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NEWSLETTERS

Welcome to BrashTalk #26 The Newsletter of the Polar Tourism Guides Association

We have a pivotal issue of BrashTalk for you as we speed towards the start of the 23/24 Antarctic season. Check it out right through and share it with your colleagues.

In this issue:

  • From the Presidents Desk – The Incident and Near-Miss Edition
  • Antarctic Pre-Season Summit 2023
  • Farewell to Dave Begg
  • Tips for completing your Revalidation Log successfully
  • Affiliate Membership scheme. Welcome – Secret Atlas
  • Meet a Colleague – SGA President Franka Leiterer
  • Scuttlebutt
    • Electronic membership cards
    • Scholarship opportunity
    • Pro Deals
  • Training and Development – Zodiac spin control with Doug Gould
  • Guano Happens – don’t miss it!

The Incident and Near-Miss Edition

Kia ora. PTGA is running (like everyone else) to keep up in the post-Covid intensity of demand and with the development required for our changing industry and world. 2023 has been a huge year for us so far and the Antarctic 23/24 season is just around the corner.

Of note is the continued growth of PTGA status guides via full field competency assessment. Congratulations to all of you who have achieved this and to our growing team of assessors who are helping you through the process.

Good news is that our pool of Assessors is growing. The latter half of 2023 will see more assessor training courses run than ever before and this will help development opportunities for guides and companies. If you think you would like to pursue Assessing for PTGA and have the requisite skills and temperament please drop a line.

Our big push for this Antarctic season is to raise awareness and increase data collection of near-misses and smaller incidents. We believe we can do a much better job of helping guides and the polar tourism industry as a whole by being proactive in this area.

We all know that all major incidents are heralded by a collection of near-misses and minor incidents that likely expose skill, knowledge or systems deficits. As an industry under intense scrutiny If we can acknowledge this fact and share/learn from all the smaller incidents and near misses that happen we all have a far better chance of avoiding catastrophe or unwanted imposed regulation in the future. As a collective resource with a choice to improve or be sanctioned, we need to change the culture of error and minor incident reporting from “I won’t say anything in case I lose my job or my company looks bad” to a celebration of data collected that can help us better avoid major accidents. The more data the better.

Guides are the osmotic membrane of this process. We are the most exposed at the front line of care and responsibility and also the most exposed when there are deficits or lack of good or new information. We can’t help fix this if we don’t know what is happening and we all need to lift our game. We want to help get information or wrnings out to guides. Two of our biggest incidents last season had other near-misses in the same place or key interpretations from other guides but this information was not circulated within our community. It needs to be. If you have been startled or surprised by something in any location anywhere let us know and we can help get word out there.

For this coming Antarctic season we implore you help celebrate data. If you, or someone you work with has a near miss or minor incident we’d love to hear about it. We don’t have to know who you are or who you work for. All our information collection is anonymized and we don’t apportion blame or accountability – there are no legal ramifications. PTGA has a completely anonymous Incident or near-miss form on our website that you can fill out and upload. This form simply gets broken down into data points for the responses on it and that data is used to look for recurring causal factors and any red flags we need to be aware of. Ultimately (and hopefully), sometime in the future we would like to find a Masters or PhD candidate who wants to research guide decision making or risk and polar tourism and this data may be helpful.

This will be a major step forward. We look forward to your data and your contributions to Guano Happens.

Graham Charles
PTGA President

Our second Antarctic Pre-Season Summit is nearly upon us. Please save the date, spread the word and keep an eye out for the link to our questionnaire about questions you would like asked and answered.

We will do a subscriber email blast in the next couple of weeks.

In June 2023 we had to sadly bid farewell to one of our Senior Guide/Assessors – Dave Begg.

He joined the polar guiding world in 2012 working as a guide and expedition leader. He most recently worked as a PTGA Assessor and Senior Guide with Polar Latitudes. He was passionate about core safety management skills for polar guides. Dave’s assessment candidates always appreciated his gentle and patient approach, incredible depth of experience, and willingness to share his knowledge.

Dave grew up in New Zealand and became an IFMGA Guide in the 1980’s. In 1988 he moved to Canmore and purchased Yamnuska Mountain School. Under his direction, it became one of the world’s best mountaineering schools and mountain guiding companies and a well-known training ground for mountain guides in the Canadian Rockies.

We will remember Dave for his kindness and generosity, as a great colleague, and for his passion for guiding people in wild places. Our thoughts and condolences to Maria and the Polar Latitudes team.

