Alaska Snow Safety Summit

Advancing avalanche safety in Alaska for the general public

Alaska Snow Safety Summit

2019 Alaska Snow Safety Summit

Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 1-4 pm

Alaska Pacific University

The focus for the 2019 Snow Safety Summit is on continued collaboration and communication between state, federal and local agencies, organizations and individuals. Check back for more details and the full agenda coming soon. 



2018 Alaska Snow Safety Summit

Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 9 am to 4 pm

BP Energy Center 

The focus for the 2018 Snow Safety Summit will be on continued collaboration and communication. Learning best practices for keeping the general public informed and aware of changing snow conditions has always been one of the greatest challenges facing those in the snow safety industry. Last year Alaska lost three individuals in avalanches and many more in other snow related incidents. Our goal is to continue reducing these numbers. Education and information are the keys to doing this. 

Welcome Address by Governor Bill Walker 

Special Address by Tyler Aklestad, 7 time Arctic Man and 2017 Iron Dog Champion

View the final 2019 report here

This event was made possible with support from Conoco Phillips, AARP Alaska, BP Foundation, and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. 


2017 Alaska Snow Safety Summit 

Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 3 to 8 pm

Alaska Pacific University - Carr Gottstein Room #102

This year's summit focused on Snow Safety Communications 

Keynote Welcome: Senator Lisa Murkowski, Lt. Paul Fussey, Alaska State Troopers, SAR Coordinator

Keynote Address: Jeremy Zidek, State of Alaska Homeland Security, Public Information Officer (PIO) and David Snider, National Weather and Atmospheric Administration PIO. 

State and Federal Agencies, Organizations, Guides, Operators, Snow Practitioners, General Public Representatives. 

What happens when a weather event occurs or there is an avalanche emergency incident that results in someone calling 911?  What resources are available? How and when should information be disseminated to the public?

View the 2017 final report here 

Made possible with support from ConocoPhillips, Alaska Pacific University, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, Black Diamond, Alaska Avalanche Information Center. Your help is needed too. Please Join Us.  

2016 Snow Safety Summit

Thursday, November 3, 2016 - BP Energy Center, Anchorage - 4-8 pm

The 2016 Summit included dozens of agencies and policy makers working together to discuss, plan and make strategic plans for Snow Safety Programs in Alaska. Thank you to everyone who participated, submitted comments or otherwise expressed interest in helping build a comprehensive snow safety program for all Alaskans.





2015 Snow Safety Summit 

Thursday, November 5, 2015 - BP Energy Center Anchorage - 8:30 am to 3:30pm

The 2015 Summit featured a full day of panel discussions and focus sessions with agencies and snow safety fighters from around the state. Our primary goal was to identify the needs Alaska has in terms of snow forecasting and education and to continue finding effective ways for collaboration, sustainability and opportunities for all Alaskans to easily access information.

The program kicked off with a presentation by avalanche survivor Michael Hopper. Mike was caught in an avalanche on December 6th with his best friend (Rowdy his dog) and climbing and skiing partner Erik Peterson. Rowdy and Peterson did not survive the avalanche and Michael walked away with a heavy heart and lessons he wants to share to spare others from a similar fate. His willingness to share will help advance the field of avalanche research and was greatly appreciated by all in attendance. The big message again this year was the importance of collaboration and finding common ground and avenues for partnership. The panel members included a wide variety of industry experts and agency representatives that shared ideas and suggestions for continuing to grow and advance snow science in Alaska. The panel discussions were moderated by Christopher Constant, a volunteer with AAIC. The focus group work was moderated by Michael Walsh, Vice President of the Foraker Group. 

The date for the 2016 summit is now set for Thursday, November 3rd from 4 pm to 8 pm at the BP Center

View the panel discussions HERE

Read the Full Report HERE 


Space is Limited  - REGISTER NOW!

Be part of the action and help make this event possible REQUEST OUR SPONSOR KIT.



During the 2014 Summit, we heard many folks say we needed to make more time for discussion and focus groups to come up with solid solutions. This year's agenda provides for that extra time.  

To be most effective, please provide your input in advance to help us focus on the most pressing issues.



COMMUNITY SNOW FEST - Saturday, November 7, 2015 - 11 am to 3 pm 

Giving  back to our community. AAIC will be hosting a community Snow Fest on Saturday, November 7th from 11 am to 3 pm in Anchorage at the Z.J. Loussac Library.  Free workshops, Gear demos, Video premiers, burn barrel snow dances and lots more! Join the fun -

Learn more or register now!




2014 Snow Safety Summit

Gathering of Snow Safety Professionals and policy makers in Alaska

November 6, 2014

The 2014 Snow Safety Summit was held November 6th at the BP Energy Center in Anchorage with more than 75 snow safety professionals, policy makers and state agencies in attendance.

Facilitated by Mike Walsh, Foraker Group Vice President, and coordinated by the Alaska Avalanche Information Center, the goal of this year's summit was to determine the current state of snow safety in Alaska, available resources and services and gather thoughts and suggestions for formulating a solid network of services for the general public.

Dave Hamre, ARR, a long-time avalanche professional in Alaska, was the Keynote Speaker and shared the history of this effort that goes back to the early 1970's.

Hamre said the first statewide effort was developed under the name Alaska Avalanche Warning Center and included more than 10 state agencies who contributed to the budget.

“There was a lot of start-up pain and challenges associated with that effort,” Hamre told the group. “There were more than 10 state agencies involved and it was unwieldy trying to get anything accomplished. Plus it required a lot of money to get a seat at the table.”

He believes the reason the avalanche center ultimately failed was because the leadership was unable to clearly define the value they provided to the public. His suggestion to the group at this year’s summit; Pay attention to the lessons from the past.

 Mike Buck, with the Alaska Dept. of Labor, another special speaker and long-time educator and snowmobiler, also had advice to share.

“Evolution and opportunity,” Buck told the group in a video presentation (Click Here to view the video.) “That’s what skiers, snowmachiners and avalanche professionals have been experiencing since the early, crazy days of the World Extreme Skiing Championships. We still have a very independent minded approach here in Alaska. We pride ourselves on being cutting edge, high adventure, adrenaline rush professionals. But the risk tolerance is often elevated to unrealistic heights.”

Buck believes that avalanche safety is poised for a fundamental change here in Alaska. He encouraged the group to work collaboratively in order to guide the process utilizing the best of the best this group has to offer for the overall good of the industry both in Alaska and across the US.

During the Summit, attendants had the opportunity to introduce themselves and share their thoughts and suggestions for what they think we should all pay attention to and what they or their company, organization or agency has to contribute to the overall effort.

If you attended by teleconference or were unable to attend but wanted to have your comments included in the final report, please feel free to provide your input here 

If you attended and would like to provide additional thoughts, comments or feedback, please complete our survey

Check out the Final Report.pdf

Check out the report from Foraker Group Dr. Mike Walsh Here

2013 Snow Conference!

Professional Snow Safety Workshops

October 31, November 1-3

BP Energy Center - Alaska Pacific University

Get more information and register at

This year's conference is being run and managed by the Chugach Avalanche Information Center.

October 31st is a special event that will be run by the Alaska Avalanche Information Center. Email for more information  


With sincere thanks, all of us on the planning and organizing committee would like to express our gratitude and appreciation for your participation at the 2011 Alaska Snow Safety Conference. We hope you found this event valuable and will continue to stay involved as we work together toward a strong future.

As one voice, we can achieve the mission of providing avalanche and snowmobile education for everyone in Alaska. Thank you for helping. 

And please keep checking back for video, photo and blog updates on conference highlights!

Eeva Latosuo, APU; Sarah Carter, AAIC; Debra McGhan, NAOI 


Welcome - Check-In - Grant Hall

7:30-8:30 am

Poster Presentation - 3rd Floor Grant Hall 

Conference activities: Grant Hall & Carr Gottstein Building 

The first day and a half of the conference is specifically designed for snow safety professionals including forecasters, instructors, guides, search and rescue and public information providers.

Saturday 1-6pm is all about public outreach!

We invite conference participants to provide a brief, hands-on activity that gets one point about snow safety across in a fun, innovate way. Invite your friends, tell your neighbors, this is an incredible opportunity to meet and share with your neighbors and learn from your colleagues. Thank you for representing Alaska as one of our finest snow-safety professionals.

Welcome - To everyone that loves to recreate in the snow including skiers, boarders, snowmachiners and mushers. 

The goal of this conference is to bring together those interested in snow and avalanche safety to network, discuss challenges and goals and to expand their education.

We want to ensure that Alaskan residents and visitors have easy access to the best quality and most effective avalanche and snowmobile snow safety training and information possible.

We invite all organizations to prepare a short presentation on your organization as well as a poster to share photos, your history and information on how you forecast, mitigate, educate and provide public outreach on snow safety in Alaska.

Organizations that complete a poster will be eligible to win a beacon, shovel and probe thanks to BCA. Posters will be judged by conference attendees so come vote for your favorite.

If you consider yourself a snow safety professional or would like to learn more about becoming one, join us Friday from 8:30a - 6p and Saturday from 8:30a - 12p.

On Saturday from 1-6p the conference will open to the general public for workshops, lectures, interactive training activities and more.  We invite the snow safety professionals to join us to staff stations, provide workshops, lectures and demonstrations.  


Turnagain Pass Avalanche 2009 - Photo - Seth Hildebrand

2017 Alaska Snow Safety Summit 
2017 Alaska Snow Safety Summit 
2017 Alaska Snow Safety Summit