CAIC and FoCAIC Staff

CAIC Staff 2013-14

CAIC Staff 2013-14

Ethan Greene, Director
Brian Lazar, Deputy Director

Backcountry

CDOT

Boulder Office
(303-499-9650, email)

Scott Toepfer
Spencer Logan
John Snook
CAIC-Breckenridge
Becs Hodgetts
CAIC-Aspen
Blase Reardon
CAIC-San Juans
Josh Hisrschberg
CAIC-Eisenhower Tunnel
Lee Metzger
Stu Schaefer
CAIC-West Slope
Rob Hunker
CAIC-Silverton
Susan Hale
Mark Gober
CAIC-Ouray
Ann Mellick
CAIC-Pagosa Springs
Mark Mueller

Friends of CAIC

Aaron CarlsonExecutive Director
Knox WilliamsPresident
Bruce EdgerlyTreasurer
Emily CurraySecretary
Alan HencerothBoard Member
Ethan GreeneDirector of CAIC

Ethan Greene, Director

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Ethan has directed the CAIC since 2005. He has approached snow and avalanches from both a practical and theoretical perspective. He grew up in Boulder skiing Colorado’s Front Range. After a few winters in the San Juan Mountains, he worked at Big Sky Ski Resort in Montana as a ski patroller and at the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center in Salt Lake City as an avalanche forecaster. Ethan also studied meteorology at the University of Utah (BS) and snow drift formation at Colorado State University (MS). He has spent a lot of time looking at the microstructure of snow and its metamorphism in very large freezers in Colorado and Switzerland (PhD). Ethan has published a variety of articles on snow, weather and avalanches and been a member of national and international working groups on snow and avalanche projects. Ethan lives in Leadville.

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Brian Lazar, Deputy Director

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Brian has spent much of last 15 years chasing snow in the South when things got too warm here in the North. He began backcountry skiing in Colorado as a college student, and later as a mountain guide; and as an avalanche educator, curriculum developer, and as current Executive Director with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), and member of the American Avalanche Association Education Committee. After a decade or so of guiding in a variety of snow climates on both sides of the equator, Brian returned to graduate school where he earned a MS in Engineering, studying snow and ice mechanics in Alaska’s Chugach, and conducting research at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. In the summers, you can find Brian complaining about the heat, planning his next trip to the snow, and trying to keep up with his wife Michelle on mountain bikes.

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Mark Gober

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Mark grew up in the Front Range taking an early interest in skiing. Once able to drive, he began to explore the backcountry and with that, realized the importance of getting educated about avalanches. This led eventually to a job at Copper Mountain where he worked for ten years as a ski patroller taking a greater role in snow work. He spent two seasons at Silverton Mountain learning what is possible is terrain management. Mark was hired as a forecaster in Silverton in 2009 after interning for two seasons. When not on snow, Mark can usually be found on the oars on a desert river.

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Susan Hale

SusanHale

A love for the mountains and backcountry adventure lured Susan to the Colorado Rockies 28 years ago. Innumerable ski mountaineering escapades and a few encounters with avalanches left her with both respect and curiosity for avalanche phenomena. This interest was piqued during her ten years with the Snowmass Ski Patrol’s Snow Safety Team where she also oversaw the Avalanche Rescue Dog program. In 2004 an irresistible opportunity came along to work as an intern forecaster for the San Juan CAIC office. Here she learned the intricacies of local highway forecasting. Two years later, Susan was on board as a full time forecaster in the Silverton CAIC office.

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Josh Hirschberg

Josh Hirshberg

Josh grew up skiing the icy slopes of New Hampshire, but traded for sunny Colorado. He has a background in ski guiding, outdoor education, and avalanche forecasting. Working in the snow has provided him with endless opportunities for learning and teaching others. Josh started his career in 2005 teaching and guiding for Aspen Expeditions as well as forecasting for the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center. He went on to work with Crested Butte Mountain Guides and the Crested Butte Avalanche Center. Josh holds a B.A. in Social Ecology and Snow Studies from Prescott College. He has AMGA training in the Rock and Ski disciplines and is an AIARE avalanche course leader. When not skiing, Josh enjoys biking, climbing, photography, and supporting social justice movements. Josh has lived and traveled extensively in Latin America.

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Becs Hodgetts

Becs Hodgetts

Becs comes to the CAIC with a ski patrolling background. She began patrolling in the mid-nineties on Mt Ruapehu, a volcano located in the central plateau of New Zealand’s North Island. She went on to work at other resorts in New Zealand, Canada and the US. The last eleven years she has been working at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, first as an avalanche technician and later as Assistant Patrol Director. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Otago University and is currently plowing her way through the CAA L3 Applied Avalanche Risk Management course. She is a section rep (Colorado/New Mexico/Southern Wyoming) for the American Avalanche Association. Becs is excited to take her career in a new direction and is looking forward to the challenges of forecasting and communicating on a much larger scale.

