Things are changing at the Utah Avalanche Center (UAC) as Bruce Tremper retires as longtime director. Tremper has been with the UAC since 1986 and is moving on to spent time traveling with his wife and focus on helping the nonprofit side of the UAC, Friends of Utah Avalanche Center. Mark Staples will fill the role of director, joining the UAC team from Montana’s Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.“Bruce has been at the helm of the Utah Avalanche Center for 29 years now and has built the avalanche center into what many consider to be the flagship avalanche center in North America, if not the world,” says Drew Hardesty, a forecaster for the UAC. “He will be sorely missed but in truth he is not really going away.”
“You know what it’s like when you are director, you spend more time than you would like doing administrative stuff,” Tremper says. “I am looking forward to getting back into avalanche work again.” At age 62, Tremper—who wrote the books “Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain” and “Avalanche Essentials”—wants to do more skiing and mountaineering in addition to working part time with the Friends of Utah Avalanche Center. He is also hoping to work on avalanche tutorial videos, continuing his involvement in avalanche education into retirement.
Tremper is happy at the prospect of Staples taking his place as director. Staples will be the third director of the UAC from Bozeman to take on this role. “Montana State University there (in Bozeman) has the best snow and avalanche research group in the country,” Tremper says. Staples, who is the third UAC director coming from Bozeman, studied snow science at MSU, holds a Masters degree in engineering and began working as an avalanche specialist for the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center in 2006.
Tremper will be retiring at the end of the month, and Staples will begin his role as director with UAC thereafter. He’ll be in attendance at the UAC’s 22nd Annual Black Diamond Fall Fundraiser on Thursday, September 10. For more on the event, visit utahavalanchecenter.org.