Northern Rockies Snow and Avalanche Workshop on Nov. 4

The Northern Rockies Snow and Avalanche Workshop is a one-day winter safety conference

By Beacon Staff
Erich Peitzsch, with the Flathead Avalanche Center, digs a pit to check conditions near Whitefish Mountain Resort on March 10, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The annual Northern Rockies Snow and Avalanche Workshop in Whitefish has drawn another panel of experts to enlighten winter sports enthusiasts about safe backcountry travel.

The Northern Rockies Snow and Avalanche Workshop (NRSAW) is a one-day winter safety conference dedicated to improving avalanche-related decision-making skills for winter backcountry professionals and enthusiasts. There will be a variety of speakers, a raffle, and vendors of avalanche safety gear, winter equipment, and snow machines.

The seventh annual gathering is Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the O’Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish, with a limited number of tickets selling for $25 in advance. Participants can register online at It will feature six presentations.

“The workshop has become a staple of the Flathead Valley backcountry skiing and snowmobiling community,” said Zach Miller, a workshop committee member and avalanche class instructor.

Zach Guy, the new director of the Flathead Avalanche Center, will discuss how our brains can trick us into poor decision-making in the backcountry.

Ted Steiner will speak on managing uncertainty with a recap on last winter’s extreme avalanche cycle.

Scott Savage, the director of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center, will give two presentations examining how memories can fail us in avalanche terrain and about common mistakes and new tools to prevent avalanche accidents.

Jen Parsons and former FAC Director Erich Peitzsch will share their thoughts on the tragic avalanche accident last year involving Ben Parsons.

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