Snow is one of Mother Nature's coolest phenomenas.(1) You can build snowmen with it, ski
or ride over it, spin your car on it, or gawk at its beauty when you see it. What many people
don't realize; however, is that snow is also incredibly dangerous. (2) When snow piles up
over the winter season, it creates a sort of layer cake from the different storms. The snow
pack is affected by mountain weather, aspect, slope, and sun exposure, and it can create
weak layers; weak layers that can cause deadly avalanches. (3)
It is the job of an avalanche forecaster to advise the public on what the snow is doing. Their
job is to ask, “How stable is the snow?” It's a pretty amazing job if you want to spend about
75% of your time outside in the snow, sliding around, looking at the snow pack. An avalanche
forecaster's job is to take a look at mountain weather and also snow pack and also avalanche
activity and also historical data as he promotes avalanche awareness. (4) It's their job to
write and document avalanche reports, forecasts, advisories, special warnings, accidents,
reports, and statistics; then, they make this information available to the public.
Every winter day, people head into avalanche terrain. They may be driving along Colorado's
I-70 corridor, heading out a ski resort's backcountry gate in Montana, riding their snowmobile
to a remote peak in British Columbia, or going on a backcountry ski tour in Utah. It is the
responsibility of each of these individuals to be safe in the backcountry no one can help you,
but you. (5) Besides having a personal knowledge of snow, avalanches, and backcountry
travel, backcountry users refer to an avalanche expert's professional forecasts.
This means that every day avalanche forecasters are in the mountains before sunrise looking
at what happened to the snow since the last forecast. They use shovels, probes, rulers,
magnifying glasses, thermometers, and their own personal experience to examine the snow
pack. They perform compression tests and column tests. They take note of changing
mountain weather, different aspects, snow weight, water content, and much more. After
getting samples that represent the whole snow pack at different locations and elevations.
They prepare an updated avalanche advisory that can be accessed by Internet, phone, or
Avalanche forecasters have a truly peculiar job. (7) They can find work with ski resorts,
roads or highways, mines, avalanche centers, or national forests. As you can imagine, these
jobs are only available in places where there is snow.
Many avalanche forecasters have a science degree, although there are no formal
requirements. The University of Calgary and Montana State University offer degree
programs focused on snow science. If you don't have a related degree, don't fret.(8) All
avalanche forecasters have avalanche certifications from the American Institute of
Avalanche Research and Education or the Canadian Avalanche Association.
In the world of unpredictable snow, personal experience is the absolute biggest necessity.
Avalanche forecasters are a lot like weather forecasters because they may not always be
correct.(9) It's impossible to always be 100% accurate with a forecast, but their advisories
are a great starting point for any backcountry user to add to their arsenal of avalanche
knowledge. Plus you'll work in cool places like the Selkirks, Wasatch, Elks, or Monashee
mountain ranges. If the sparkling of snow brings a twinkle to your eye, you may want to
consider a career as an avalanche forecaster.(10)
"Avalanche Forecaster Jobs." Jobmonkey.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2016.
How should the following phrase be changed in order for it to be correct? "Snow is one of Mother Nature's coolest phenomena’s. (1)"