An Update from the Avalanche Center (www.csac.org)
November 1, 2001
Online in html: http://www.avalanche-center.org/Organization/updates/
(To translate this update enter the webpage URL above and then follow the link on the translated page.)
Welcome to the 2001-2002 Season
As winter rapidly approaches we are preparing to once again serve the public with the largest source of avalanche safety information available in one place anywhere. This update will let you know a bit about what is new, what is planned, and how the project is doing overall. Please check into the website periodically in your preparations for a safe winter.
Thanks to our Supporters
Our logo will appear in two ads in November thanks to some special support in the form of cooperation. Look for it in the Guideline section of the November issue of Couloir and also in an ad by Matchstick Productions in the upcoming issue of Powder.
Our project is made possible by a broad base of support from several key sources. One is our sponsors. Just about all of last years sponsors have renewed their commitment to our avalanche safety and education efforts, and we have had some interest from a couple new and former sponsors. Take note of their logos when you view our main section pages, or review the complete list at:
Many other companies provide support in other, and typically smaller, ways. The two most common forms of help are equipment donations for our fall auction and the distribution of bookmarks about our site with their products. These companies are listed in our Avalanche Network:
While other sources of support are our store and the annual auction
the largest source of financial support remains user contributions.
The average contribution is small but they add up. Many thanks to those
Fall Fundraising Auction
It's that time of year again, and our annual auction will begin officially on November 14. We are maintaining a list of items which have been donated so far so check out the auction page. Support has been good so far and items are continuing to show up in the mail.
This year we will add items throughout the auction period of Nov 14 through Dec 5 rather than putting them all on bid at once. So plan to keep checking in.
We have added support for a "dutch auction" on items which we have more than one of this year. In order to test this out and to encourage people to register or retrieve their passwords from last year we may put a few items, including CSAC shirts and Nalgene bottles, on auction early.
The auction page is:
New Things on the Site
Major work is underway on the Education section. One new feature is the ability to search our course listings by month, course type, and/or state. This is the first simple application of mySql and php on the site and as we learn to better utilize these things we hope to include additional features. This season we are only listing courses for non-profits for free and are asking commercial operations to contribute $35 in return for being listed. While our listings will be shorter because of this the schools that are listing their courses are demonstrating their support of public educational resources.
The second new thing is an entire section which will be available to
project contributors. Anyone who has contributed $15 or more for the
season can automatically get a password to this section by entering
In other news, the store pages are still being updated for this year with new product information as we receive it. And in the Incidents section we now have our first entry concerning some Spanish climbers killed in an avalanche in Asia. Pre-season bulletins have been issued by the centers in Utah, Seattle and Ketchum ID. These have gone through our e-mail distribution and our scripts which gloss them and post them in html. According to John Moynier we can expect his first eastern sierra bulletin shortly. There were also some early Swiss bulletins sent out a while ago.
The work on the Education section will continue to be a priority. The "quiz yourself" section will be updated, probably using newer technology at some point this winter.
In our contributor services area we plan to offer current news stories related to avalanches and to make this years incidents searchable in a manner similar to what we have done with our courses. The incident report pages will remain public, but the search feature will be a contributors benefit.
These changes will, in the short term, take a back seat to running the auction and getting the bulletin distribution systems running smoothly. We also installed various software over the summer we still need to get working smoothly, including PC-Anywhere so our store manager in California can work with files from our main office in Oregon and some Notebook to Cell Phone software to make it easier to maintain critical things while traveling.
Two other things which we have mentioned previously have not been forgotten
either. Another issue of the Avalanche Gazette is long overdue but may
still take a little while to get lined up, given our other
How you can Help
In each update we like to suggest ways in which you can help our efforts. Right now there are two things that people can do.
First, help us promote our fundraising auction. And participate in it. Please spread the word on any online forums you are part of, any clubs you are a member of, and among your friends.
Second, help us distribute paper bookmarks to let people know about our resource. We just got another 10,000 printed (English only, we already have some bi-lingual English/French and English/German. And maybe some English/Spanish.) Every year we ask people to help us by putting some in any huts they visit, in local shops, etc. If you can help us distribute these in any manner send us an e-mail and let us know how many you can use.
Finally, you can always support our work by contributing to our nonprofit
organization, buying your safety equipment from us, telling your friends
about us, and just by visiting the site regularly.