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Rob Hunker

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Rob has been forecasting for Colorado highways on the Western Slope since 1994. He started working with avalanches as a professional ski patrolman at Crested Butte during the winter of 1970-71. Rob created the Snow Safety Program in 1977 for the development and opening of the Extreme Limits, studied at the Swiss Institute of Snow and Avalanche Research in Davos under the guidance of Walter Good, pioneered the use of telemark skis for avalanche route control along with Rick Borkovec, and was a member of the Crested Butte Ski Patrol for 18 years. He earned a BA degree in Psychology and Geography from Western State College of Colorado. Flying and aerial photography are passions equal to that of living in the snow.

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Spencer Logan

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Spencer learned to ski at the now-defunct Hidden Valley Ski Area, near Estes Park. He still enjoys touring there. Spencer joined the CAIC in 2004. He spent the two years prior in Montana obtaining a MS in Earth Sciences from Montana State University. Spencer investigated how shear strength of weak layers changed over space and through time. He and his colleagues dug many snowpits, moving over 25,000 kg (55,000 lbs) of snow one winter. He learned to backcountry ski in northern Utah, where he managed to graduate from college, spent three winters forecasting for the Utah Avalanche Center-Logan, and married a wonderful gal. He hopes that his sons will grow up to be the fourth generation of the family to ski and the fifth to fish in Colorado.

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Ann Mellick

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Ann has spent much of her avalanche career in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. She began under the wing of a longtime forecaster in the late 90s and worked for a decade as an avalanche educator and mountain guide. She learned the intricacies of highway forecasting as an intern for the CAIC’s Silverton office and honed her weather forecasting and multi-tasking skills while working as a forecaster in the Boulder office. Ann then took over as the Northern San Juan backcountry forecaster before turning her focus back to highway forecasting. She now devotes her energy to keeping the Highway 550 and 145 corridors safe in the wintertime.

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Lee Metzger

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Lee moved to Summit County in the 1970s. He worked on the ski patrol at Breckenridge for 15 years and joined the CAIC in 1992. Lee has been working on Vail, Berthoud and Loveland Passes ever since. He is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. In the summer he works with Metzger Brothers Concrete.

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Mark Mueller

MarkMueller

While Mark was living in North Lake Tahoe and working at Alpine Meadows, an interest in ski mountaineering led to an early encounter with an avalanche. A fortunate outcome left Mark with a keen desire to learn more about avalanches (and a permanent dent in his skull). A ski bum since graduating from high school, he patrolled at Squaw Valley, CA, becoming Patrol Director for 12 seasons. Mark moved to Pagosa to become a CAIC/CDOT highway avalanche forecaster. He and his wife Sandy, a seasoned avalanche professional herself, have played the avalanche game for many years. They own and operate Wolf Creek Backcountry, offering yurt-based backcountry skiing and avalanche education near Wolf Creek Pass. Mark loves skiing, road biking in the off-season, reading, drinking beer, learning foreign languages, traveling, and hopes one day to live in the Alps for a winter (or longer).

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Blase Reardon

Blase Reardon

Blase started skiing on golf courses in Ohio. A search for bigger mountains and deeper snowpacks led him to West Virginia to ski patrol, Utah to ski powder, Kyrgyzstan to explore, and Montana to dig very deep snowpits for the USGS Global Change Research Program. He thinks the Aspen area might be the happy medium of big mountains and manageable snowpits. Blase’s previous avalanche work includes forecasting at Glacier National Park in Montana and the Sawtooth Avalanche Center in Idaho. He edited The Avalanche Review for five years, has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Utah and studied glacier mass balance at the University of Montana. When he’s not in the snow, Blase reads, rides bikes, and chases his dog. He wonders if putting gears on his bike and a camper on his truck are signs of growing up or aging.

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Stu Schaefer

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Stu is a third generation Leadville resident. He worked as a ski patroller at Ski Cooper in the late 80s and helped develop Chicago Ridge Snowcat Tours. He later became the director at Chicago Ridge as well as ski patrolling at Breckenridge Ski Resort. Stu joined the CAIC in fall of 1999 and has been working along the highways in Summit, Grand and Eagle Counties ever since. He has a B.S. and M.S. in Geology from Fort Lewis College and Colorado School of Mines respectively. In the summer, Stu enjoys wandering through the desert and running rivers.

