Giving Back to the Community

From the Beginning of this Project, we wanted to Recognize the Efforts of the Professional Avalanche Safety Community

The forecasters provide us a great service, in many cases as a labor of love.

As one regional director told us “If you want a job with a lot of work for very little money, this is the place.” And the avalanche instructors provide us with the tools and knowledge to keep us safe. As we developed MAST, we were fortunate to receive advice, encouragement and help from Andy Anderson at SAC, Bruce Tremper at UAC, Ethan Greene at CAIC, Karl Birkeland at NAC, Mark Moore at NWAC, Mark Mueller at American Avalanche Association and Nate Greenburg at ESAC. Their input has been invaluable.

So, we try to give back a little by making the app available free of charge to certified AAI and qualified AIARE-certified instructors. If you “didn’t get the memo” by email from AAI or AIARE, contact us with your name, instructor ID and email address and we will send you download instructions.

Just our way of saying 'Thank You' to the people who make it safer to pursue our passion.

   
 
 
     
Here’s How Some in the User Community Give Back  
     
   
   
 
 
     

Friends of Berthoud Pass – Dedicated to preserving the legacy of public recreation on Berthoud Pass Since 2003

 
     
  FOBP is committed to providing free avalanche awareness classroom sessions to the public in order to spread backcountry protocol, safety and basic avalanche knowledge.

Using standards set by the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) and the American Avalanche Association (AAA), FOBP's classroom sessions are attended by more than 1,200 people each year and since 2004 their Grassroots Avalanche Education program has reached over 10,000 people.

This year, almost all of FOBP's Directors are equipped with the MAST application on their smart phones.

BJ MarracciniBJ Marraccini, FOBP's Communications Director and AIARE aspirant says, “With the amount of skier traffic that Berthoud gets each winter, I'm surprised that there aren't more local observations sent in to CAIC. With the powerful MAST app, those of us that spend most of our winter BC days on the pass now have a convenient and thorough tool to record and share what we are seeing and experiencing with the experts.”

To learn more about Friends of Berthoud Pass, click here


Friends of Berthoud Pass

 
     
   
 
 
     

Lynne Wolfe, Avalanche Instructor, Climbing Guide, Editor of Avalanche Review

 
     
 

Lynne is an AAA-Certified Avalanche Instructor and long-time resident of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  She’s taught avalanche courses for American Avalanche Institute, Prescott College, Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Silverton Avalanche School, NOLS, and Babes in the Backcountry. She is also editor of American Avalanche Association’s The Avalanche Review. In the summer she is a guide for Exum Mountain Guides in the Tetons. She most enjoys helping avalanche course students translate snow theory into making better decisions in the backcountry.

Lynne says, “Since I carry my smart phone already, using it as a multi-purpose tool that amplifies efficiency, eliminates steps, and improves information flow can only be good.” Learn More about Lynne’s work for The Avalanche Review.

 
   
 
 
     
Brett Kobernik, Avalanche Forecaster, Mad Scientist, Garage Inventor  
     
 

Splitboard inventor and Utah Avalanche Center Forecaster Brett “Cowboy” Kobernik always looks for ways to improve the backcountry experience through technology. Brett says “The iPhone is one of the most powerful field tools that’s come along for avalanche forecasters in recent history. I think we are just barely tapping into its capabilities.” In this video we see the iPhone microscope that he built by gluing a washer to a full-back protective cover and aligning the washer with the viewfinder of his RF Interscience 25X macroscope.

Brett also built a lightweight Ram Penetrometer out of an old ski pole and a shovel handle.  He’s been using it this season to record RAM data then uploading the numerical arrays into UAC’s website, which then produces a snow profile. Here’s a video of his Penetrometer in action.

 
     
   
 
 
     
Back Country Babes, Inspiring Women Through Outdoor Adventure  
     
  Jenna BoisvertJenna Boisvert leads Backcountry Babes, an awesome crew of female adventure guides who provide avalanche safety courses specifically for women.

Jenna says “We want women to be an equal part of the backcountry decision-making process. It’s important that they understand they have that choice. We try to empower them with the most relevant science, practical knowledge and tools, and help them feel confident that they can make good decisions about their own safety when traveling in the backcountry.”

“It’s great to have an application like MAST that puts all the relevant avalanche safety information in one place” said Jenna. “We can show our students this and they quit sweating bullets that they have to remember it all for tomorrow’s pop quiz!”

