White Mountain Avalanche Education Foundation

Thank you everyone that supported us through a complicated 2020. Our virtual ESAW event went really well. We had attendees from all over New England and a lot of people showed up from around the US and a few from abroad. It was great to see such a huge turn out each night. The intro to backcountry basics was even more popular and we had almost 800 people register. IF you not familiar with teh Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop you can find more here: www.ESAW.org

The growth and popularity of winter recreation has increased with each season across the avalanche terrain of the White Mountains and especially in the high peaks of the Presidentials. This is particularly true during the periods of highest snow instability, December through March. Avalanche accidents and close calls over the past decade have shown we can do more to educate visitors before they arrive in the mountains. The White Mountain Avalanche Education Foundation is used as a mechanism to reach this goal through avalanche awareness and education of the youth and wilderness rescuers of the White Mountain region and those visiting this unique landscape.

Hey we are on Instagram

We’ll keep posting photos of our progress over on Instagram @avalanchefoundation so head over a follow along and see a little of what’s going on behind the scenes, at meetings and out in the mountains!


Joe. Beth, Frank, Blake and Chris

Board of Directors

Beth Swartz is a local educator and snow enthusiast.  She is currently a Spanish teacher at Kennett Middle School in Conway, where she also coaches field hockey.  She previously taught in Massachusetts before coming to her senses and moving north.  Her education background includes a BA from Colby College, MAT from Simmons College and MSEd from the University of New England.  Beth also runs the ski and snowboard club at KMS in an effort to get kids outside and on the snow.

In the time between her teaching stints, Beth served as an Appalachian Mountain Club Hermit Lake Caretaker. She spent most of 2013- early 2015 calling Hermit Lake and Tuckerman Ravine her home and shredding nearly every ski line in the eastern ravines of Mt. Washington.  When she wasn’t out skiing, she could often be found getting field time with the snow rangers as they made observations and performed stability tests. In addition to her vast knowledge of the backcountry of the White Mountains, her backcountry education and resume includes AIARE Level 2 Certification, EMT, Wilderness First Responder, and Leave No Trace Master Educator. While she no longer lives on Mt. Washington, she is still a resident of the Mt. Washington Valley and continues to ski every chance she gets, which includes skinning up something most days after school in the winter.  Beth is really looking forward to combining her passions for education and snow science through developing curriculum with the WMAEF for local schools to use.

Blake Keogh is the Outdoor Experience Coordinator and a psychology teacher at the Waynflete School in Portland, ME. Additionally, he is an AIARE instructor and ski guide during the winter months.Blake is also one of the newest MWAEF board members. Over the past two years Blake finished his AIARE Level 2 and 3 courses, as well as ITC1 training. During that time, Blake also earned his MA from Prescott College after successfully completing a graduate thesis that examined preemptive decision-making among backcountry skiers. In his free time Blake continues to pursue his own ski mountaineering goals in New England and throughout the West, with a particular fondness for the PNW.”

Pat started his snow career as the Hermit Lake Caretaker in Tuckerman Ravine from 2014-2016 where he played guitar to Boot Spur ridge, conducted dozens of mountain rescues, assisted the avalanche center with field obs and data collection, and climbed and skied… a lot. He currently directs the backcountry ski program at Carrabassett Valley Academy, guides for EMS Climbing School, and privately consults with his business Gravity Expeditions. He is an AMGA Apprentice Rock, Alpine, and Ski Guide, holds a Professional Level 2 avalanche certificate, and is a Professional Member of the American Avalanche Association. He has spend extensive time skiing and guiding in Alaska, the Tetons, Chamonix, La Grave, and of course, the Northeast!