A few weeks ago we kicked off our 2012-2013 Speaker Series by welcoming Scott Aitken in for a presentation at the museum. For nearly three decades Scott has worked for the BC Ministry of Transportation Infrastructure as an avalanche forecaster, essentially making him responsible for managing the avalanche hazard on local roads such as the Duffey Lake Highway. As Scott explained his lengthy service with the Ministry “hardly anyone sticks to one job for thirty years these days, but I guess there’s worse ruts to get stuck in.”
Scott’s not just extremely knowledgeable about avalanche safety, he’s also an easy-going affable character who’s widely respected in the community. There was a lot of buzz leading up to the event from people who were looking forward to “Scotty’s talk.” We even had avalanche technicians drive up from Vancouver claiming it was for professional development!
Even though we crammed as many people into the museum as we could, we still had to turn away dozens of folk for the sold-out show. For those who weren’t able to make it we recorded Scott’s talk and have made it available here. We’ve edited together a few of the many great anecdotes Scott shared that evening,. If you want to listen to the talk in its entirety, scroll down to the bottom of the page.
First, Scott introduces his talk and talks about his roots as an avalanche professional:
In this clip, Scott recounts a bad day in the mountains, with a very happy ending!
In this clip Scott briefly explains one of the most advanced tools in the avalanche technician’s arsenal, the Daisy Bell, and one of his less pleasant experiences with the avalanche detonator:
And here is Scott’s full presentation. Enjoy: