Who we are and what we do.
Mike Austin is an AMGA Assistant Ski Guide. He is a Professional Member of the American Avalanche Association, a collective group of dedicated professionals engaged in the study, forecasting, control and mitigation of avalanches. Mike has ski guided for over 25 years, from the west coast of North America & Alaska to interior British Columbia & Utah as well as Iceland, Norway & Antarctica.
Mike holds Level 3 avalanche certification and has worked for avalanche forecasting agencies in Europe & North America and Search & Rescue programs for government agencies in Antarctica, Scotland and The United States. He is published in The Avalanche Review (See ‘Short Stack Strategy’ in our articles section) and lectures and consults for avalanche programs particularly in the field of accident investigation. Mike has made winter ascents of prominent high altitude peaks in Alaska, Antarctica and made first ascents in the Pakistan Karakoram and the Cordillera Blanca of Peru. Mike directs all our Scottish courses and presents on the Alpine courses.
Bruce Goodlad has been an IFMGA guide for 16 years and worked as a mountaineering instructor in the UK prior to that. He is a Professional Member of the American Avalanche Association. He has guided on skis throughout the world from Antarctica to Greenland. Bruce is a former Technical Director of the British Mountain Guides (BMG) where he was influential in the development of their avalanche and ski guide program.
Bruce has authored three books, including the instructional books: ‘Alpine Mountaineering‘– an introduction to alpine mountaineering, techniques and the routes to develop them on, and a follow up volume ‘Ski Mountaineering‘ that follows the same format with an in depth look at the techniques of ski touring and ski mountaineering including avalanche hazard evaluation, avoidance and rescue.
Bruce continues to instruct on the British Mountain Guides avalanche courses and as an assessor on their ski mountaineering course. He has helped the development of our public courses that focus on giving the participants the essential avalanche information they need to enjoy a safe time in the back country. Bruce directs all of our Alpine courses.
About The American Avalanche Association
All of our avalanche courses adhere fully to the guidelines of the AAA in relation to their suggested content, duration, class size and instructor qualification. Both Bruce Goodlad and Mike Austin are Professional Members of the The American Avalanche Association.
The AAA develop course syllabus’s and guidelines for the delivery of these courses, by doing this they create a benchmark for skill progressions through the different levels of avalanche education. By using AAA guidelines on course content Avalanche Geeks ensures that the course syllabus uses the most up to date knowledge and ideas that will help keep you safe in the mountains. It also means that should you do any follow up courses with anyone else using AAA course guidelines (Aiare for example) the syllabuses will dovetail.
The purpose of the AAA guidelines for U.S. Avalanche Education is to provide a general benchmark for skill progressions between different levels of avalanche education, for the public’s benefit. AAA believes that avalanche education can be more thoughtfully, consistently, and responsibly conducted and can achieve more constructive outcomes for students when course providers and avalanche instructors in the United States strive to embrace common guidelines and practices.
In developing and issuing these Guidelines, AAA does not intend to act as – or become – a regulatory body for the avalanche industry. Compliance with the AAA Guidelines does not guarantee that a course provider’s courses or programs will be safe, or that participation in that course or program will be free from harm. In choosing to voluntarily engage in avalanche courses or programs or recreate in outdoor, backcountry and/or wilderness settings, individuals must understand that they accept and assume the inherent risks of these activities. Avalanche Geeks as an avalanche education provider is not affiliated or endorsed by the AAA.