Completing your PTGA Revalidation log successfully.

Many of you have received a reminder from Raewyn about an overdue or upcoming Revalidation review. PTGA status Guides are required to revalidate every four years with a Portfolio of Evidence (POE) showing commitment to Continual Professional Development (CPD).

Anything you do that is relevant to your role as a polar guide is fair game. If you watch the IAATO/AECO online webinar series, PTGA Pre-Season Summits, if you do staff training with your company regardless of PTGA affiliation – it is all CPD. But, you need to log it. Our recommendation is to do a log once per year. This eases the workload and is easier to remember. Don’t wait out the whole four years.

A key part of the Revalidation process and using the PTGA log template is filling in the fields for the awards you have We only need information on awards you currently hold). This is split into two sections
1. Number of days/sessions.
2. Narrative of your experience over the last year/four years.

We need you to estimate the number of times you have used the skills outlined in the PTGA syllabus and what that particular award is for. Estimates for Radio and Communications may be in the hundreds while others like Land a Group on an Ice Floe may be in single digits or not at all. Regardless – give us a number not just a word like ‘plenty’ or ‘too many to count’. These don’t help.

The second part is a narrative of what you have done over the last 4 years that ensures you still have ALL the skills required as outlined in the PTGA syllabus. This is the critical but most misunderstood part of the process. For instance with the Working with Zodiacs award people will offer “every time we have an excursion I do this” or “I drive Zodiacs every day of my contract”. Firstly, when people put “I drive everyday of my contract” in the narrative of Working with Zodiacs we know right away they have no idea what the syllabus requirements of this award are – so we send it back. Please take the time to refresh your knowledge of what the various awards you hold are before you fill in your revalidation portfolio and follow the advice in this article. Secondly, while you may say “I do this every day of my contracts” it doesn’t really help. What we need to know is Do you still know what the syllabus requirements for the award are and can you still perform all the requirements to that level or higher.

If you are in doubt at all please don’t hesitate to schedule a call or email. It is always faster and easier for you to get good advice before you develop your POE so it flies through the audit. Nga mihi.

PTGA Affiliate members are smaller companies/operators who don’t wish to become Accredited Providers but whose values with regard to staff competency and continual professional development align with the PTGA. Affiliate Member’s staff generally come to them already qualified as PTGA Polar or Senior Polar Guides. An Affiliate Member gains our endorsement by:

  • always having more than 85% of their staff as PTGA status guides.
  • actively developing staff qualification portfolios.
  • formally providing professional development opportunities.

Affiliates are leaders in the small operator sector of the industry. Please contact the PTGA if you would like further information. We would like to welcome our very first Affiliate Member – Secret Atlas

Secret Atlas specialises in immersive adventure exploration within the Polar regions, prioritising their Expedition Micro Cruises tailored for groups up to 12 guests, providing an unparalleled intimate experience. In addition, they offer bespoke private charters and specialised voyages including photo tours with world renowned photographers and their purpose-designed expedition ships offer comfort and a unique ability to reach locations inaccessible to larger ships.

Established by explorers themselves, Secret Atlas is dedicated to enhancing guest experiences and further refining their environmentally conscientious low-impact tours. Their mission is centered around sharing their passion for exploration, nurtured by a team of passionate expert guides who provide a truly genuine authentic experience for like-minded explorers.

BrashTalk and Guano Happens Compilation

Many folk don’t know that to send a newsletter or any other electronic material these days we need your express permission. Many people assume that by joining PTGA they get our BrashTalk newsletter automatically. It doesn’t work like that in this day and age – we need your permission. Please sign up even if you aren’t yet a member.

We have recently made a more obvious link and sign up icon on the website. Click on the BrashTalk icon anywhere and subscribe. It is the easiest and best way to stay informed of things happening at PTGA with useful insights, training and development tips and information about critical events or actions you need to be aware of for your job.

Also, the most sought after item in BrashTalk are the Guano Happens columns. We have compiled all our Guano events into one pdf and to make that easier to find we have also built in a ‘quick to find’ link.  This pdf makes an excellent resource for staff in your expedition office/space on board your vessel.

Meet A Colleague – Franka Leiterer

Franka Leiterer has been guiding in Svalbard for 7 years and is the current President of the Svalbard Guide Association. She has lived in Longyearbyen since 2016 where she studied Arctic Nature Guiding for a year. and she is a PTGA Senior Polar Guide and Provisional Assessor.

