories.

• Coordinate and advise the Avalanche Management team’s activities, implement the existing Avalanche Management Program through daily meetings, engaging the various site stakeholders.

• Advise on continuous improvement of existing Avalanche Management Program, specific avalanche risk reduction procedures.

• Provide Avalanche Rescue Response protocol; advise Incident Commander on specific activities required during a response.

• Notify Client when the risk of avalanches to the project have ceased for the winter and said services can be terminated for the season.

Additional Services (to be determined) – Active Avalanche Management:

• Coordinate or obtain the necessary equipment and supplies for an active risk management strategy as is deemed necessary.

Post-Winter Operations:

• Collate snowpack, weather, and terrain data for Client to utilize for next season; process and summarize all data collected. Complete a year-end summary report, including recommendations for further improvement and “lessons learned”.

• Collaborate with key leadership personnel to develop a long-term avalanche risk management strategy that meets Industry best practices.


• Due to existing weather conditions – these positions are available for immediate fulfillment with a target date for mobilization to the site of12/29/15.Estimated duration of assignment is through April 2016.

Please contact:

Brad Gibson, CMSP

Senior HSE Advisor, Rio Tinto Projects

(801) 557-8236


P.O. Box 248 * Victor, Idaho 83455 * Phone: (307) 699- 2049

aaa *

American Avalanche Association AVPRO course February 25 – March 4 Summit County Colorado

The American Avalanche Association is pleased to announce this year’s AVPRO course location and dates. This season AVPRO will be returning to Summit County, Colorado, February 25 – March 4, 2015. Summit County holds a rich history within the avalanche industry. Students will learn from several of the top avalanche professionals in the region in one of the most interesting snow climates in the nation. Details can be found at

Who should attend AVPRO? AVPRO is intended for all disciplines of avalanche professionals with a solid background in avalanche fundamentals, companion rescue, and basic snow assessment. The course will continue to build on this foundation of snow science with an emphasis on high level of companion and organized avalanche rescue, accurate and advanced snow stability assessment, and avalanche control programs and procedures. Other common questions and answers can be found at or by contacting the AVPRO coordinator, Dallas Glass.

Join us this season for what will be an exciting time of learning and networking as avalanche professionals.

Dallas Glass

AVPRO Coordinator – Education Committee

American Avalanche Association


American Avalanche Association: AVPRO course location and dates

The American Avalanche Association is pleased to announce this year’s AVPRO course location and dates.

Join UsAVPRO 2014
Greetings A3 Members,The American Avalanche Association is pleased to announce this year’s AVPRO course location and dates. For the first time AVPRO is coming to Lake Tahoe, CA/NV February 25-March 4, 2014. Drawing on Lake Tahoe’s deep ski industry history, abundant yearly snowfall, and steep rugged terrain, students will spend time learning from some of the industry’s most experienced avalanche professionals. Details can be found at should attend AVPRO? AVPRO is intended for all disciplines of avalanche professionals with a solid background in avalanche fundamentals, companion rescue, and basic snow assessment. The course will continue to build on this foundation of snow science with an emphasis on high level of companion and organized avalanche rescue, accurate and advanced snow stability assessment, and avalanche control programs and procedures. Other common questions and answers can be found at or by contacting our new AVPRO coordinator, Dallas Glass.Join us this season for what will be an exciting time of learning and networking as avalanche professionals.


Dallas Glass
AVPRO Coordinator- Education Committee
American Avalanche Association

American Avalanche Association Job Openings


The American Avalanche Association is currently seeking persons to fill two vacancies on AAA’s Management Team: Executive Director and AVPRO Course Coordinator. AVPRO is the AAA’s Professional Avalanche Worker School. Both positions are part-time paid positions.

The Executive Director runs the daily operations of the AAA and provides support to all AAA committees and The Avalanche Review. Additionally, the Director represents the AAA at avalanche industry events such as the ISSW, NAS, and regional meetings and seminars. This is a part-time year round position. Qualified individuals need not be AAA Members.

The AVPRO Course Coordinator is responsible for all aspects of scheduling and planning one to two AVPRO course per winter. Candidates must be AAA Professional Members and AAA Certified Instructors or have the required experience to become a Certified Instructor.

Complete position descriptions can be found on the AAA Employment Page at this link;

Thank you, the AAA Governing Board

2012 International Snow Science Workshop

AAA logo


Summer Solstice was a couple of weeks ago, so the days are getting shorter and winter getting closer in the Northern Hemisphere. Here is the update on the International Snow Science Workshop scheduled for Anchorage, Alaska, September 16-21, 2012. If you haven’t signed up yet, we’re hoping that you make your travel plans to come for this year’s conference. It will be worth your time.

Full schedule online

The Papers Committee has finalized the schedule. There were 218 abstracts submitted with 140 requests for oral presentations. To accommodate the demand, we will run two 1 ½ hour workshop sessions with four separate tracks on Friday morning. During each session, five to six panelists will give a 10 minute review of their papers followed by a moderated 30 to 40 minute discussion. We hope this format stimulates lively discussion on few of the hot topics. The full schedule of presentations is available on the web site at

Important note: If you are a presenter, you need to sign up for the conference by July 15 to keep your presentation slot.

Fredston, Sturm, Movies & Divas

We have an exciting line up of speakers for the conference. Jill Fredston will give a welcome address and Introduction to the Alaska Avalanche Scene at the beginning of the conference. Matthew Sturm will be Thursday’s banquet speaker with a talk “Whalebacks, Barchans and Natigvik: A Scientist’s Stumblings through Yup’ik and Iñupiat Traditional Knowledge of Snow”. Since everybody has heard that there are umpteen native language words for snow, we figured it only fitting that an Alaska conference would delve into an ancient culture’s intimate relationship with snow.

On Tuesday, ISSW Movie Night will offer full night of entertainment at Beartooth Theatrepub. Who can resist avalanche and mountain adventure footage while enjoying handcrafted beer and tasty dinner? And of course, Monday evening’s Diva Night is the gathering for the women of ISSW to celebrate the outstanding females in this field.

American Avalanche Association Annual Membership Meeting

The AAA Annual Membership Meeting is scheduled for the week of ISSW. Exact date, time, and location to be announced.

Whiteout Gallery

New for ISSW 2012 is the Whiteout Gallery, which will feature photographs and other fine art by Alaskan artists that showcase “Our World of Snow and Ice”. All items will be sold by silent auction and proceeds from the art that you purchase will directly support ISSW.

Accommodations filling up

About 60 of 100 rooms at the host hotel, the Captain Cook, have already been spoken for so if you haven’t made a reservation we suggest you do that soon. Other accommodations are available in Anchorage during this time period.

Your AK Adventures

Many of those coming to this year’s conference will use the opportunity to extend their stay to see a bit of Alaska. One of our favorite locations is the Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge operated by Alaska Wildland Adventures. This outstanding facility is located approximately 35 miles from Seward by boat. They have offered a discounted rate for ISSW participants. Several participants are already booked to stay there. What an opportunity to see the renowned Outer Coast of Alaska with its incredible wildlife, and mingle with other avalanche folks in a relaxed setting. You can check it out at . Be sure to mention the ISSW rate when booking. Some of us locals may even show up with a few boats to do a little fishing if we can pull it off.

Come up north!

We encourage you to make your travel plans and come up north for this unique ISSW. The setting will be spectacular, the presentations robust, the camaraderie unsurpassed, and we even have some great beer sponsors.

See you in three months,

ISSW 2012 Organizing Committee