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November 7, 2022 83 min

Utah Avalanche Center - Should We Use Avalanche Airbag Backpacks?, How To Stay Out of Avalanches, Updated "Know Before You Go"

Episode #42

Brought to you by Alta Ski Area & Gunnison Crested Butte

My guest today is the Utah Avalanche Center's Executive Director, Chad Brackelsberg:

  • Chad joined the Utah Avalanche Center as Executive Director in July 2017. 
  • He is responsible for communications, marketing, fundraising, strategy, and UAC business operations. 
  • Chad brings more than 20 years of corporate experience in technology consulting and program/project management, has been a volunteer observer for the UAC for 8 years, and has worked with the local Utah outdoor community for the past 10 years. 
  • Chad is active in the UT outdoor community and is an avid backcountry skier, ski mountaineering racer, ultrarunner, and mountain biker. 
  • Chad and his wife Emily have been organizing the Wasatch Powder Keg ski mountaineering race for 10 years and he is a founding member of Utah Ski Mountaineering a local nonprofit geared at growing the sport of ski mountaineering and organizing races. 
  • Chad has been on the board of the US Ski Mountaineering Association the past 6 years and has acted as coach of the US National Ski Mountaineering Team at the Ski Mountaineering World Championships since 2013. 
  • He recently bought a snowmobile for exploring the snow outside the Central Wasatch.   
  • This episode of the SnowBrains Podcast is brought to you by Alta Ski Area

    There are few precious places in the world like Alta, an independently-owned ski area since 1938. Nestled at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon deep in the Wasatch, Alta is a skier’s-only mountain, known around the globe for its powder skiing. With an annual snowfall average of 538 inches, powder days are a way of life.

    Alta Ski Area, home to one of the first ski areas to open in the United States and the birthplace of avalanche forecasting and mitigation in North America. The skiing technique, lifts, lodges and ski gear have changed with the times, but there is a timeless spirit at Alta that remains. Perhaps it is because generations of skiers have been able to pass on their love for the mountain.

    Alta Ski Area, home of the biggest average annual snowfall in the Rocky Mountains.

    This episode is brought to you by Gunnison Crested Butte:

    If you're looking for a heart-pounding Colorado ski trip this winter, check out Gunnison and Crested Butte. Ski Crested Butte’s legendary extreme terrain for glades, bowls, chutes and cliffs that will challenge your abilities and keep you coming back for more. After lifts close, explore the Gunnison Valley’s mountain towns for unique restaurants and historic Colorado charm. Visit to start planning your trip!

    Searching for a university? Love to ski? Check out the Mountain Sports program at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado. The Western Colorado University Mountain Sports program allows you to compete in skiing, snowboarding or other outdoor sports while getting a degree in a tight-knit, hands-on learning environment. Learn more at

    If you're a diehard skier, you've probably heard of Crested Butte, Colorado. Located deep in the heart of the Rocky Mountains at the literal end of the road, the Gunnison Valley looks like a scene in a snow globe. The extreme terrain of Crested Butte Mountain Resort has been the

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