Our Instructors

Tess Morris

Tess grew up in Leavenworth, Washington and started skiing at the age of four.

Both parents were avid skiers and consistently managed to get Tess and her two siblings out in the mountains, skiing mainly at Mission Ridge.

During high school, an opportunity presented itself in the form of becoming a volunteer ski patroller. This volunteerism eventually propelled her towards other volunteer opportunities in the EMT and Fire Fighting fields.

With this emergency care background, she became a full time patroller at Mission by age 21. Since then, Tess has served as the Assistant Patrol Director, and as of this year, has accepted the Patrol Director position.


Rob Gibson

Rob began his avalanche career in the 1979-80 season with the Alpental Pro Patrol. He was a full time Pro Patroller through 1991. From 1992 to 2006, he worked full time as a WSDOT Avalanche Forecaster for Snoqualmie and Chinook Passes. he also continued as a full time Ski Patroller during that same period. Rob spent 5 opposing seasons as a Patroller/Avalanche Forecaster in New Zealand at Mr. Ruapehu in the 1980's and 1990's. Since 2007 he has been employed full time as Patrol Director/Risk Manager at Snoqualmie Pass. Rob also works as an avalanche dog handler and is a professional memember of the Alpental Back Country Avalanche Rescue Dogs Association.



Angela Seidling

Angela conducts the Foundation’s Companion Rescue workshop at Stevens Pass. Angela, who earned a B.A. degree in Education from the University of Montana, taught for five years in the Missoula, Montana middle school. She has been a mountain guide since 2004, guiding for the American Alpine Institute since 2007 (rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering and skiing.) She has just completed her eighth season of patrolling at Stevens Pass. Her certifications include Wilderness First Responder, AIARE Level 2, and AIARE Level 1 instructor.


Bram Thrift

Bram is the snow safety supervisor for the Summit at Snoqualmie, as well as a part-time forecaster for the Washington State Department of Transportation and a member of the Back Country Avalanche Rescue K-9s (B.A.R.K.). He has been a professional ski patroller at Alpental for the last fourteen years. Bram has substantial relevant training, including the Northwest Avalanche Institute – Level 2, the National Avalanche School – Phase 1 and Phase 2, the American Avalanche Association – AVPRO, and an instructor of development for the National Ski Patrol. He has also attended the ISSW on four different occasions.


Ryan Forbes

Ryan is currently the “Mountain Manager” at Stevens Pass. He has been a ski patroller for over twenty years. He is a certified dog handler and state blaster. His avalanche courses include Levels 1, 2, and 3, and he is a Level 1 ski guide in Canada. Ryan was very instrumental in conceiving of the Foundation’s mission and facilitating free mountain safety courses. As past vice-president of the Association of Professional Patrollers, he has worked closely with the Foundation from its inception.

John Stimberis

John's interest in environmental issues, natural systems, mapping ad the newly-developed field of geographical information systems (GIS) led to a degree in Geography and Enviromental Science from Central Washington Universtiy in 1992. He also studied art with photography being the main focus of his interest.


John has worked with the Alpental Patrol doing avalanche patrols and as a full time Sku Patroller since 1990. He has spent many summers hiking the trails of the Alpine Lakes wilderness area for the U.S. Forest Service. In 1999, John joined the WSDOT Avalanche Forecasting and Control Program for the clearing on Chinook Pass. He then moved to year-round work for WSDOT, where he is currently Supervisor for the Avalanche Forecasting and Control Programs.


John has a keen interest in teaching avalanche safety. He has taught avalanche courses and given talks about avalanche phenomenon for more than a dozen years. He is currently a Level I-II Course Leader for AIARE and is also certified as an Avalanche Instructor by the American Avalanche Association. In addition, John conducts avalanche research with the Geology Department of at CWU and is the current Vice President of the American Avalanche Association. He lives with his lovely wifre in Ellensburg. When not on the snow, John enjoys running and live music.



Brad Whiting

Brad is the director of the Mission Ridge Ski Resort. He grew up skiing Mission Ridge. In his younger days, he was a competitive mogul skier traveling the country competing in mogul contests. Through the years, Brad has been the mountain’s avalanche forecaster, and avalanche control worker for the Patrol, and the Assistant Patrol Director and Director of the ski patrol. He is now the "Mountain Man"" at Mission Ridge.


Steve Kunnen

Steve has been a Stevens Pass professional ski patroller for almost twenty years. He is an AIARE Avalanche Instructor, Steven Pass mountain education instructor, former PSIA instructor, and an AAA member. He has atended ISSW workshops and is very active in the American Avalanche Association and AIARE. Steve is a dedicated instructor in the Foundation’s Workshops at Stevens Pass.

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