Welcome to this website developed in partnership with the Friends of Tuckerman Ravine (FOTR), the Mount Washington Avalanche Education Foundation (WMAEF), the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol (MWVSP) and the US Forest Service. The goal of this collaboration is to increase public safety in the mountains during the snowy months.
Paid staff of MWAC are snow rangers employed by the Androscoggin Ranger District of the White Mountain National Forest. The partnership between the USFS and a number of non-profit groups along with community support makes this whole project work!
The Avalanche Center’s public safety priorities are three fold:
- Our primary focus from Oct/Nov until the end of May is to provide snow, weather and avalanche information for the Presidential Range through this website, social media and direct contact with folks in the field.
- The greatest difference between MWAC and other avalanche centers in the west is our responsibility as the lead agency for Search and Rescue. On December 1st of each year the Forest Service takes over responsibility from the State of New Hampshire for all incidents in the Cutler River Drainage on the east side of Mt. Washington.
- Our third emphasis is to serve as a professional avalanche resource for people seeking assistance with snow and avalanche safety in the east. MWAC staff and volunteers assist with research projects, present avalanche awareness programs, present at avalanche courses, provide information to reporters, work with our volunteer search and rescue groups, and coordinate team-based avalanche and mountain rescue trainings. We reach out to the public with presentations on rescue, snow science and mountain safety in multiple venues including the Annual Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop held every Fall.
The collaboration between the various stakeholders of MWAC and snow ranger staff makes clear the dedication to the beautiful and often harsh environment in the Presidential Range. Natures playground can be a source for joy and sometimes sorrow when things go wrong. Our shared mission at MWAC accentuates the Forest Service mission of “caring for the land and serving people”.
Nationally, the role of Snow Rangers has changed dramatically over the years, from field going forecasters and avalanche control specialists to administrating permits for ski areas on public lands. We have retained the important tradition of search and rescue and public contact in our highest use areas while ranging further afield to provide avalanche and mountain safety information for the Presidential Range. MWAC is the only official avalanche center in the US east of the Rockies with one Canadian avalanche center to our north in the Chic Choc Range. We are also the oldest backcountry avalanche forecasting program in the country. Backcountry skiing and winter climbing continue to grow in our area along with the need for avalanche education and forecasting for the range. The end goal is to reduce fatalities due to avalanches through our forecasting and outreach efforts.
Our ability to improve and meet varying demands is directly related to your questions, feedback, and suggestions over the years. Ultimately, MWAC is here to serve the community, so always feel comfortable approaching us and asking any questions that you may have. We look forward to seeing you in the mountains!
Jeff started working in avalanche terrain in 1992 as a climbing guide for International Mountain Climbing School and as a team member of Mountain Rescue Service.
As an AMGA Climbing Guide, he has enjoyed a varied career including guiding, guide training, and avalanche education spanning three decades. His climbing resume includes everything from sport climbing, big walls to routes in the European Alps.
Over the years his professional interests have included snow science, human behavior & decision making, team-based high angle rescue and computer programming. Personal interests include ski mountaineering, mountain biking, sailing and boat building. Jeff considers the Presidential Range his back yard, and has climbed or skied in every ravine.
Jeff became involved with the Mount Washington Avalanche Center in the mid- 1990s working with the Snow Ranger team during countless search and rescue missions. Over the years he’s volunteered time to build and maintain the MWAC website and other tech projects to support the mission. He joined the Snow Ranger/Forecasting Team in 2017. Jeff spent the last 4 years as the Vice President of Mountain Rescue Service, working hard to keep the team trained and ready for anything.
Jeff received a Bachelor of Science degree from Plymouth State University, maintains his Wilderness EMT and is a member of the American Avalanche Association.
Ryan comes to us from the Colorado Department of Natural Resources where he most recently worked as an Avalanche Technician. Ryan’s background is in Environmental Science, but much of his recent experience has been as an Avalanche Specialist / Meteorological Technician. He has held positions in Alaska, California, and Colorado working in support of avalanche education and awareness. Over the years, Ryan has worked a variety of roles in support of dispersed recreation, both for the BLM and USFS. He has worked in the ski industry for 20+ years, and has a great deal to offer to the Mount Washington Avalanche Center and Androscoggin Recreation Team.
Pat grew up in the rural town of Canaan, NH walking and skiing around the northern hardwood forests from a young age. He graduated from University of New Hampshire with a dual B.S. in Conservation Science and Outdoor Education. After some time living in Bozeman, exploring the Gallatin and Bridger ranges, Pat returned to work as the Hermit Lake Caretaker for two years. These years allowed him to dive deep into avalanche science, ski mountaineering, alpine climbing, and mountain rescue. Prior to joining the forecasting team, he has been leading backcountry ski trips around the world for the last 6 years at a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Academy with young, high-level ski athletes.
Patrick’s skiing and climbing resume is filled with personal and guided objectives in Chamonix, La Grave, Alaska, North Cascades, Rocky Mountains, and of course, the Whites. His mountain credentials include Professional Avalanche 2, AMGA Assistant Ski Guide, AMGA Apprentice Rock and Alpine Guide, and Wilderness EMT. He formerly served as a Board Member and Outreach and Education Coordinator for the White Mountain Avalanche Education Foundation and Friends of Tuckerman Ravine.
Kate comes to MWAC from Vermont where she has been an outdoor educator, guide, and patroller for over 10 years. Kate is adjunct staff at Northern Vermont University in the Outdoor Education department and formerly a full time ski patroller for the past 5 winters. Her personal and professional endeavors have taken her all over the globe by sea, snow and dirt; including backcountry riding in Canada, crew on a tall ship across the Mediterranean, raft guiding in the Grand Canyon, and backpacking across the Austrian Alps. Her lifelong love of weather and the outdoors has brought her to the USFS where she hopes to contribute her knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm as a forecaster.
Her professional credentials are: Professional Avalanche 1 Certification, EMT, Wilderness EMT, National Ski Patrol Instructor, Outdoor Emergency Care Instructor, Level 3 Professional Chainsaw Certification, and WIlderness First Responder Instructor.