Standards

Alaska Avalanche Information Center (AAIC)     Avalanche Forecasting Standards

Mission: To reduce the number of avalanche-related accidents by increasing public awareness of the current local avalanche conditions, in areas where a government public avalanche forecasting center is unavailable.

Objectives to satisfy this mission:

Support and/or oversee regular avalanche forecasts for targeted backcountry areas, to be produced by in-situ avalanche forecasting operations within each community, to ensure overall quality meets national standards.

Promote peer review of avalanche forecasts, snow pack information and observations through an online data sharing network.

Participate with the refining of national and international terminology and requirements for public avalanche centers and forecasters to ensure flexibility, reliability, and consistency with national standards of quality.

AAIC Standards for Public Avalanche Forecasts:

1) Avalanche forecasts will be created by either:

a) Lead Forecaster, or

b) Assistant Forecaster under direct supervision of a Lead Forecaster.

2) Avalanche forecasts will be determined using accepted industry standards.

3) Avalanche forecasts will be provided as needed, determined by and under the responsibility of the Lead Forecaster.

4) Avalanche forecasts will include a written disclaimer.

5) Avalanche forecasts can use AAIC logos and graphics.

AAIC Standards for Public Avalanche Forecasters:

1) Lead Forecasters must have:

– AAA Professional Membership in good standing.
– Avalanche education exceeding or equivalent to AIARE Level 3, AAA Level 3, and/or CAA Level 2.
– Four seasons related avalanche experience.

2) Assistant Forecasters must have:

– AAA Affiliate or Professional Membership in good standing
– Avalanche education exceeding or equivalent to AIARE Level 2, AAA Level 2, CAA Level 1.

3) The AAIC Forecasting Director will maintain quality control of all snowpack stability forecasts indemnified under AAIC professional liability insurance.

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USDA Forest Service National Avalanche Center guidelines <here>

USDA Forest Service National Avalanche Center avalanche warning criteria <here>

Canadian Avalanche Association Professional Standards and Implementation Guide <here>