Dylan will discuss avalanche forecasting and what a day in the life of an avalanche forecaster might look like, from a backcountry operation to a highway operation. He will share some of the lessons he has learned throughout his career, from near-misses with avalanches himself to throwing bombs out of helicopters. He will share stories from the mountains and dive a bit into snow science as he compares snow climates from two very different areas in the world. Don’t be surprised if you come away with more questions than you went in with as we take a closer look at the complex, beautiful, and sometimes terrifying world of snow and avalanches.
Dylan Craaybeek is a backcountry avalanche forecaster for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) during the northern hemispheric winter and a highway avalanche forecaster for the Milford Road Alliance in New Zealand during the southern hemispheric winter. He grew up skiing in New England, mostly on ice, and moved to Colorado in 2015 where his passion for the snow-covered mountains became an all-encompassing pursuit, after quickly learning that snow and avalanches are a force to be reckoned with. His passion for snow and avalanches has taken him across the world as he chases winters, despite his constantly hurting, frozen toes. Working between the Roaring Fork Valley and Fiordland, New Zealand, he learned a significant amount about snow, avalanches, and backcountry users across different climates and through different cultures, but more than anything, it has taught him how much more he still has to learn.