Videos for avalanche practitioners

The videos on this page posted since ~2015 are by Bruce Jamieson (snowline.ca) and colleagues. Some of the earlier videos on this page are links to videos made by Bruce Jamieson and ASARC colleagues (UCalgary.ca/asarc). The links to all these videos can be shared freely and the videos used for any purpose, including commercially, provided the content and authorship are not altered.

Near crust faceting and resulting avalanches

A technical video for avalanche practitioners and recreationsts interested in avalanche science. Outlines the formation of faceted layers near melt-freeze crusts, the persistence of these layers as potential failure layers for slab avalanches and some ideas on anticipating the resulting slab avalanches. Bruce Jamieson and Scott Savage, May 2020. CC-BY-ND.

A more visual method for rating avalanche size on the D-scale

A video to start discussion about whether visualization will help us rate avalanche size on the D-scale. By Bruce Jamieson, Montse Bacardit, Ethan Greene and Ian Tomm. May 2020. CC BY-ND.

Exercise for rating avalanche size on the D-scale

Photos of 15+ avalanches so you can practice rating their size with the more visual method and compare your rating to ours. Bruce Jamieson, Montse Bacardit, Ethan Greene and Ian Tomm. May 2020. CC BY-ND.

Avalanche decision aids - the good, the bad and the disruptive

This video outlines some general advantages and disadvantages of avalanche decision aids. The advantages and disadvantages are general enough that – I hope – both backcountry recreationists and avalanche practitioners find something useful in this video. This video does not explain how to use any decision aids but does show four decision aids and identify where to find more information on them.

Bruce Jamieson, Pascal Haegeli, and Mike Conlan, 2020, CC BY-ND.

How risky is ski cutting by avalanche practitioners?

Highlights of a paper on the risk of ski cutting by avalanche practitioners. Bruce Jamieson, Karl Birkeland, Mark Vesely, Ilya Storm, John Stimberis, 2019, CC BY-ND.

Case study of facets-on-crust in western Canada

A case study for avalanche practitioners about a difficult winter in which a weak layer of facets on a melt-freeze crust produced avalanches - including many large hard-to-forecast avalanches - throughout the winter. Bruce Jamieson, 2019, CC BY-ND.

Common snowpack instability tests, by Mike Conlan

A brief how-to for common snowpack tests to locate and assess instabilities within the snowpack, presented by Mike Conlan (UCalgary.ca/asarc).  Start times of tests in this video are as follows: 

1:32  Compression Test 

5:06  Deep Tap Test 

7:28  Extended Column Test

10:54  Rutschblock Test

14:48  Propagation Saw Test

18:48  Shovel Shear Test

20:49  Hand Shear Test

22:11  Concluding remarks on initiation, propagation, and limitations.

Fracture character in compression tests

This presentation video for advanced recreationists and practitioners identifies the five types of fracture character and shows the frequency of skier triggering on slopes that exhibited each type of fracture character in compression tests. The frequency of skier triggering is also presented for each type of fracture character separately for easy, moderate and hard taps. Bruce Jamieson, 2011, UCalgary.ca/asarc, CC BY-ND.

Managing uncertainty in avalanche operations

Although intended for avalanche operations, some backcountry recreationists may also find this video useful. Bruce Jamieson, 2018, CC BY-ND.

A successful avalanche operation starts with good planning. This 9-minute video highlights some aspects of avalanche planning for those who work in avalanche operations. On many planning projects, the planning team includes practitioners with operational experience. Bruce Jamieson, 2020, CC BY-ND.

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