The SnowSchool season is a wrap!  And although we are already planning for the coming winter, we put together this season-end report to update everyone on all the recent SnowSchool developments…

This month SnowSchool concluded the 2019 season with classroom science presentations during which students and educators discussed the results of our annual Snowpack Prediction Contest…

There are a bunch of reasons I became a member of Winter Wildlands Alliance years ago. I could say that it was because I wanted to support protecting, advocating, leading policy and speaking for the places I seek refuge and solace during the winter, providing a community through the Backcountry Film Festival and tour, fostering future winter players through SnowSchool, creating a movement of passionate people and organizations supporting human powered adventure…really, it wasn’t around one initiative or because of a certain event, but it was because I wanted to drop my hard-earned dollar to support what I knew. Having amazing experiences in the backcountry.

We all have our paths and throughout my work and play, mine led me here. Thanks to Sarah Michael (founder of Winter Wildlands Alliance), our engaged and driven Board of Directors, and an extra-large shout out to Mark Menlove for all of his work over the past 14 years, and of course, the incredible team that is the staff that keeps the skin track clear. We have exciting times ahead and I’m humbled to be the new Executive Director of such a vibrant and engaged group of hard working people. That means you, too. Winter Wildlands Alliance members are at the core of who we are, so thank you. As winter and spring slowly transition into the warm weather months, we are still working. What we do goes on 365 days a year – it’s our business to keep growing, keep defending our winter ecosystems and wild places to make a difference and protect the places we recreate, find solace, find peace and create exceptional experiences. So if you aren’t a member, please join us. If you are, thank you. I am looking forward to Keeping Winter Wild with you.

Todd Walton
Executive Director

Heavy snowfall made for a great winter, and the fun at SnowSchool continued into the spring.  Check out our video snipets and notes taken from successful outings in March and April…

Photo- Alexandra Rose

Across the Western US mountain snow accumulated at eye popping rates in February and, in some watersheds, brought below normal snowpacks up well above average!  At SnowSchool this means plenty of fresh snow for snowshoeing, field-base snow science and just plain fun (see left). It also means that back in the classroom students have interesting current winter phenomena to study.  For example, this month SnowSchool released a new recorded webinar to help educators engage students via our unique Snowpack Prediction Contest science activity.  We based this fun science challenge on the practices and methods of snow hydrologists and integrated live and historical NRCS SNOTEL data.  The big February snow is making this into very interesting challenge for students this winter! To get all the details check out the video below. You can also find the full curriculum guide on our new Science Resources webpage along with other SnowSchool resources.


Stay tuned for more SnowSchool updates as we move into the final stretch of winter! Here’s a parting shot taken mid-storm in the final days of February-

The SnowSchool Weather Station in the Boise National Forest was nearly consumed by a February snowpack 7 feet deep! Photo Tom Black USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station