As a keen bike touring adventurer she has cycled from Germany to Australia, covering about 25.000km in 4.5 years. In keeping with this she has established a non-profit bicycle recovery program in Longyearbyen rescuing discarded bikes from the local dump, repairing them or salvaging usable spare parts and renting the bikes to locals. The Svalbard Resykkelerings Workshop also helps locals to fix their own bikes and teaches people how to care for them.

In her spare time she organises social evenings for guides (and interested folk) and has enormous respect in the local community because of her work ethic and political savvy.

PTGA – Tell us how you got to be where you are?

Franka – I honestly don’t know. My passion for nature and being outdoors in general must have led me to where I am today. I also studied geography and after a few years as a research assistant I ended up looking for a less politically influenced field of work. So I stumbled across guiding and eventually the Arctic Nature Guiding (ANG) program on Svalbard. I got accepted, I moved to Svalbard, I fell in love with the place, I stayed, adopted two dogs – and I am still here today. I was lucky enough to find, along the way, my dream job: guiding. 
PTGA – What are the biggest changes you have seen in the Svalbard guiding scene since you have been active there?

Franka – I think there is much better dialogue between the companies on the ground, the officials and the guides. There is plenty of work to do but it is better. Working conditions have improved and guides are more aware of their working rights. In general I would say the salary has gone up a little but the covid years were tough and a lot of good was undone due to insecurities and financial difficulties for the companies. I like to believe that more and more guides are better educated and seek out regular training and seek professionalism. One other thing I have noticed in the last decade is a decline in the fitness and preparedness of the guests. Trips usually take longer or are not possible due to this.

PTGA – What advice would you offer a new guide wanting to get established in Svalbard?

Franka – To join the Svalbard Guide Association of course! There are of course other ways but if you want to meet new people and guides, come to the ‘Guide Eve’ every Wednesday in Longyearbyen. If you want to find work, simply show up at the companies and introduce yourself. If you have not had any training apply for the ANG course, it is a great training program! 
PTGA – You work as a guide in Svalbard but also as a guide for a cruise ship company. Could you compare and contrast the two? What do you think of the perceived ‘us and them’ issue between LYR guides and ship based guides? How can we diffuse this narrative?

Franka – Working as a guide on Svalbard is different from cruise guiding. The exposure to the elements is more extreme and you are in the field for much longer – there is no ship close by to retreat to. Svalbard groups are much smaller and the contact with the guests is more intense. The area used by local tourism is also much much smaller compared to summer cruise tourism. Similarities can be found in daily routines though: as a guide you are responsible for the safety of the guests and their wellbeing. We all interact, teach and enhance the experience as professionals – like many things we are more similar than we are different. Any ‘us and them’ issue can only be solved by encouraging openness. Some guides sadly carry a lot of arrogance around, thinking they know so much more than others. I personally would love to see that disappear completely from Svalbard. Hopefully we all learn to appreciate the different backgrounds guides have and we see the potential for learning and personal growth. Competition is pointless in guiding, working as a community will ultimately allow us all to progress further.

PTGA – Outline what you see the role of the SGA in 5 years time?

Franka – 5 years is a long time on Svalbard. I wish for the SGA to have established a strong foothold in Longyearbyen, lots of guides participating but also actively shaping the industry. We can only hope that what we have achieved so far is the small beginning of a much larger dream – to give the guides a voice. 

PTGA – You were one of the first guides from Longyearbyen to join the PTGA and get grand-parented to Senior Polar Guide. Why did you do this? What did you see in it?

Franka – I got introduced to the PTGA in 2018 by two of my senior colleagues during my first season as a cruise guide in Svalbard. I was working as a bear guard and had no experience with cruise guiding at all. I was quite surprised when I learned that guides had developed such a comprehensive certification by themselves without any support from the companies. In Svalbard the guiding community is challenged by a lot of fluctuation so I found the concept of the PTGA inspiring and motivating and wondered – could this be introduced to Svalbard too? The potential of the PTGA lies in the concept of the certification and the work-place based assessment. This is absolutely unique in polar guiding, unheard of, one of a kind. It is a smart way for guides to get certified but is also environmentally friendly and keeps resource-use in mind. One can really see and feel it is developed by guides for guides. It is constantly improved through feedback – what’s not to like about it? 

PTGA – What do you see as the biggest challenges to the industry over the next five years?

Franka – This is a tricky question so I will focus on Svalbard alone: Next to the obvious challenges connected to climate change, regulation changes and politics (three big elephants in the room) I feel cooperation between the guide community and the companies has the biggest potential for moving forward within the polar tourism industry. I am aware that it is a dream and hard to accomplish but in that way it is a proper challenge. 

PTGA – Is this a sustainable industry and does polar tourism really add any value?

Franka – this depends entirely on one’s definition of ‘sustainability’ and in what context. I personally feel it is used too freely when it comes to polar tourism – we have a long way to go if we if we were to use the definition of the UN Environment Program and UN World Tourism Organization: “Sustainable tourism takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”. We need to have this in our mind always.

Electronic Membership Cards

PTGA is now able to provide able to provide electronic membership cards. These cards can live in your smartphone wallet and will give PTGA members easy proof of Membership, guide status and awards held. Cards will cost USD$5 per annum to have and this can be added to your TahDah billing as part of your professional membership (tax deductible). Please contact PTGA for further information or to order your card.

Scholarship opportunity

The research team at the University of Tasmania is looking for someone to come and do a PhD on Antarctic tourism. This is a fully funded project and they’d love to find someone who has worked as a guide who might be keen on this opportunity.

Pro Deals

Alexandra has been busy in her role and recently added The North Face, DryShod Boots, Mont, Keen and Arctic Edge to the Pro deal offerings for members and guides. Sign on to the Members Only area and check it out.

[Note Pro deals are for members and status guides only. You must have claimed your new account in order to access the Member-Only pages on the PTGA website.]

Training and Development – Zodiac Spin control with Doug

Looking for something to do next time you are waiting to pick up guests? Try this exercise to improve your zodiac spin control.

One of the keys to becoming a good zodiac driver is learning to manage spin control. The ability to spin the boat when you want, and make it stop spinning when you want it to is a skill that is easy to learn and will improve your control during Zodiac cruises and many other maneuvers.

Start in calm conditions until you get the hang of it. Find two targets in the distance that are about 180° apart, one in front of the boat and one behind. Start with the Zodiac holding still, not moving and pointing at the first target. Now, move the tiller all the way to port, and while holding it there, put the engine in reverse. Don’t use any throttle, just idle in reverse. Hold the tiller hard on the port side and watch as the scene in front of the boat slowly rotates. Just before the bow is pointing at the second target, shift to forward. Don’t move the tiller! When the boat’s rotation stops, take the engine out of gear, and see where the bow is pointing. If the second target isn’t directly in front of the Zodiac, you took the boat out of gear too soon or too late. Keep doing this drill until you get the timing just right. Do this drill 5 times with the tiller always held on the port side. Then do it 5 times with the tiller held to starboard. Each time, do a 180° rotation. After that, begin to add a tiny bit throttle at the beginning and end of each rotation. You will soon able to stop the spin exactly where you want.

Once you can get the hang of that try 90° turns, and 270° turns. Find random targets and keep practicing making the boat spin and then stop where you want. The point of this drill is to learn that you can control spin with just by shifting the transmission and holding the tiller hard over in either direction, adding some throttle only when needed. Resist the urge to look at the engine, just learn to watch the bow of the Zodiac and concentrate on where it’s pointing.

Try this in windy conditions too. See how the boat reacts when the target is directly upwind compared to a cross wind. When you’re ready for more challenge, try starting with the Zodiac moving straight ahead in gear at about 5 knots. Shift into neutral and at the same time move the tiller to begin a turn towards your target. As the target comes to the bow, shift to reverse until the rotation stops.

When teaching beginning drivers, I try to introduce this spin drill on the first day. Being able to control spin when cruising around wildlife and icebergs will greatly improve your ability to all get great views and pictures for your guests.

Have a great season, make good decisions and keep constant vigilance.

Doug Gould is a PTGA Senior Polar Guide with close to two decades of experience in the polar regions.  Doug holds a USCG 100T Master’s License and is an RYA Powerboat Instructor. He has been teaching people to drive small boats for 30 years.

Guano Happens – Enterprise Island Near-Shore Avalanche and Zodiac Capsize.

This editions’ Guano Happens was a big event in the 22/23 season. Fortunately no one was hurt and it files as a Near-Miss. Also fortunately, for us and the entire guide community, the company and guides involved have been willing to share key learning. We cannot thank them enough for the opportunity to share these lessons. This is a massive step for our industry and is a landmark collaboration. We can only hope it will help ease the fear of sharing and begin a move towards celebrating information and data collection that will manifestly show competent authorities we are a mature industry with a key focus on safety, risk acknowledgement and sharing critical information for the safety of all our guests, guides and the reputation of the industry.

