This presentation will discuss Decision Quality principles as they relate to the world of mountain guiding, where data is sparse and subjective, and decisions often need to be made quickly in the face of tremendous uncertainty.
The mountain guiding profession in Canada dates back to the early 1900s. It involves providing meaningful experiences while mountain climbing, backcountry skiing or hiking to tens of thousands of guests annually. The activities take place in dynamic and hazardous wilderness environments where decisions must be made quickly and with almost entirely subjective data. The hazards encountered all have varying degrees of uncertainty and can range from relatively benign (slippery or rough trail) to very serious (avalanches, crevasses, rockfall). The associated consequences can range from inconvenient to catastrophic.
Historically, outcome has been the primary metric by which decisions are judged. Judging decision quality by the process rather than by the outcome represents a shift in thinking and a cultural change in the profession. Guides must accept that, to some degree, luck plays a role in whether or not we and our clients return home at the end of the day. A solid decision making process, and use of risk margins is required so that guides don't find themselves relying on hope!
Geoff Osler - Operations Manager and instructor for the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) Training and Assessment Program, Freelance Mountain Guide. Geoff has spent 15 years guiding in a variety of roles ranging from helicopter skiing in British Columbia to guiding rock, ice and alpine climbing throughout western Canada and internationally. Previously he has experience in avalanche control and forecasting in ski areas and has worked as a mountain safety specialist on fim and industrial projects.
Stephen Holeczi - Mountain Guide and Mountain Rescue Specialist for Parks Canada. Stephen has over 25 years of experience managing risk in mountainous environments as a climber and Mountain Guide. He is responsible for writing daily public avalanche bulletins as well as performing technical mountain rescues. He is also an instructor for the ACMG's Training and Assessment Program.
Todd Guyn is a Mountain Guide with 30 years of experience. Currently he is self employed as a risk consultant for mountain pursuits and environments. His experience includes working for the largest Helicopter Skiing operation in the world, with jobs ranging from front line ski guide to running their mountain risk management program. He also served as the Technical Director of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides which oversees the training and standards for all guides in Canada. Todd has written several papers on mountain risk and has presented them to international audiences. Previous to his guiding career Todd was a professional climber with global experience. Born and raised in southern Alberta Canada, he was first introduced to the outdoors as a cattle wrestler and a rock climber.