Why choose Ridge Explorations Avalanche Education?
Ridge Explorations offers the highest quality Avalanche Education. The avalanche education program began with Gary Brill, 30 years ago, We have instructed over 5000 students and continue to revise the program with the latest advances in avalanche knowledge. Our curriculum is built on a foundation of snow science AND practical application. Like the students, instructors, Jerry Casson, Willi Prittie, and Don Langlois continue to train by attending professional avalanche conventions and continuing professional development events, most recently including International Snow Science Workshops 2008 & 2010, Northwest Snow and Avalanche Summits and AIARE Instructor Training Course. Ridge Explorations is an AIARE Course Provider. This kind of training means your instructors are versed in the latest in avalanche industry theory and practice.
Don's is the owner and director of the avalanche education program. He has worked as a guide in skiing, sea kayaking, rafting, mountaineering and canoeing and as an Outward Bound instructor, and brings with him superior teaching skills. In 1977, Don began his preoccupation with snowy mountains. Working as winter Park Ranger at Mount Rainier National Park, he gained extensive experience in ski mountaineering, backcountry ski patrol, avalanche hazard evaluation and forecasting. Don started his training 36 years ago with well-known avalanche experts William Hotchkiss of the National Ski Patrol and Peter Lev of the American Avalanche Institute. More recently, Don trained at Industrial Level 1 & Level 2 with the Canadian Avalanche Association, Level 1 ski instructor with the PSIA, Level 1 ski guide with the Canadian Ski Guide Association, Hiking Guide with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. Don is certified WFR (Wilderness First Responder). He is a Professional Member of the American Avalanche Association and Affiliate member of the Canadian Avalanche association and trained in AIARE Instructor Training Course.
Don's nautical background includes US Coast Guard 100 Ton Masters license, Able Bodied Seaman, sailing instructor, yacht delivery skipper, member US Sailing Association, and Applied Science Degree in Marine Technology. Voyages include Pacific Coast to the Arctic and New England to Carribean Sea.
Jerry Casson, our senior instructor, is back for the 12th season. He is an avid backcountry skier and alpine climber. Jerry served his apprenticeship with Gary Brill in 2000 and completed the Canadian Avalanche Association Level I course for ski guides (equivalent to US level II) in 2001. After completing his Bachelor's degree in Atmospheric Science in 2004, Jerry worked as an intern forecaster with the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center. Jerry achieved his Masters Degreeis in Atmospheric Science at the University of Washington after completing a two-year snow research project. Jerry is a certified WFR (Wilderness First Responder), an affiliate member of the Canadian Avalanche Association and a Professional member of the American Avalanche Association and trained in AIARE Instructor Training Course.
Willi has been climbing, skiing, guiding, and teaching for the past quarter century. He taught some of the first recreational avalanche courses in the state with the Mountain School. Willi is considered one of the premier instructors in America and his students have had outstanding success in reaching personal goals. Needless to say, Willi has developed quite a following. He has led climbs to Cho-Oyu, Pumori, Island & Mera Peak in Nepal, Denali in Alaska and led other climbs in Mexico, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. In 2000, Willi led expeditions to Everest, Vinson, Aconcagua, Denali and Kilimanjaro. Willi is the consummate mountain guide and one of the most respected mountaineers in America. More recently Willi led the 2002 & 2003 Mt. Everest expeditions that put 31 climbers on the summit. Willi is AMGA Certified Alpine Guide and trained in AIARE Instructor Training Course.
Georgeann Silverman works on marketing and scheduling and has been a partner on many Ridge Explorations adventures including canoe guiding in Ontario, sea kayaking British Columbia and Alaska and skiing trips in Canada. Her artwork and photography help present Ridge Explorations in the best light.
Damian is our "Office Guy" and holds down the fort while the REX team is out in the backcountry. Growing up at Crystal Mountain, Damian is avid skier and snowmobiler. He manages a beautiful rental condo at Whistler Creekside (see www.whistlerhighcamp.com) and he helps with some of the managing and marketing of Ridge Explorations programs. Damian is an avid sailor and is currently heading up new branch office options in Poulsbo Bay and Whistler Creekside!