Speaker Series: Tony Pavlantos of Utah Avalanche Center

Speaker Series: Tony Pavlantos of Utah Avalanche Center

  • Posted by Kaleigh
  • On January 8, 2018
  • Comments

Introducing The Front's Speaker Series

The Front is a thriving community of world travelers, do-gooders, and creative entrepreneurs, and this well of knowledge deserves an audience! We have selected six of these talented individuals to share their experience with you over the next six weeks during our free Winter Speaker Series, starting this Thursday at 6PM.

Join Us

When: Every Thursday at 6PM
Where: The 3rd floor of The Front Climbing Club SLC
Cost: FREE
RSVP on Facebook
View the calendar of our upcoming speakers.

Meet the First Speaker, Tony Pavlantos

We're psyched to welcome Tony Pavlantos, a man who found his passion in the mountains and has ridden some lines that many can only dream of, as our first guest speaker.

Tony chased the snow to Salt Lake City 15 years ago. He began teaching avalanche courses for the Utah Avalanche Center eight years ago. He also has a passion project called Prival that helps him fulfill his values of sharing the practice of self-sufficiency and mindfulness.

Tell us about avalanches, the beauty, the ferocity, and if you’ve had personal experiences with them.

Avalanches, wow. Seeing the intense energy and force they create is a real treat. Learning to stay out of entrapment while still being able to travel through skiing and climbing terrain is a delicate dance. My personal experiences with them are mostly from a mitigation stance doing control work while making snowboard films and guiding. I was captured once but given another chance. I found teaching and learning to be a chance to give back a bit.

What are the most notable avalanches that have happened in Utah?

I would say the most notable avalanches are the ones that have taken the lives of people in our Utah community. There were over 40 avalanche fatalities in Utah in the last ten years. I have close friends on that list and find it hard to swallow thinking of the impact.

Everyone will want to know... Does the Utah Avalanche Center have a shop dog and is it a St Bernard with a barrel of brandy around its neck?

The Utah Avalanche Center has many top dogs! The forecasters keep us up-to-date with current avalanche conditions and keep the brandy at home. No St. Bernards yet!

Photo by Ben Girardi

What kind of climbing do you do most?

My climbing background consists mostly of alpine climbing with my snowboard on my back. I love sandstone splitters but crave alpine granite and vertical ice.

What activities connect you to the outdoors?

My greatest connection to the outdoors is through splitboarding, but I have been studying permaculture for many years and am finally living the practice on a day to day level.

What will you be speaking about on Thursday? Give us a taste of your speech.

The Know Before You Go presentation is an hour-long introduction to avalanches. The course on Thursday, January 11th will follow the standard presentation and include a photo representation of the avalanche paths that flow into the ice climbs in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah.

Why should our members attend your speech? What is there to gain?

If you live in a mountain-rich snow community, there are avalanches. Joining us on Thursday for this KBYG presentation will give you an eye-opening realization of the education and protocols needed to make it home safely after each outing.

Do you work for the Utah Avalanche Center full time? What else do you do?

I do not work full time for the UAC. I teach varying levels of avalanche education to over 200 students each year on average. The rest of my time is spent on Prival, a brand from Salt Lake that makes backcountry equipment, teaches avalanche education, and focuses on social and environmental responsibilities.

« Don't forgot to spread the word and RSVP here.

*Cover photo taken by Zach Clanton.