Author: Alex Ibbotson

Inviting Diversity into Avalanche Education: Appreciating a Snowmobile-based Practitioner Perspective

This international, action-oriented research project used a strengths-based approach focused on the development of relationships between a diverse group of Canadian and American snowmobile-based practitioners with a professional level of avalanche training, and/or practitioners with five years experience making lead decisions in complex terrain for groups on snowmobiles. The dialogical data collection methods were selected to foster interconnection between differentiated elements within the avalanche industry educational pathway, a complex social system. Findings will inform how avalanche training providers might increase snowmobile-based practitioner enrollment in professional avalanche training. Two clear pieces of data created from this inquiry were: the desire for participants to continue the dialogue further and the desire for participants to interconnect with ski and snowboard-based avalanche practitioners to elevate their formal avalanche industry knowledge. Please join in the conversation in a virtual meeting space. If numbers require it, we will break into small group conversation to inspire interconnection, knowledge sharing and relationship building between snowmobile-based and ski/snowboard-based avalanche practitioners. The goal of this research is to enrich the avalanche industry with diversity and innovation through relationship to promote adaptability and self-organization. These characteristics would compliment exceptional bureaucratic processes already present and support the avalanche industry education pathway to operate as a healthy complex system.

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