1. What is it about your work that keeps you going?
I love sharing my skiing, climbing, and snow science/engineering passions with my students. It brings me great joy seeing them light up and get so excited looking at snowflakes under a microscope for the first time. Several close calls in the mountains and having several friends die in avalanches and mountain accidents helps fuel my passion for working with Central Oregon Avalanche Association, giving talks at Northwest Snow and Avalanche Workshops, creating a snow science learning community at Central Oregon Community College, writing for The Avalanche Review, and speaking on the Ted stage.
2. What is your passion outside your idea worth spreading?
Snow and all things related to snow. I continue to debate with myself whether corn snow or powder snow is more fun to ski, whether stellar dendrites or sectored plates are cooler to look at, and whether Mt. Jefferson or North Sister offers better ski lines.
3. Where’s the one place you’ve visited that you’ll never forget and why?
Fairy Meadows Hut in the Adament Range of the Selkirk Mountains. A helicopter takes you and 17 like-minded backcountry skiers into a rustic hut perched among magnificent mountains. To be unplugged, present, and skiing all day, everyday, for a week in incredible alpine terrain is an experience I will never forget. Sharing meals, amazing powder, glaciated mountain summits, saunas, and blower powder with friends is pure bliss.
4. Describe an unforgettable moment that shaped who you are.
I spent nine days traversing Kings Canyon in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Range with my friend Bill Stanley in 2004. We summited nine peaks in nine days, saw two people far off in the distance the entire trip, and skied perfect corn snow every single day. Tragically, Bill died in a car accident six months later. I am so grateful I was able to spend these 9 days with Bill and this event made me realize we have to enjoy and live everyday.
5. List three words that describe you.
Adventurous, inspiring, and patient
6. For your talk content, what’s recommended reading?
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Flow-The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
A Field Guide to Snowflakes by Ken Libbrecht
Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper