LISTEN: Avalanche forecasting and education

When snow falls, Alaskans pull out their skis and sleds and head for the mountains.
The joy of skiing and riding comes with the risks associated with avalanche. Alaska
has had more than its share of avalanche tragedies and over the years dedicated professionals have worked to educate the public about how to avoid getting caught in an avalanche, and what to do if you are. Avalanche forecast centers have operated continuously in Southcentral Alaska since 1999 after six snowmachiners died in an avalanche at Turnagain Pass. This show will cover how avalanche forecasts are created, how best to use them, what educational opportunities exist in Alaska, and how to start to develop good decision-making skills when in avalanche terrain. We will talk with Wendy Wagner of the Chugach National Forest’s Avalanche Information Center, Jed Workman of the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center, and Blaine Smith, an instructor with the Alaska Avalanche School.

HOST: Paul Twardock

GUESTS:

  • Wendy Wagner of the Chugach National Forest’s Avalanche Information Center
  • Jed Workman of the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center
  • Blaine Smith, an instructor with the Alaska Avalanche School

LINKS:

BROADCAST: Thursday, January 9th, 2020. 2:00 pm – 3:00 p.m. AKT

REPEAT BROADCAST:  Thursday, January 9th, 2020. 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. AKT

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Eric Bork, Alaska Public Media
Eric Bork, or you can just call him “Bork” because everybody else does, was the Audio Media Content Producer for KSKA-FM. He now produces and edits episodes of Outdoor Explorer, the Alaska focused outdoors program. He also maintains the web posts for that show. You may have heard him filling in for Morning Edition or All Things Considered and can still find him operating the sound board for any of the live broadcast programs. After escaping the Detroit area when he was 18, Bork made it up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he earned a degree in Communications/Radio Broadcasting from Northern Michigan University. He spent time managing the college radio station, working for the local NPR affiliate and then in top 40 radio in Michigan before coming to Alaska to work his first few summers. After then moving to Chicago, it only took five years to convince him to move back to Alaska in 2010. When not involved in great radio programming he’s probably riding a bicycle, thinking about riding bicycles, dreaming about bikes, reading a book or planning the next place he’ll travel to. Only two continents left to conquer!