Check Out Our Shop
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Where the sheets have no stains
    Posts
    22,292

    Chabot retirement



    Thanks for the hard work Doug, you filled some mighty big shoes and now you leave an even bigger pair to fill.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,328
    Congrats Doug on an excellent career. Always enjoyed running into him and the fellas from the GNFAC back in my bozeman days. Big shoes to fill indeed.

    Sent from my SM-S236DL using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    47
    Doug, your contributions to the avy safety world are much appreciated. Every time I met you at workshops and meetings, you were pragmatic and personable. Now get after it and ski those stashes !!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    561
    Will there be a cage fight between Dave and Alex to replace Doug? Might be a good fundraiser

    Also, maybe now they'll update their forecasts so I don't have to read a 10 paragraph narrative that still fails to tell me what elevations and aspects are suspect?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    west tetons
    Posts
    2,108
    Quote Originally Posted by total_immortal View Post
    Will there be a cage fight between Dave and Alex to replace Doug? Might be a good fundraiser

    Also, maybe now they'll update their forecasts so I don't have to read a 10 paragraph narrative that still fails to tell me what elevations and aspects are suspect?
    Looks like Mark Staples of the UAC is moving back to the Gallatin to be the new director. I'd count on some changes, but the outcome and process will be interesting to follow.

    Sent from my SM-A536U using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Where the sheets have no stains
    Posts
    22,292
    Mark is a good choice.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Imaginationland
    Posts
    4,799
    I keep reading this thread title as "chatbot retirement."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Bay Area
    Posts
    780
    Quote Originally Posted by NW_SKIER View Post
    I keep reading this thread title as "chatbot retirement."
    Glad I'm not the only one

    Sent from my Pixel 8 Pro using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    561
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    Mark is a good choice.
    I'm a little surprised but agree, excited to see what he brings to the gnfac.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    west tetons
    Posts
    2,108
    Quote Originally Posted by total_immortal View Post
    I'm a little surprised but agree, excited to see what he brings to the gnfac.
    He was initially forecasting for the Gallatin when he got hired as Director of the UAC. He and his family are really wanting to downsize things to Montana as his mom is in Bozeman too. He was able to move sideways within the Forest Service/ govt structure. I'll be really interested to see if they jump on the NAC bandwagon.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Where the sheets have no stains
    Posts
    22,292
    ^^^ I have pretty much viewed the GNAFC as being modeled on the UAC. Having Staples back in BZN seems logical and I am not certain that either Dave or Alex wanted to do the Directors job. Both have pretty good summer gigs.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,078
    Dear Fellow Aficionados of the backcountry:

    My career as an avalanche forecaster at the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center is coming to a close. After a 29-year run (24 as the director) it’s time to say good-bye. Avalanche forecasting allowed me to mesh two things I value: working in the outdoors and public service.

    When I was 17, I skied for the first time on a school trip at Great Gorge/Vernon Valley ski area in NY. I wore a cotton hoody and denim jeans heavily sprayed with Scotch Guard. My lesson was on a bunny slope with a rope tow, surrounded by six-year-olds. I was uncoordinated and not athletic and promptly fell and broke my thumb. "Never again," I thought. Skiing had to be the dumbest sport in the world. Luckily, I was wrong. The arc of my skiing career went from learning to telemark in college with knotted bandanas as poor-man skins, to waiting tables at Big Sky so I could get a ski pass and do lap after lap on a chair lift, slowly improving. I then became the assistant manager of Jimmy B’s bar at Bridger Bowl for two years while I took downhill ski lessons so I could be a ski patroller. I pleaded my case to the ski patrol director who finally relented and gave me a job in 1990. Being the worst skier on patrol meant I could only get better, which I did while still holding onto my unofficial “worst-skier” title. In 1995 the director of the GNFAC, Karl Birkeland, asked if I wanted to fill in as an avalanche forecaster while he went to graduate school. Once my foot was in the door, there was no getting it out, and in 2000, when he moved on, I became the director.

    My work at the GNFAC was never a solo endeavor. GNFAC is a team of competent people. I have been fortunate to work with some of the best in the industry who trained and mentored me and patiently stood by as I flailed. And of course, YOU, lovers of winter backcountry were always my audience. Thank you for listening and learning.

    When I was hired, the newest technology still required looking at a small black and white computer screen through a magnifying glass and counting isobar lines to predict snow storms. The tools for avalanche forecasting have changed since then, but the reasons people die have not. The inability to identify avalanche terrain, laziness to determine snow stability, poor rescue skills and traveling without someone watching you are all too common themes in accidents. My job has been to warn, inform and teach people to make weighty decisions. Even as a professional, I am not immune to bad decisions and consequences. I have lost close friends in the mountains, while I was graced by luck at critical times. In my 29-year career at the GNFAC, 54 people have died in avalanches in southwest Montana. That’s a big number. I've tried to keep this number down and I wish it was smaller. Each one was a person with dreams, aspirations and family members who loved them. Some I knew personally and a few I dug out with my own hands. It's impossible to know how many were spared because of my work, but they are out there, and knowing that brings me solace.

    My seasonal career welded me to Bozeman from October to mid-April for most of my adult life. I am excited for that to change. I want to ski outside Montana, climb in the desert, surf mid-winter and travel. Lots of travel. The work I now do in the summer I hope to enjoy year-round: climbing guide; avalanche consultant in Central Asia; and getting girls to school in northern Pakistan though the non-profit I co-founded--Iqra Fund. My body has been beat up but is still working and I hope to continue making a difference.

    Thank you for making my time at the GNFAC meaningful, fulfilling and valued. Keep on supporting the GNFAC.

    With deep gratitude and appreciation,

    Doug Chabot
    "True love is much easier to find with a helicopter"

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •