The 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.



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.

John Stimberis

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

John started his avalanche career with the Alpental Pro Patrol as a full time Ski Patroller in the early 1990's. He has spent many summers hiking the trails of the Alpine Lakes wilderness area for the U.S. Forest Service at that time. In 1999, John joined the WSDOT Avalanche Forecasting and Control Program on Chinook and Snoqualmie Passes. He then moved to year-round work for WSDOT, where he is currently Supervisor for the South Central Region Avalanche Forecasting and Control Program.

John has a keen interest in teaching avalanche safety. He has taught avalanche courses and given talks about avalanche phenomenon for close to twenty 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 partners with CWU and UW for snow and mountain weather related studies. He is currently the President of the American Avalanche Association and Vice Chair of the Artillery Avalanche Users North America Committee (AAUNAC). He lives in Seattle and enjoys running and live music.


Brad Whiting

Brad is the director of the Mission Ridge Ski Patrol. 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 before he was promoted to Director in 2002.