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  • ISSW 2020
  • Elk Valley Snow and Avalanche Workshop
  • October 3, 2021 thru October 8, 2021
  • In Town

ISSW 2020 - welcoming avalanche professionals and recreationalists for a five days of the latest in snow science.

Due to the Covid-19 Situation, this event has been postponed to October 3 - 8, 2021 to allow appropriate planning, booking and travel time for the safety of all participants, organisers and the Fernie Community. New information and dates will be posted when it becomes available.

The ISSW (International Snow Science Workshop) is the world’s largest conference on snow and avalanches. Its success lies in the motto: ‘A Merging of Theory and Practice‘. The thematic focus lies on current advances in snow and avalanche science, case studies and innovative technologies at an international level. 

All aspects of Fernie’s unique setting and ambience – a small historic mountain town surrounded by steep mountain slopes with modern-day lifestyle and adventures – supports the ISSW and its values to ensure the successful organization and performance of the 2020 event. 

Fernie is known for being a powder town receiving over 10 meters (30 feet) of snowfall annually during the winter season. It’s considered a world-class resort for all types of skiers and snowboarders attracting thousands of visitors each season. Fernie’s steep and deep terrain also makes it one of the most difficult mountain ranges to patrol and control, making it an ideal location to host the biennial event.  

Approximately 1,000 local, national, and international participants, including industry experts, decision-makers and stakeholders, are expected to attend the ISSW 2020. 


January: Registration Booking Opens & Call for Abstract Submissions
April: Abstract Submission Deadline
June: Early Registration Deadline
June: Presenting Authors Registration Deadline
August: Full Papers Due
September: Regular Registration Deadline


The Conference Venue in Fernie will be comprised of the Fernie Memorial Arena, Curling Rink and Community Centre.

These centrally located and adjoining buildings will provide for ease of delegate flow between sessions and are located within a short walking distance of most lodging options. Additional meeting room space is located nearby, which can be booked for breakout sessions. Shuttles will be provided.


Registration reopens January, 2021.


The typically broad audience of the ISSW includes scientists and practitioners from engineering, infrastructure, ski resorts, forecasting and warning services, ski and mountain guiding, search and rescue, medicine, research and education, as well as the tourism industry. 

The packed schedule will feature:

  • Early morning speaker's breakfasts
  • 4 full days of oral sessions and panel discussions
  • Exhibit & poster hall
  • A day of field trips
  • Youth Snow Science Workshop
  • Afternoon socials and evening entertainment
  • Banquet dinner


The conference will examine a wide range of subjects related to snow science, through 15- & 20-minute oral presentations and panel discussions including:

  • Avalanche Dynamics, Education, Forecasting, Formation and Failure
  • Avalanche Incidents, Case Studies, Rescue & Risk Communication
  • Climate Change and Sustainability
  • Human Behaviours and Decision Making
  • Instrumentation and Remote Sensing
  • Planning and Engineering Solutions
  • Snow and Snowpack Properties
  • Terrain Management

Participate in ISSW 2020 as a guest speaker: SUBMITTING AN ABSTRACT

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  • Contact Information
  • 1604-681-2153
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  • Fernie Community Centre, Hwy #3, Fernie