About Us

Friends of the San Juans (FOSJ) is a grassroots collective committed to creating a safe and educated community of winter backcountry users in the San Juan Mountains. We create a space and provide the language for sharing introductory information, contemporary concepts and practices, key issues, and experiences from the field for the purpose of growing this community.

 Founded in 2014 by a handful of backcountry enthusiasts, 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:  John Strand, Evan Tyler, Leland Kohere, Forrest Kohere, Jeremy Dakan, Colt Fetters, Julia Ledford, Aaron Ball, Gary Apostolou and Blayne Woods.

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 Core Sponsors