An avalanche into the water is a hazard that has always existed in any snow-slope-near-shore environment. Somewhat like a tree falling in the forest though – you have to be there. This is likely to become a more frequent phenomenon as precipitation patterns continue to change. Add it to your list of hazards to discuss with your teams pre-excursion.

This was a significant event but with an excellent outcome thanks to other good operating procedures.

Of note – a week earlier, another vessel had visited the same area for standard Zodiac-cruising operations. An experienced guide in that operation had observed a fracture line in a nearby snow slope and heavy snow loading on the snow slopes around the Gouvernøren shipwreck and advised the on-board expedition team against near-shore exposure due to the potential for significant releases from the slopes above even though they were not particularly high. This information was not shared with the broader guiding community and the people involved in this incident were not aware of it.

There had been three or four days of bad weather with precipitation as snowfall and continued cold temperatures leading up to the day of the incident. We do not have information on wind speed and direction.

The guide involved is a PTGA Senior Polar Guide with five years direct guiding experience in the industry. This guide is not a mountaineer and does not have experience or skills in back country snow safety.

 

Incident Narrative

We had set up for a Zodiac cruise excursion at Enterprise Island. It was a beautiful, crisp day, without a cloud in the sky and not a breath of wind with patches of frozen surface water around the shore. We started operations ~0830. After picking up six guests I was the first boat at the shipwreck. We had spent a fair bit of time looking at ice before getting to the shipwreck.

I’d been to the site before, but many of the other drivers had not. There was a radio broadcast from the EL to not go around behind the shipwreck. We were already underway and it was not easy to hear every detail. I interpreted this message as a courtesy towards the yachts rather than a safety warning. After visiting the Gouvernøren my cruising-partner and I headed over to the tern colony a couple of hundred metres south of the wreck. I stopped my Zodiac nose-to-shore (approximately 15 m away) and turned the engine off. It was 0900.

We were observing the terns when we noticed a ~30m wide avalanche (slab avalanche) from the slope above heading straight for us. I started the engine and jammed it in reverse but only really had 2-3 seconds before the avalanche landed in the water and I didn’t get far enough away. We were swept away by the avalanche debris and ejected from the Zodiac as it flipped and landed upside down.

Everyone was in the water. I learned later, the other guide on my Zodiac and one guest were in the air pocket under the capsized Zodiac but they extracted themselves safely and without issue. All life jackets had inflated and there were no obvious injuries. I radioed the bridge but received no response (the vessel was around the corner and could not hear us). I tried to do a head-count but this was difficult with the limited visibility afforded by my inflated lifejacket. Swimming in water full of avalanche debris is also very difficult.

My Zodiac-cruise partner and two other Zodiacs arrived on the scene within sixty seconds  and they had everyone out of the water within four minutes and on their way back to the ship (supported by time stamps on video and images). Remarkably, there were no injuries beyond minor bruises.

We had trained recovery of Man Overboard (MOB) within the last week fortunately and the rescue was fast and smooth. The guests, having previously been briefed on the contents of the bow-box, helped retrieve emergency gear and distributed thermal blankets, hand warmers and spare hats.

In the rush to get back to the ship, no-one had updated bridge (apparently, they heard us and prepared for one MOB, not eight). They rallied quickly on our arrival and the medical staff were on hand. People were warmed and checked and there were no issues.

 

Review and Learning

Let’s start with the basics.

The guide was one of the few staff that day with previous experience in the location. Given that the guide themself stated “I’m no expert in reading avalanche danger and did not recognize the avalanche hazard at this location” and it was a beautiful day with little to worry about, they were likely making decisions using a range of Familiarity heuristics.

The Familiarity heuristic relies on our past actions to guide our behavior in familiar settings. Rather than go through the trouble of figuring out what is appropriate every time, we simply behave as we have before in that setting. Most of the time, the familiarity heuristic is reliable. But when the hazard changes but the setting remains familiar, this rule of thumb can become a trap.

In addition the post-incident team review identified Expert Halo as a contributing heuristic.

The other drivers (who were new to the area) were just following the lead of the senior guide. There had not been any forum to raise any concerns or prior discussion about hazards. This was manifest in a junior guide being somewhat concerned about some proximity issues but being too concerned about their place in the team to feel like they should say anything.

