Panel Discussion #2

Finding Gold Dust: Mentorship in the Avalanche Industry

Tuesday, October 6, 10:30-12:00 MDT

Learning from experienced people is a crucial part of everyone’s professional development, along with getting some lucky breaks and taking advantage of opportunities. Mentorship is a relationship between two people where one person has greater knowledge, wisdom and connections than the other and is able to pass these along informally. Along with transferring technical knowledge and experience, a mentor can also provide career advice, role modelling, and be a go-to for help on difficult problems.

So how do you find that? How do you connect with the right people to teach you what you need to know to succeed in your avalanche career? Just about everyone wonders this when they get started.

This panel discussion will hear from experienced avalanche professionals from different sectors of the avalanche business. Each will tell their own story of how mentorship influenced their careers and how these relationships worked for them. Following this the panel will undertake a moderated discussion on the topic of mentorship with questions and interaction from the attendees. 

Moderator: Mike Koppang

Mike is a ski guide, avalanche forecaster, and member of the search & rescue team from Kananaskis Provincial Park based in Canmore, Alberta.


Doug Chabot

Doug is an avalanche forecaster who runs the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Centre in Montana, USA. He is also a veteran alpinist and guide and is based in Bozeman, Montana.

Lisa Paulson

Lisa is a former park warden and veteran guide, avalanche forecaster, and member of the Parks Canada search & rescue team. She is based in Banff, Alberta.

Rosemary Langford

Rosemary is a Masters student at Simon Fraser University focusing on terrain assessment and public
education. She is also the president of Mountain Mentors based on the BC Coast.

Rune Engeset

Rune is the head of the Glacier, Ice and Snow Section at the Norwegian Water Resources & Energy Directorate based in Olso. He is also an associate professor at the Arctic University of Norway in Tromso.