Due to the conditions, Sunday, March 29 was the last day that we posted new avalanche advisories this season. Thank you to everyone who helped suppot SAC this winter. Support from the National Forest Service and private sponsors as well as individual donors make this program financially possible. Thank you to the professional observers and to everyone else who took the time to send us information.
Holly is fortunate to have spent her life playing in the Sierra Nevada. A lover of any form of sliding on skis in the snow, Holly has been a full time backcountry user since the turn of the century. Upon learning that alpine touring is supported by a network of mountain huts in many countries, she combined a love of travel and backcountry skiing to pursue ski tours in Norway, Morocco, the Alps of France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria.
Holly became interested in the dynamics and dangers of avalanches after the Alpine Meadows avalanche in 1982 and as a result of her travels in avalanche terrain during her backcountry adventures. She believes that education, awareness and access to avalanche advisories have the power to alter and improve decision making, allowing for safer backcountry use.
Holly lives, works and plays in Incline Village, using her degree in geology to bore her friends on long trail runs.
|Mark BungeVice President||
Mark grew up skiing in the lowly Appalachians, addicted to Powder Magazine and Greg Stump films, and dreaming of a day when he could live and play out West. That dream came true in 2002 when he quit his job and drove from Maryland to Wyoming. Brimming with excitement and naive confidence, Mark charged into the Jackson Hole backcountry with little knowledge of avalanche terrain and no safety equipment whatsoever. He avoided serious consequences thanks to dumb (literally) luck alone.
Bob recently retired from the US Forest Service after 37+ years. He spent the last 25 years as the Winter Sports Specialist on the Truckee Ranger District. Among his duties was the administration of the permits of the local ski areas (Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, Boreal, Donner Ski Ranch, Royal Gorge) on National Forest lands and the avalanche forecasting program (as it was known at that time). He coordinated the military artillery used in avalanche control for Region 5 of the Forest Service (California). He usually spent much of the summer months managing large fires as an Operations Section Chief or Safety Officer across the west.
Professionally Bob was one of the early members of the American Avalanche Association, served two terms as a Director with Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue and was one of the founding members of the Avalanche Artillery Users Committee of North America. He was nominated and elected to the B-77 ANSI committee for tramways representing recreation within the Forest Service. Bob was the advisor to the Forest Service Regional Office in explosive and artillery use for avalanche control and winter sports.
In 2005 he put together the concept of the Sierra Avalanche Center which stared with Brandon as a volunteer forecaster to assist him in the forecasting duties. Previous to that Bob was a one person shop putting out avalanche advisories when the hazard was HIGH or above for 20 years. He served as the Forest Service advisor/representative to the board in the early years ensuring that Forest Service support and resources were available. He was the supervisor of the forecasters until his retirement setting the direction of the program.
He has been married for 33 years, has two grown children and 1 Golden Retriever Dog who travels with him in the backcountry. He has lived in the Truckee/Tahoe area for 38 years.
Randall is a researcher at the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Laboratory on Donner Summit and is the author of more than 30 technical papers on snow hydrology, snow-zone climatology, instrument design, and avalanche dynamics. Randall is an AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) Level 1 and Level 2 avalanche safety instructor and teaches avalanche safety for Donner Summit Avalanche Seminars and Sierra College. He is a part time avalanche forecaster for Washoe County. Randall is also a Director for two other non-profits: the Western Snow Conference and Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team, Inc., the latter with whom he has been a principal on more than 175 backcountry rescues. Randall has degrees in physics and mathematics, and holds Avalanche Level 3 and Wilderness First Responder certificates.
Randall lives with his wife and daughter on the north shore of Lake Tahoe.
Todd Offenbacher is an adventure climber, skier, and TV host for the Resorts Sports Network in Lake Tahoe. He has climbed first ascents around the world including 14 routes on El Captain in Yosemite, two with a disabled climber. He is a recipent of the Mugs Stump Award and the Lyman Spitzer Grant from the American Alpine Club. Todd skis the backcountry and local resorts during winters in Lake Tahoe. Todd has completed his AIARE Level 2 Avalanche training.
I'm 51 years old, married, have two daughters in college and a third daughter in high school. I have worked as a patroller at Heavenly Ski Resort for fifteen seasons. I've been enjoying backcountry skiing since the mid 70's with numerous trans sierra tours. I have a background in guiding, kayaking, climbing, cycling, and surfing. I hope to be doing these things for a long time.
