White Mountain Avalanche Education Foundation

Donations are encouraged and easy… see the PayPal link at the bottom of the page 

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.

The Education Foundation’s focus will be towards snow science and avalanche education for young people in the White Mountain area from 6-12th grade. Individuals may submit an application in order to attend a youth focused avalanche class. School systems or other organized groups may apply for a scholarship for an age appropriate avalanche clinic or receive training to deliver our STEM appropriate snow science curriculum. The Foundation is also committed to helping rescuers who are asked to enter harm’s way to help those hurt or missing in the mountains. A SAR organization may submit a request to receive training in avalanche rescue techniques geared towards organized rescue.

Applications or requests will be brought forward by the Mount Washington Avalanche Center to the Foundation Board of Directors or the  “SAR Working Group” depending upon the focus of the request. This group meets 10 times a year and is made up of the U.S. Forest Service, the NH Fish and Game and all the volunteer mountain SAR organizations.

Types of grants available: The White Mountain Avalanche Education Foundation Scholarships are available to pursue avalanche knowledge and to deliver avalanche education through several avenues.

1. Scholarships for individual participation to fund all or part of an youth oriented avalanche course. These courses are one day, field based awareness level classes, scheduled annually and are free for middle and high schoolers selected from the pool of applicants. Courses are led by AIARE instructors who work full time as teachers and share their skills and passion for snow science and backcountry skiing in an age appropriate and supportive  environment.

2. Scholarships for public and private Middle and High School system participation to fund all or part of an avalanche awareness course using curricula recognized by the professional avalanche community. Programs using curriculum by the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA), American Avalanche Association (AAA), American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), and the National Ski Patrol (NSP) are eligible.

3. Funding to develop snow science and avalanche education material to benefit youth and adult residents, or those visiting the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire. Currently the Foundation has a scalable snow science program that can be delivered as a stand alone course or integrated into an appropriate math or science unit. Teaching staff can also receive training or a field trip to a snow plot on Mount Washington or a visit from Snow Ranger.

Eligibility and how to apply: The Fund will fulfill selected scholarship applications to participate in an avalanche course. Applications will be accepted from individuals between the 6th and 12th grade from the Northeastern United States; from established 6th-12th grade school systems in Coos, Carroll, Grafton Counties in New Hampshire and Oxford County in Maine; and active volunteer mountain rescuers from organizations used as SAR resources by the New Hampshire Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service.  6th through 12th grade individuals should request an application from avalanchefoundation@gmail.com. School systems or teachers in a snow science or avalanche class or school program should also submit a request at the same address.