American Avalanche Association

 
 

The American Avalanche Association: Representing the professional interests of the avalanche community by providing information about snow and avalanches through publication and outreach.

Mission – Keeping people safe in avalanche country through education, professional development, outreach, and research.

Avalanche.org

Avalanche.org connects the public to avalanche information and education in the United States. The site consolidates data from professional forecast centers to provide real-time avalanche information. Avalanche.org was founded in 1996 as the WestWide Avalanche Network. In 2009, the project was gifted to A3 to maintain in perpetuity. A3 and the U.S.F.S. National Avalanche Center (NAC) partnered in 2017 to strengthen the scope and reach of Avalanche.org, America's avalanche public safety platform.

Education

Educators

A3 certifies professional avalanche training programs to ensure programmatic quality, consistency and up-to-date curriculum content. The organization maintains avalanche education standards and scientific recording methodologies in the United States. A3 Guidelines for Avalanche Education in the United States provide a common framework for recreational and professional avalanche courses. These guidelines address courses like Avalanche Awareness, Level 1, Avalanche Rescue, Level 2, Pro 1, Pro 2, and ProSAR.

A3 recommends that all winter backcountry users begin their training with an optional Avalanche Awareness course, then proceed to Level 1, and Avalanche Rescue. Aspiring backcountry leaders can continue with a Level 2 course. Professional avalanche workers progress to Pro 1, Pro 2, and ProSAR, depending on their specific industries. A3 also has guidelines for snowmobile-specific courses, so motorized users can progress from an awareness course to introductory field-based avalanche and companion rescue courses. These programs provide excellent resources for backcountry users, and aspiring avalanche professionals.

Pro Training Program

The Pro Training Program provides expert educational resources and opportunities for professionals looking to gain or refresh vital skill sets.

  • A3 Pro Training Program Guidelines

  • A3 Pro Course Providers

  • Pro Training F.A.Q.

Grants & Scholarships

Publications

The Avalanche Review (TAR) is a trade and scientific journal serving the American Avalanche Association Membership. Articles published in The Avalanche Review improve the knowledge and skills of its readers through topics addressing advances in forecasting, control techniques, education, and research. Balanced content is provided with material in areas such as rescue dogs, search methods, equipment, litigation, and accident reports, along with related general interest and timely news facing the profession. Please reference previews of the current season below. Full digital copies of past seasons are found in the TAR Archives at the bottom of this page. TAR Subscriptions include base A3 Membership.

The Snowy Torrents is a crucial resource for in-depth avalanche accident information in the United States. In 2017, the American Avalanche Association published a compendium of accident case studies taking place between 1996 and 2004; this marked the publication’s fifth volume since 1967. Its authors, snow professionals with decades of first-hand experience, craft thorough and compassionate case studies of fatalities and close calls using original accident reports, media coverage, and interviews with survivors and investigators. Each case study also includes authors’ analysis, offering readers a chance to learn from others’ experiences. Please reference preview below.

Snow, Weather, and Avalanche Guidelines (SWAG)

This document contains a set of guidelines for observing and recording snow, weather, and avalanche phenomena. These guidelines were prepared for avalanche forecasting operations, but can be applied to other programs as well. The guidelines are presented as a resource of common methods and are intended to promote efficient and fruitful communication among professional operations and between research and operational communities. The observations presented in this manual were selected to support active avalanche forecasting programs.