I grew up skiing at a small hill in Western Massachusetts called Mt. Tom, where both my parents were longtime ski patrollers. Following in their footsteps I began ski patrolling at the age of 15. I was able to work summers and during college breaks while earning a B.S. in Recreation Management from Thomas College in Waterville, ME.
After college I relocated to sunny southern California with some college friends before pursuing a career in the ski industry. After enjoying the summer off I moved to Lake Tahoe where I took a job as a ski patroller at Heavenly Valley. In the spring of 1987 I was given a golden retriever puppy, Doc, from a fellow patroller and began training and searching with WOOF Search Dog Teams. For over 10 years we responded to hundreds of searches through out the west.
During the summer months of 1989 I was fortunate enough to work at a small ski field outside of Queenstown, New Zealand as a Ski Patroller. Though The Remarkables was very small, only 3 lifts, the avalanche exposure and mitigation program was extensive. Upon returning to the States I realized working as an avalanche professional was what I desired to do. Though involved in the Avalanche Program at Heavenly, I knew it wasn’t enough for me. In 1990 Doc and I began work with the Kirkwood Ski Patrol. It was here during the winter of 92-93 when Doc located avalanche victim Jeff Eckland. At that time it was reported to be only the third time in North America where a trained avalanche dog had located an avalanche victim alive. To this day Jeff sports a tattoo over his heart of Doc.
In the mid to late 90’s I was fortunate enough to work on exchange in Australia at Falls Creek Ski Resort located in northern Victoria for several seasons as a ski patroller. Upon returning to the states I was offered the Risk Management position at Kirkwood which I held for three years. Though I was able to still assist in the Snow Safety program from time to time, I missed being directly involved in the avalanche program. In 2003, when the position as Asst. Ski Patrol Director was offered to me, it was an easy decision to make. I was asked to join the Sierra Avalanche Center in 2004 and have been enjoying the additional challenges ever since.
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a major in Psychology and Business, he moved out west and worked as a wilderness Instructor in Montana. Then migrated to San Francisco where he managed the Athlete and Expedition Department for The North Face. With the Sierras in his backyard, he focused all of his free time rock/alpine climbing and backcountry snowboarding. Eventually, he moved on to larger terrain giving up his job to travel and climb internationally. Jason currently resides in Truckee, CA where he manages operations for an internet provider.
David has been an avid backcountry skier since moving out west in 1989. He learned to telemark ski on Mt Lassen and Mt Shasta before moving to the Tahoe Basin and then Reno. He teaches Wilderness Medicine to medical students, residents and practicing physician in various settings; with an emphasis on getting them "out there" using their skills. In addition to back country skiing, David enjoys kayaking, rafting and cycling.
David Bunker is a writer for The Abbi Agency, a digital communications firm with offices in Reno and Las Vegas. He is a former newspaper reporter and editor and an occasional freelance magazine writer.
Born and raised in California, David grew up backpacking through the Sierra Nevada and California's coastal mountains, and rock climbing in Pinnacles and Yosemite. After four years studying journalism inside the Beltway at the University of Maryland, he moved to Tahoe in 2003.
When he finds time to get out from behind his desk, David splitboards, mountain bikes and provides comic relief for serious flyfishermen and trophy trout on the Truckee River by snarling his flyline in willow thickets for hours on end.
David is a contributing editor to Moonshine Ink, and the recipient of awards from the National Newspaper Association, California Newspaper Publishers Association and the Nevada Press Association.
Jonathan has been backcountry skiing since the mid 1980s when he started telemarking, in the primitive days before “AT.” He has enjoyed the Sierra and lived in Truckee for the last 24 years, raising kids and adventuring. He was an active member of Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue for many years, and believes that creating informed and educated backcountry users will create a safer backcountry experience, and get more people out to appreciate the beauty and exhilaration the mountains provide. He also brings business experience to SAC as previous President of a large medical corporation in Reno for 12 years and continues to work in the medical field in Truckee.
Jonathan enjoys cycling, nordic and backcountry skiing, backpacking and traveling. He spends his free time outside playing, and frequently caving in his endorphin addiction.