In many group accidents without a formal leader there is often an informal leader who, for various reasons, ends up making critical decisions for the party. Sometimes their leadership is based on knowledge and experience; sometimes it is based on simply being older, a better driver, or more assertive than other group members. Such situations are fertile ground for the Expert Halo heuristic, where an overall positive impression of that informal leader within the party leads other party members to ascribe safety management ability to that person that they may not have.

This event appears to have been a natural-release slab avalanche, most likely the result of the preceding days of bad weather with snow accumulation. Cooler temperatures may have contributed by not allowing any instability within the snowpack to settle. The guide did acknowledge thinking that the immediate surrounding slopes appeared ‘too steep for avalanches’ from what they knew about them. But, this event was complex with the avalanche starting on the moderate slopes out of sight (this is a common phenomenon in many skiing and climbing avalanche incidents).

The natural-release avalanche scenario puts the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ argument into play. But we’ve learned over the years that our industry does have a number of incidents that get filed in this category and they likely deserve a little more thought.

The expedition team searched deep in their own on-board review for causal factors and things they might have missed. Besides the Familiarity and Expert Halo heuristics likely in play they also identified:

  1. The potential hazard had been identified only a week before but not shared with the broader community. This review serves as a critical warning for this type of hazard and ALL guides and ALL companies need to be on notice. We must try harder to find a way and a forum to get field hazard identification and near-miss episodes out to all guides. It could save lives.
  2. The guide was in an area with potential hazard from above but chose to turn their engine off. It isn’t possible to say this was a contributing factor with the inability to get out of the way of the avalanche but it should go without saying for ALL guides in Zodiacs; when operating near ‘potential’ hazards that you must pre-plan your escape route, leave your engine on and have your Zodiac pointed at the escape route. This should be a routine mantra for any contemporary polar guide.
  3. It is worth noting the guide’s narrative about ‘trying to do a head count’ but being limited by the inflatable life jacket. We have seen major issues with drivers in inflatable life-jackets play out in a number of Guano Happens incidents and reviews. It must be time for us to make a call and recommend PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices) for Zodiac drivers as an industry standard not just a random choice on the day.
To augment the learning some very important things were done very well:
  • Fast and smooth rescue of multiple guests in the water due to recent and regular MOB training.
  • Very quick turn around from incident to resolution phase (under ten minutes) with the whole process sup[ported by timestamp data.
  • Dedication to a thorough and team-wide discussion and review of what happened, what went well and what they could improve.
  • Sharing of lessons with the wider community in the interests of improvement for all.

Again – we thank the company and guides who agreed to contribute with the aim of development and learning for everyone.

“Life has to be lived forward but can only be understood backwards

 

Additional Development and TrainingThere is no way to suddenly expect zodiac drivers to be skilled at judging avalanche risk but we can all revisit essential professional responsibilities and expected duty of care.

  1. Constant vigilance, always, all the time even if you know a place well.
  2. Be conscious of the common heuristic traps that commonly appear in polar tourism incident narratives.
  3. Have a process to allow all team members to voice concerns.
  4. Have a quick escape plan if you are ‘under’ anything (particularly rockwalls/cliffs).
Beginners Guide to Avalanche Awareness for Zodiac Operations
  • Are there slopes of sufficient angle to create avalanches (between 30-60degrees).
  • Be aware that avalanches can start out of sight on slopes well above you.
  • If you have any concerns discuss recent weather, wind direction and snow accumulations with your team or mountain guide.
  • Reduce or consider any exposure under slopes that could propagate an avalanche.
  • if you have to be exposed make sure someone is watching.

Member Updates

PTGA members – 596
Senior Polar Guides – 245
Polar Guides – 199
Provisional and Full Assessors – 47
Congratulations to our recent status guides:
Polar Guide: Daniel Clarke, Jade Prove, Marzena Kmiecek
Senior Polar Guide: Adam Turner, George Kennedy,
Provisional Assessors: Michael Callaghan, Mike Scotting, Chris Bialek, Alexandra Hansen, Kenn Magowan
Senior Assessor: Nico Danyau
Revalidations: Colby Brokvist, Howard Whelan, Federico Arribere, Ryan Burner, Maria Cashin, Sue Forbes, Alexandra Hansen,m Roger Kirkwood, James Lowe, Migel Milius, Frederique Olivier, Calle Schonning, Anthoony Smith, Ronald Visser, Sandra Walser

Be your best guide. See you next time.