About Us

Friends of the San Juans (FOSJ) is a grassroots collective of backcountry enthusiasts committed to providing avalanche awareness and education for winter backcountry users in the San Juan Mountains.

 Founded in 2014 by a handful of backcountry riders, we are a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt charitable organization (Tax ID # 47-1876039) managed by both a volunteer executive board and an advisory committee of avalanche professionals.  Our funding comes from generous donations from our members and our local supporting partners.

Thanks to our Volunteer Board Members:  Michael Ackerman, Gary Apostolou, Aaron Ball, Kelli Brush, Jeremy Dakan, Forrest Kohere, Rob Lloyd, Daisy Matthews, John Strand, and Blayne Woods.

Friends of the San Juans partners with Silverton Avalanche School
FOSJ is excited to announce Silverton Avalanche School as a Keystone Partner for the 2019-20 Season. This collaboration is invaluable in increasing the awareness, safety and enjoyment of the San Juan Mountains for everyone. Highlights of this partnership are:

- An exclusive, weekly email to 2019-20 FOSJ Members on snowpack conditions, observations, and other tips from industry pros in the San Juans. These weekly emails will be designed to complement the CAIC avy report and give our members even more information to help them make better decisions while traveling in the backcountry.

- An exclusive and custom hut-based avalanche course for 2019-20 FOSJ Members at a discounted rate to be held in Feb/March 2020. More details to come.

- Professional development and continuing education for FOSJ On-Snow Instructors. Our volunteer Field Team is one of FOSJ’s greatest assets. This partnership will allow our team to receive high end, professional training from some of the best in the industry.

FOSJ sees this partnership as a milestone for our organization and we are delighted to provide these added benefits to our members, and also have the opportunity to continually improve our avalanche education programs.

What We Do

We provide free avalanche awareness courses in Southwest Colorado.  We offer 2-hour Awareness Classes, a series of topic-specific Workshops, and Field Clinics.   All classes are open to the public, FREE of charge.

FOSJ is recognized by the American Avalanche Association (AAA) as an Avalanche Awareness Course Provider, and we consult with highly respected educators in Colorado and elsewhere on our curriculum and course development.

In our Avalanche Awareness Class, participants are presented with an overview of basic avalanche awareness, avoidance, forecasting, safe travel and self-rescue in a casual classroom environment.  This course is a perfect introduction for novices and a great early season refresher for more experienced travelers.

FOSJ’s Avalanche Workshops are topic-specific, typically with a user group and experience level in mind.  These Workshops are designed as an excellent continuing education model for all levels of backcountry travelers.

Our popular On-Snow Session and other Field Clinics complete FOSJ’s curriculum to take everything we learn in our Awareness Classes and Workshops and apply them in a practical and fun outdoor environment.  Both novice and experienced backcountry travelers have lauded FOSJ’s Field Clinics as an essential learning tool.

Please visit our Calendar to see upcoming courses and events.

Our Supporters