AAS Consulting Services

We specialize in all phases of avalanche work, including recreation, transportation, and industrial consulting. Our avalanche capabilities include planning, mapping, training, artificial release including helicopter and hand blasting, structural mitigation, research, risk analysis, mapping, operations, and project management.

Our work comes to us through word of mouth based on our reputation, so we have kept this website simple, to briefly provide the key information necessary to assist our clients and prospective clients.

We encourage you to contact us personally for additional information and to talk over your needs.

International Work

We are Alaska-based, but our interests and network of collaborations in the avalanche field are worldwide.

Our current international project is a joint venture with owner Dave Enright of Evergreen Outdoor Center in Hakuba, Nagano, Japan to form Japan Snow Specialists, a sister company organized to do avalanche consulting work in Japan.

Who We Are

Alaska Avalanche Specialists is an Alaskan LLC owned by Bill Glude, an avalanche specialist with exceptionally broad experience and over 35 years of working in the field.

We base out of Juneau, Alaska. We use staffers with local experience in the area where we are working whenever possible, and we also draw staff from our worldwide network of the most-experienced among our fellow avalanche workers.

Project Highlights

Project and Fieldwork Gallery

Perhaps the best way to understand the scope and diversity of our projects is to check out the photos on our AAS Fieldwork and Projects Gallery Page.

Rates

We charge out conservatively for our services at rates typical of those for similar earth science specialty work, a little lower than those for licensed professional engineers who specialize in natural hazards engineering.

Our rates are higher for rush and emergency jobs, and they drop substantially for long-term jobs. Our chargeout rates drop along with our overhead costs as we go from intermittent to fulltime work; normally 12.5% at two months’ fulltime work on a project, and 23% at four months.

Remember that chargeout rates for consulting work must cover all our overhead, and reflect the high cost of doing this kind of business rather than high wages. As is typical for consulting companies, chargeout rates are calculated at 2.3 to 3 times pay, and we are fortunate if there is enough left after expenses to actually pay those rates.

On some short-term and most long-term jobs, we work with our clients to provide our services for an affordable fixed price, rather than charging out hourly.

Availability

We are a small company and our staffers make their time commitments well in advance, so if you want to be sure your project gets timely attention, you should contact us at least six months ahead.

Our winters are always filled with fieldwork and operational projects; we write our studies and do fieldwork for avalanche plans during the summer. We are generally unavailable to write up studies or start new programs in winter, from November through May. Any non-emergency, non-field work during that time must generally wait until summer.

That said, we can often accommodate small projects with flexible schedules on short notice, but we do have to charge out at higher rates for projects with less than two months' notice or for those that require winter work beyond our prior operational commitments.

For short-term emergency jobs such as power line repair, we can pull staff off other programs and mobilize very quickly. Our field office is always packed and ready to go. We can usually put a specialist onsite anywhere in the world in less than one week, and can have a full avalanche program up and running within two weeks.

Emergency response chargeout rates are higher of course, because our costs are higher. Those with the foresight to have us on a retainer, with preparations already in place, will enjoy the most-rapid emergency response at the lowest rates.

Industrial Liability in Alaska

The Whitewater case is the definitive case law on responsibility to industrial workers in Alaska. It spells out very clearly the necessity for avalanche analysis and state of the art programs for any project with avalanche exposure.

All photos, text, and images on this website are © Bill Glude unless otherwise noted.