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Sawtooth Avalanche Center Adds Swiss Forecaster
Thursday, December 1, 2022


Two new forecasters are joining the team at the Sawtooth Avalanche Center as it begins its daily backcountry avalanche forecasts.

Jon “J.P.” Preuss moved to the Wood River Valley to pursue a career in mountain guiding after graduating from Northern Vermont University. He is an American Mountain Guide Association-certified ski and rock guide and has worked as a search and rescue member and educator.

Manuel Genswein comes from Lenzerheide, Switzerland, as part of the Forest Service International Visitor Program. He is a published rescue researcher who has developed rescue products and techniques that have been applied around the world.

He’s joining the Sawtooth Avalanche Center team as part of a multi-year effort to research and create international bet practices for avalanche-related topics.

With that, the center will have five forecasters for the 2022-23 winter season—one more than last year.

Center forecasters are in the initial stages of developing a national public field observation platform that will streamline the way field observations are gathered and displayed at avalanche centers across the country.

They also have redesigned the weather station map and data visualization page on their website at

The center conducted a feasibility study on providing avalanche information to eastern Idaho in conjunction with the Forest Service National Avalanche Center and neighboring avalanche centers. They plan to expand their study to the Boise and Trinity Mountains in 2023.

Staff are publishing and broadcasting Spanish avalanche warning information and are working on an Avalanche Awareness video in Spanish. They also will hold an Introduction to Avalanches course in Spanish and present Avalanche Awareness classes to Spanish-speaking snow removal workers.

The first introduction to Avalanches in the Wood River Valley will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, in the Minnie Moore Room at the Community Campus in Hailey. It will be followed by a field day north of Ketchum on Dec. 10.

Forecasters expect the avalanche danger in the Central Idaho mountains surrounding Sun Valley to ramp up this week given the snow that fell Wednesday on a widespread weak snow layer.  Backcountry users can review daily forecasts at   Backcountry recreationalists can also post observations on the center’s website at


You can contribute to the funding of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center by attending the 6th Annual Homegrown Film Festival Dec. 3 at The Argyros and Limelight Hotel in Ketchum.

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