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John Snook

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John has a long history in forecasting and technology transfer. He received his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University and spent fourteen years working at NOAA’s Forecast Systems Laboratory. He has also worked as a consultant, developing weather forecast systems and mesoscale atmospheric models for several private and government groups. John is an avid backcountry skier and has been on the volunteer ski patrol at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area since 1985.

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Scott Toepfer

ScottToepfer

Scott’s first encounter with an avalanche came while full moon skiing on Loveland Pass back in the 1970’s. A friend was caught and buried up to his neck in the debris. At the time, Scott did not know an avalanche from a VW microbus. Eventually Scott began ski patrolling at Arapahoe Basin (1977) and played that game at various resorts around the world, including Courchevel 1850 in the Savoie of France, Mt Hutt in New Zealand, and Vail. He joined the CAIC in the early 90s. Since he has lots of free time, he dabbles at bike riding, rock climbing and spending time with his son Beau. When the opportunity arises, he goes to Europe to do one of the classic ski tours there. Scott lives in Breckenridge in a house he built a few years ago.

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Friends of CAIC

Aaron Carlson

Aaron

Aaron grew up skiing the 299 vertical foot hills in Minnesota. Since then, Aaron has discovered his passion for the backcountry while living and skiing in Utah, Colorado and New Zealand. Aaron has a bachelor’s degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism from the University of Utah, which has allowed him to work in and experience many different parts of the world. In 2008, Aaron brought his passion to the CAIC Benefit Bash. As the co-organizer, he was able to design, organize, and run the largest fundraiser in CAIC history. Together, Aaron and Joe were able to raise over $26,000 for the CAIC and make an impact on the backcountry community. With this momentum, Aaron has been an asset to the development of the Friends of CAIC. When he is not working you can find him on his mountain bike or skiing pow.

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Knox Williams

Knox

Knox got his Master’s Degree in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University in 1970, and then worked with the U.S. Forest Service Avalanche Research Project in Fort Collins as a snow scientist and avalanche forecaster. In 1983, he helped found the Colorado Avalanche Information Center and was its Director until retiring in 2005. In 36 years in the avalanche business, Knox was a researcher, forecaster, teacher, program director, and author, writing a couple of books and a bunch of papers and articles. He is a past president of the American Avalanche Association. Now in semi-retirement, he works with the CAIC Director as needed to keep the CAIC healthy and progressive.

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Bruce Edgerly

Edge

Bruce Edgerly is co-founder and vice president of Backcountry Access, Inc., a leading manufacturer of avalanche rescue equipment, including the Tracker DTS avalanche transceiver. Bruce has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Brown University and a master’s degree in business administration from CU-Boulder. He is a former contributing editor to Powder and Couloir magazines and has published numerous papers for the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW) and International Commission on Alpine Rescue (ICAR); those can be viewed at http://www.backcountryaccess.org/research. “Edge” is a dedicated backcountry skier and tours most of the time in the Summit zone, although he travels for “business” quite frequently in the Tetons, Wasatch, B.C., and Europe. He has level 3 avalanche training in the U.S., professional level 1 training in Canada, and is a qualified AIARE level 1 avalanche instructor.

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Emily Curray

Emily

Emily spent a lot of time figuring out what she wanted to do when she grew up, a journey which led to a bachelor’s in Anthropology, a master’s in Nutrition Science and a law degree. Along the way she fled Indiana and moved to Crested Butte where she was converted from a flatland suburbanite to a mountain aficionada. Long a supporter of CAIC, after losing a close friend in a slide in 2001, she contacted CAIC to suggest a fundraiser. This led to connecting with the folks at BCA and becoming involved in organizing the early Avalanche Jams. Currently, Emily is Managing Partner of the Immigration Law Firm Stern & Curray in Denver, where she helps employers, employees and individuals obtain proper immigration status. When Emily is not helping clients comply with today’s complex immigration laws, you will find her in the mountains of Summit County.

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Alan Henceroth

Alan

Growing up in Tucson, Alan moved to Flagstaff completing his degree in Forest Management from Northern Arizona University in 1983. After spending five years at Keystone, he moved up the road to Arapahoe Basin where he has worked since 1988. There, he has held the positions of Ski Patrol Director, Director of Mountain Operations, and since 2005, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Alan serves on boards for the National Ski Areas Association, The Summit Foundation, The Summit Stage, the National Avalanche Foundation, Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, and the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board. Alan enjoys biking, skiing and rafting with his wife, Kay, and now adult kids, Justin and Whitney.

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