An Update from the Avalanche Center
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This is a brief update on what is new and upcoming on the internet Avalanche Center, http://www.avalanche-center.org/
Avalanche Store Clearance Sale!
We have some inventory left on our shelf which we're overdue to get rid of. It's on sale:
We have quite a few shovels and probes and some accessories such as slope meters. At this point we are down to only one beacon. This year we are also trying to keep less books on the shelf all summer so for the first time ever we have select books on sale until our quantities are reduced.
In addition to clearing some shelf space we need to convert some of the value we have in inventory into cash to help pay our bills until next winter begins. So in addition to getting a good deal for yourself your purchase will help the Avalanche Center, which is a financially marginal 501c3 non-profit organization.
Most prices are already close to our cost but there is a bit of room to lower prices more over the next week or two on whatever remains.
We just completed our IRS 990 tax form. Our net revenues are low enough that we could probably fall into the optional category and skip it, but as a nonprofit we have always felt that this public-disclosure form should be on record. Along with the annual report required by the Justice Department in the State of Oregon where we are incorporated. These are supposedly public record should anyone have any questions or curiosity concerning our budgeting, expenses, etc. While fundraising and bill-paying are managed from our office in Oregon our Quicken records are maintained independently, currently by Tani and previously by Jeff - both of whom are in California. Their efforts are volunteer, like most of the time put into this project, and it is greatly appreciated.
Our IRS form may not be the most accurate yearly summary since it goes on a calendar year and Jan 1 is in the midst of many transactions. But for 2002 our total revenue was $20,000 which was almost $3000 less than our expenditures. The largest chunk of expenses consists of maintaining and operating an office. Public support constituted 72 percent of our revenue over the past four years. (The remainder is from our avalanche store, larger contributors donating more than $1300 per year including some sponsors, and some small change in interest.)
In light of declining revenues for operating the project we recently consolidated a lot of services and eliminated a number of monthly bills such as our wired telephone and dial-up access used from locations other than the office. The goal has been to make sure we are doing the most we can with the resources we do have.
This all means that user contributions are becoming more important than ever to the future of the website and project. Many of our contributions are small, on the order of $15-20, but they do add up in the end. Your support helps, no matter how much it is. (Contributions can be made from this page: http://www.avalanche-center.org/Organization/contribute/)
We've continued to keep this section up to date. New incidents get added to the front section page until they are added into the searchable database, which now has over 400 entries. Not all incidents are added close to their occurrence, sometimes we get information quite a bit later. This spring we received reports on two incidents from Slovenia that happened back in Jan or Feb. These are the first reports from that country which we have posted. We also have a collection of reports from Austria for the season which must be pretty close to complete.
Now that things are slowing down we will be going back and updating this section by correlating it with the official tallies for countries where such summaries are available. This includes Switzerland and Spain. We have some reports from these areas but will be checking the season for completeness.
Current Conditions Section
Just about all of the advisories for the US have ended now. Utah is issuing afternoon updates for a bit longer, and the snow rangers in New Hampshire are still issuing bulletins for the Mt Washington area although they are less formal and not using the 5-level scale anymore. The information for the Eastern Sierra in California may be updated if warranted. This is a non-government advisory which is always issued on an as-needed basis rather than daily.
For the bulletins which have ended we have terminated the e-mail distribution system to prevent any accidental mailings of old or existing information. On the webpages we have left generic spring statements when they have been issued, and whether or not such information has been posted there are now links to the page in our Education center with spring and summer information.
While most bulletins have ended winter conditions have not. They will recur at least sporadically. And some springtime conditions are conducive to hazardous conditions as well. So watch the weather reports and review or learn about spring and summer hazards. Searching the incident database for May and June will turn up numerous incidents from recent years, usually with common contributing factors.
Other Web Work
Over the past few days there has been some work done on website, primarily but not entirely on the Education and Professional resources sections. The highlighted links on the front Education page have been updated for the spring. Some links have been updated, some have been added. There are more in our bookmarks list which need to be reviewed and incorporated into the website yet.
In the course of reviewing various pages and parts of the site the html often needs to be rewritten and cleaned up. Updates made by several people on several machines over time has tended to leave it a bit of a mess.
We have always prided ourselves on keeping bad links to a minimum, offering as many quality links to other sites as possible in addition to maintaining our own content, and on keeping the html code reasonably current as web standards change. These are some of the things our time, money and computer resources go into.
Thanks to everyone who is sending incident reports, articles and link and otherwise helping out and to those who are contributing financially. It's with your help that we can continue to maintain the most current and dynamic avalanche resource on the internet.