About Us

The mission of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center is to provide avalanche safety information for people recreating, working, or travelling in the Sawtooth National Forest.

We begin daily avalanche advisories in the fall after enough snow accumulates in the mountains for on-snow travel in the backcountry and continue them until mid-April. We also offer a variety of classroom and field based educational programs, including instruction specifically aimed towards youth, backcountry skiers, snowmobilers, and professionals.

Scott Savage, Director

Scott began poking around the mountains in the late 1980's while earning degrees in Chemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He headed to Big Sky, Montana to ski-bum for a winter before enrolling in medical school... or so he thought. Scott ended up spending the better part of two decades as an Avalanche Forecaster and Snow Safety Director at Big Sky Resort before joining the SAC program in 2012. He has presented at several international avalanche conferences and regional professional seminars and is a regular contributor to The Avalanche Review. Scott is a National Avalanche School instructor and the secretary of the American Avalanche Association. He likes to spend his free time playing in the mountains, on rivers, and on rocks and generally considers each day that he learns more than he forgets to be a success.

Matt Wieland, Avalanche Specialist

Matt grew up playing and getting lost in the mountains of Montana. He moved to Bozeman to attend college and realized working as a ski patroller at Moonlight Basin Ski Area was pretty fun. He eventually became an avalanche forecaster and worked at the ski hill for over a decade. Along the way he earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Snow Geography at Montana State University - Bozeman. Not satisfied, he went back to MSU to earn a Master's degree focusing on surface hoar formation in forested meadow openings. He began forecasting for the Sawtooth Avalanche Center in 2015. In the winter he enjoys going out for a rip on his snowbike and occasionally brings his skis along. He spends his summers riding singletrack trails on anything with two wheels.

Ethan Davis, Lead Avalanche Specialist

Ethan began working as a forecaster with the Sawtooth Avalanche Center in 2015. His interest in snow started at Anthony Lakes, a mom-and-pop ski hill in rural Eastern Oregon. He attended the University of Idaho, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Geography and a minor in Mathematics. Following an interest in winter storms he earned his Master's degree in Meteorology from Pennsylvania State University. After three years in a dark lab growing ice crystals, Ethan returned to the light as a forecaster in Alaska and Colorado before making his way home to Idaho. When not in the snow, you can find him and his wife Robyn brewing beer, fishing, biking or tying-in to climb at a local crag.

Ben VandenBos,