Big Props to Jenna and the Babes Squad for giving women the tools to go into the backcountry safely and with confidence. To learn more, click:

 
 
 
     
Jim “Sarge” Conway, Guide, Safety Guru, Producer  
     
  Sarge Conway is well known for bringing a strong measure of safety to adventure sports. He is Sr. Safety Advisor and Guide for Teton Gravity Research and Director of Operations at Valdez Heli Ski Guides. He is also a leader in risk management for risk takers, providing seminars for groups like the Navy Top Gun School, US Marine Corps, US Air Force F35 development team, and the Coast Guard. Sarge is an early adopter of MAST, and his observations regularly appear on the Utah Avalanche Center’s web site. Here is a video of Jim discussing effective airbag use with the TGR Pro Team.

“MAST makes it easy to record data, especially position, slope angle and aspect, in SWAG-compatible nomenclature”, he says. “This will create a new breakthrough in social media.  Imagine checking snow and weather conditions from other users while you are in your assessment phase in the field!” To learn more about Sarge’s work, visit:

 
   
 
 
     
Reggie Crist, Haines AK Guide and Consultant  
     
  Professional Skier, former Olympic downhiller, two-time SkierX Gold Medalist, Heli-Guide, Gear Consultant and MAST user Reggie Crist has provided us with some great ideas from his real-world guiding experience. Reggie is also a consultant for the First Ascents/Eddie Bauer line. Reggie has several first descents in Greenland, the Himalayas, the New Zealand Alps and Southeast Alaska. Here is a video of Reggie’s latest first descent, of Bellringer near Haines AK.

Reggie says “Recording weather, terrain and snowpack data on smart phones using Ullr Labs software is an excellent way to share information with other professionals. MAST lets us all enter the back country with as much pertinent information as possible.”

Learn more about Reggie’s work at Eddie Bauer First Ascent Team
 
   
 
 
     
Chris Simmons, Feral Antarctican  
     
  We were pleased when about 25% of all AAI and AIARE instructors responded to our offer in late 2011 of free MAST licenses for those with iPhones. When some hadn’t completed the process after a month, we followed up to see if something went wrong at our end.

This was by far the best response:

Hi Bob-
 No no, it’s simpler - and more complex - than that. I'm in Antarctica, at McMurdo Station, getting ready to spend 30 days in the deep field guiding a glacial geology team. If you need me to download it sooner rather than later I can, but I was waiting until I got back to the states around the 1st of February.
 
 Chris Simmons
 IFMGA Mountain Guide

Here are excerpts from Chris during this latest expedition in Antarctica’s Pensacola Mountains:

"My focus is, as the Antarctic Field Mountaineer and resident Mountain Guide, to get all of you wherever you want to go. Safely. Safely being the route that is least likely to get you hurt getting there. For me, the most significant way to accomplish this is good route-finding. Around the crevasses on the glaciers, across the rocky ridges, and between our camps as we traverse. And I want this to be timely - I don't want you guys losing days while I try to figure out the best way to get from point A to point B.

The remoteness - with such a small team - is part of the appeal as well. Six people, 340 miles away from the nearest population (the South Pole itself). Living out of a few tents and migrating from work-site to work-site. We get to be feral Antarcticans - perhaps the closest thing to being a 'local' possible here. Intimately working and living with the land. How cool is that?"

Read more about the 2011-2012 expedition at pensacolamountains.blogspot.com
Chris maintains a great blog at Climb | Ski | Sleep | Repeat

 
   
 
 
     
Andy Hill, Consultant, Patroller, Avalanche Forecaster, Instructor  
     
  Andy was our most peripatetic user during the 2011-2012 season. A patroller at Alpental and Cascade Backcountry, forecaster for King County (WA) Search and Rescue, and an avalanche instructor, Andy was transmitting observations from all corners of Western North America as well as providing us great a great testing base and feedback on features.

A retired business consultant, Andy spends about 100 days/season on snow, with about half of those in the backcountry. When touring, he’s always assessing snowpack conditions and sharing observations with the Pacific Northwest community.

“MAST relies on a solid foundation of snow science terminology/techniques and encourages uniformity of observations across its users” Andy explains. “I've made MAST my go-to data collector for snow observations. The more observations we can put into the database, the better we'll all be at improving our travel decisions in avalanche terrain.”

Learn More about Andy’s work at Cascade Backcountry, Ski Patrol Rescue Team for King County SAR, and Apental Volunteer Ski Patrol

 
     
 
 
     

Tell Us How You Use Mast

Contact Bob[at]Ullrlabs[dot]com