White Mountain Avalanche Education Foundation

The growth and popularity of winter recreation has increased with each season across the avalanche terrain of the White Mountains and especially in the high peaks of the Presidentials. This is particularly true during the periods of highest snow instability, December through March. Avalanche accidents and close calls over the past decade have shown we can do more to educate visitors before they arrive in the mountains. The White Mountain Avalanche Education Foundation is used as a mechanism to reach this goal through avalanche awareness and education of the youth and wilderness rescuers of the White Mountain region and those visiting this unique landscape.

Hey we are on Instagram

We’ll keep posting photos of our progress over on Instagram @avalanchefoundation so head over a follow along and see a little of what’s going on behind the scenes, at meetings and out in the mountains!

Thanks,

Joe. Beth, Frank, Blake and Chris

Board of Directors

Frank Carus - USFS Director of Mount Washington Avalanche Center

Frank came to the avalanche center after an adventurous and diverse early career supporting his climbing and skiing obsessions by guiding, building things and picking up whatever job would fund another mission (or feed his two kids!)

Frank put his degree in Geography to use guiding climbs and ski mountaineering trips, or taking personal trips to the Alps, Andes, Patagonia and the western States and has worked for most every guide service in the Mount Washington Valley in the process. A summer in the Tetons guiding for Exum Guides broke up the monotony. He has an obvious passion for learning and has taken the AMGA Alpine, Ski and Ski Mountaineering guide courses in addition to being a certified Rock Instructor since 1996. Working vacations take him west to teach technical rope rescue to US Marine climbing instructors through Peak Rescue Institute. Frank is an Advanced EMT and has had AIARE and AAI Avalanche course 1, 2 and 3 training. He also enjoys Striped bass fishing from paddleboards, watching the Patriots dominate the NFL, and taking his avalanche dog, Lily, on long mountain patrols.

Beth Swartz - Local Educator & Skier

Beth Swartz is a local educator and snow enthusiast.  She is currently a Spanish teacher at Kennett Middle School in Conway, where she also coaches field hockey.  She previously taught in Massachusetts before coming to her senses and moving north.  Her education background includes a BA from Colby College, MAT from Simmons College and MSEd from the University of New England.  Beth also runs the ski and snowboard club at KMS in an effort to get kids outside and on the snow.

In the time between her teaching stints, Beth served as an Appalachian Mountain Club Hermit Lake Caretaker. She spent most of 2013- early 2015 calling Hermit Lake and Tuckerman Ravine her home and shredding nearly every ski line in the eastern ravines of Mt. Washington.  When she wasn’t out skiing, she could often be found getting field time with the snow rangers as they made observations and performed stability tests. In addition to her vast knowledge of the backcountry of the White Mountains, her backcountry education and resume includes AIARE Level 2 Certification, EMT, Wilderness First Responder, and Leave No Trace Master Educator. While she no longer lives on Mt. Washington, she is still a resident of the Mt. Washington Valley and continues to ski every chance she gets, which includes skinning up something most days after school in the winter.  Beth is really looking forward to combining her passions for education and snow science through developing curriculum with the WMAEF for local schools to use.

Blake Keogh - Outdoor Experience Coordinator

Blake Keogh is the Outdoor Experience Coordinator and a psychology teacher at the Waynflete School in Portland, ME. Additionally, he is an AIARE instructor and ski guide during the winter months.Blake is also one of the newest MWAEF board members. Over the past two years Blake finished his AIARE Level 2 and 3 courses, as well as ITC1 training. During that time, Blake also earned his MA from Prescott College after successfully completing a graduate thesis that examined preemptive decision-making among backcountry skiers. In his free time Blake continues to pursue his own ski mountaineering goals in New England and throughout the West, with a particular fondness for the PNW.”

Joe Klementovich - Photographer

Chris Joosen - USFS Safety Officer